new here... y is my daughter like this? Social skills are off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Jessica7168, Mar 4, 2010.

  1. Jessica7168

    Jessica7168 New Member

    I have 2 daughters, oldest is 10 and youngest is 8. My 10 yr old daughter is who I am concerned about at this moment. She has a diagnosis of adhd and . She has always been very hard to get along with. Her social skills are way off. She is annoying and thats ok for me to say (j/k) but it does hurt to hear others say that. Her and her sister don't get along and its mostly because of oldest daughter. She picks at you, annoys you, does things to get a reaction out of you, aggravates, makes obnoxious noises, if you have something that she would like to see- she can't be polite about it-- she will take it, has to be 1st when doing ANYTHING (even if it means a mad dash to make it happen) playing games, checking the mail, going into our house, taking the dog outside, giving him treats (its like our other daughter has to make a big up roar for her to be the one to do it that day -- whatever it is she would like to do)

    She has complained of not being able to get along with friends, or they pick on her or tell her to go away, make fun of her, knocking things off her desk etc. I have warned her many times that she has to be nice, polite and tried to help her understand that kids aren't going to like it if she annoys them by doing certain things. Our youngest daughter told me that no one likes our oldest daughter in afterschool care. Now its like, yep we warned her. The thing is I really think she can't help it. When you talk to her about things like any of the above she gets extremely upset and says "I was just playing."

    She love animals more than anything in the world!!!! You can just tell. She adores them. But she also can be mean to them. I think she is looking for a reaction out of anything! When she sees a yard full of birds... she runs to them saying "RAWR!!!" Like she is trying to scare them. Our dog, she love hims to pieces. My husband caught her being ugly to hi the other night. She would put her forearm in his mouth and hit him across the head with her other arm. He is a puppy, 8 mos old cocker/golden retriever. So she is on doggy restrictions. Can't feed, take him out, play with him, give him treats, rub him in the slightest and we told her we would get rid of him just like we did a cat several years ago for the same reason. So she knows we really will because we have before. Of course that isn't what I want to do but it isn't fair to him or her if she can't help it.

    here are some answers to a few questions I am sure you all will ask...
    she isn't on medication at this time. We tried about 5 diff medications and diff strengths 2 years ago and didn't see that any of them did anything positive for her.

    no insurance at this time so I limited to what I can do right now. She is on a waiting list for an excellant Dr in NC. They have scholarships, so she is on there waiting list.

    Whenever you talk to her about any of these behaviors, she gets very upset. She apologizes, like its going to wipe it all away.... Its almost like she can't control herself. She says that she forgets everything. She has a horrible memory! She tells me "but mom I really can't help it, I forgot!"

    Any1 with suggestions or answers if you are familiar with this behavior????
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Has anyone suggested Asperger's Syndrome? Or Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) in some form. While we can't diagnose here (nobody could diagnose long-distance and we're not even officially qualified) I do feel it's worth you doing some digging on this topic and asking whoever sees your daughter, about this possibility.

    If it's Asperger's then that could explain why she is socially inappropriate - they are lacking the "social sense" which for everybody else makes it easier to pick up social skills as they go along. But with Aspies, they need to be formally taught how to interact with lots of role play and supervision.

    You say you feel she just can't help it - you could be right. And if you try to deal with a problem using discipline, and the child is unable to give you the behaviour you want because she simply doesn't 'get it', then all you are doing with punishment, is punishing her for being herself.

    of course she can't be allowed to carry on hurting people and being inappropriate, but there is a happy medium. She needs to be supported and supervised, helped to interact more appropriately.

    For example, if you are present when she is playing and you see her doing something wrong, you stop her. You try to avoid saying, "Don't do that," because you end up saying "no" all the time, all you ever seem to say is "don't." Instead, you turn it around and say, "Do it this way." Rehearse it with her. For example, her rough play with the dog - re-introduce the dog only under your direct supervision. Show her (gently, on her) how it feels to the dog, to receive her treatment. Then immediately show her the right way to approach the dog. Ask her how it feels from her point of view, to be patted like she should pat the dog. If she doesn't like it, ask her why but also try to get across - the dog likes to be patted, the dog likes to feel safe. And if she's hitting the dog, even if she thinks she's only playing, it's not how the dog perceives it.
    Teach her to recognise doggy body language. Maybe even draw some pictures of dog body language and then get her to watch the dog and identify the dog's feelings, from how it is acting. Then show her how she can make the dog happy.

