Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Is this typical with kids on the Spectrum?

Posted by on Jul. 27, 2013 at 12:47 PM
  • 15 Replies

So my dd is 11, last year, under the old DSM, she was diagnosed with PDD:NOS. Now so you understand why she got that diagnoses, here's what happened. The testing that was done showed that she scored in all areas, but one. Because of that "One" area, the girl refused to give her an Autistic Diagnoses.

She stated the area that ruled her out was that instead of repealing social intereaction, she craved it and since she, had "friends" (she really doesn't have a lot and she looses them faster then she can keep them) she didn't qualify for an Autistic Diagnoses. Well I disagree with that, because, yes she craves social interaction, the problem is, she doesn't know how to act or respond in a social interaction. Which is why she loses more friends then she really has. So that's why she got the PDD diagnoses.

Now since then she has inherited other disabilites: Mood Disorder: NOS, Intellectual Disability, ADHD, SLD (we need to get more clarification on this one, the ADHD and Communication) and Communication Disorder. As you can see she has a lot on her plate. She also tested between 4 years and 6  years of age in her Adaptive Behavioral Testing, though processing wise she is clearly at a 4 or younger.

My question is...my dd seems stuck. She gets along well with kids younger then her, around 4 years of age and up. She struggles with relationships with those of her age, in a big way. She is clearly younger mentally, then she really is, BUT...she tries so hard to be 11. She wants me to treat her like such and I do, for the most part. But she can never really hold that level of maturity for long, before she's back to acting like that 3/4 year old.


So do other parents see this problem? Does your kid have a desire to be "older" and treated as their biological age states? But always falls back into that younger age because of their mental age? She does this automatically, we could be having a great convo and then bam she is right back to that 4 year old mental age.

I see it as a war within her all the time. She wants to be older, but her actions and her behavior and her mental behavior is much younger. I know it must frustrate her horribly, but I don't know how to handle this with her. Lord knows I'm frustrated.

I give her responsibilities that an 11 year old should have, but I have to modify them to help her accomplish them. She can go to her friends house and play, but when they want to ride bikes to the friends dad's house down the road and in whole other neighborhood, she can't go without an adult. She gets mad at me for it because even her friend, who is a year or two younger then her, can do this without an adult.

I feel like we are stuck in a never ending tug of war with her in that regard. So I'm wondering if there is anyone else who experienecs this and how do you handle it?

We are, essentially, still very new to all these diagnoses and some of them have just recently come about in the last month or two.


Thanks for your help a head of time!

by on Jul. 27, 2013 at 12:47 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
kajira
by Emma on Jul. 27, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Uhhh that's odd to me - because I'm diagnosed with classic autism, yet i'm a functional adult with a family. I have friends... yet I meet every criteria for the diagnoses, and scored off the charts on the ADOS test....

I would consider going to another evaluator, preferably one who does the ADOS test, and understands that wanting to be social and have friends, isn't the same as being able to *make* and *keep* said friends.

First, no matter how mature any kid is - ALL kids are well.... kids. they'll be smart one minute, then do something immature and remind you just how childlike they are.

That's actually pretty normal.

Let her earn some freedom - let her earn some trust over time. She's going to chafe at the restrictions if she's mentally capable of understanding that you feel she's delayed with her peers. Give her a chance to earn the freedom she wants.... Decide which battles are important, and which one's your over protecting her on, and figure out ways to let her grow and give her some room to be like other kids her age.

I know it's hard to give her space, I know that she'll freak out and regress under pressure and stress - but if you want her to learn and grow, you have to let her have situations that push those buttons so she can practice all her skills for life. 

No matter her diagnoses, at 18, she's going to be considered a legal adult, and you have to let her have enough skills and practice in place that she can handle the responsbility that comes with that.

Chirinos
by Member on Jul. 27, 2013 at 2:46 PM
1 mom liked this
I know exactly where ur coming from my 10 year old son has PDD and several other diagnosis. Mentally he is at a 4-5 year old level and so badly wants to be with his age level but can't. He dose not have any friends his age but has a lot of friends that are are 3-5 years old. I try and give him chores to do and I even have to modify the chores to his mental ability. It's not easy but I don't know what else to do.
maciymommieof3
by on Jul. 27, 2013 at 2:46 PM
2 moms liked this

weird...as far as social skills go...when my son was 6 he would go up to a random kid in Target while we were shopping in the toy department and ask him over for dinner........'awkward'...... quirky..just like him and he had be dx'd w/Aspergers by that point.

lucasmadre
by Kari on Jul. 27, 2013 at 3:10 PM
1 mom liked this

I don't think there is a typical social behavior for kids on the spectrum and the more that I learn the more I think it is just a catagory of symptoms that loosely define a group of people with processing issues. All the stuff you are talking about sound familiar to things my son has been through, it is an ebb and flow with us. Sometimes he does fine socially, other times he has a really hard time. We do a lot of role playing and "how would you feel" but they are only ready for what the are ready for (if you know what I mean.) I wish I had more of an answer for you but what I do have is compassion because I know the frustration you are doing through. It is a balancing act sometimes...

