Does she "seem" like she has Aspergers? (Video) - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 81 Old 02-23-2011, 04:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a 9yo daughter with Aspergers, and for us the evolution looked quite different. Your daughter has a much more natural speech pattern, and seems to progress from one subject to another fairly comfortably. Additionally, she seems very engaged, and is making a great deal of apparent eye contact. 

 

 

I would guess there are some sensory issues from what you describe, but they are things you can work through without attaching a label. 

 

She is so young, I think I would be inclined to address individual situations and challenges and worry when she is a little older about whether Aspergers is or isn't an issue.  So much of it is how they relate socially, and that is still developing. 

 

What do you hope to achieve through evaluation and diagnosis at this point in the game? 


I want to help her be happy.  I want her to feel confident.  I want to resolve her sensory issues.  I want to help her break some of her fixations. 


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#62 of 81 Old 02-23-2011, 04:47 PM
 
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.  

 

We do talk about situations prior to them happening.  I haven't given her a ton of guidance- I've been trying to see if she'd learn social expectations on her own by just being in a social situation and observing others interacting (adults and children alike).  I try to model normal social behavior for her, greeting people appropriately, etc.  but she just hasn't picked up on anything. 

 

Oh wow... this is huge.  I was typing up this post and started thinking about social cues and I wondered if she could tell me which face was happy/sad/angry/surprised on a feelings chart.  So I checked (with a few charts, to make sure that it wasn't just the individual chart.  I asked her "Which face looks happy?" and she would point to a different face.  Same with the other feelings.  Is this normal for a 3 year old, or should she be able to understand that?  

 



Why would you not give her guidance?  Most three year olds need lots of explicit guidance - they can't possibly pick it up all on their own.  We explicity teach them to wipe properly after toileting and to wash their hands, we teach them to pick up after themselves  etc - otherwise, I can totally see a child saying "hey, I don't have time to wash my hands and that mess on the floor isn't bothering me at all!"


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#63 of 81 Old 02-23-2011, 05:12 PM
 
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I want to help her be happy.  I want her to feel confident.  I want to resolve her sensory issues.  I want to help her break some of her fixations. 

 

You can do that by addressing each moment in the day.  You honor her levels of comfort by not forcing her into uncomfortable situations. You observe, and you offer her tools- words, social scripts, things she can use for comfort- for my daughter, a small toy tucked in a pocked is still a comfortable friend to join her throughout her day- no one else needs to know it is there, but when she reaches in her pocket, it is reassuring. 

 

Sensory stuff is a lifelong work in progress. The fixations- which I really don't see a huge indication of- I see pretty normal chattering and repetition will shift with time, and even with a diagnosis, forcing a child to give up a true fixation is not kind, gentle, or realistic. Helping them channel it is better.  She loves to draw colorful circles- great!  You are already helping her to meet that need.

 

The experience of confidence may well be undermined by trying to shape her into someone she simply isn't going to be.  it is ok for her not to be a terribly social kid at this time in her life, and as she is older she will be better able to handle those situations.  Trying to encourage her beyond her comfort levels really may backfire, as she may feel that there is something wrong with her. 

 

I mean this very gently, but sometimes the first step of working through a child's challenges is a parent finding acceptance of the child they have as they are, and for that parent to stop wishing for things to be different or explained.  
 

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#64 of 81 Old 02-23-2011, 06:03 PM
 
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I don't normally post on this board( i do have child with some "issues" though), but from the videos I can say she looks like a normal kid to me. Three year olds are a quirky bunch. They do goofy things, they have poor social skills and even strange walks sometimes lol. The types of social situations you are describing are very superficial. Those are not the type of of situation where she is going to make lasting friendships and really learn the give and take of play. You have to remember she is a young preschooler. Young preschoolers (especially  kids who have not been in some type of daycare or have older siblings) normally do what I saw your DD doing in the Mcdonalds video.  They hang back, watch other kids for social cues, and parallel play with other children. To me she looked relaxed and happy (maybe not overly thrilled with the play structure LOL), but not a kid on sensory overload.  