    Like training a puppy, keep these training sessions short and finish on a positive note.

    This may help her learn faster, than your current methods. What you are currently doing is fine, if your child doesn't have social dysfunction or other issues. But she does have these problems and simply isn't able to learn as well, the way you're currently doing it. This is not your fault, it's not her fault. it just IS.

    On this site a lot of us recommend the book "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. It's not a cure, but it can help you understand how seeing the world through your child's eyes can be unexpected.

    Welcome to the site. Help is here. Your daughter sounds a lot like my kids.

  3. Jessica7168

    Jessica7168 New Member

    Oldest daughter also has Auditory processing disorder. She is doing awful in school too! 2 d's, 2 f's and 1 c. School seems to want to push her on through but that ain't happening. I will put up a fight on this one. She has already been held back in 1st grade. So really she is suppose to be in 4th this year. I have requested more testing so I am trying to get them to get a move on that before end of year.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    OMG! She sounds like my son.

    Get three to a neuropsychologist. I'm thinking Aspergers Syndrome. These kids are often very bright, but have no social skills and make odd noises and DO NOT LEARN social normality by observing other kids. They really need interventions because when they hit the real world, they need to know social norms.

    I'd get her evaluated by somebody familiar with Aspergers!

    Good luck, whatever you decide!
  5. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    Ditto to the Asperger's.
  6. Jessica7168

    Jessica7168 New Member

    I am not saying that she isn't bright but her grades reflect if you know what I mean. She isn't the brighest bulb! She is much lower than avg at school when test have been done by the school psychiatric. Can you have the aspergers and not be very intelligent/bright? What are some of the cues/things to look for with Asperger's syndrome?
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I think it sounds like AS also. When is your appointment with the Doctor? If it is coming up soon then I suggest trying the methods Marg outline until her evaluation. Our school system will schedule and pay for a neuropsychologist examination when there is a pattern of problems. Sadly, it usually takes quite some time to get your child in for evaluation. There's no doubt that you need expert evaluation for her sake and for the sake of the family. I know the challenges that come with those behaviors and am sending a caring hug. DDD
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You can be average and below average and has Aspergers. Many are bright, but not all. Also, Aspies can test low because they are different.
  9. unsure

    unsure New Member

    Hi Jessica~
    Wow, you just described my son and he is also 10. Don't have much advice for you as I am muttling through this as well. I did purchase "The Explosive Child" as suggested and have begun reading it. It has helped me see things better from his prespective. We are in the process of being re-evaluated at school and I'm looking into outside help from a pedpsych. I wish you all the best and will keep you posted if I find anything that might be helpful to you. (hugs)
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Jessica, don't put too much belief in the school's assessment. Aspies & autistics are notoriously difficult to assess. Also, if you can get hold of the school's assessment results in detail, look for the sub-score results. These are your true guideline. I have talked to many psychologiss plpus read the "rules" online that they are supposed to follow in administering those tests, and I can assure you that the NSW schools here in Australia (and from what I hear, many schools in the US) commit the cardinal sin of averaging out the sub-scores to give you a final IQ score. Now, this is what you are supposed to do as a rule, but ONLY if there is not too wide a gap between the highest score and the lowest.

    An example from difficult child 1's assessment - he scored 17 in Verbal Communication, and 6 in Coding. There were other scores in between but generally showing similar gapes. Most of his scores were in the 12-14 range, trending towards 14. About three or four were below 10. Such a score spread should not have been averaged out, but his School Counsellor did just that, then presented us with "He's got an IQ of 105, so you don't need to be pushing us so hard to support him in his high skill areas - he's not as bright as you thought. Don't worry; most parents make the same mistake, it's common for parents to want their child to be the best, the brightest, etc."
    Very patronising.

