Possible Asperger's?

Brittany - posted on 07/30/2015 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My daughter is eight years old and we have been dealing with "meltdowns" since she was about two. It has been an unfortunate roller coaster that has taken it's toll on everyone. I haven't been able to find help anywhere or her pediatrician. One doctor actually had the nerve to tell me that she was just a brat!
Anything and everything can bring a meltdown. The meltdowns consist of screaming, yelling, hitting others, hitting herself, hitting objects, saying mean things, cursing, wishing harmful things on others. These meltdowns always very though. They don't always consist each one each time. She does a CRAZY obsession with Ancient Egypt and Government History. All she is focused on right now is becoming the President. When we go to the bookstore or library, she will only grab books that are of those two topics. Her motor skills aren't the best. She just kind of got the handle of throwing a ball but she still throws it awkwardly. Her running is very off. Hand writing isn't the best but her age might play a role in that. She holds her ears all the time as if her surroundings are too loud or bothersome. I noticed that she has a hard time making eye contact with a lot of people or she will stare at them from a distance. She has very few friends. When she plays with the outside kids, she always talks about how they're being mean, or telling her what to do. She complains about them a lot. She feels the need to feel like the authority figure in some situations or she'll say things that a child shouldn't be, I should.
So if some other mother's could give me their opinion, I would greatly appreciate it.

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Rebekah - posted on 07/31/2015

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Wow, I can't believe the lack of response by the school. I also am amazed the behavior specialist gave you feedback that seemed dismissive. Did he give you any interventions or work with your daughter to address the concerns? (I work in mental health, by the way.) Behavior specialists can't legally diagnose... if you are looking for clarity on what your daughter might be dealing with, find a child psychologist or psychiatrist, especially one who has good working experience with autism-spectrum disorders, so that they can confirm it or rule it out with confidence. And, I would say after her diagnosis is clarified, find another therapist (maybe one recommended by the psychiatrist) to address her behaviors and symptoms. ODD needs to be addressed, if that's even what it is (which is questionable). It certainly can accelerate to other things, like conduct disorder, as a child gets older with no therapeutic intervention. While some people may "grow out of it," many may not... who would want to take that chance with their child? You are clearly asking for help with her... find someone who can give you some clarity and practical direction on how to help her.

As far as the school... are you in the states? If you are, and you want to see if they can do anything to help her, look into the specific steps to have her evaluated. Generally, there has to be a written request by the parent; after the school receives it, there is a time period in which they are required to respond. Of course, they have to also see the necessity of it (is it disrupting her learning experience at school). But if they've seen that many episodes, I can't imagine that they could turn you down. If they do, go private. I agree with you that intervention NOW is important, before she gets any older.

Brittany - posted on 07/30/2015

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The answer to your first question is yes. It will happen anywhere. There are no exceptions. The school has seen TOO many episodes. They have not directed me in any direction on what to do. Which is a surprise to me. I've asked them for help but yet to get any. I've taken her to a behavioral specialist who didn't really do a good job listening. He told me, "She could have a slight case of autism, maybe adhd, but I'm thinking ODD (oppistional defiant disorder). She'll grow out of it." I told him as she gets older, the behavior gets worse and more scarier.

Rebekah - posted on 07/30/2015

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Do the behaviors happen at school--and anywhere--besides home? Hasn't anyone at the school expressed concern for having her evaluated? I don't know where you live, but the school may have services that you could use to get more information on what your daughter may be dealing with. Ideally she would be seen by a child psychologist or psychiatrist. Hopefully they could make recommendations from there as to what interventions would help. An occupational therapist would be able to work with her on her motor skills and her sensory issues (sensitivity to sounds) and even handwriting. The school may provide this, but if they don't, you could also seek it out privately. Additionally, a behavior specialist (usually a master's level mental health clinician) or child therapist would be good to help her with the social skills and the meltdowns. What you describe sounds like it could be something like Aspergers, but we can't diagnose her for you. Get her in front of a specialist and see what they have to say. Utilize school resources if possible. Even if they don't give her a label, her behaviors alone should demonstrate that she needs intervention so she can be more successful. Good luck!

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