Looking for advice and opinions on my daughter pretty please.
Theres always been *something* not quite there with my daughter.
She’s never been able to make and hold on to friends,
She’s always been a constant worrier,
She’s extremely emotional and unable to control these; when she’s sad, she’s very tearful and inconsolable, when she’s happy, she’s over the top ecstatic. She will become happy or extremely sad when least expected.
She’s always been happier having one solid ‘mother hen’ type friend but fails to hold onto these.
She’s extremely anxious in situations with too many people around,
She can’t handle new experiences
In the last week, new revelations have come forward; she’s been suffering with panic attacks. When walking on her own, from class to class or feeling/ being alone in unstructured times (break and lunch) she’s overcome by this gut-wrenching, overwhelming fear and when she explained what happens, I knew it was panic attacks. She’s now at a point where she doesn’t want to leave the house and go to school. She has had issues with friends (again) so I know this is a factor. She is receiving help for her anxiety at school, but the school nursing team have revealed to me that, whilst they have seen an improvement with how She responds to the nurse herself, what they can offer isn’t enough, there’s something more. She’s being referred on for her anxiety issues.
However, I think theres more. I think my darling girl is on the spectrum. She’s 12 years old, in her first year at high school and, since starting year 7, all the issues that have been lingering and not quite right have exploded into being.
Shes unable to socialise; when she does make friends, she doesn’t know how to behave around them. She goes into fits of hyper (talking fast, loud, ‘large’ movements, bouncing jumping etc) during unstructured times when amongst her peers, which she is aware her friends find ‘annoying’ but she can not help it.
Shes extremely shy, thinks so little of herself, the learning support officer at school has never dealt with someone who is so down on themselves. She hates the unexpected, being known to cry when asked a question in class without voluntarily offering the answer.
She is, however, extremely gifted academically. She’s in top set for all her classes and teachers can do nothing but praise her abilities, the only feedback they give is that she is extremely quiet and shy and doesn’t voice herself enough. She’s very creative and one of her comforts is to draw these beautiful pictures, usually depicting a very sad girl however.
We have a doctors appointment Thursday. Whilst the anxiety side of it needs dealing with, I want to mention the spectrum side of it. I think I have grounds to believe this is the underlying matter and the longer it goes undetected, the worse it’ll be. But I’m wondering am I right to feel this way? Do I have the grounds to think it is possibly ASD?
My 7year old son was diagnosed at the age of 5 and the help came to us. Having to chase the support etc is so new and slightly overwhelming.
Any advice would be so greatly appreciated. Thank you so much.
I think you should go with your instincts, it could be anxiety but you are right to consider it might be more, the fact you have one child on the spectrum should at least get the doctors to consider it.
Girls can be alot more subtle in the presentation (not limited to girls) they may appear more social but it is just as difficult for them.
My daughter is 8 and still awaiting assessment she doesn't stand out at school (except academically) she just appears shy a bit anxious never misbehaves or speaks out of turn follows all the rules appears to have friends. The effort of this is emotionally exhausting her she let's it out at home where no one sees arguing to get her seen has taken us nearly 5 years. It was only when they started digging in to her answers on social behaviour they realised she did not understand at all, why was she so good in school? Because its the rules and she won't let herself break them.
My point is if you think there is a chance your daughter is on the spectrum then it is worth pursuing even if you have to fight for it, going through secondary school can be hard for anyone but with the right support in place..
Rules are not made to be broken, my daughter would say! shes an absolute obsessive when it comes to rules. Has never, ever put a foot wrong before ever because she’s so scared of doing the wrong thing. And again, an anxiety would kick in at the thought of being or doing wrong, or others doing wrong around her.. it’s never ending for her.
My daughters definitely not social but tries so hard to be to fit in, and again, this causes issues as she doesn’t know how to be social.
I’m gathering a lot more info now. Found an AQ assessment online that she’s just completed and scored ‘indicates significant autistic traits’.