    difficult child 1 was about 15 when he was given this test. When he was 6, he was given his first IQ test by his (then) school counsellor. difficult child 1 at the time was undiagnosed and unmedicated, I couldn't get any idea of exactly how to get help for him especially with a GP who insisted there was nothing wrong. I knew there was something. Meanwhile the school were angry with me because I wanted them to accelerate easy child, who was extremely bored and stagnating academically. So when difficult child 1 began to present as a problem (new teacher, very rigid, after a previously instinctively accommodating teacher the year before) they grabbed the chance to "show me up" as a neglectful parent. The school counsellor ran a fairly basic psychometric assessment on difficult child 1 (without my knowledge or permission - the teacher was sending notes home in difficult child 1's bag, they were papier mache before I got them, I had no idea, teacher failed to ring me or grab me at the classroom steps) and because difficult child 1 was anxious (and unmedicated ADHD as well as the Asperger's that went undiagnosed for another 8 years) the kid was increasingly fidgetty and non-compliant. She stopped the testing prematurely, then scored it as if he had done the whole thing. She said she couldn't continue testing while he couldn't stay in his seat and pay attention. I found her manner confronting and I was an adult - poor difficult child 1 must have been scared stiff, he had no idea why he'd been hauled out of class and was being interrogated by this woman. He was only 6 years old! So of course he scored badly. I have no copy of his scores because the policy was (while difficult child 1 was at school) to not give out subscore results to mere parents. I was able to get his later scores, the ones I quoted, by getting difficult child 1's then psychiatrist to ask for full copies. He then gave me a copy. But I was shown the results and sub-scores, which was enough to tell me that the school counsellors got it badly wrong.

    The point it - when he was 6, we were told that difficult child 1 was "retarded". Yep, that's what she said. She went into more detail - "Your son is actually performing much better in class than his test scores indicate he is capable of. It is obvious that the only way he could be performing like this, and undoubtedly why he is so anxious - YOU are pushing him to achieve, in your zeal to drive your kids to impossible lengths." She went on to use difficult child 1's scores to berate me about my previous request to accelerate easy child (years later it turned out she should have been accelerated after all).

    On the one hand I was a pushy parent driving my children to achieve above and beyond (this is actually impossible). And on the other hand, I was putting all my eggs into the easy child basket and neglecting difficult child 1. It was ridiculous.
    Meanwhile at the other end of the desk, quietly drawing pictures on the paper and with the pencils shoved at her by the school counsellor to keep the kid quiet, was a 3 year old easy child 2/difficult child 2. I still have the picture she drew that day, complete with her attempt to write her own name on it. She drew a multi-coloured monster with pupils in the eyes, whorls in the ears, horns, full solid body with fingers and fingernails, toes and toenails, smiling mouth with a tongue and lots of teeth. Monster drawn dead centre in the page, name written in the top right corner. At three years old. And they had seen tis kid get no help from anyone, not even me looking over and encouraging from a distance.
    In the face of the attack, I just pointed to her and said, "Look at what she has just drawn. Did oyu see me push her? Did you see me encourage her or interfere with her activity in any way? No. THAT is what is pushing difficult child 1. She does his shoes up for him. She puts his sandals on for him. She helps dress him. He is getting dressed with help from his baby sister. You ask what is driving difficult child 1 to do better than he technically should be capable of (which is in itself an absurd statement). Well, he has one sister ahead of him setting a very high benchmark, and another one coming up behind him. I am not pushing him. But I Am concerned about him and nobody has been willing to help me get to the bottom of it. I don't believe you are right about his intelligence, but I do agree there are problems. So how about you work WITH me, and stop hurting AT me? The child is important here, not any point scoring."
    To her credit, the school counsellor did help us by putting me in touch with a pediatrician who specialised in learning problems. That bloke gave us at least a partial diagnosis. But he left a lot of stuff out because he himself was one sick puppy. The school counsellor wouldn't have known that, however.

    difficult child 1 never really got the help at school he should have had. We had to fight hard to get even the little we got. The delay in diagnosing was a big factor. So he came out of the school system at age 20, having taken a few years longer to graduate, but at least with his HSC (Aussie equivalent of high school/college matriculation).

    easy child 2/difficult child 2 initially appeared to be a child genius like her older sister. We did get her assessed independently, at age 4. She scored with an IQ of 140 approx. At the same time, we had easy child & difficult child 1 assessed. They also scored high. He noted (and I observed) that difficult child 1 was difficult to assess because he didn't really understand the importance of the testing, he also had developed an avoidance pattern when faced with topics he found challenging - it was how he learned to cope with his high level of anxiety. But he still scored as having an IQ of 130. We were told that when sub-scores reach numbers like 16 or 17, they are generally under-estimates and are skewing the actual intelligence measure downwards. It's like a ball being thrown up to a certain height - if you can measure the height the ball reaches, that is the score. But when the ball is throw up indoors, it hits the ceiling and you can't therefore get an idea of how high the ball would have gone, if the ceiling were not in the way.

