Hello. Just found this forum. I am a single mom to daughter, 8 years old with a diagnosis of AS and Dev Dyspraxia. She was diagnosis'd 2 years ago by Neuro psychiatric. Our Dev pediatrician has frequently brought up the possibility of Bipolar due to my daughter's mood swings, aggression, and violent meltdowns. Lately I have been questioning the AS diagnosis and see more Bipolar characteristics. My daughter has very low frustration tolerance and can have multiple meltdowns daily. She will not calm down and when I put her in her room (which I usually have to do physically by force) she proceeds to pound on the walls, windows and doors all while screaming things like "I hate you" or "I am going to kill you". In the past year and a half she has developed Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) behaviors that come and go such as tapping drawers, pulling out her eyelashes, flicking her wrists, and she has always counted things. I assumed this was all in the context of the AS. However, I am learning that AS kids do not have the violent behaviors my daughter has-such as purposely hurting others and thinking it's funny, hurting our cat, damaging things on purpose, being willful and defiant. She usually has a flat voice with flat affect but will become manic and speak in a high pitched voice. My mother has mentioned that daughter, at times, seems "not herself" or out of character. She has always had a vivid imagination. She has imaginary friends. She also has periods of disassociating-where she seems distant and will say strange things such as "you are not my mom, where is my real mom?" or talks nonsense. She can also "zone out" and be non-responsive. I had her in public school and in one short year she lost her ability/desire to read (which she enjoyed very much prior to entering public school), freaked out in assemblies, refused to separate from me each morning, and became very anxious, even after school. The school would not help me in any way. They stated there was nothing wrong that needed their intervention. So I withdrew her from public school and now have her in a private school. While they are not fully addressing her needs, at least she is not as anxious all the time (much smaller class sizes). My daughter does very well academically (with the exception of reading). She does, however, need a lot of assurances from the teacher and mostly refuses to interact with the other children. My daughter does hate school and mornings are horrible with me trying to get her dressed, hair brushed, shoes on (takes forever for them to "feel right"), and fed. She is very lethargic in am. She has separation difficulties that are pretty extreme, she will cling to me, cry, and refuse to let go every morning at school. She has even pushed me down to prevent me from leaving. She is socially immature, only watches G or PG movies, is frightened easily, has horrific nightmares which make her afraid to fall asleep, and is often afraid to go outside alone or be in a room alone. Sometimes she wants me to accompany her to her own bathroom because she is afraid of "monsters or bears". She frequently cries over things that happened a long time ago, sometimes even YEARS ago such as over my grandmother who passed away in 2006 (when she was 3). Then, things that should make her sad seem to have no impact at all, such as our cat of 13 years died and she simply said "I want a NEW cat". No sadness at all. She sometimes seems to have a photographic memory and has stated while watching a show that she sees something and will tell me where she has seen that exact book/object/item before. Her teachers remark that she notices things in classroom that are new or if they wear a new shirt or earrings. Strange awareness for a child her age. She makes up songs in her head with complex lyrics and will repeat the song incessantly, sometimes it evolves with different lyrics or patterns. She has sensory issues as well and has seen an Occupational Therapist (OT) for 2 years. She also has articulation and pragmatic speech issues and sees a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) for that. I have medicated her with SSRIs on 2 occasions but side effects prevented continuation. I am currently seeking a child psychiatric to help me deal with these issues as they seem to be growing/compounding and not going away with age or behavior interventions. I look forward to getting to know everyone on this foum.