Do you think my child has autism?

Hi I’m looking for some advice about my 13 year old daughter. I have always had the feeling that something not right and the more I look into it the more I think she could be autistic. She was born at 26 weeks gestation and with her milestones it was always a case of ‘she will catch up eventually it’s because she’s premature’. I’ve found studies that say babies born before 28 weeks are at higher risk of developing autism. She also had heart surgery during her first year of school and missed out on half the year so that was also a case of her catching up. When she was about 6 her teacher mentioned there was a possibility that she was dyslexic but was too young to diagnose and then nothing ever came of that. She’s also had counselling due to having bad thoughts and just got told she was depressed and anxious. Ive even had her senior school on the phone to tell me that she is always on her own at school and eats her lunch I’m the library. The only thing that they could suggest was a eco friendly social group for her to join even though I know it’s something would hate and refuse to do.

I’ve tried to make a list of some of the things that make me think she has autism. 
• She hates change
• She becomes easily obsessed with things. 
• Constantly worries. 
• Likes to be on her own. 
•Doesn’t like crowds of people or meeting new people.  
• She won’t eat in public and won’t get on public transport
• She’s a very awkward person    
• Very fidgety and can’t keep still like she’s always nervous     
•She’s very caring and loving but struggles with hugging      
• Likes routine    
• Obsessed with time even though she can’t tell the time   
• Sometimes says things with no filter but then will worry and get angry that she shouldn’t of said it

This is just some of the things that I can think of. Do you think I’m overthinking or shall I speak with my GP? I just don’t know what the best thing is to do. I feel like no one actually listens to my concerns and always fobs me off with something else 


  • Hi. Just a heads-up - I'm not sure what research you've looked at, but people are born autistic (they don't develop autism). The NHS also seems sceptical of that study:

    However, a lot of your daughter's traits could be autistic traits. I couldn't say for sure having looked at that list, as she'd need to go through the diagnostic process and there are other conditions that could cause those same traits. However, if you think there's a chance that she might be autistic, it's definitely worth learning more about autism and deciding whether you'd like to pursue diagnosis. I'm currently awaiting adult diagnosis and wish I was diagnosed at a younger age. 

    I'd recommend looking at Purple Ella and Yo Samdy Sam's YouTube videos - they're both autistic adults and they share some really useful information/advice. They also talk about the diagnostic process and the differences in autistic girls/women (as it was previously thought to be a predominantly 'male' condition).

    If you'd like to speak to your GP, I'd recommend looking at the autism traits on the NAS website and writing down examples of your daughter's traits (like you've started doing in this forum post). Not all GPs are knowledgeable about autism, so it's worth going in with as much knowledge as possible and backing your points up with examples. It might also be worth opening up the conversation with your daughter. There are some books she could read to introduce her to the topic (e.g. 'Can you see me?' by Rebecca Westcott and Libby Scott).

    The best place to learn about autism is from autistic adults - there are lots of people out there who are willing to share their experiences, e.g. through YouTube channels, books, or the #actuallyautistic hashtag on Twitter. 

    I hope you're able to get the support you need for your daughter and I wish you all the best.