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Anyone with experience of girls having Asperger/autism spectrum?

(33 Posts)

My youngest is 2 1/2 years old. She will be seeing paediatrician, speech and language therapist and she will have another hearing test all next month.
She is a lovely girl but markedly different in her behaviour to how her brothers were at that age, and to the other children when we go to playgroup.
She vocalises, but does not talk/say words. She will show what she wants by grabbing my hand and taking me to the kithcen, getting her empty cup to show she is thirsty etc.She does not want to look at people, but warms up to some after time. She likes toys in the colours of the rainbow, she likes megablocks which she will line up according to colour and size, it looks like a caleidoscope in slow motion as she sets them out again and again.
She does usually not like to play with the other children, and will push them away a bit like a 1-year old will do. Last week was a breakthrough as she shared a spinning top with a girl, and also had to share the toy foods in the playgroup pretend kitchen. She does not play with dolls or "making tea" or anything.

A friend whose now grown boys have mild aspergers said this would not be the case for her, but then I have read that autism can be different in girls. Sorry if I'm not using correct descriptions, I'm trying to work out what is what.

Any feedback from parents with experience would be most welcome.

Kirabelle Wed 24-Jul-13 13:05:21

Of course you are not prying-she was always an 'odd' child and never seemed to want to play normally like other kids iykwim.For example she hated going to parties,going to other kids houses,wouldnt play with another child that would come over to play,preferred to play on her own.
She had very intense interests like she loved having imaginary conversations say where I would be with her and we would have 2 soft toys and start imaginary play with them like 'hello mr bear how are you today?' O Im fine mr dog.Im just going to the shops' ....etc BUT it was all she wanted to do all of the time really.This was at the age of about 3 and then she was interested in dogs BUT looking back again it was rather extreme like taking the same encyclopedia on dogs from the library for months at a time,wanting her bedroom decorated with pawprints ,etc.She hated school assemblies,concerts etc. We didnt pick up on any of this at the time,just thought she was a bit quirky.
She was fine academically but was always very shy.
Then when she hit about 13/14 the shyness became a much bigger problem.She is almost socially inept really.Cannot relate with peers,cannot deal with a shop assistant, we are going to the cinema later today for example but we are not going to our local one as she is afraid of 'seeing someone she knows there' hmm.
It came to light with her 6 mnths ago as I had to go into the school as she was being bullied by some other girls who were ignoring her,laughing at her etc. The head and her form teacher then realised when speaking with her about these other girls etc that she couldnt even speak up for herself,give them an account of what had happened etc.They suggested we have her assessed and she got an immediate dx of Aspergers.
She was so quiet she just slipped under the radar all along.
She is very bright,brilliant at art and is carrying it on for A-levels now,very articulate but will freeze on the spot if someone speaks to her that she does not know well,will look sideways at them with her head and eyes down etc.
My ds on the other hand does a lot of hand flapping/rocking when excited etc and she does none of this.Her current 'intense interest' is in japanese animation and all she does is watch these videos/music etc.She has no interest in fashion/facebook/makeup /boys etc and she is almost 16 now.
Overall, I would say I cant believe I never realised with her and I really wish she had been picked up much earlier.
The fact that you have already realised with your dd puts her at a huge advantage.She will get the support she needs all the way through now.I can see an enormous difference with my ds who was picked up in school at the age of 9 and is now 13 , compared to dd who has done her gcses and is only now getting supportsad.
Your dd will be fine OP-dont sit back and 'wait and see' though-one thing Ive learned with schools,professionals is to always keep on at them,chase things up yourself and keep after them-you are your dd's only real advocatesmile.
So sorry I have gone on so long-I got a bit carried awayblush.

Kirabelle Wed 24-Jul-13 13:11:54

OP , Ive just read back the sentance you wrote about your ds social norms seem to escape him somewhat,but he compensates by being quiet at school and very good at drawing. This pretty much describes dd when she was in primary!

insanityscratching Wed 24-Jul-13 15:41:36

Futuremum I have a ds and a dd with autism. Ds was diagnosed with moderate autism aged 3. He's now 18 and attends an autism specialist school he has 8 GCSEs even though at three they diagnosed learning difficulties (later rubbished but understandable as he had no speech no understanding and was always on his own agenda at assessment).
Dd was diagnosed at two with moderate to severe autism she's now ten and academically very able so neither of my two have learning difficulties despite having significant autism.
What I would say though is that ds's GCSEs are no indicator of his ability to function in the outside world at his specialist school there are many children without the academics who function at a higher level than ds and as a result are far more independent.