 

 If you are concerned about her social skills(and seriously you know your kid not a bunch of people on a message board that saw a short video), I would drop all the activities and enroll her in a very HIGH QUALITY (can't stress this enough) preschool program for next year. Look at your local colleges and maybe the spec ed preschools through your local public schools(she can always apply as a peer mentor, her speech seems very good). Going to preschool 3-5 mornings a week will give her a much higher quality of social interaction. She will be in a place where she can develop a bond with other adults and kids she will see everyday. She will also be around highly trained teachers who have worked with hundreds of kids her age and will know exactly what is typical for her age.. :) 

 

I'm all for homeschooling (I have homeschooled), I'm also all for keeping kids home until they start kindy(done that too LOL), but a high quality preschool can be a great experience too. (done that too LOL). Parenting is about adapting, a high quality preschool may be the best place to address the social concerns you have, try not to get trapped in the mentality that there is only one "right" way to do things.  And if you do go the preschool route I would start looking right now. Good preschools fill up very quickly! 

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#65 of 81 Old 02-23-2011, 06:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by WindyCityMom View Post

Here's a video of DD at the play place the same day. I think she was feeling quite brave (please also see the other video I posted where she does this odd shielding thing).  In this video she actually gets near other kids, but doesn't go.  Here it is, there are annotations (pop up captions) at certain points in the video that will give you play-by-play.

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

and a video I found of us at the car wash when she was 2.5. Note the weird thing she does with her tongue.  She has been doing that a lot lately.

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

She is so cute. orngbiggrin.gif

Ok, I just watched those videos, and I honestly do not think she's acting that different than the very sensitive, cautious children that I know. Including the tongue thing, my own DD does that all the time when she's in a new situation. Like, we went to a friend's house and I introduced DD, and she stood there sticking her tongue in and out the exact same way. Running away from strange kids--totally normal if you have a very sensitive kid. I can give you a list of other sensitive kids we know who do things even more extreme, such as refusing to speak or look at their teacher for months on end, doing repeated movements under stress, rolling up in a ball when music comes on at preschool, etc. That is just how they are, they don't need a label or a diagnosis, they just need understanding and acceptance.

You just have to take in the whole situation. The playplace: unfamiliar place, loud, lots of colors, stuff to look at, lots of people and things way above her head and on every side, people eating nearby, parents nearby watching, kids she doesn't know running around, her sibling and cousin there--that is a LOT to take in. She's handling it pretty well for 3, I think.

Reading emotion: I can tell you that at my DD's preschool, the teacher has several lessons she does about holding up photos for the kids to guess the emotions. These are NT kids a year older than your DD, and they don't get them all right. Some things need to be taught and talked about.


You mentioned that her cousin is autistic. I have to ask, and I don't meant his in a snarky way at all, but do you think you're anxious about your DD because of that? Do you think you may be looking for signs because of your own fear? I remember your thread about her eating issues (which is why I clicked on this one, actually) and I am wondering if you've been so worried about her for so long about all that, that you're starting to be concerned about every little quirk she has. I mean all that in a caring way, because you're obviously very worried about what's going on with her, and that's an awful position to be in as a parent (I know from experience).
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#66 of 81 Old 02-23-2011, 07:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Here's a video of DD at the play place the same day. I think she was feeling quite brave (please also see the other video I posted where she does this odd shielding thing).  In this video she actually gets near other kids, but doesn't go.  Here it is, there are annotations (pop up captions) at certain points in the video that will give you play-by-play.

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

and a video I found of us at the car wash when she was 2.5. Note the weird thing she does with her tongue.  She has been doing that a lot lately.

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



She is so cute. orngbiggrin.gif

Ok, I just watched those videos, and I honestly do not think she's acting that different than the very sensitive, cautious children that I know. Including the tongue thing, my own DD does that all the time when she's in a new situation. Like, we went to a friend's house and I introduced DD, and she stood there sticking her tongue in and out the exact same way. Running away from strange kids--totally normal if you have a very sensitive kid. I can give you a list of other sensitive kids we know who do things even more extreme, such as refusing to speak or look at their teacher for months on end, doing repeated movements under stress, rolling up in a ball when music comes on at preschool, etc. That is just how they are, they don't need a label or a diagnosis, they just need understanding and acceptance.

