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Does she "seem" like she has Aspergers? (Video)

post #1 of 81
Thread Starter 

My DD was recently evaluated by a developmental ped and she was mute the entire time as she has extreme social anxiety.  She's going back for eval. round 2 with an OT.  Since the Ped didn't hear DD talk, didn't witness her spotty eye contact, etc, I recorded her in hopes to show the doctor something next time.  Right now they're basically just going by what I tell them, which feels odd because I'm not a professional.  

 

Anyways, I recorded a video of her (an "interview" of sorts) and I'd like you to watch it and tell me what you make of it.  Does it seem like normal 3yo stuff?  Does she seem a little different?  Aspergers?  Normal?  What do you think?  As you see in the video, she's very fixated on colors and on holidays.  She brings up the block party, birthdays, and at the end the egg hunt (she calls it an egg punt, lol) from last Easter.  Please excuse her sister fighting with her clothing next to her ;) And her hands aren't dirty, they put stamps on her hands at gymnastics.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0GflK80V6A

 

Sorry if that up there doesn't make sense, I'm typing fast because the baby is needing to nurse right now and miss N is having a meltdown for no real reason- she wanted me to leave her alone =/

 

Gotta run!

 

Edit: Here's another video, see post 11 for details... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7mE93Z3icc

post #2 of 81

i'll be honest - videos are tough.  my dd (who has asperger's) could look "typical" in a video, only because she has one on one adult attention, etc.  what are the things that make you think your daughter may be on the spectrum?  hearing a bit more may help. 

and while i know experts are called experts for a reason, you know your daughter best, and what they catch in a short amount of time may not be enough to diagnose or dismiss a diagnosis.

i think girls on the spectrum are very underdiagnosed, and when evaluated using male-based criteria, usually appear more typical than they really may be.  that's my opinion, but i know if i hadn't have advocated for my dd, she would have fallen through the cracks a bit,

please let us know more about your dd, and how the ot eval goes.

post #3 of 81

I saw this post in the new posts. You know her the best, obviously, but she looks like a pretty typical 3 yo to me in this video. If there's no diagnosis yet, why are you labeling her as asperger's already?

post #4 of 81
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the input!  He was leaning towards Asperger's and I really do think that it's what's going on (really, I do) but I want to make sure that the OT sees everything (I felt very underprepared even though I came in with a list). 

 

Some things:

-Sensory issues with water, textures, sounds, overloads easily

-Extreme social anxiety, becomes selectively mute, seems to shut down

-Becomes fixated on certain objects/toys and will play with nothing else for days on end

-Will color for hours and hours and hours if you let her

-Is somewhat artistically advanced and draws very detailed people with clothing on, facial hair, ears, doing activities

-Will draw the same objects over and over (little circles, "N"s, balloons, flowers) and I have notebooks filled with thousands of them

-Socially awkward and very territorial over objects near her

-Doesn't really know how to interact with other children (even in one-on-one settings) except for her (also developmentally delayed, possibly autistic) cousin who is 2

-Currently is obsessed with flags and geography, also fixated on colors

-Learned colors, shapes, and spoke early (9 months) without coaching, while gross motor skills lagged behind (and still do).

-Lines things up, loves finding patterns, puts things in containers (bags and purses) frequently and repetitively

post #5 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by midnightwriter View Post

I saw this post in the new posts. You know her the best, obviously, but she looks like a pretty typical 3 yo to me in this video. If there's no diagnosis yet, why are you labeling her as asperger's already?



There is a diagnosis, based on one physician.  He says she has it, but wants to check with OT.  It's how the process works there.  If he was the only one she went though she'd be done with the diagnosing process.  It's just how things work at that developmental ctr.

 

I also think she has AS.  This video doesn't reflect most of her issues.  I was posting this to see if any parents of Aspies (or that know the turf) saw anything in it that stood out to them (that i might be missing).  

post #6 of 81

I have only experienced socialising with male aspies, so if there's a difference due to sex, I'm not even able to comment. I do have lots of experience with three yr old children, though, so I thought I'd share what I saw and what I would conclude based on the video.

 

She seems like a bright, verbally confident, little girl. I can't tell where your eyes are, so I can only see the difference between when she's clearly looking away and when she's looking toward you, possibly not making eye contact, but that doesn't come across in the video, so because she does seem to look at a few spots near the camera, it looks like she's looking at you. She looks away while talking and between thoughts that she's expressing, and also looks in a scanning sort of way, toward you.

