I should probably state first off that I trust both the therapist and her psychiatrist. The therapist has been working VERY closely with our family for over a year. She has also seen my 2nd DD. The therapist DID recommend my 2nd DD for neuropsych exam, which we went through already at our children's hospital. She has an above average IQ and ADHD.
And the psychiatrist is the best ped psych in the area. His reputation preceeds him. But he has only seen my daughter a max of 3 hours total. The problem is that the psych has stated to me that a child with asperger's shows signs of giftedness but that they aren't really because their scores are inconsistent across the board. A truly gifted child is gifted consistently. That there are no peaks and valleys on their tests. He said that people believe kids with asperger's to be gifted because of the peaks. I don't know if I believe this or not. (And I'm sure a bunch of you are waving your arms in the air madly about his comment!)
Onto the school environment - my DD's teacher is a first year teacher. She wants to help but the openness that I formed between us has backfired on my daughter. (She goes to a private school). I don't feel comfortable going to the school with this situation based on how her teacher has reacted. The therapist agrees. The psych doesn't agree but again, doesn't know the entire picture. I don't have time to share all of this with him and it's not really his place in the equation to know it all. He even started by telling me that giftedness is not his area of expertise. (Oh yes, and her therapist does have autistic and aspie kids in her practice, as well.) My understanding of her not wanting to test is because of the school environment not being supportive this year. If my DD had a teacher who was in the position to help her, I believe the therapist would jump on neuropsych testing. But because she isn't, the therapist has stated that we can do the different parts of the assessment as things come up and we want answers. She believes that what my daughter needs most is a place for her curious mind to develop and that is what I'm doing at home. That this year, it isn't happening in the classroom. And honestly, if she was diagnosed this year with asperger's, I'm not sure I would tell the school. So her therapist says that we can do it over the summer. So now it's me sitting on the fence looking over each side wondering where my daughter's mind exists. I'm sure there is more that I'm forgetting to type. But that is a basic run down of the situation.
As far as my daughter - well, she has combined type ADHD. She is extreme in her behaviors of both types of ADHD. I've always believed her social issues to be because of this. She's always missed social cues. Since last year, she has been on both the ritalin and adderall family of meds. Both caused extreme anxiety and she was put on zoloft for that. That is when I searched out the psychiatrist since things were horrible. She was not my daughter. It was heartbreaking. He switched her to intuniv and things are wonderful again. She is her happy old self. She is joyful and insightful. She is curious and busy. She loves books like Beast Quest and Percy Jackson. But yet, she says she wants an American Girl doll for Christmas this year. We have seen her understand social cues now since she's been on the meds. I believe it's because the meds are finally working for her and she is able to focus and be less impulsive. She loves to play at recess with the boys - running and playing monsters, or whatever. She loves video games and tv. She is a typical first child. She wants everyone to be happy and wants to control her younger siblings. She is unlike my 2nd DD who constantly melts down and has tantrums.
I'm not sure if any of this helped clarify the picture at all. I will definitely look into those book recommendations. I have read one book on Asperger's and now on my 2nd for gifted. None of them have been what any of you recommended. So I will pick one of those up next!
Oh, and there is a child in her class with Asperger's. Having spent limited time with him, I understand how the school knowing his needs has helped him. But his situation is very different than my DD's. Which is another reason why I'm so confused. I know each child is a snowflake and no two look alike with the same diagnoses. But it just confuses me that much more! We already took an asperger's assessment test through her therapist and she only scored in the cognitive and only a few in the social. She didn't score at all in the other subsets (developmental or sensorimotor, etc.). Her therapist says that a small amount of kids with asperger's can score in just those areas and still have asperger's. I should probably also mention that before I stayed at home with my kids, I was a mental health counselor, as is my Mom. So if anyone in this picture was giving bad advice, I'd definitely know it in my gut.