I have a 22 month old girl who is showing many early symptoms of ASD. She is on the autism pathway and awaiting an appointment with the Community Paediatric Team.
I also have a 7 month old baby boy. My daughter showed no/very little interest in him from when he was born. He is now crawling and trying to interact with her. She does not like this at all - sometimes she just removes herself but sometimes she gets upset and takes our hand and leads us to him so that we can move him.
Does anyone have any experience in this area or have any tips that can help her get used to him/bond with him. He adores her and is just desperate to play!
Like our PNT peers, although we have a list of common characteristics, the needs and personalities of autistic individuals are different. As such, I believe you need to observe your daughter to find out what is causing her so much distress she doesn't want to be in that situation.
I had a PNT mother and an older PNT sister. It is estimated that 1 in 3 autistic individuals suffer from sensory overload and I am one of these individuals. Having a poor understanding of autism my mother and my sister made noise constantly around me, they also used to create adverse smells by wearing perfume, cooking meat etc. I became so overloaded I'd hide under the kitchen table and pull all of the chairs around me to create a barrier form the adverse environment they had created. Later on, when I returned home from school, I used to pull my bedroom draws in front of the door to provide me with a safe space in the house. My mum has started to read more about autism but is really struggling to alter her behaviour to meet us in the middle. Its clear my almost 10-month-old is fabulously autistic like myself. My mother was in the car with her the other day and was either singing at her or talking to her, depsite me asking her to be calmer. My LO became incredibly distressed by this. As soon as Nanni got out of the vehicle and calm was restored my LO reverted back to being an angel.
In relation to bonding accept your daughter's way of being and provide her with an environment that makes her happy. If she feels safe and secure she is much more likely to want to be involved in family life rather than withdraw.
Thank you for your response, that's very helpful.
We certainly do accept my daughter's way of being and we do everything possible to make her feel safe and secure. We spend a lot of time observing and assessing to do our best to ensure her environment is right for her...it appears that the environment that makes her happy is one without my son in it which obviously isn't an option! So I was just looking for ways to help with this, without having to remove him
I have made myself as well informed about ASD as I can but thought that personal, anecdotal experiences would provide more insight.
NAS67074 said:it appears that the environment that makes her happy is one without my son in it
Why isn't this an option? Why can't you set up private areas for her where she can 1)be left alone 2) retreat to when she needs space?
Is there no option to put her brother in a playpen for parts of the day so your daughter knows she's safe? Could you put her in a play pen in the hallway, another room etc so that she gets some time away from her brother? Would your daughter be happy playing in her room on her own for a bit whilst you monitor her using a video monitor?
I've already noticed my LO loves privacy and this helps her to develop. For example, she spent weeks rolling on her own in her cot before she would do this in front of me and her dad. Even though there's only me and her in most days, to provide her with more private spaces around the house I've been looking at 'Table Dens' but have decided to get her a teepee with some fairy lights, seen as they're portable, have doors so she can be completely alone, plus they can easily be moved room from room.
That's a good idea NAS50301, good luck to you and little one, I hope she likes it.
Hating to be touched, especially unexpectedly, is a very common culprit in autistic kids (possibly not all of them, but certainly lots of them), so that might be it - in that case, you can imagine that being chased by an eager baby would not go down well! As NAS50301 said, some detective work may be needed to tell exactly what it is that bothers her, which might allow you to find something that would be agreeable to all parties.
It sounds as if you're in the same position as someone whose toddler really wants to play with the cat, but the cat does not appreciate his idea of playing. In fact it's sometimes commented on that some autistic people's reactions are a lot like cats' in some ways... :-D