 

All of what is perceptible from the video points, for me, to her being an introvert with a lot going on inside her head that she's not expressing verbally. I definitely do not have asperger's, but I do not look at people's faces more than it appeared your daughter does, while conversing. I am an intensely private person, and as a child, it was physically painful to be forced to look into people's eyes continuously (I felt ill/nauseous and so much anxiety that I had pain like I was being hit), as was the case with adults who demanded it- teachers, parents, relatives, etc....

 

The extroverts I know are all full of intense eye contact for the duration of a conversation. I am not like that, and neither are my introverted children, our one extrovert needs lots of eye contact. They have varying eye contact needs, but only our extrovert can sustain eye contact throughout a conversation. For me, looking away is like taking a breath at the window in a crowded room. I almost always feel like people are physically too close to me, except for my family, with whom I like to be close.

 

Anyway, without the title of this thread and the video, I wouldn't see anything at all remiss. Of course, as long as your expectations are healthy, you know if something needs specific attention, so I don't mean to squelch that at all. I just don't see anything but a bright, beautiful, introverted little girl talking about things in a way that many three yr. olds do. Her eyes are mesmerizing; they are so dark and beautiful.

 

Have you considered or do you already give her D3? Here's a link to The Vitamin D Council sitemap. There is a lot of information on ASDs, malabsorption syndromes, and lots of other issues.

 

Thanks for sharing the video. It was enjoyable to listen to your dd talk about stuff that matters to her.

post #7 of 81
Thread Starter 

PreggieUBA2C-Thanks for your input!  Again, the majority of everything isn't reflected in the video, was just wondering if anything jumped out :)  When she's being recorded, she tends to talk to the camera and look into it- she doesn't make much eye contact.  During normal conversing it's pretty spotty, but you're right, it's hard to tell if it's just expressing herself and looking away, or if she can't keep her eyes fixated.

 

I keep forgetting to post about this, but i'd like to add that in the video, at 1:18, she has a tic, which she has quite often, not always when talking to someone.  She kind of lightly brushes her nails against her cheek, not exactly scratching herself, but a scratching motion.  She also has pretty severe dermatillomania, and picks at her skin on her legs and abdomen and sides until she bleeds (and continues...).  About the tic though, sometimes she does it repetitively, but i don't really see a pattern in it at all, nor do I see her do it at a specific time or during a specific action.  So I'm not sure about that.  I forgot to add it to my list (and it has gotten worse w/i the past few days to a week).

post #8 of 81
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the info about the Vitamin D :) I'll keep that in mind.

post #9 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by WindyCityMom View Post

Thanks for the input!  He was leaning towards Asperger's and I really do think that it's what's going on (really, I do) but I want to make sure that the OT sees everything (I felt very underprepared even though I came in with a list). 

 

Some things:

-Sensory issues with water, textures, sounds, overloads easily

-Extreme social anxiety, becomes selectively mute, seems to shut down

-Becomes fixated on certain objects/toys and will play with nothing else for days on end

-Will color for hours and hours and hours if you let her

-Is somewhat artistically advanced and draws very detailed people with clothing on, facial hair, ears, doing activities

-Will draw the same objects over and over (little circles, "N"s, balloons, flowers) and I have notebooks filled with thousands of them

-Socially awkward and very territorial over objects near her

-Doesn't really know how to interact with other children (even in one-on-one settings) except for her (also developmentally delayed, possibly autistic) cousin who is 2

-Currently is obsessed with flags and geography, also fixated on colors

-Learned colors, shapes, and spoke early (9 months) without coaching, while gross motor skills lagged behind (and still do).

-Lines things up, loves finding patterns, puts things in containers (bags and purses) frequently and repetitively



I'm about to watch the video, but I just wanted to say that none of this seems out of the ordinary for a 3 year old, to me anyway.  My 5.5 year old and my 22 month old have many of those characteristics too.  My oldest will spend most of the day drawing (mostly himself, and flowers), because that's his current obsession.  I think it's really normal for a young child to enjoy an activity or game/toy, and only want to play with that for a spell.

 

If she's never been around a lot of other children her age, she wouldn't know how to interact with them.  That's pretty normal too.

post #10 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bokonon View Post





I'm about to watch the video, but I just wanted to say that none of this seems out of the ordinary for a 3 year old, to me anyway.  My 5.5 year old and my 22 month old have many of those characteristics too.  My oldest will spend most of the day drawing (mostly himself, and flowers), because that's his current obsession.  I think it's really normal for a young child to enjoy an activity or game/toy, and only want to play with that for a spell.