You just have to take in the whole situation. The playplace: unfamiliar place, loud, lots of colors, stuff to look at, lots of people and things way above her head and on every side, people eating nearby, parents nearby watching, kids she doesn't know running around, her sibling and cousin there--that is a LOT to take in. She's handling it pretty well for 3, I think.

Reading emotion: I can tell you that at my DD's preschool, the teacher has several lessons she does about holding up photos for the kids to guess the emotions. These are NT kids a year older than your DD, and they don't get them all right. Some things need to be taught and talked about.


You mentioned that her cousin is autistic. I have to ask, and I don't meant his in a snarky way at all, but do you think you're anxious about your DD because of that? Do you think you may be looking for signs because of your own fear? I remember your thread about her eating issues (which is why I clicked on this one, actually) and I am wondering if you've been so worried about her for so long about all that, that you're starting to be concerned about every little quirk she has. I mean all that in a caring way, because you're obviously very worried about what's going on with her, and that's an awful position to be in as a parent (I know from experience).


He's not diagnosed either.  I mentioned his issues to the developmental ped (because HE asked if he was developmentally delayed and how) and he agreed that he needs early intervention to see if he was on "the spectrum").  I don't know how it was relevant to our eval but it came up when he asked who the children who get along with DD are.  He said "And how old is he?" and I said 2.  He said "developmentally typical?" and I said no, he said "How?" and I mentioned a few things, and he told me the above.  Anyways- my nephew REALLY needs EI.  Really.  He does the toe-walking, spinning, arm flapping, non-verbal, cognitively delayed, meltdowns, etc. His doctor told his parents that he needed speech therapy about a YEAR ago and they still haven't taken him, because unfortunately their family doesn't think stuff like Autism and other disorders exist.  They think it's a marketing ploy and that kids are fine with a little good hard "discipline".  My nephew is also a bit neglected, so things are kind of iffy with him- but he shows a LOT of signs of being somewhere on the spectrum and doesn't leave me scratching my head like my DD does (because she is a bit complex).  I appreciate any suggestions that may come about him- there's just nothing more I can do with him that I'm not already doing.  

 

As far as DD goes, I genuinely *AM* concerned and not worrying based on my nephew.  Her eating issues were actually the product of Celiac Disease and I'm glad I followed my instincts and got her tested.  She's already doing better!  I really am just concerned about what's up with her now.  The videos don't completely portray her shutting down.  The shutting down isn't a real issue for ME, but I think it may be an issue for her as she can't express how she's feeling in the situation.  The skin-picking till she bleeds during these episodes is also a bit alarming :(  Something is up. Maybe she's just overly sensitive.  Whatever it is, I'd like for us to work past it.  I don't want my daughter digging her clipped as short as possible nails into her sides drawing blood while she stares into space because a boy came to close to her showing her his toy.  It's just really frustrating.  My feelings are all over the place I guess.  


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#67 of 81 Old 02-23-2011, 07:35 PM
 
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I'll be the odd one out. If what you see with your child is a pattern of behavior that just doesn't feel right, go with your gut. If in situations that she is in repeatedly, such as preschool and dance class, she is unable to participate in spite of wanting to be there and liking the teacher, something may be off. If she often seems sad, withdrawn, or just shut down, something is wrong. If when you see her with her peers, she stands out as different, then you know that she isn't "just being 3."

 

I'm uncomfortable with the Asperger's dx for children so young because some kids outgrow these little quirks, but some kids don't. Instead, every year life gets a little more complicated and they get a little more behind and more overwhelmed, until the situation blows up. I think you are doing the right thing by seeking out professionals at this point. May be the dx will open doors to a special preschool next year that can better meet her needs. May be it will qualify for her therapies that she wouldn't have had access to.