    Another point I want to emphasise about IQ tests - they were initially developed and applied to "normal" kids in schools. Kids selected en masse and recruited via schools, to be tested and whose results in these newly developing tests were used to set some sort of benchmark against which normal capability could be scaled. They are an artificial measure, but they are all we have. They are constantly being revised. But if you test a non-standard subject, you will get some really weird and often meaningless (and sub-standard) results. At the very least, you should not draw serious inferences in broad of the individual's intelligence. Rather, you look at the sub-scores and determine where the subject needs some remedial help, and where they may perhaps enjoy some further stimulation.

    Let's say you are a family recently arrived in your country, from a non-English-speaking background. You start your child at the local school and because your child is young, they are more able to learn the language. If your country of origin has a different alphabet (say, the family is Arabic, or Russian, or Chinese) then the child has a steep learning curve indeed. Maybe the child did well back home. But here, it's going to be a struggle.
    A teacher expresses concern to the school counsellor. School counsellor comes in and does a basic psychometric assessment. This involves asking the child questions verbally, in English. There will be a delay in responses as the child double-translates back and forth mentally. A lot of the tests are timed. The child may have picked up the rudiments of English quite quickly, but still seem slower than if he were asked to function in his native tongue.

    Other tests are done. One test involves showing the child some cards which are a scrambled set of pictures. The child is asked to put the pictures in sequence to tell a story. They are fairly obviously connected, you see the same characters in each picture and the sequence of events. Maybe a table is being overturned and a vase of flowers on the table falls and breaks. Clearly, in the frames showing broken vase, they come after the frame showing the table and vase intact.
    What if the child's country of origin and written language of origin reads from right to left, instead of from left to right? In some countries, comic books are drawn from left to right - my kids collect manga, much of which is drawn from right to left. But a school counsellor may not pick up on this and downgrade the child's score, if the pictures are in complete reverse order.

    I'm not saying your child grew up in a foreign country with a different writing system. But I am saying that applying these tests to a non-standard child will not give you accurate results. You need to find other measures to assess your child's true ability.

    Another common measure is achievement in school. Again, Aspies can be at a serious disadvantage. They can be absolutely brilliant in one area, but impossible to test because they can't stay on task for long, or they're highly distractible. When difficult child 3 was attending the local mainstream school we were putting so much in place to help him stay on task - he had an aide. He had a special desk to work at which was away from everyone else and which faced into the corner of the wall, so there wasn't even a window to distract. He had headphones playing classical music (no lyrics allowed either, or he would sing along). He was really hard work and the teacher earned her pay that year. She actually said to me, "I know he's more capable than his test results show." He simply couldn't cope with exam pressure, he had eventually to do them in a separate quiet room and the slightest distraction (including building work several blocks away) would completely put him off his stride.

    difficult child 3 now, does his schoolwork at home. We post it in to the school. Sometimes he visits the school for a one-to-one lesson, or small classroom lesson with maybe six other kids. He's still highly distractible but at home he is more able to control his learning environment. He will take twice as long to get his work done for a subject, but get almost full marks for it. His teachers still say he could do better, but understand why he can't. They simply say, "We know he's bright. Very bright. But we also see he's almost impossible to assess."

    They are trying to develop testing methods which can give a more accurate measure in autism and Asperger's. difficult child 3 was part of a research study about 5 years ago, trying to develop such a test. It's been interesting to see how his IQ scores have changed over the years. This shouldn't happen - your IQ score should, if testing is accurate, always be much the same. You shouldn't be able to learn, to do better in an IQ test. In difficult child 3's case, he was first assessed at age 4. He "failed" his first IQ test, in my opinion because he was still mostly non-verbal. His receptive language was way below what it should have been, his expressive language was mostly echolalia. ANd they asked him the questions verbally, and expected some sort of answer? Crazy. On the basis of those results, they told me that difficult child 3 would never be able to attend a normal school, would always be extremely dependent, would basically never be able to function without constant supervision. It was pretty much "plan to put him in an institution" type of talk.
    I knew they were wrong - tis was a kid who could read (the words he could speak and knew the meaning of, were the same words he could read), was doing some maths problems already, had been playing the piano and using a computer since before his first birthday.