 

If she's never been around a lot of other children her age, she wouldn't know how to interact with them.  That's pretty normal too.



Thank you for your input!  She's been drawing like that for quite some time- since she was maybe 15 months old? Maybe closer to 18 months.  I wish I'd have kept better track of things.  She has been in various playgroups since she was about a year old (different amounts of children- varying from 5 kids to 15 kids), gymnastics, arts and crafts, etc. and we have a large family and there are other kids her age.  She just doesn't mesh well.

 

I have another video of a weird thing she does- it was at McDonalds after gymnastics (her cousins play at the playplace, whereas N likes to draw).  She was walking into the play place when this was taken.  She does this odd walk where she clasps her hands together and points one elbow in front of her.  She does this when approaching a situation that she's uncomfortable with (ie: at playgroup last week, she made a valentine for the teacher.  she asked me to take her over to the teacher, who she speaks of lovingly at home.  she approached her elbow first).  At the end it looks like she's doing a dance move, lol... could be, but I think she was stretching or showing me "I did it!".

 

EDITED: Here's that video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7mE93Z3icc

 

I'm trying to find more videos of her in social situations- kind of hard to find recent ones as I don't always have the camera with me in hand since my littles is walking now..

post #11 of 81

To be honest, it's hard to determine with such a short video clip. My gut reaction is that she seems like a typical 3 year old - bright, and intense. As she gets a bit older, time will usually tell if her diagnosis is correct.

 

I do want to warn you (probably needlessly) that doctors often misdiagnose. My DS2 was diagnosed by an evaluation team with 'classic autism' at age 3, but it turned out he has ADHD and had a speech delay. My DS1 does indeed have autism which was diagnosed correctly at age 2, but as time has gone on and 13 years later, it seems like I know more about the condition then most typical doctors. I think many parents of ASD children have faced similar situations.

 

Nevertheless, I hope you are able to find the answers you seek.

post #12 of 81

Asperger's in particular is very difficult to diagnose with such a young child. I'm not saying it's impossible, but it's difficult to tell Asperger's traits from typical toddler development.

 

For example, many 3 year olds are not great conversationalists -- they'll do what your daughter did -- they'll talk about an issue that's important to them in sort of a monologue, without clearly expressing the links between ideas. So, you asked about your daughter's birthday, that made her think of birthday parties, made her think of the block party, and the balloons, and the colors. All related in her mind, but she didn't take your perspective into account and say how they're related. At 3, that's very typical. At 8, that's not.

 

The play is another example of something that could be typical. Many 3 year olds still parallel play with other kids, if they engage them at all. Ds only had a friend at daycare when he was 3 because this child was also obsessed with garbage trucks and they could play garbage truck alongside each other (and really, it was more like 3 1/2, nearing 4 when they became friends).

 

The obsessions might be a red flag, or it might just be an obsession. Some kids do that. Ds has gone through a number of phases: garbage trucks (ages 2-4), fire trucks (ages 4-5), buses (ages 5-7), a year where he didn't really have any, and now it's baseball (ages 8+...). He'll follow other sports now, but he's counting the days until the baseball season starts. He's sorrowfully informed me that he'll miss the first 3 pre-season games because they're on while he's at school!

 

From your description, she definitely has sensory issues that would probably benefit from being addressed. Our son is one of the kids who's got sensory issues, but is not on the autism spectrum. (We had him tested for anxiety/aspergers at age 7 and he came out with mild anxiety and no asperger diagnosis). Because our son is an introvert with sensory issues, he too had social anxiety. He was selectively mute in preschool at times. He didn't really make any friends until 4, and didn't really learn to play with other kids until he was 7. Even now, his social development is a bit behind. Not a lot, but a bit. 

 

I guess my feeling is I'd take the diagnosis with a grain of salt, but definitely work on diet and occupational therapy/sensory issues. She'll either grow into or out of her diagnosis.

post #13 of 81

There are a ton of similarities between Aspergers and high IQ kids as well. Three does seem a little soon for a diagnosis, as Aspergers especially presents with such subtlety. Regardless, I'm no expert. DS (2/07) was just diagnosed, by a whole team of specialists, and we were still told it was unusually early for an AS diagnosis. In the video she seems typical to me, but I understand that the nuances are often hard to catch on film. She appears to be very bright and engaging on tape. And, for what it's worth, my DS has perfectly normal eye contact...

post #14 of 81

My DD is 14 and has Asperger's. When she was 3, they didn't dx 3 year olds with Asperger's because all of the traits of Asperger's appear in typically developing children. It's still really odd to me that this dx is given to such young children now.