 

May be 10 years from now, she'll seem like a completely regular kid, and you'll wonder if she would have done just as well without the intervention.

 

The alternative, that this dx is right and that she isn't going to outgrow these problems, is quite frightening to look at. But if it's true, I'm sure that you'll look back and be pleased that you did everything you could. If the dx is right, the more intervention she gets now, the better.

 

I would rather my child have the wrong label that gets them the right services. I no longer care what label my DD has, I just want her to have all the help and support she can so that she can have a good life.

 

The right dx is better of course, it makes it easier to find books that really help you know how to help her!

 

To parents who have not watched their child be repeatedly withdrawn or unresponsive in situations that most children enjoy, this is not understandable.

 

The way you describe your DD is very like my DD at that age, and she has Asperger's, SPD, and a social anxiety disorder. She cannot function in many situations, including regular school. (homeschooling didn't work for her either)

 

That doesn't mean that those labels are right for your child, but I can see why you are concerned.

 

<<<I want to help her be happy.  I want her to feel confident.  I want to resolve her sensory issues.  I want to help her break some of her fixations. >>

 

I understand these goals. I also have a child who is often sad and extremely afraid, who is overwhelmed by the world. I feel like I'm raising a child with PTSD, but nothing has every happened to her.  One definition I've read of Autism is "self-isolation."  That really fits my DD.  

 

Some notes:

  • the fact that a cousin has autism makes it more likely that the OPer's does, because it tends to run in families.
  • Sensory overload can result in shutting down and withdrawing very quietly.
  • Autism presents slightly differently in girls than boys -- girls are more likely to withdraw while boys are more likely to act out. Therefore, boys are more likely to get services and girls are more likely to dx'ed with depression as they grow up.
  • I think a lot of post reflect a deep lack of understanding of what a 2E girl can act like, and what might be helpful for.

 

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but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#68 of 81 Old 02-23-2011, 11:33 PM
 
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My DS, now 6, has sensory issues as well as anxiety.  Both were cautiously diagnosed at age 4.5 by an Occupational Therapist and a Child Psychologist (who has a Phd - I found the more extensive training to be an important part).  And we questioned if he had other different things before these diagnoses were made.  A couple of things about your situation jump out at me -

 

She is really young to make a diagnosis like this.

 

The evaluation doesn't sound complete.  DS's evaluations were much longer and more involved than what you describe in your visit with the doctor.  To make such a quick diagnosis sounds odd, really.  My DS saw the same child psychologist for over a year (off and on as needed).  We recently moved, and were referred to a new psychologist who happens to be an autism specialist.  The first psychologist recommended we be really careful because DS's behavior caused by anxiety could easily be misinterpreted as autistic like behaviors if someone only saw him for a short period of time.  Having worked with DS for over a year, she was confident that he wasn't autistic - but, if someone only interacted with him for a short period, it could look that way.  It sounds like the doctor you saw spent only a short period of time with you guys.  

 

I know a number of kids with different issues who were misdiagnosed before they got the right diagnosis.

 

Finally, her behaviors don't seem all that odd to me, really.  The tongue thing at the car wash, jumping and flailing at the play place, trying out all the different chairs, the tic in the video (brushing hair out of her face), not totally consistent eye contact, hogging the play kitchen at play group....all of those things are normal for a kid her age.  I had to remind myself all the time that little kids are just weird sometimes (and, in all fairness, none of that stuff is even weird for a three year old)!  The tongue thing could just be her playing with her tongue and mean nothing, the jumping and flailing could just be her three year old way of being excited..... and on and on.  She may have some sensory stuff going on and she may be socially anxious (or she may just be an introvert), and getting her help with those things would be really valuable.  The withdrawing socially at play group or gymnastics class or large family parties are the things I would be most concerned about and may be a kid who is dealing with sensory overload or may be an introvert who just doesn't like that much social interaction.  

 

As her mom, you have to listen to your gut if you think something is wrong.  If you think something is wrong, it probably is.  But just be careful to not pathologize what may be normal three year old behaviors as you get it sorted out.  

