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I'm not sure about my 11 yr old. Advice

ElseElse Member Posts: 3 Listener
Hi everyone,

I have a sweet & almost 12 yr old girl who has had social issues since forever. 
I'm not sure if she may be mild autistic or her social issues are due to severe shyness/extreme caution of people so those skills didn't develop as well due to avoidance. 

Since a baby I noticed she would be physically uncomfortable if people looked at or spoke to her. She is still the same now  but not with mum, dad and a few of her closest friends where she is quite comfortable. With the majority of people she comes in contact with, she  isn't comfortable with socially and describes herself as awkward, finds socializing awkward and difficult. She went to toddler group, nursery at 2, started school at 4 but before she was 6 she never interacted with the kids and had poor social skills already, yet begun taking at 11 months old but other then with certain people, didn't know how to socialize it. Just watched kids mostly. She made a friend in yr1 but only because they came to her. She has a few friends since through school but again,  they came to her. She cannot start conversations at all. She would never go up to someone and start talking.Never had friends out of school so on holiday, or half term clubs would sit alone watching kids play as wouldn't go up to them, she hoped they would go up to her.  She can be very chatty at home or with few close friends. But at school and since nursery, she is pretty mute. You wouldn't know she was there. Yet at home she can talk about an interest non stop for 2 hours given the chance. She hates people staring at her. It bothers her a lot. Has a noise intolerance. School is hard for this but she don't want to attract attention much so don't tell teachers often unless really bad the noise, most time she puts up with it reluctantly, but they never pay much concern to it. She is funny with clothes too, pretty much wears the same clothes and type. She lives in one hoody currently. Even on hot days I'm struggling to get her in a t shirt. Anyway, my concern is she has social anxiety now last 2 years. She gets very anxious at school, especially with the teachers, the loud class room, unruly kids. I did speak to them to ask of they would keep an eye on her this coming sept, she be in yr8 then. She don't have much facial expressions unless at home or with close friends and this has caused her a lot of misunderstandings in schools etc as she looks sad, depressed or has an attitude. I've tried to give her tips on to smile and conversation starters but she still finds it hard. She is refusing support/therapy as she is uncomfortable talking to people anyway and gets anxiety. I bought her a book on social anxiety for teens but she says it's boring (without even reading it lol) so refuses it and when I try and support her she resists. She finds it hard to talk about her emotions and feelings so it frustrates her. She is happy when at home. But just anxious outside of it especially in school. I have suggest over years after school clubs to help her social skills but she refuses. She has plenty of online friends though. 

Sorry this is long. I just don't know what to do as she struggles so much in most social situations but I don't know how to go about it without distressing her. She would get very very anxious having to talk to a stranger or even teacher. She is very uncomfortable with most people and prefers to talk very little if they are around. It's like trying to get blood out a stone unless she is talking to selected special people so not sure how they could even help her. 
I must add. My brother was diagnosed with mild a few years ago in his mid 30s and my dad believes he is mild too. I got my daughter to do an online test of 30 questions. Results was 34 and over for autism and she only got in at 36..so I'm on the fence but I know it's online test so not certain. She can read facial expressions well. Just don't give them often herself around most people. She is a good people observer. 

Replies

  • chiariedschiarieds Community champion Posts: 4,897 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Else - & welcome to this friendly & supportive community. Thank you for joining & sharing about your daughter, & your concerns. Scope has an excellent programme called 'Navigate,' which has helped many parents. Please see: https://www.scope.org.uk/family-services/navigate/
    I feel they could help you both, so please do have a look. :)

  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Administrator Posts: 10,673 Scope community team
    Hi @Else and a very warm welcome to the community! Thank you for taking the time to share that with us. It sounds like it's been difficult for your daughter. You have done a great job of encouraging her and I am sure that has had an impact.

    Unfortunately, the service @chiarieds has suggested is for parents who's child has received a diagnosis within the last 12 months. However, I do hope the community can offer you some guidance. 

    We are not medical professionals so unfortunately wouldn't be able to say if your daughter is autistic. It might be useful to look at how autism can present itself different in females.