 

How extreme are her issues? Do they keep her from doing normal things, like going to preschool? Does your family have to plan things around her issues? What do you hope to get out of a dx now?

 

Why are you doubting what the developmental ped said?

post #15 of 81

I wasn't able to listen with the sound on and just have a sec so I'll post some quick thoughts I had.

 

The tic that you talked about really stood out to me.  When I watched the video I had to go back and confirm when it was you said she had the tic.  To me her action looks like brushing hair away from her face.  If you look around 3:15 she does it only higher up - around her bangs.  This stood out to me because I do the same thing.  I have definite sensory issues and anything touching my face drives me nuts.  If I have my hair down I'm constantly brushing it away from my face because even just one hair lightly brushing my skin makes me crazy.  Even after the offending hair has been removed it's like my skin remembers the feeling and I have to keep touching it.  My face is so sensitive that wearing even light makeup makes me feel like I have a heavy mask on.  I wonder if you put her hair up in a pony tail and maybe even gelled any stray hairs back what she would do.  That might be interesting to film.  I wonder if that ties into her dermatillomania?

 

From what I've read of your daughter's issues in your various posts it sounds like sensory is her big challenge.  Not to say that the AS diagnosis isn't accurate but the sensory piece just really stands out to me.  For my son and I, our sensory stuff goes off the charts when we are under a lot of stress.  I think that once you guys are out on your own and things are settled down you might find things will change with her.  It might be interesting to do follow ups with the diagnostic team in 6 months or so.

 

FWIW, watching the video without the sound she appeared to be a normal 3 year old having a conversation with a parent but I know the content of the conversation is important so I will reserve judgement on that until I am able to listen to the sound.

 

Martha

post #16 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by The artist View Post

There are a ton of similarities between Aspergers and high IQ kids as well. Three does seem a little soon for a diagnosis, as Aspergers especially presents with such subtlety. Regardless, I'm no expert. DS (2/07) was just diagnosed, by a whole team of specialists, and we were still told it was unusually early for an AS diagnosis. In the video she seems typical to me, but I understand that the nuances are often hard to catch on film. She appears to be very bright and engaging on tape. And, for what it's worth, my DS has perfectly normal eye contact...



Thanks!  You're right, it is very early.  And thanks for the info about the eye contact!  

post #17 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

My DD is 14 and has Asperger's. When she was 3, they didn't dx 3 year olds with Asperger's because all of the traits of Asperger's appear in typically developing children. It's still really odd to me that this dx is given to such young children now.

 

How extreme are her issues? Do they keep her from doing normal things, like going to preschool? Does your family have to plan things around her issues? What do you hope to get out of a dx now?

 

Why are you doubting what the developmental ped said?


I'm not exactly doubting what he said... he just based everything off of what I told him (which is what I told you all) and how she was acting in his office- not responding to hello (once she did look up at him though) gazing off, etc.  She finally did play with the train set that was there and just lined the trains up.  He also mentioned to me that he watched her when she was in the waiting room (I saw him standing there, I had no idea who he was) and that she was fixing all of those bead roller coaster toys so that the beads were all at the bottom of the tracks, and all on one side.  She did this with two bead toys (they're like tables).  I just wish that he could have had a conversation with her, since so much of Asperger's is social and not just lining things up (which sometimes doesn't even happen with AS!).  Since I know my DD won't talk to the OT (we'll be lucky if she looks at her) I wanted to record a video of DD in normal conversation/an interview to show the doctor her thoughts/ideas/demeanor, etc.

 

Her social anxiety is pretty severe.  She goes to gymnastics and stands behind the teacher (Who is wonderful and very patient!) the entire time, unless the teacher directs her to do something and actively takes her there/helps her with it.  It's a drop off class and there are about 10 kids there, sometimes less.  Friday I went because there is a Mom&Tots class going on and I had to take my nephew, so I got to witness DDs actions (much of the time she was on a separate floor, but I did see her (she didn't see me) part of the time.  Her name was the only name the teacher had to call numerous times.  She was just staring off blankly at the class, and standing away from the other children.  I did see her doing her lining up thing, but I was so busy chasing after my nephew that I couldn't get a better look... but she was lining up these plastic rings (not sure what they use them for) by size and color.  I heard her teacher trying to get her attention and get her to focus on the activity, but I had to go get my nephew so I couldn't pay too much attention.  DD always raves about gymnastics and tells me how much she loves her teacher and the class and she does all of the things they do in class at home... she just doesn't seem to do well IN the class.  The teacher says "She'll be fine, she'll catch up".  I hope so.

