Therapist says Aspergers

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by luvmyottb, Aug 8, 2008.

  1. luvmyottb

    luvmyottb Guest

    We have been out of town the last week and had 2 therapy sessions in a row right before we left. Therapist was concerned over difficult child's behavior and had us fill out additional paperwork on us, difficult child history and a long questionairre.

    I had appointment this AM with therapist and he says he has done lots of research over the last week. Feels her diagnosis should be Aspergers instead of mood disorder/biopolar. Clearly, the ADHD factor is significant also. He also sees histronic personality possibilities (Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)). Also says the medications she is currently on wouldn't necessarily fit her diagnosis, but I need to speak to psychiatrist.

    Just trying to digest all of this and see if it fits. He sees characteristics of ADHD, Aspergers, biopolar, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). She is like a melting pot of several different things. He says he has not treated female child Aspie patient. My sister in law, who is a licensed mental health counselor, has said Aspergers all along, but I couldn't see it as much, just definitely in the inappropriate social behavior. She goes way over the top with other kids instead of being socially isolated which is more I have come to see kids with Aspie.

    Any other moms or dads with female aspies? I need more information.
  2. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sounds like you may have some new reading to do and a new path to look into heading down. I think you will find with Aspergers that the child is less likely to change and the environment is very important to their success.

    I hope the psychiatrist does a medication check. I would look into more behavioral teachings at this point.

    In other words, try to understand what your difficult child is all about first.
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I only know males. I haven't a clue why.
    Even though we had a neuropsychologist opinion of NO for aspie, I bought aspie books anyway and really liked them. They gave me lots of insights and ideas.
    It's not uncommon to have more than one diagnosis. But then again, so many things overlap and are so similar, it's difficult, if not sometimes impossible to tell the diff.

    Wish I could help more. Read, read, read. And detach, detach, detach.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Did he have the ADOS test, which is FOR Aspergers? That is definitely a test that should be included as a diagnostic tool. If psychologist is has never treated a female Aspie before, he doesn't have much experience and I'd be looking for somebody else--I'm not even sure the man knows what Aspergers is. In fact, with all the diagnosis., I"m not sure that anyone knows what is really wrong. Here is an online test, which people on the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) board feel is quite accurate IF you are honest in your answers. If she has Aspergers, she is likely to show up as "Mild Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)." By the way Aspergers IS a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). A personality disorder has nothing to do with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). Ok, here goes:
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Girls show Asperger's differnt than boys do. VERY differently from what I remember.

    Our first psychiatrist was with a major children's hospital. She explained the Asperger's / ADHD relationship this way: ADHD is actually a symptom of the Asperger's. The way our medical system and insurance system is set up a child will get more help if the ADHD is also given as a diagnosis. Often if it isn't she was having insurance refusing to pay for medications and treatments. So they give ADHD as an additional, separate diagnosis, but it is actually PART of the Asperger's Syndrome.

    I think there are some books out that focus on females with Asperger's. If i can find the titles I will let you know.
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    "Girls show Asperger's differnt than boys do. VERY differently from what I remember."

    Susie, that is news to me, too. Although with easy child 2/difficult child 2 I can well believe it. Any more information you or anyone else has, I would also welcome it.

    A few things I would like to share on our experiences.

    easy child 2/difficult child 2 was originally believed to be genius-level easy child and on that basis we fought to have her accelerated into school. She was talkative, had an amazing vocabulary, was outgoing but inappropriate with it (would have gone home with a stranger, especially adult bearded male; always wanted cuddles often at the most inappropriate times).

    She always had friends but could be very emotional. Attracted friends from different age groups (as did I when very young - I see a lot of parallels in myself).

    easy child 2/difficult child 2 was into EVERYTHING. As a result we didn't pay a lot of attention to what has turned out to be Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) signs early on. We can look back and it was all there. But at the time it seemed to fit with her intense interest in everything.

    She's not done as well in school as she should have although she slid by. Now she's studying to get into teaching somewhere somehow, and still not achieving to her academic level I feel, although doing brilliantly in some areas. If anything she is more emotional than she used to be, almost to the point where I wonder about BiPolar (BP). She can be VERY difficult to live with, very argumentative and moody. Obsessive, meticulous, telling US how to parent difficult child 3 as if she is the only one who knows how! She lectures him, gets into meticulous didactic mode and then wonders why he explodes.

    I'm trying to get her to take herself to the psychiatrist - she's overdue for an appointment, she had to cancel the last one because her work schedule clashed and has not yet made another. She will run out of medications soon if she doesn't do something, but I can't make the appointment for her if I don't know her schedule.
    Her attitude to therapist (who she also desperately needs to see) has been, "I can't see her until I've moved out. And I can't move out while I'm so stressed."
    I explained that seeing therapist could reduce her stress to make it easier for her to cope and then find accommodation, but we were stuck in a Catch 22 loop. Now she has moved out, she is too busy to organise appointments right now; every spare minute she's not working she is shopping, she says. They need this, they need that. Actually, they do not - it's just tat she is obsessively setting up house. I fear it's going to be one long series of "I can't do this right now because..."
    She's not trying to make excuses; it's just that for her, life is a series of obstacles each of which must be completely overcome before she moves to the next task. As a result, she is repeating mistakes and going around in circles.