thanks for long explanation Kirabelle, it is good to hear from others what gradually became apparent, because sometimes you just put it down to being quirky etc and it can be things that are rather upsetting for the child.
Futuremum, I recognise some of the things you describe in my daughter too. She will look at me, she laughs. My mum is convinced she heard her say "yellow" twice, but never again. She once answered "yes" to a question, i nearly fell over, but it's never happened again. I also am pretty sure she called Mum once she could not find me, but her speaking voice is a bit different from her singsongy voice. Well, I think anyway, it's only been heard on very few, unexpected, occasions.
Apart from that, through researching now it looks like I'm on the autistic spectrum myself, and my oldest, and then very clearly my youngest.
To be honest, for myself that would be a huge relief, as it would explain rather a lot. I looked at aspergers in women, but apparently now the classification has been changed to autistic spectrum disorder?
Anyway, I digress a bit. It was to talk about whether it's usually a one off in a group of siblings. It's rather impossible to guess, isn't it?
My oldest seem to trundle along fine in mainstream school, as he's academically adept. We are hopefully moving country, so I'm wondering how that will affect him.

Ineedmorepatience Wed 24-Jul-13 16:27:05

I also have a Dd3 with Asd she wasnt diagnosed until she was 9 but I suspected she had Asd from a very young age.

She was extremely sound, smell and texture defensive. She had an extremely restricted diet and would only drink orange juice!

It was a battle to get her difficulties recognised but we got there in the end.

She is very able academically but needs quite a lot of support at school.

Now she is nearly 11 she would probably say that communication is the most difficult thing for her. She finds it difficult that people dont say what they mean and say stupid things that they dont mean!!

Good luck smile

marchduck Wed 24-Jul-13 20:55:51

Turbo, you may have already seen it recommended here, but just in case you haven't, the Hanen "More than Words" book is a great resource for developing communication with a DC who has difficulties with communication. Another thing that helped with DD was trying to get her to look at me, even just momentarily, when I talked to her. It was hard at first, because she wasn't interested, but it has become much more natural, and I think it has definitely made a difference.
It's great that you have the referrals in place already - hope everything goes well for your appointments. Thank you for starting this thread - it's really interesting to hear other peoples' experiences.
Future, I have two DC; one that has ASD, and one that doesn't. My DS is 6 - he has always been very advanced, very social, loads of emotional intelligence. My DD is 4 and she has ASD. We were initially told at dx that DD was moderate with potential learning difficulties. EP had said the week before that she thought DD was very mild. Her IQ is in the normal range, and she is starting to show an affinity for maths/science type stuff- the complete opposite of DH and me. It's hard to know what to make of it. Only time will tell how she gets on at school though,so I completely relate to the worry you have. All the best with your DD.

Kirabelle Wed 24-Jul-13 22:39:28

Actually insanity has made a valid point there -neither of my two have a learning difficulty but I believe that while ds is classic aspie he will get on much better than dd going through life.She is much better academically but cant really function socially whereas he is average academically but is very sociable.
A good example of this today is that we went to the cinema as planned.DD has not been in almost 3 yrs as she is 'afraid she will see someone she knows'confused but agreed to go if we went to one in another town.Got there and she refused to get out of the car as she spotted a group of girls her own age going in-didnt even know them! Eventually we went in and she stood frozen to the spot,head down,hair covering face while I bought tickets and only relaxed really when the lights went off in the cinema.DS on the other hand strolled up to the counter and ordered his own popcorn meal etc , engaged with the staff there and enjoyed the whole experience far more.
It makes me realise more and more that its the social skills are far more important than academic achievement for kids with ASD.
DD will probably have great exam results yet will not be capable of doing a college/job interview but ds with his poorer results will be well capable of same.
Sorry, a bit off topic OP but I think its an important point for those with younger dcs on the spectrum.

No, not off topic at all Kirabelle, it's all these things that are important to consider. Life is not just academic results. When moving country I'm hoping that a school system that focuses more on social cohesion will benefit my children. Of course, it would be great to have both!
Some things you mention about your daughter I would usually just think of as eccentric behaviour, but then I remember how impossible it was for me to call places I did not know. My mum could not understand it, but to me it was impossible to do. And I would be so shy, yet do really eccentric things that ofcourse drew a lot of attention. It is not a good feeling.

To be fair to my oldest, he is quite sociable, just a bit "odd" for want of a better way to describe it. Inappropriate attempts at humour, long "jokes" with no obvious point, needing to run and bounce, a bit of hand flapping. He gets very frustrated if he doesn't understand something, but is scared of conflict so will not ask the teacher in case he's told off. He gets frequent headaches, that seem related to frustration. But I may be exaggerating as now I'm in full research mode, and then I notice anything and may well be blowing it out of proportion.
Thank you for book recommendation Marchduck, I'll go back to Amazon smile self-medication via amazon is my preferred approach.

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