Help! I have a daughter who I feel is probably PDA, possibly Aspergers. She has just returned from Brownie holiday, and literally exploded at me, because I asked her to wash her hands - this went on for four hours. For as long as I can remember, she has automatically replied with ‘no’, whenever I ask her to do anything. She is very negative, is very angry at home, quite aggressive, and has no respect for me as her mum, or her dad. She doesn’t seem to understand that we should be able to ask or tell her to do something - every request is met with a negative response. Tonight we have been going round in circles - she gets angry, we try and stay calm, give her some coping strategies etc., but she responds with a reason why she can’t do what we suggest. At school she is bullied, she doesn’t feel like she fits in, and doesn’t know why other kids are being nasty. She isn’t spiteful, and seems to save up her angst until she gets home, then just explodes at us. Her younger brother has complex special needs, and is diagnosed autistic on top of everything else he’s going through. My daughter knows all this - she also knows she is different, is scared that she’s autistic like her brother, wants help with dealing with her anger but doesn’t want to be the same as her brother. She is what I would call high functioning - incredibly able at school, but finding it increasingly difficult to keep or make friends. She thinks she’s different and doesn’t feel she fits in/doesn’t understand others. She wants to take the 11+ exam, and I know she will pass, unless she loses the plot on the day. I think she is PDA and possibly Aspergers. Do I tell her? We have spoken to school, but she is doing well, and they don’t see what she’s like at home. Not sure what to do - maybe some anger management counselling? Part of me doesn’t want to add to her anxiety by suggesting she might be ASD but then part of me thinks it might help. Not sure what to do next - any advice?
I'm not a parent, but in my humble opinion talking though the idea could do some good. I'd mention that autism is a word that covers all kinds of things, particular strengths as well as difficulties.
See if 'PDA' techniques work:
If she takes the 11 plus will she be going to a more selective school with smaller classes?
Thanks - I'll take a look. She has come home from school today and is absolutely fine!!
The classes will be the same (about 30 kids) - one grammar has an intake of 270, the other has 120, so when we go and have a look round, I hope she chooses the smaller one.
I would personally leave talking to her about her possible ASD untill after she has passed her exam. So that she doesn't feel she isn't entitled to go to the grammar school. It is always possible to go down but not so easy to go up.
talk to her of course about ways to cope with the problems that she has, they are part of her, but she is terrified that she is like her brother and may find it difficult to separate his autism from his other difficulties. She is obviously clever but that doesn't mean she understands everything, or can even deal with the thought that she might have those problems.
I am probably talking rubbish but I am autistic, I do have my degree and I think perhaps your daughter doesn't need that label right now. I do know for sure as far as I am concerned that it is much easier to succeed in an environment of expectation to succeed that she will get at a good grammar school than it is to have to fight to succeed in a comprehensive.
That makes sense - I will leave it until she's done the exam, but will have a look at PDA etc, for some coping strategies.