I know this is going to take time & patience and maybe even a little mumma fight- spirit. But she can’t go on like this not knowing what’s going on :(
thank you, I wish you luck with your little princess
I also completed the eq-sq for my daughter to support referral, I found an autistic vlogger on YouTube called agony autie who did some great videos on anxiety and alot of other things, some of them are really helpful and child friendly I have started sharing these with my daughter to show her she is not alone, and to help her see the positive side as well as introducing autism to her. She spotted things that she does and it really helped her anxiety, might be worth a look (some videos are not child friendly so check first but definitely worth adult viewing)
Good luck with your daughter x
Wow, brilliant thank you, will definitely take a look as I think she needs something to show she’s not alone and it’s ok to not be ok, she’s taking the first steps. Thank you :)
I have two daughters on the spectrum. Obviously only specialists can tell, but from what you said your daughter could very likely be on the spectrum. I agree that you have to act on your instinct. You have a good idea of autism. Girls are camouflaging it much better and blend in and bottle it up for much longer. They are often overlooked and misdiagnosed because they present differently, it is a well recognised fact now. What you describe as 'explode' is exactly that. I read countless accounts from mothers about children slipping between the cracks, starting secondary without proper dx and sen support and 'exploding' into anxiety, self harm, school refusal and complete breakdown. My own daughter exploded in 6 form in spite of EHCP.
Use the time now to read about how autism presents in girls. One key word is the intensity of her interests, not what and how unusual they are. Try to bring to the appointment the list of symptoms and behaviours for each of the diagnostic criteria. Leave a print out with the doctor. Don't accept being fobbed off about the anxiety. There is precious little CAMHS can do, and nearly nothing at school, so you might tell them without ASD assessment your daughter will continue the free fall will be back in a few months with more severe problems and school refusal. Insist on the assessment, especially given your son has ASD.
According to the SEN code of practice, the school have to start support now, without the dx. Write a letter to the Senco with the list of all your concerns, the symptoms and behaviours and say clearly that you think she is on the spectrum and didn't cope with transition to secondary, as it is not unusual for autistic children. Write that you ask them to put the appropriate support in place of the type they do for children on the spectrum. Ask for a meeting with Senco to discuss this support and set up an individual educational plan. Unfortunately, as I experience, having to fight for the right support is a constant feature of having autistic children. It is overwhelming and upsetting indeed, but you will find your form inevitably :) Does your son have an EHCP? You might need one before secondary for him too.
Thank you so much. So many points to aid me!
Im going to contact the senco tomorrow, 2 days ahead of our appt. Hopefully, an offer of SEN support will be made for me to then pass on to dr.
My daughter went back to school today & very nearly didn’t cope. It doesn’t help that she is now seen as a vulnerable person amongst her peers which makes her a target, so she was humiliated in front of half the school today as 3 girls ganged up on her. Mumma’s NOT happy. She has been given a ‘time out pass’ for when she feels too overwhelmed in class & she needs 10mins out to speak to a member of support staff or myself. School so far do seem to be very eager to help, however, I’ve thrown hints in there and nothing has been picked up on an SEN level, so now I’m left with no choice but to spell it out. I don’t want to make it seem like I think I'm any kind of expert but I live with ASD everyday. I home educate my son (who doesn’t have an EHCP; extreme lack of support at school) & can see the warning signs.
I’m already prepared to not get the referral on Thursday, but prepared to do whatever’s necessary, even if I have to attend the drs every bloomin’ day with my daughter.
Thank you very much.
You are doing the right thing seeing the GP. I am sure he/she will be helpful. If not see another one,. A professional opinion is called for .
Thank you! :)
Since my OP, I’ve been in contact with the schools SENCo who has already offered some advice & got the ball rolling her end. GPS appt is tomorrow. Don’t know what to expect, but I know I cannot allow us to walk out disappointed. That being said, I know I won’t walk out with a referral either. But somethings got to start happening.
I completed a questionnaire for the school in regards to my concerns & by the time I’d finished, even I was overwhelmed to read back everything that we’ve finally come to realise. &, it breaks my heart to think that, even with an ASD Dx child, my comprehension on the matter didn’t allow me to see what was happening with my little girl. However, recent events will only aid us I believe, as they provide further evidence. Fingers crossed!