    Later on the school counsellor assessed difficult child 1 as having an IQ of 110. Again, there were huge gaps in the subscores (his test score looked a lot like difficult child 1's at 15). Interestingly, difficult child 3 had recently been assessed as part of the research study I mentioned, the one trying to develop an IQ test to use for more accurate results, hopefully, in autistics. They had scored difficult child 3 as having an IQ of 135. I had given the school counsellor copies of those tests, they had only been done a few months earlier so she should not have re-assessed him. it is wrong to keep testing kids too often because they learn how to do IQ tests and you can get artificial highs over time. If she had asked my permission to test him (instead of yet again going ahead without my knowledge or consent) I would have warned her off it for just those reasons.

    There is now way difficult child 3's actual intelligence could vary so much, especially not in such a short time.

    It all points to the fallibility of IQ testing.

    However, getting your child tested is important. But only for the information it can give you. Use that information wisely, do not consider the results set in cement, but work on the low skill areas and support and stimulate the child's areas of expertise.

    Temple Grandin has a very weird obsession - cattle loading chutes. How on earth could that ever be useful in the real world? Well, she has found a way to make it work for her, and it brings in a great deal of her income. She has also used it to lead her into an academic career in animal behaviour.

    When she was very young, her parents were told she would be better in an institution. But they worked with her, hired people to work with her, found things that worked for her and kept going. This must have been so difficult - it was still in the days when autistics were considered to be aloof, to be unemotional, to be lost causes and to be the result of the "cold mother". There are still idiots out there who will treat the parents like dirt, because they have an autistic child "therefore it's YOUR fault".

    Temple Grandin herself says she feels autism (and in association, Asperger's) is "an overdose of genius." The child has, in large measure, what in small measure would be called genius. Often there are high IQs in other close family members. From the kids we know (including some who are profoundly autistic and barely verbal) I would say this holds true.

    What is intelligence? It's hard to define. How do we measure it? Not easily.

    if you consider intelligence to be the ability to adapt to your environment and be able to use it, then again, how do you measure it? Often we develop our own informal measures by merely observing the people around us and how they interact with their world. It's very subjective. The old concept of "idiot savant" was a way of trying to explain away the apparent high skill in a narrow area, coupled with apparent inability in many other areas. Not long ago it was still considered to be a 'fake' skill, like a parrot learning to mimic the sounds of its owner. Calendar calculators were thought to be using a trick memory, for example. But prodigious memory is one thing measured in IQ tests.

    What it boils down to, I think - people in general, especially those testing intelligence, do not like to feel inferior to someone they can see is not functioning at all levels. Therefore they need to find a way of rationalising away the sometimes stratospheric splinter skills of the savant, by reducing their 'value' by declaring those skills to be fake, or pseudo-skills, a magic trick.

    In my opinion, there is nothing fake about them. In autism, in savants - there is simply a part of the brain kicked into high gear. Sometimes it's the lack of energy being expended in other (more apparently productive) areas of the brain. There are researchers working on how to kick in that creative, savant part of the brain. Work is continuing. It's fascinating. The more they learn, the better we can understand how the brains of our children work.

    Never underestimate your child's capability. Always treat your child as if he or she is the most wonderful, intelligent, perfect creature on earth. That may not actually be true, but it greatly increases your chance of it becoming true.

    A child who is taught to believe in himself/herself is a child who has been given a great gift. But they also need self-determination - you don't convince your gawky, awkward and dyspraxic child that all she has to do is work hard and she can win Olympic gold at the gymnastics. No, let the child find where she wants to focus.

  11. Jessica7168

    Jessica7168 New Member

    oh my................................................................................
    hmmm...... many questions I have but can't put them into words.
    what is normally done for children with aspergers? Therapy?
  12. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi! There are quite a few things that happen with Aspies. Most depend on how they present, if there are learning disabilities, behavior issues, etc. Don't be surprised if the school comes back with "ODD and ADHD" most of us have dealt with those "diagnosis'".