I wish you the best, keep posting, I have found a lot of support here and I hope you do too. XO

lady_katie
by Silver Member on Jul. 27, 2013 at 3:10 PM

I was just talking to someone about this at my "asperger's women" group this morning (I have aspergers). We we were discussing the myth that people on the autism spectrum do not want social interaction. It's true that *some* do not, but I think that the thing that makes us autistic in this area is the ability to interact in socially appropriate ways. I've always had friends, but they have always been the people who were willing to accept me for who I am. It hasn't always been easy to make friends, but since I do want social interaction, I keep on persisting until I "click" with someone. Just because I have friends, doesn't mean that I'm not socially impaired. 

I think that the person who evaluated your daughter should have been paying more attention to the way in which she interacts, as opposed to whether or not those interactions resulted in friendship. 

To this day, my skills and interests have been very scattered. When I was a child, I would have friends that were much older and friends that were much younger. My son is only 2 years old, but I am already seeing this starting. On the one hand, he cannot communicate and will still whine for a cup of milk, but on the other, he has no interest in toys and only wants to play with preschool level learning apps. I've just been trying to compartmentalize different area's of his development, meet him where he's at, and help him grow at his own pace within each of them. I'm not sure if that's "right", but it feels right to me. 

MommyRJ
by Bronze Member on Jul. 27, 2013 at 3:16 PM
My son is only 4.5 so I can't say really but he was dx with autism at 3. He likes being around people, but he has NO idea how to interact or communicate.
He's always the kid off by himself playing OR he goes overboard with other kids. Like thinks pushing is hilarious and stands there laughing.
Idk
johnns
by Johnna on Jul. 27, 2013 at 3:27 PM
Good advice for her


Quoting kajira:

Uhhh that's odd to me - because I'm diagnosed with classic autism, yet i'm a functional adult with a family. I have friends... yet I meet every criteria for the diagnoses, and scored off the charts on the ADOS test....

I would consider going to another evaluator, preferably one who does the ADOS test, and understands that wanting to be social and have friends, isn't the same as being able to *make* and *keep* said friends.

First, no matter how mature any kid is - ALL kids are well.... kids. they'll be smart one minute, then do something immature and remind you just how childlike they are.

That's actually pretty normal.

Let her earn some freedom - let her earn some trust over time. She's going to chafe at the restrictions if she's mentally capable of understanding that you feel she's delayed with her peers. Give her a chance to earn the freedom she wants.... Decide which battles are important, and which one's your over protecting her on, and figure out ways to let her grow and give her some room to be like other kids her age.

I know it's hard to give her space, I know that she'll freak out and regress under pressure and stress - but if you want her to learn and grow, you have to let her have situations that push those buttons so she can practice all her skills for life. 

No matter her diagnoses, at 18, she's going to be considered a legal adult, and you have to let her have enough skills and practice in place that she can handle the responsbility that comes with that.


Anoronlight
by Member on Jul. 27, 2013 at 3:39 PM

Yeah my advocate disagreed with her too, she requested at least the PDD for her diagnoses, the girl agreed to do so, but did so reluctantly.

She also tested her for dsylexia, she said she scored in all but 3 areas therefore she didn't have it. I kept thinking...what? So what your saying to us is, "Well your daughter has all the symptoms, but we're going to give her the label because we don't feel she meets based on one or 3 different things, even though she would benefit from the interventions."

Interventions, mind you, that she can only get WITH the diagnoses! I was rather annoyed. However now with the new DSM...I don't know where she falls anymore. I'm waiting to hear back though.

SAMI_JO
by Bronze Member on Jul. 27, 2013 at 3:47 PM
Yes! I have the same problem with ds. He is almost 15, but adaptively he is only 7/8. He says he wants to date and such, but when he does have a friend over he wants to play "pretend". He cannot distinct between what is real or fiction. And like you say, he makes friends very easily, just can't keep them. He only has one friend that he has steady for 6 years, but they only see each other at summer day treatment camp. But he has no school friends.
Anoronlight
by Member on Jul. 27, 2013 at 4:44 PM

I think my dd finally has a friend, but she is the younger sister of her friend from school, who also has the same problems as my dd. I guess that's why they get along so well maybe.

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)