Hugs to you - it is so hard to get it sorted out and to feel like your kiddo is struggling.  

 

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#69 of 81 Old 02-24-2011, 07:30 AM
 
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Why would you not give her guidance?  Most three year olds need lots of explicit guidance - they can't possibly pick it up all on their own.  We explicity teach them to wipe properly after toileting and to wash their hands, we teach them to pick up after themselves  etc - otherwise, I can totally see a child saying "hey, I don't have time to wash my hands and that mess on the floor isn't bothering me at all!"


YES!  Some people are more naturally socially inclined than others. Sure, there may be a few three year olds who figure out social and emotional stuff with no guidance or instruction but most kids need lots of help. They need to be told what is expected in different situations. They need to be taught words to describe their emotions. They need help understanding their own feelings and behavior. They need to be encouraged to notice and react to the feelings of other people. They don't just need this information once, but again and again in lots of situations. In any decent preschool that's much of what the teacher does during the day is talk kids through these situations. To say a child who has received none of this instruction has Asperger's (a lifelong pervasive neurological disorder) is a lot like saying a kid who has never been taught to read has incurable dyslexia. Sure, some kids who have never been taught to read do have dyslexia, but that isn't the place where you want to start?

 

Windy - you mentioned fixations. By this do you mean talking about colors or coloring? How does she react if you gently attempt to broaden the fixation? If she needs to stop the activity to do something else can she handle? By broadening the activity I mean something like if she's coloring circles and you sit down with her and color circles and then say "I'm going to turn my circles into lollipops" or "let's have an art show for the Teddy bears" or "will you teach me about coloring circles" etc. How about coloring on different surfaces - like a big poster board on the wall, etc. etc.  Or, "how much longer do you want to color? When you get done I'd like to play restaurant?" The goal is not to stop her from coloring circles but to use this interest to engage her in the world and to encourage communication with other people.

 

I understand with the day in day out you are seeing stuff that other people can't in a short video. But, I guess maybe the word "fixation" hits a little too close to home for me. Especially during high stress periods of my life, I rely quite a bit on knitting. It is a totally a repetitive activity that is frankly quite a lot like coloring circles. It is repetitive and relaxing. It is a sensory pleasing activity. As I'm an adult, everyone responds very positively to knitting. "Ooo I should learn to do that", "that's very Zen." Why is it we allow adults these sorts of outlets but not kids? Should a sensitive three year old with a high stress life not be allowed a relaxing outlet?  I understand that for some kids on the spectrum obsessions can be problematic. I knew a boy who would respond to any conversation "Hi, how are you doing?" with a Thomas quote. Sure, that's a problem, it seemed to me in the short video clip here that the talk about colors was interactive and in context.

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#70 of 81 Old 02-24-2011, 09:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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YES!  Some people are more naturally socially inclined than others. Sure, there may be a few three year olds who figure out social and emotional stuff with no guidance or instruction but most kids need lots of help. They need to be told what is expected in different situations. They need to be taught words to describe their emotions. They need help understanding their own feelings and behavior. They need to be encouraged to notice and react to the feelings of other people. They don't just need this information once, but again and again in lots of situations. In any decent preschool that's much of what the teacher does during the day is talk kids through these situations. To say a child who has received none of this instruction has Asperger's (a lifelong pervasive neurological disorder) is a lot like saying a kid who has never been taught to read has incurable dyslexia. Sure, some kids who have never been taught to read do have dyslexia, but that isn't the place where you want to start?

 

Windy - you mentioned fixations. By this do you mean talking about colors or coloring? How does she react if you gently attempt to broaden the fixation? If she needs to stop the activity to do something else can she handle? By broadening the activity I mean something like if she's coloring circles and you sit down with her and color circles and then say "I'm going to turn my circles into lollipops" or "let's have an art show for the Teddy bears" or "will you teach me about coloring circles" etc. How about coloring on different surfaces - like a big poster board on the wall, etc. etc.  Or, "how much longer do you want to color? When you get done I'd like to play restaurant?" The goal is not to stop her from coloring circles but to use this interest to engage her in the world and to encourage communication with other people.