    You're most successful when the diagnosis comes in and you embrace looking at things differently. They see everything from a different perspective.

    I know that you have no insurance - have you checked into a Health Plus type of covereage for the girls? I found this link:

    It's worth looking into.

    You'd want to get an out of school neuropsychologist or multilevel evaluation done. Call a teaching or Children's Hospital to start that ball rolling.

    Welcome to the crowd!

  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    How to manage - it really depends on each child and how they present. As I said in the post on IQ tests above, you use that information to help your kids.

    For example, the result we got on difficult child 1 that I first mentioned - he scored ridiculously high in Verbal Performance and very low in Coding. We also knew he had/has problems mentally multi-tasking (difficult child 3 doesn't have this problem) and this was really hampering difficult child 1. So we put several things in place to help him.

    First, we found ways to help difficult child 1 manage complex multi-step mental tasks. For example, he couldn't summarise texts well, because it required him to hold several ideas in his head at once and then manipulate information. So we introduced him to mind-mapping as a technique. It's also called clustering, it's an Edward de Bono thing. We found that this helped him put his ideas, one at a time, onto paper in an informal way. He would then continue to add his thoughts and follow them on from one to the next, writing each down as he went. At the end of the process he could look back over his page, now quite complex with lines connecting words and ideas that were related, and begin his writing task from there.
    For his final school studies, difficult child 1 had to be able to write essays - almost impossible for him. But using various techniques, including mind-mapping A LOT, and also repetition and drill (thanks to difficult child 1's teachers) we got him through with a good pass.
    Also immediately following that IQ test when difficult child 1 was 15, we talked to his psychiatrist about how to investigate that low Coding score a bit further - what exactly was the problem? It was way too soon to repeat IQ testing so we took his current scores and went to a neuropsychologist who focussed on more detailed (fine-tuning) testing in the Coding area, which is to do with transferring data from one place to another. One finding was - difficult child 1 had problems with his eyesight. We were referred to an optometrist who specialised in kids with learning problems. It turned out that in difficult child 1's case, he had very tight eye muscles with a lot of 'toe-in". This is a common problem these days with kids doing a lot more close work (use of computers) and a lot less outdoors.

    Anyway, that's what we did for difficult child 1. As a consequence, we took the other kids to the educational optometrist as well; he prescribed glasses for everybody but they were different for each depending on what he found.

    What we do is different for each kid, depending on where their strengths are as well as their weaknesses. difficult child 1 was interested in animals (especially birds) and I did my darndest trying to head him towards a career with animals. I got him a volunteer job with a local zoo and got him into courses dealing with animals. We eventually got him into a zoo-keeping course, but it was run so badly, he couldn't manage it so he had to drop out. At that point he decided he wanted to work with his hands and began his search for an apprenticeship. He's now working for a kitchen company and says they're possibly going to give him an apprenticeship.We have him registered with an employment agency that specialises in finding jobs and careers for people with a disability.

    I feel bad that we took so long to put supports in place for difficult child 1 - we just didn't know what we could do, early enough. We had no supports in place for easy child 2/difficult child 2 - she was our genius child who we accelerated into school. When she had problems later on we began coaching her in her trickier subjects. She also showed an amazing aptitude for balance and happened to learn how to walk on stilts at after-school care; so we did our best to push her performing career along because she seemed to be interested.

    difficult child 3 - we've made our mistakes with the older kids. I found this site when difficult child 1 was in Grade 5 (and really struggling, I was ready to throttle his teacher). I had some challenging decisions to make and not enough courage. This site gave me the confidence to make these decisions and to really insist, often in the face of some rather nasty opposition and dirty tricks from the local Dept of Ed.

    All through this, we have done our best to give our kids the confidence to recognise their weak points but to really value their strengths. difficult child 3 was recently interviewed by the Sunday Night program on Channel 7 (Australia) and they asked him how he felt about being autistic. He replied that yes, some things are harder for him, but other things he is way better at. He said, "If other people look at two things which are 97% the same, they see the similarity. But I can look at them and immediately identify the 3% that is different."

    difficult child 1 has said to us that his obsessionality with perfection and fine detail has paid off in his work - a recent job had him working in the sanding booth of a furniture manufacture place. They put difficult child 1 in the sanding booth because his clever fingers could find almost imperceptible flaws in the finish, zero in on them and quickly fix them. They had difficult child 1 checking over the sanding work of senior apprentices.