    I've been concerned for some time that her behaviour and moods are swinging extremely. She seems manic at times especially with her friends. At other times everything is a disaster, everyone hates her and she bursts into floods of tears or sobbing tantrums if you so much as ask how her day has been. And I can't get the psychiatrist to see it.

    She's insistent on routine and habit. She also needs to keep her hands and mind busy (not easy, when she works as a checkout chick with little mental stimulation in her job). Incredibly self-centred these days although has demonstrated great compassion and empathy (so has difficult child 3 - don't assume Aspies and autistics aren't capable of it).

    This is where we are at with a now-adult probable Aspie. If she is different because she is female it would explain a great deal. Because this is NOT normal. And it's driving me crazy!

    She is otherwise compliant, a rule-follower (by HER rules) and meticulous. As a checkout chick she is in high demand because her till ALWAYS balances. She thinks she keeps a running tally in her head of exactly how much she has in her till. She thought everybody had that capability and was getting very impatient with other staff for never balancing their till at the end of the day.

    Does this sound familiar?

    If female Aspies are noted to be different, I need to learn more. So does she - she is happy to accept the Aspie label. She already gets support with study because of her ADD label and hypermobile joints (which also seems to link in to Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) in some ways).

    She was also hyperlexic, not quite to the same extent as difficult child 3.

    How we have coped with her in the past - with a lot of patience. 'Explosive Child" came into our lives too late, but we've been using it on her as we can and finding a lot of benefit.
    We've worked to keep her calm, to help her learn self-calming techniques, to help her accept and even value the oddness in her (we've done the same thing with the boys). Whatever she was interested in, we supported and helped. For example, her circus performing and street theatre. As a result she's been in a mini-series, a feature film and a number of short films (one as the lead) as well as done a lot of kids parties and street fairs. With a kid like this you just don't know what is going to happen next. It can be exciting, frustrating, interesting - but never dull. Everything she tries to do, she's brilliant at it. She perfects it, then moves on to a new challenge.

    Myottb, does this sound familiar?

  7. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    What you have to do is throw out the whole "Aspies are a certain way" thought process and embrace the fact that there are differences throughout the Aspie diagnosis.

    Basically, when I'm describing Asperger's to people, I tell them that it's a "spectrum within the Spectrum".

    My boys both are diagnosed as Aspergers and they're like night and day!

    One presents as angry, ODD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), ADHD, and can basically be a major league pain in the , well, you know where I'm going with that! He's brilliant, but has learning disabilities that prevent him from displaying his intellect on paper.

    The other is kind, empathetic, happy go lucky, and is brilliant! He's had 100+ on all spelling tests through the year, was told to memorize his 3 times tables and knew them before he got off the bus. He had a speech delay and still has strange verbal tendencies, so people assume he's not very bright.

    So accept that she is who she is. Relegate yourself to the fact that you can only treat symptoms with medications. Look into Social Skills classes they truly make a difference.

    I found a fantastic website, that allows you to personalize social stories. They even let you do a free sample that you print on your easy child to see if your child likes it. difficult child 2 LOVED IT! difficult child 1 was furious that I hadn't experimented with HIS information!

    Keep reading about the syndrome! You'll be amazed at how much info. there is on it!

  8. luvmyottb

    luvmyottb Guest

    Thanks to everyone who has replied. Susie, if you know names of books it would be appreciated. All of you have given me something to think about with my difficult child.

    It is still very new and I am trying to wrap my mind around it. I don't know what I would do without this forum!
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    While waiting for ideas from Susie, have you read "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" by Mark Haddon? It's not a help book or anything, it's fiction, but written as if told by a fifteen-year-old boy with Asperger's, living in London. The author is NOT Aspie, but got it down so well, you really feel inside the boy's head but also have your non-Aspie perspective, which helps you see the wry humour in it where the main character cannot.

    I'm going to have another try at getting difficult child 1 to read it; he's mature enough to really get a lot of the social stuff which the main character does not. I don't think difficult child 3 is up to it, though. Not that other kids his age might not be; it's just difficult child 3 and where HIS peculiarities happen to be. I think he would find it confusing.

    A pediatrician allergist who was seeing difficult child 3 for a while recommended the book to me - she said she saw it at an airport bookstore and bought it to read on the flight, couldn't put it down and devoured it.

    The book can really help you understand the odd, quirky mix of very high intelligence mixed with pure innocence, naivety and vulnerability. And like all good novels, the book progresses well as we see the main character deal with the challenges confronting him and tackling them by himself, learning how to manage his anxieties and achieve far more than anyone thought him capable of. He changes his own life in positive, unexpected ways as a result.

    it IS fiction; but enlightening, uplifting but very real fiction. A good book to help a friend or family member really understand just how difficult it can be, for Aspies and their parents.