 

I understand with the day in day out you are seeing stuff that other people can't in a short video. But, I guess maybe the word "fixation" hits a little too close to home for me. Especially during high stress periods of my life, I rely quite a bit on knitting. It is a totally a repetitive activity that is frankly quite a lot like coloring circles. It is repetitive and relaxing. It is a sensory pleasing activity. As I'm an adult, everyone responds very positively to knitting. "Ooo I should learn to do that", "that's very Zen." Why is it we allow adults these sorts of outlets but not kids? Should a sensitive three year old with a high stress life not be allowed a relaxing outlet?  I understand that for some kids on the spectrum obsessions can be problematic. I knew a boy who would respond to any conversation "Hi, how are you doing?" with a Thomas quote. Sure, that's a problem, it seemed to me in the short video clip here that the talk about colors was interactive and in context.



Coloring isn't very relaxing for her when she gets into the repetitive drawings of tiny circles.  I knit as well, and I wouldn't compare it to knitting.  It's compulsive- she cannot/will not stop until she is ready to stop, which may be after six pages of hundreds of circles.  She seems very on edge, and I can't try to broaden the activity because she gets angry and upset and wants me to leave her alone.  She doesn't like playing pretend play with me, but she sometimes shares part of a meal she has "cooked" with me.     

 


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#71 of 81 Old 02-24-2011, 10:17 AM
 
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I don't know anything about Asperberger's...but I wanted you to know that your daughter is just PRECIOUS! She's so pretty and has the sweetest lil voice!


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#72 of 81 Old 02-24-2011, 10:35 AM
 
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Have you tried talking with her about this away from the time when she's already coloring circles?  Have you tried making a plan with her about it?  What do you think she's getting out of the activity?

 

For what it is worth, the similar sort of behavior we saw at that age was a sign of the child having a lot of persistence and drive which ultimately turned out to be a very good thing, but a challenging trait as in a preschooler.

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#73 of 81 Old 02-24-2011, 10:58 AM
 
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Coloring isn't very relaxing for her when she gets into the repetitive drawings of tiny circles.  I knit as well, and I wouldn't compare it to knitting.  It's compulsive- she cannot/will not stop until she is ready to stop, which may be after six pages of hundreds of circles.  She seems very on edge, and I can't try to broaden the activity because she gets angry and upset and wants me to leave her alone.  She doesn't like playing pretend play with me, but she sometimes shares part of a meal she has "cooked" with me.     

 


I think what Roar meant is that knitting can meet Roar's needs for focused activity and re-centering in a way that is similar to what your daughter is doing.  Maybe the circling is related to SPD or ASD, or maybe it's actually your DD's healthy way to re-center - it's rhythmic and the repetition is actually freeing.  This is not dissimilar to deep breathing exercises or meditation.  She's just three - the cusp between toddler and preschooler, which is still very young which means she has fewer self-soothing strategies and skills available to her.  Rhythm is an inherent need of humans, and is part of both self-soothing and brain development (really - there's all kinds of neuroscientific evidence of this). 

 

Frankly, and I really do mean this supportively, if you see an uptick in rhythmic behaviours on days when you've argued with your spouse or MIL, or expressed or been feeling a lot of anxiety about your circumstances, I would look at it as a stress response.  Could be sensory, or it could be the little 3 year old barometer indicating that she's hearing/feeling what's going on around her.

 

Here's a good book with preview which provides activities which can meet sensory needs, and may provide you with alternative strategies to help your DD self-regulate:

http://books.google.com/books?id=JrSiX9ZWxAkC&printsec=frontcover&dq=out+of+sync+child+has+fun&hl=en&ei=66dmTY2lHIH0tgOs6ummBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCwQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false
 


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#74 of 81 Old 02-24-2011, 11:14 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

I'll be the odd one out. If what you see with your child is a pattern of behavior that just doesn't feel right, go with your gut. If in situations that she is in repeatedly, such as preschool and dance class, she is unable to participate in spite of wanting to be there and liking the teacher, something may be off. If she often seems sad, withdrawn, or just shut down, something is wrong. If when you see her with her peers, she stands out as different, then you know that she isn't "just being 3."