    Our kids love doing certain things - so we encourage them and take them wherever they need to go. That is our parental investment in our kids' futures. The girls loved to sing, so they joined Australian Youth Choir which necessitated one of us parents waiting, often for hours, after each weekly rehearsal. easy child 2/difficult child 2 did acting classes on the other side of Sydney. She began working for a "carnie" we met at one of her performances, I went along too (as chaperone) and found myself learning how to face paint one day when the carnie got left without staff. There's nothing like having a tent full of kids wanting a face paint job, when the only ones there are you (a total novice) and your daughter (another total novice) and a table groaning with (thankfully) some high quality face paints, to learn FAST! As a result, easy child 2/difficult child 2 & I now can work individually or in tandem, as face painters. And as a result form there, she has moved towards a career working with children. She is now in her final year of a child care diploma at evening college.

    I can't tell you what your child needs. But I can tell you, that even without a diagnosis, if you LISTEN to your child, study test scores too, then think, talk to your child - you will work things out for yourself.

    You must have faith in yourself as a parent, and not allow yourself to be browbeaten by educators with their own agenda (often to save themselves trouble and money). You invest in your child (time, and costs of various courses) and let your child know that although you find their behaviour at times challenging, you love your child always, no matter what. There will be times when you don't like your child very much, times when your child will scream, "I hate you!" but these activities and courses - never cancel them as punishment. Tell yourself, they are vital therapy and training.

    Try to avoid punishment, instead use incentives and reward. Also once you have a better understanding of why your child is being difficult (and this is where diagnosis comes in) then you will be more able to be understanding, and handle your child with less exasperation and more sympathy.

    Your child is undoubtedly wanting to do the right thing. Motivated, for sure. Not always able to do the right thing, because first they have to fully understand how to respond socially, often at a sophisticated level. And also because they have problems with impulse control and if they get provoked too far, they will rage. Afterwards (especially if you don't rage back) they will realise they were out of line. They do know. But they generally need to calm down first, before you try to get your point across.

    I hope this helps, Jessica.

  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My son had trouble learning in a large classroom so we agreed to put him into a Special Education class where he got a lot of one-on-one attention. I can not speak for all parents of Aspies, but this saved his life. He was the "smartest" in the class and loved to help with the less functional kids, so his social skills and self-esteem soared. At the same time, for classes other than reading and math he went to regular classes with an aide who sat in the back of the class. If he needed her, he learned to ask for her help. She alone taught him to take notes and look at the big picture rather than obsessing over little things that other kids know to disregard. He has a 3.45 grade point average now at sixteen, but his early school IQ asessments said his IQ was 75. I don't think so. I agree not to trust any school assessments. Schools are notorious for wrong diagnoses. Sadly, they don't hire the brightest and best to assess our kids.

    However, once she is privately assessed, insist on the right kind of school help. They HAVE to help you, but you may have to get your armor on and FIGHT for the right interventions. First off, you need to find a good school. If your school can't adequately help your daughter, they HAVE to send her to one that has appropriate help. We looked around and picked a great school. My son was not ridiculed or teased at school, which is a miracle. We adopted him and not only was he socially different, he is African-American in a school that mostly is white. But t he kids at this school grow up with the "differently wired" kids in their schools and classes and are really nice to them. BUT...L. is no longer a Special Education kid. He was mainstreamed last year and doesn't have an aide anymore. He still has his 3.45 average and sits at a lunch table with a mixture of high achieving "geeks" (as they proudly call themselves) and a few of the higher functioning kids from his Special Education class. He has gone to homecoming twice! And prom! A girl asked HIM.

    A behavioral therapist, unless it is somebody who is specializing in Aspergers/autism, is not in my opinion going to be any help for your daughter. These kids are not "bad" on purpose nor mentally ill.Their brains are wired differently and they need to be textbook taught things that other kids "get" just from observation, such as social skills. My son as in speech too, although he has a perfect, even precocious vocabulary. The thing is, he doesn't or didn't understand how to converse...give and take. He would either monologue about his obsessive interest or just answer "yes" or "no". He didn't understand how to express an abstract thought. His thinking is concrete,which is the norm for these kids. They also tend to be very socially immature. My son is catching up! He's in driver's ed now! by the way, his teachers LOVE him. Since he has been in interventions and he knows we understand his differences, he has been a model kid, sweet as sugar, polite, kind...actually everyone loves my son.