    Also, here are some articles from the National Autistic Society which I hope will be helpful:
    My brother was diagnosed with Aspergers when he was 13, although we knew way before this point. Please do let us know how you get on and if there is anything else we can help you with. :)
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    Scope

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  • christian96christian96 Member Posts: 101 Courageous
    Hello 

    The National Autism Society has plenty of helpful reliable information https://www.autism.org.uk/. I hope this is helpful. 
  • ElseElse Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Hi @Else and a very warm welcome to the community! Thank you for taking the time to share that with us. It sounds like it's been difficult for your daughter. You have done a great job of encouraging her and I am sure that has had an impact.

    Unfortunately, the service @chiarieds has suggested is for parents who's child has received a diagnosis within the last 12 months. However, I do hope the community can offer you some guidance. 

    We are not medical professionals so unfortunately wouldn't be able to say if your daughter is autistic. It might be useful to look at how autism can present itself different in females.

    Also, here are some articles from the National Autistic Society which I hope will be helpful:
    My brother was diagnosed with Aspergers when he was 13, although we knew way before this point. Please do let us know how you get on and if there is anything else we can help you with. :)

    Thank you for your reply :) Yes it has been super hard. I worry so much for her because of the anxiety she has got from this now. It breaks my heart. And harder more because she she don't want any help so I feel helpless and that I would have to either force it upon her (which she will hate me for doing) or leave it and allow it to potentially get worse-which I don't want to risk. 
    I notice more and more things that wasn't right from her childhood. Today I saw two little 3 year olds playing. They had never met. My daughter never had that social experience in toddler group and nursery She missed out on all that because it's not a skill come easy for her dvd now she has the social anxiety developed from it. I feel endless guilt thinking where did I go wrong, what didn't I do right, what could I have done more go have prevented this when she was younger, was it my parenting. I feel if she is an aspie it is mild and potentially enough to go missed. She just seems to freeze in contact with most people. I've done a lot of research on Asperger's. I sometimes just feel overwhelmed by all the googling and find myself confused. I want to ask senco in sept if they could observed her and give me their view and if they think an assessment would be the way to go. Was it easy for your brother to get an assessment and was his school good in giving support?

    I will keep you posted. 







  • dolfrogdolfrog Member Posts: 427 Pioneering
    @Else
    This could be an Auditory Processing Disorder (APD), which is about the brain having problems processing what the ears hear, which can include the sound based communication system we use, speech. 
    Those of us who have APD have problems processing the meaning and understanding the sounds we hear, especially when talking to others which can be worse when it is with others we do not know, as we are not best able to use our alternative compensating skills and abilities we use to work around our processing limitations. This can include lip reading and body language reading skills. 
    There are four types of Auditory Processing Disorder -Temporal, Speech in Noise, Amblyaudia, and Spatial 
    1) The Temporal type of Auditory processing Disorder (APD) is about having problems processing the gaps between the sounds that the ears hear, which can include the gaps between words in rapid speech. It is also the main underlying cognitive cause of the developmental dyslexia symptom.
    2) Speech in Noise is about having problems processing a target sound when there are low levels of background noise.
    3) Amblyaudia is about the brain processing better what one ear hears better then how it processes what the other ear hears.
    4) Spatial Auditory Processing Disorder is about the brain not being able to identify the location of a sound source.
    it is possible to have one or more type of APD.
    I have a set of graphics which may help explain these issues on a web page at 
    https://dolfrog.wordpress.com/2020/04/03/some-auditory-processing-disorder-graphics/  
    and there is also a compilation of international research listed country by country which may help at 
    Some International Auditory Processing Disorder Research Papers 
    https://www.evernote.com/shard/s329/sh/f5a4fffb-bf47-491b-97e3-e3cbee583af6/514394d1b0bf900e8ab031ed701d89c7  
    The first paper lists the battery of diagnostic tests which investigate the wide range of complex issues 
    I hope this helps
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 20,691 Disability Gamechanger
    HI and welcome,

    She sounds very much like my daughter, she has ASD, Social anxiety and a learning disability. All of which wasn't diagnosed until she was 17. She definitely doesn't have Auditory Precessing Disorder! I'm not saying you daughter doesn't though.