 

At playgroup, she doesn't play with other kids (she did get along with one girl but was really because she was entranced by her big brown eyes, DD has a thing for eyes, lol).  She pretty much hogs the play kitchen at playgroup and starts freaking out at anyone who comes within 3 feet of it.. the whole communal toy thing is nonexistant in her mind.  I know that 3 year olds don't necessarily share, but I see the other kids acting differently socially.. Once one little girl took something from another little girl (snatched it) and the other girl started to cry.  The first girl looked conflicted, glanced at the remote,looked at the crying girl, and gave it back.  She showed empathy.   I don't see my DD show empathy let alone share a toy.  DD is also nonverbal in that class unless it's to me (and then she kind of mutters).

 

If we plan on taking her somewhere with the family (birthday party, park, mcdonalds play place) and the cousins we need to always pack paper, pens, and crayons for her because she just totally shuts down, and coloring and drawing make her feel better.  We have decided that these activities are just too stressful for DD and are planning to take her to the nature center for a nature walk and picnic after gymnastics instead of going to the McDonald's playplace (she doesn't and now CAN'T eat anything but apples there anyways because of the gluten issue).  It doesn't seem fair to her to bring her into situations that are uncomfortable for her.

 

We have had to decline numerous party invitations (large family) because we know our DD will be very overstimulated and get anxious and shut down and just be very stressed out... which we don't want for her.

 

My earliest memory of her social anxiety would be when she was just over a year old and first walking.. she'd hide behind a tree at the playground and play there, and flip out if we picked her up to go by the other children (unless it was the swings).  She continued to act like this until she was around 2.5yo (last summer) and will now go down the slide but will shut down and start picking at herself id approached by another child/if she gets close to another child.

post #18 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittynurse View Post

I wasn't able to listen with the sound on and just have a sec so I'll post some quick thoughts I had.

 

The tic that you talked about really stood out to me.  When I watched the video I had to go back and confirm when it was you said she had the tic.  To me her action looks like brushing hair away from her face.  If you look around 3:15 she does it only higher up - around her bangs.  This stood out to me because I do the same thing.  I have definite sensory issues and anything touching my face drives me nuts.  If I have my hair down I'm constantly brushing it away from my face because even just one hair lightly brushing my skin makes me crazy.  Even after the offending hair has been removed it's like my skin remembers the feeling and I have to keep touching it.  My face is so sensitive that wearing even light makeup makes me feel like I have a heavy mask on.  I wonder if you put her hair up in a pony tail and maybe even gelled any stray hairs back what she would do.  That might be interesting to film.  I wonder if that ties into her dermatillomania?

 

From what I've read of your daughter's issues in your various posts it sounds like sensory is her big challenge.  Not to say that the AS diagnosis isn't accurate but the sensory piece just really stands out to me.  For my son and I, our sensory stuff goes off the charts when we are under a lot of stress.  I think that once you guys are out on your own and things are settled down you might find things will change with her.  It might be interesting to do follow ups with the diagnostic team in 6 months or so.

 

FWIW, watching the video without the sound she appeared to be a normal 3 year old having a conversation with a parent but I know the content of the conversation is important so I will reserve judgement on that until I am able to listen to the sound.

 

Martha



Thanks!  I wonder if she has that "remembering" sensation.  Sensory issues are big for her.  She won't let me brush/comb/wash her hair (this might get done once/wk if we're lucky) and it's rare for her to let me put it in a ponytail or a braid.  I wonder if the social anxiety is her being awkward with other kids (which she is) or her not being able to handle the amount of sensory input being thrown at her at once.  

 

Something huge I forgot to add was that she really lacks spatial awareness and is VERY clumsy and "unathletic". 

post #19 of 81

Based on the clips she seems like a totally typically 3 year old to me. She comes across as very bright and expressive and happy. I thought she was quite a wonderful little conversationalist! She seemed very engaged and animated in conversation. Both girls are adorable, and the baby sister exploring inside her zipper jumpsuit beside her was a riot!

post #20 of 81

From the video alone, nothing stands out to me as being out of the ordinary. 

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