    My son is still different. My daughter (13 and typical) and me and hub laugh because he talks to his game systems and when he's watching TV. He likes to sing (and is quite gifted) and does that in his room. But he controls those odd behaviors and does not act "different" in public. He has learned when he can act autistic-like and when he can't. I really do give the credit to first off himself...he is a very hard worker...and secondly to all his teachers and helpers. He wouldn't be the child he is today without their help and guidance. I give hub, me and daughter some kudos too! We didn't punish him for being different. We accept him for who he is and his future is much MUCH brighter than we'd ever though. We do not know if he will attain 100% independence, but he could. Or he could live alone with just some worker checking in on him every so often. We plan on sending him slowly to college, maybe one or two classes at a time because he gets overwhelmed.

    Well, I think I rattled on too long. If you live in the US, most of the help you get comes from the community and school. An autism therapist is a dream-come-true. There is a lot you can read about and self-learn as well. I

    Beware the ADHD/ODD diagnosis that so many Aspies get. Treating an Aspie for ADHD and, more sadly, ODD will only make the child feel "bad" and can cause all sorts of other problems.

    I highly, highly recommend your seeing a highly recommended neuropsychologist (they are NOT all created equally). Call your closest Autism Society for a recommendation. This is what we did. It changed the life of a sweet boy who was frustrated, confused, and very sad. Please take care and update us. We always like to hear what choices parents make and how it's going ;)
  15. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We found a lot of doctors and specialists said to us, "Now your child has a diagnosis on the autism spectrum, you will be OK, there is plenty of help through the Autism Association."

    We found this was not the case. It's also not fair of people to expect a charity, not government-funded, to have to meet everybody's needs. There was some help available but more on a triage basis. We'd get some help for a while, enough to get us on the right track, then we were on our own again. resources were limited.

    We also found that a lot of what we were working out for ourselves instinctively, was exactly what our kids needed. Much of the help we've given our kids, we happened on it ourselves. Sometimes what we did worked, sometimes it didn't.

    Having a good neuropsychologist report can help, but it's only a start. Long-term, we've needed a specialist to prescribe stimulant medications (which can work for those who have an ADD component). The report can help get special provisions and support at school. Remember, this is a disability and the child is entitled to a "fair go"; to have access to an education despite the disability. No child should miss out or get less of an education, because their disability gets in the way. A blind child needs help to get around the need to copy off the blackboard. A deaf child needs support when they can't hear. A child who has other Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-ish issues also is entitled to the same level of being taken seriously and given the supports they need.

    What your child needs will vary. Also, a lot of people can't see past the behaviours, which for these kids are a reaction to the environment plus a coping strategy (not always a healthy one). They are entitled to help too. But we often have to fight harder, because it is an invisible disability.

    I just went digging and found the link to a story featured last year on Aussie TV. It includes an interview with my son, difficult child 3. If you watch it, ignore the rubbish about stem cell research. difficult child 3 was the only autistic child able to be personally interviewed. Remember, this is autism, not just Asperger's. But difficult child 3 has worked hard to get his language into the "normal" range. Remember, he 'failed' his first IQ test, although he has since scored as having an IQ in the 140 range. What he had to say about what it's like to be autistic, I thought might help you. There is a lot of similarity (from the point of view of the person with this) between autism and Asperger's.

    Again, we're not saying your child has Asperger's for sure. But it sure makes an effective working hypothesis!

    Go to the link and if you need to, look for the clip labelled "autism solutions".

  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    While you are absolutely right and we have to do a lot at home (and have) there IS a lot of help in the US, especially in schools. There are also therapists who understand and work only with autistic patients, so that's good too. So while I agree that a lot of it is work on our part (if we don't do the work, the kids wont' get better...period) we do get a lot of outside interventions here and it's covered under FAPE (free appropriate public education). We fortunately have a combination of both! :tongue: It is needed, as you well know!!!!:faint: Also, your kids and my son are quite high functioning. Some kids need outside help from people who have been trained specifically for this disorder. JM .02 :)