    Her school or GP can refer her for an ASD assessment, so i'd advise speaking to either of those.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • strokecarerstrokecarer Member Posts: 9 Connected
    Hi Else, my daughter, who is also almost 12, was recently diagnosed with ASD. I went to the GP when she was maybe 9 to enquire about a CAMHS referral. It hadn't occurred to me at the time that she might have autism. The GP didn't think she would meet the requirements for CAMHS and suggested therapy as an alternative.

    She saw a couple therapists and in this time my friend's son was being assessed for ASD and ADHD. After many discussions with my friend, I asked my daughter's therapist to let me know if she picked up on any signs of ASD or ADHD and she said she did think there were some sensory issues. 
    So I went back to the GP for a referral for an autism assessment.

    It sounds like you have really done your research and know all the boxes your daughter ticks. First the GP will want to meet her and then the GP will ask for your input in filling out the form for the referral. 

    Good luck and feel free to pm me if you ever want to chat about it!
  • ElseElse Member Posts: 3 Listener
    edited July 19
    @poppy123456

    Hi poppy, thank you for your reply. ☺️ I'm going to try the school route first then gp if they don't refer within 6 months of yr8 in sept. I hope the school can see what I see. She had only been at that school 6 mts before lockdown hit so they hadn't a chance to observe her properly.  I don't think the auditory processing ticks all the boxes. But I could be wrong. There is too many other signs involved and with certain sensory issues with noise but also clothing. She seems ok with taste(food) and lights though. On top of this, she has said since she was 9 that she is different. Recently with some improved vocab, further went on to say she still feels that way because she don't fit in, just not like most other kids and feels something unique about herself. I mean, it says a lot really. She has noticed it. Not just me and she was the first to mention at 9 that she felt different to other kids one day out the blue which took me by surprise as she is an internal kind of kid when it comes to talking about emotions etc. It was sometime after that I started on the autism quest. Before that I just knew something but wasn't sure what. 

    How is your daughter now? 
  • Sorry_SusanSorry_Susan Member Posts: 54 Courageous
    Try the National Autistic Society
    My daughter was diagnosed (formally) at 15. Sounds very similar to yours. Getting the diagnosis was life changing - in a good way. I now know better how to support her. She is 17 now, still akward, still shy, still hates leaving the house - but now we know why and that helps. 
    Good luck with your journey.

  • florencescopeflorencescope Member Posts: 11 Listener
    i really recommend joining a groupfor parents with children on the spectrum. 


  • Sorry_SusanSorry_Susan Member Posts: 54 Courageous
    i really recommend joining a groupfor parents with children on the spectrum. 


    Agreed. This was very helpful - to me if not to my daughter directly.
  • dolfrogdolfrog Member Posts: 427 Pioneering
    edited July 20
    @Else
    Autism is a spectrum of many combinations of multiple conditions.
    You could have a look at my PubMed collection of Autism related research papers at
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/myncbi/1v9jzpUc5t6/collections/10371460/public/  
    which has been compiled over the last 10 years or more, especially as some who only have Auditory Processing Disorder are miss diagnosed as being ASD,
    Being oversensitive to sensory issues is part of Sensory Processing Disorder, which can be another factor which can be part of the Autistic Spectrum. 
    I also have a PubMed "Sensory Processing Disorder"  compilation at 
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/myncbi/1v9jzpUc5t6/collections/10634081/public/ 

    They may help explain some of the issues 
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Administrator Posts: 10,673 Scope community team
    Hi @Else, you certainly are not a bad parent and you have done nothing wrong, quite the opposite! It would be good to see what the school think, but if they disagree then you are still entitled to request an assessment. The provision for ASD will depend on the school. My brother did get extra support after his diagnosis which did help significantly. 

    Please do let us know how you get on. You don't need to do this by yourself. :)
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    Scope

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