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Does my child have autism???

Posted by on Oct. 26, 2012 at 6:09 PM
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I'm reaching out to the women in this discussion. Most of you seem to have a child with autism and know a lot about it. My daughter is 6. Last year we started school and almost immediately we were called in for behavior issues. They pressed this issue for months until I finally took my daughter to a specialist. He diagnosed her with ADHD and ODD and also some reading/language issues. After medication she seemed to calm down and pay attention more in class but she was already so far behind. Then the teacher asked me did they check her for autism. She said she had many children through the years with it and my daughter had many of the traits. The doctor told me it wasn't likely and to give it time. 

Here we are in 1st grade now. They recommended at the school even though she is behind to let her go forward cause she would learn more in 1st grade even if it meant failing it. Wouldn't you know that not long into this school year I've been called in. Teacher is concerned about her learning and wanted to discuss it with me. I then explained how we had been though all this last year. My daughter was suppose to be getting tutoring from the start of the year. That didn't happen. Here we are now at almost Halloween. The teacher this year has also asked me if she was tested for autism. She says my daughter doesn't really interact with the other kids. She says she will sit in the group with them and at a glance it appears she's interacted but if you walked up and watched them, you would see that she is doing her own thing while they work together. 

She does seem to have imagination play but I've been reading that it could be imitative play. She has an imaginary friend name Mousy. Keep in mind that mousy came about after she watched Stuart Little and we have had him around for 2 years. But some pages say this can happen, others say it's not autism at all.

The things that have made the doctors concerned in my daughter walks on her tip toes(ALOT). She doesn't handle change well at all. She wants things to always be done the same way. If you introduce her to something new, the second time you do it, you better do it the way you did the first time or it's a issue.

Example: I make her oatmeal with milk. Put in the microwave, push the 30sec button 2 times to get 1 minute, stir and repeat. Her step dad went to make her oatmeal. He followed the directions, however since he didn't hit the 30sec button twice and repeat, she refused to eat it. She got mad and stomped her feet. By the time I got home I had to just throw it out and fix new. 

Hamburgers have to have ketchup on the top,mustard on the bottom, with the pickles in the ketchup not in the mustard. God help me if it's done wrong.

She notices when TV shows don't come on when they normally are scheduled to. Or if they just all together change the TV line up. Thank you so much Nick Jr for that headache. ha ha

At times when it's snack time she will walk to the cabinets and just point and grunt at me until I finally guess what it is she wants. 


I could go on and on. But I feel lost. I read one article and I think no she's not autistic. I read another and I think wow that is my child. The doctor today said that she shows some signs but we would revisit it after the school tested in December and they would test in January. 

Can some of you please help me? I don't know what to think or how to deal.

by on Oct. 26, 2012 at 6:09 PM
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Replies (1-5):
Apple1
by Head Admin on Oct. 27, 2012 at 2:03 AM

 

Hugs momma!  Autism is a spectrum and it does sound like your daughter is showing signs of autism...I would look into having her evaluated as soon as possible, the walking on toes and having things a certain way are big signs.  Having her evaluated will help a lot because if she does have autism, she will get extra help in the area she needs.  Many autistic children do so well with the gluten free casein free diet!  No wheat or dairy...it's amazing how much better the feel and act, as well as concentrate once they can think clearly...these proteins cause stomach aches or digestion problems as they are harder to break down causing reactions and behavioral problems.  For now, take some deep breaths, I think having her evaluated is a great place to start, because she does have some big signs, and remember it is a spectrum for a reason....(((HUGS)))

selaineh
by on Oct. 28, 2012 at 12:16 PM

 

Hi--I have a six year old boys who was diagnosed with ASD last year after first being identified at 18 months as "at risk."  It certainly sounds like some of those traits are consistent with autism but she  may not meet all the criteria.  It truly is a "spectrum" of behavior and there is also a saying that "if you've seen one child with autism, then you've seen one child with autism."  In other words, there's lots of variability.  If this is something that truly worries you then get an appointment with a development pediatrician or a Ph.D. psychologist who specializes in autism and do the full work-up (see if you can get your daughter's pediatrician to get you a referral--just to "ease your mind").  If your daughter is found to be on the spectrum, depending on where you live, this could open up a host of new services for her.  On the other hand, then she will carry that diagnosis, which some people see as a stigma.  Also, as an aside, my son is moderately affected (he's verbal, but speech-delayed and can't handle the structure of a regular class room) is very creative and indulges in a lot of imaginative play.  I am guessing that your daughter probably has a lot of strengths as well as challenges and the right learning environment, possibly made available by a diagnosis, could allow her to maximize those strengths.  Good luck!  Get the evaluation if you can. 

kajira
by on Oct. 29, 2012 at 3:34 AM

sounds a lot like autism to me. I'd find an autism specialist whos used to diagnosing high functioning girls.