 

I'm uncomfortable with the Asperger's dx for children so young because some kids outgrow these little quirks, but some kids don't. Instead, every year life gets a little more complicated and they get a little more behind and more overwhelmed, until the situation blows up. I think you are doing the right thing by seeking out professionals at this point. May be the dx will open doors to a special preschool next year that can better meet her needs. May be it will qualify for her therapies that she wouldn't have had access to.

 

 



Linda, your post is full of good points.

 

I am encouraging the OP to engage in a proper diagnostic process, but also not to pathologize every behaviour.  Being in this place in the process is really hard, as we both know.  From 3-5 were some of the most challenging times of my life as we knew something was up but didn't definitively know what it was or was not.   We're about to do more diagnostic investigation because of a new, emerging issue and I have so say I'm feeling far more prepared for it - because my knowledge base is exponentially greater than it was in the beginning of this journey, because I've adjusted my understanding of myself, my kid and my expectations, and because I've made better peace with it.  And I know that I am my son's greatest advocate, and just as it would be unfair to deny him a label that fit, it would be unfair to stick him with labels and their attendant approaches and expectations that didn't fit. 

 

I struggled with teachers etc for years re DS as they always wanted to label him as having an ASD.  I was (mostly) confident that he didn't have an ASD, and every specialist we saw concurred.  An ASD diagnosis would have lead to huge resources becoming available to support him, but when you looked at the criteria, it just didn't fit.  There is huge overlap in criteria amongst these various diagnoses, and because of the funding associated with ASD diagnosis, the waters are very muddy.  I think there's a huge range, and there's not some magic line between ASD and NT, and no other neurodiversity. 

 

WindyCityMom, I really encourage you to see the OT and to pursue a more detailed and clinical assessment from a multi-disciplinary team.  I also agree with a previous poster that your DD might enjoy the right preschool setting, where she could get additional social coaching.

 

Finally, I hope you're finding this all supportive, because I believe that's the spirit in which it's intended.  There are a lot of moms here who have slogged through this too, and know just how confusing and painful it is.


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#75 of 81 Old 02-24-2011, 12:32 PM
 
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WindyCityMama -

Ok, first of all my training is that of a Speech Language Pathologist (who has, but does not currently, worked with children). I will admit that I have NOT watched all of the videos. Here, though are my thoughts.

1) get a second opinion from a doctor who specializes in ASD kids (if dev. ped does so, see if you can find another one!)!

2) an OT eval is appropriate and, over time, the OT will get to see the "real" side of your dd.

3) Really, an eval by a TEAM of people specializing in ASD (or at least in kids!) would be most appropriate (i.e., physician, OT/PT/ST, neuro (if applicable) as a team situation can sometimes get more out of the child

4) I would also recommend a Speech eval - just to "cover the bases" - though if you get an above "team eval" an SLP should be part of that

 

5) MOST IMPORTANTLY - I cannot tell you the number of times that I told parents to TRUST THEIR INSTINCTS!!! Especially you, as your dd's mom, have instincts that cannot always be explained and you know her better than anyone else! So, if in your gut,  you "FEEL" as though something is wrong (even if the dx is not the correct one, but you know there is "something") then you are likely correct. Also, if you (and any therapists) avoid "labels" , then any therapy she does get will (or should) feel very much like play! if there is "something", then it IS better to start with therapy early rather than waiting!

 

Good luck, mama!!

