I have a 19 yr old daughter whom I think may have HFA. There have been many quirks to her personality over the years, but most importantly and disabling is her inability to manage social situations. She has lost all but two friends from her school and college years, she tried to start uni this year, and this resulted in one panic/meltdown when she tried to move into her student digs. We came home and she continued to insist she would go, but a week later after attempting the first day she had another almighty panic/ meltdown. We brought her home, there has been no backlash to this, no emotion, disappointment, frustration anything!!! i truly believe she does not know how to understand herself and her feelings, as there was little conversation about going away, just a build up of anxiety a few weeks before ( but this was only evident by a few panic attacks). She has been put on AD for her anxiety, she watched the Chris Packham docu, and told me two days later that she felt she connected with everything he spoke about. I did my research, and feel she has many traits and the GP asked her to complete a questionnaire.We go back to GP tomorrow, and I'm just lost as to how to pursue this? It's all very new to me, and im worried the GP may dismiss our concerns as we have never raised any issues beforehand. to be honest, I thought many of her traits were things she may just grow out of, or gain confidence once at uni??? is there anything i should be doing that i simply don't know about, anyone out there on this forum who has had a similar experience? if someone thinks we are barking up the wrong tree , please say. The GP test was a score of 40/50 autism spectrum quotient test. Thank you
I echo others advice about you and your daughter putting a document together about how she meets the different diagnostic criteria for autism. It does help to be pushy. I mentioned I thought I had autism to a Dr and 2 psychiatrists and they all said I wouldn't have ASD! Luckily the third one gave me the screener questionnaire which I filled in and sent to the local autism unit, which led to my diagnosis.
In regards to your daughter's transition to uni the good news is it that you have around 10 months to prepare. You could spend this time getting your daughter comfortable with the campus, such as going to their food outlets for lunch occasionally, walking around the campus etc. Have you been in touch with their disability services about your concerns? They may be able to help, such as finding your students lecture rooms in advance so that she can go and sit in them in the summer to familiarize herself with them. you might also be able to join the library as a guest and obtain past papers for any exams for her course.
If your daughter applies for the Disabled Students Allowances, either as a student with MH issues or ASD, she may be entitled to mentoring support.
Thanks. Luckily the uni is one that we visited twice before and that she was accepted into last year , only deciding to have gone for the other option. Your advice on becoming familiar with the building and campus etc is something I have already discussed with her, even trying out the bus route together. I will however investigate the support services on offer and I was not aware of the disabled student allowance, so I shall look into that . My thinking is, that if she isn't given a formal diagnosis for whatever reason, the social issues and the impact of change are still going to be a major barrier. We will definitely need a plan going forward.
Good luck with your daughter's upcoming assessment. I'm diagnosed ASD1 only recently and know I would have hugely benefitted from this being formally recognised was I was a teenager. At 52, I couldn't care less what label doctors put on me, but I have a teenage daughter who is a dead ringer for my personality and the last thing she wants is for her ASD to be formally recognised. Don't think too far ahead - There's is lots of support out there - Use that which works for you.
yes, whilst i'm not one for labelling people , therecould be a huge benefit to having some sort of "explanation" for things - less feeling in isolation. Good for some, maybe not for others. with regards to support, this site is great for that . thanks.
If the actually going to university thing proves to much, maybe the Open University might be an option possibly?
And for a bit of self-interest/better comprehension and you're not alone vibe for your daughter, perhaps see if she finds the following site of use also:
The autism online 50 questions is important as a structure to provide the mind with order and reason and control because that's how the AS mind works. that's what the aspie identity craves for. Once that's there then there is less room for work anxiety worry and personal disbelief. The whole philosophy of the education system does not take the autistic identity or mindset into account so that's why potential autistic teens will find it hard to deal with. Realisation and responding can be liberating mentally and emotionally. Being bold enough to dare to be different. So I think that aspies need support and belief rather than denial and avoidance. If I am preaching and you don't like then please excuse me and rebuke where appropriate.
i don't think you are preaching, all comments welcome if constructive. I truly do believe that knowledge is power - thank you for your response especially how you have highlighted the need for order and control.
Thanks NAS35578 for that insight. Another jigsaw piece dropping into place... no wonder university was less successful than the much more structured secondary school...
(there were other reasons that were more obvious, but this is a new understanding that I was wholly unaware of before your remark)
It sounds like your daughter would benefit from explanation of how she experiences life. I am educated to a high standard and have worked for many years in a fast paced retail environment but I put myself through ADI training and started having panic attacks. Then I read a book on how the condition makes you different. That means now I know why bad stuff happens to me and why I say the wrong things to people and why I react differently in social situations. Now I do more planning and structure my day to reduce the stress as much as I can. That has helped me become much more mentally and emotionally stable without medications. These extreme reactions happen because the person is not prepared enough for what is about to happen. Good luck with it all and keep posting progress please.
Re my post asking for help! Just completed a private assessment and now my daughter has her diagnosis. Hopefully this will enable the correct support for uni, and she and us have answers. I couldn't wait for the NHS assessment, no sign of anything happening , very slow process. So glad I found this website, been a great support.
Far better to find this out now, before university.
Many of us didn't get a diagnosis before reaching our mid-forties, and at least one failed marriage, complete with kids(!)
Hopefully your daughter will now get the support she needs, and has a better chance at a happy adult life.