I wasn't diagnosed until an adult because females are often mislabled and we tend to fly under the radar more than boys do.

my son is also autistic, and has a GREAT imagination with stuff that he's seen/heard about before.He takes it and expands on it... to me that's imagination, but it has a starting point that was triggered by something else.

he WANTS to play with other kids, but struggles to interact in an age appropriate fashion and play in a way that other kids respond positively too (even his younger sister. - it's a big work in progress for him and he's doing well.)


I was ran through the ringer with suggestions of ADD, and ODD and all sorts of other stuff as a child your daughters age. as an adult, every label except "autistic" was stripped off. I have classic autism and because I was female and could imtitate and fake social behaviors well enough to fly under the radar, I was missed until I was an adult and they were clearly looking for it.

My biggest suggestion is find a specialist who's used to girls.

mogadishukim
by Member on Oct. 29, 2012 at 12:25 PM

A formal evaluation by a developmental pscyhologist will likely yield a better profile than your school or the previous physician can.  Believe it or not, psychiatrists are not always very good at spotting autism, probably because they are not familiar with the intricacies of the developmental disorders that a seasoned dev. physchologist is.

Sounds like she has OCD, rather than ODD from your description. ODD, oppositional defiance disorder is very different than the need for order and rituals that Obsessive Compulsive Disorder has (like the oatmeal, t.v. shows, etc.).  Many kids on the Autism Spectrum, like my own son, have OCD, and find great anxiety when the rituals or completion are not an option.

A wholeheartedly agree w/ Apple1 about the diet.  It makes a world of difference and you can begin to change gradually, over 6 weeks if that makes it easier on you. These kids do so much better when their peculiar food & chemical sensitivities are addressed. 
Also, consider a nightly epsom salt bath w/ 2 cups of epsom salt (no fragrance), for at least 15-20 minutes. It will relax her and ready her for bed, as well as being a mild detoxifier for all the chemicals that we all encounter in our modern world of pesticides, etc.

BTW, my oldest was officially diagnosed with ADD and responded well to meds, but now I know that he is high functioning Aspergers.  He still, at 22 years old, has a difficult time with appropriate social responses,  has zero empathy, and has to prompt himself to be verbally appropriate.  Because I didn't know this until he was 18, he had no intervention. He has all the dietary issues as well as the social behavioral deficits. Autism researchers have come to identify ADD as the far end of mild on the Spectrum of autism. 

Families with ADD, OCD and auto-immune disorders are more likely to have ASD diagnoses somewhere in the family tree. It's the genetic weakness that are a factor in autism, and the toxic overload that they tend to be unable to handle in the same way the non-ASD folks do.

You can do this, mamma, for you know your daughter better than anyone else. Trust your instincts and go with what you know and find out what you don't know.  The school district will accomodate for her special needs and have a different set of goals in an I.E.P. if she is found to be on the spectrum, and provide more appropriate supports for the classroom than are currently in place.

If you tell us the city/state you live in, I'd be happy to do a quick internet research and get you links to those who will be able to provide you local help, support and diagnostic services.  I am pretty handy at information retrieval. :)

lmoody09
by New Member on Oct. 29, 2012 at 2:48 PM

My daughter is already being seen by a child psychiatrist. And he's one of the most recommended in our area. Took us 3 months just to get in to see him the first time. They are the one's going to reevaluate her in January. As for the school I'm not sure what to think. They are going to preform similar test that the doctor did. But they don't seem to care what the doctor's office said. 

All of your response's have been very helpful. I've been reading up on this and trying to make since of everything. Her psychiatrist wont reevalulate till January and the school is going to say whatever they want to say. I just don't want my child being left behind in her education just because they didn't try to figure out what the problem is. 

I feel lost in all this. And I get tired of feeling like their big answer is to wait and see!!!

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