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I am really worried

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hi everybody, 


as I said, I am so worried about DD. She is six, going to school since a couple of weeks, gifted with visual difficulties. Maybe ADD. She is coming home from school now, crying, because the other kids won't play with her. She is very verbal, full of phantasy, but not really good in social situations. She has problems with keeping her distance, hugging kids, coming really close to them, being very loud. 


It makes me sooo sad to see her so sad. I want to help her, but I feel totally overwhelmed by now with this particular mixture of problems, I just cannot really figure it out. And I feel that the professionals cannot either ! Her psychologist (the new one) says that she does not have ADHD, because she has no problems with her concentration, and really like to do the tests. 

Her OT says she is totally ADHD and her concentration just crashes after around 10 min, earlier if she is not excited by the things she has to do. This OT has worked in a special ADHD clinic for 15 years. She thinks she can cover it up for some time due to her giftedness.


She is so cute, and I love her so much, and I don't want her to get hurt! 


I see her in her ballet class, for example, where she goes around pulling girls on their tutus, and they totally don't like it and feel and I tell her later that they don't want her to pull on them or hug them in the middle of the lesson. She gets really ashamed than, which I do not intend at all. But she won't change it. And I don't know how to help her. It just makes me so sad, when she gets home, crying and I cannot do anything about it! 




x-posted special needs

post #2 of 6

I am wondering - did ASD ever come up? When DS showed similar behaviours towards other children at 4, an experienced psychiatrist was sure she was seeing a mild case of Asperger's. So DS was formally evaluated. Turns out he scored WAY of the cutoffs and we are now very sure that he does not have Asperger's but he continues to show ASD traits which wax and wane (we haven't found out why yet - stress seems to play a role, also the seasons, but we haven't found a consistent pattern).

My point is that even if she may not have a mild form of ASD, an evaluation might show traits which might react very well to the strategies recommended for ASD kids. Educating myself on what worked for ASD kids has proved to be very beneficial. Some stuff worked and some stuff didn't, but there are lots of ways to help your DD gain better social skills - you can try supplements, OT stuff, a sensory diet, social stories, behavioral modification - it is hard work finding out what works, but we saw a definite improvement with some of the ASD strategies, and DS appears to be doing alright socially - not the most popular kid in town, but he does have playdates and they work well.

post #3 of 6
post #4 of 6

We have found that many of the strategies that work for kids with an ASD work for our quirky, non-ASD son.  DS has multiple diagnoses, including SPD and ADHD (although I'm not buying into that one, but that's a complicated story), and vision issues.


I like the book Bright Not Broken.  The essential message of the book is that giftedness, ADHD and ASDs have many overlaps in presentation/challenges, but each field offers different solutions and philosophies.  The field of giftedness tends to put a positive spin on everything, the ADHD field tends to assume that the child knows better but chooses not to do better, and the ASD field has the greatest number of practical strategies available.


Michelle Garcia Winner is an American speech pathologist who has produced an amazing group of products and books.  For your DD, she might like Social Detective, which is a picture book in English directed to children that talks about paying attention to the cues in your environment very explicitly (which many kids need- really explicit instruction).  It also uses the language of expected and unexpected in a fairly value-neutral way.  So, after reading the book a few times and talking about the content, you can follow up with your daughter after she's been playing with others and quietly say "Hmm, do  you think Sally expected you to hug her so tight? (child responds or just listens) I noticed her shoulders bunch up and she pushed away.  (child responds or just listens) I think she looked pretty uncomfortable. (child responds or just listens) Can you think of something you could do next time..."   




With that, you also have to give her alternate sensory approaches and does she have a sensory diet?  The hugging is likely a sensory issue and she's going to help adult help navigating that.  It sounds like she might need some heavy work to avoid the sensory seeking mid-class.  And class may be just too much for her right now.


I also like the SuperFlex curriculum by Winner.  The protagonist is a boy, but it's a comic book about using flexible thinking to defeat the bad guys (like Rock Brain - stuck thinking).  I see myself as being my child's coach, and he requires more direct instruction than many kids.  


I really like the book When the Labels Don't Fit.  I found it very comforting when I was in the throes of what the heck is up with my wonderful child?   Don't let the professionals get you down :).  They don't always know what's going on either as really complicated 2E kids are rare and very different from one another.  It can take a lot of time, assessment and energy to tease it all out.


My son is now 10 and I have to say that time and development have helped immensely.  He's really very complicated, but maturity is certainly helping.  He's thriving; it does get better.

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much, 

I'll look into all of the suggestions. I do think that I should do some things as a "coach" for DD, and the info looks really helpful for that. 


I'll see if I find anything in german, since DD does not speak english, but I could translate if need be, anyway. 


I am really not sure how to redirect her without her seeing me as "nagging all.the.time" - which she does. shy.gif

post #6 of 6

Shortening the directions helps. We've taught things like the incredible 5-point scale. http://www.5pointscale.com/other_projects_article_5-point_scale.htm

So we don't yell: "You are running and shouting too much! Quit the shouting! Calm down! use your inside voice!" We just shout "down to 2!".

We taught DS that a distance comfortable for other people is one arm's length. So when dropping him off for preschool I'd say, just before saying good-bye: "remember: one arm's length". For conversation we taught him the distance fingers spread from nose to nose, so I could say "remember: one hand in between." and I promised screen time if I heard no complaint from the preschool teachers that day. If he told me he'd bothered a child and got into trouble about it (he was surprisingly honest about it), no screen time that afternoon.

I have put up a chart for getting dressed in the mornings and taped it to the bathroom wall. So I don't shout "DS, quite capering about and talking about dinosaurs, go find your socks and put them on!" three times, I just shout "number nine!"

these are simple rules you can introduce one at a time and easy to remember and remind her about.

We are now down to the more complicated stuff: noticing he needs a break and finding a way to get it. Noticing he is hungry and eating something (as opposed to crashing with low blood sugar, reactive hypoglycemia appears to run in our family). If he needs to chew on something, take an uncooked spaghetti out of the kitchen drawer and chew on that as opposed to fingers or t-shirt collar. Doing homework or practicing violin without fuss-and-drama. I used to promise screen time after violin practice was done, but we'd still have about 10 minutes fuss-and-drama for every 5 minutes practice. So just yesterday I told him fuss-and-drama minutes would be subtracted from screentime. Surprise surprise, we had a relaxed and productive practice we both enjoyed.

I always thought I'd never resort to punishment-and-reward schemes. Some children apparently need them.

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