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I think what Roar meant is that knitting can meet Roar's needs for focused activity and re-centering in a way that is similar to what your daughter is doing.  Maybe the circling is related to SPD or ASD, or maybe it's actually your DD's healthy way to re-center - it's rhythmic and the repetition is actually freeing.  This is not dissimilar to deep breathing exercises or meditation.  She's just three - the cusp between toddler and preschooler, which is still very young which means she has fewer self-soothing strategies and skills available to her.  Rhythm is an inherent need of humans, and is part of both self-soothing and brain development (really - there's all kinds of neuroscientific evidence of this). 

 

Frankly, and I really do mean this supportively, if you see an uptick in rhythmic behaviours on days when you've argued with your spouse or MIL, or expressed or been feeling a lot of anxiety about your circumstances, I would look at it as a stress response.  Could be sensory, or it could be the little 3 year old barometer indicating that she's hearing/feeling what's going on around her.

 


 

And, for what it is worth, I would likely have received an SPD diagnosis as a child and it would have been accurate. It would have been very helpful for me to have circle drawing, knitting or some kind of other repetitive activity. I'm sure when I'm under very high stress and repetitively knitting garter stitch that is not dissimilar to circle drawing. I'd just as soon unravel it when I get done. It isn't an intellectual exercise, it is just about the rhythm and the relaxation.

 

I know it may not be easy to hear, but I think it is a good point to look at stressors in the environment as a first place to start. It is like the adage when you hear hoofbeats looks first for horses not zebras. We know kids are like little sponges. If there are emotions in the air they will soak them in and they will need to process that. I don't know the backstory and the factors may be out of your control, but I would be mindful that anxiety can be a cycle in a family. Mom is anxious, kid picks up, mom gets more anxious about kids anxiety and on it goes.
 

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#77 of 81 Old 02-24-2011, 08:39 PM
 
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I agree with Linda.

 

My son will be 4 in six weeks and was diagnosed last month with Asperger's. He can be really engaging. Sometimes. Though your dd's (apparent) eye contact seems better in the video. But he has his issues. We were surprised to get an AS diagnosis. I was sure it would be PDD NOS, just because of his age. Not because of his behaviors. He really fits it to a T other than the fact that he converses well sometimes and is affectionate (but overly so, getting the way of his social interactions...) 

 

Who knows what the doctors will think of him in five, ten, fifteen years? Not me. But I do know that he's now able to go to a special ABA therapy program for preschoolers with an OT, PT and ST on staff. I do know that they are working on his social anxieties, eye contact, sensory issues, etc. I do know that now, because of the label, he is able to get these services. And when he had "just" SPD as a diagnosis, this was not possible. After 2 1/2 weeks, I can tell this program will help my son a ton. And our family. 

 

If you feel like she's struggling, I would accept the diagnosis. Two videos will not even begin to show us what you see every day. They just can't. I mean can three minutes or so really show us anything. Good luck with it all... I know how overwhelming it all is. 

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#78 of 81 Old 02-25-2011, 06:08 AM
 
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but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#79 of 81 Old 02-28-2011, 11:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Things with DD are pretty hectic right now... :( Will elaborate later, but kind words are appreciated!


rainbow1284.gif Mama to DD1 (6) DD2 (4) and DD3 (1)
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#80 of 81 Old 03-01-2011, 11:14 AM
 
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dust.gif sending you kind thoughts

Your DD sounds very like mine, who is without a doubt on the spectrum. We've gone through really rough phases and pretty good phases, and things always change. For my DD, the sensory stuff and anxiety is the most difficult for her, and the most painful for me to watch. Figuring out the triggers and how to work around them really helps.

I wish you luck. I'm hoping that with your DD's new dx, she'll qualify for some AWESOME services. We've been through times where it felt like there was nothing I could do by cry, and that nothing I did for her made any difference. But right now she is in a great place and is blossoming.

I wish I could just send you some hope, that you know in your heart that whatever it is that is happening right now won't last forever, that there is a bright future on the other end of it.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#81 of 81 Old 03-01-2011, 12:22 PM
 
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Things with DD are pretty hectic right now... :( Will elaborate later, but kind words are appreciated!


hug.gif We've had a couple of rough weeks with my ds. I was actually in tears yesterday, and that hasn't happened in awhile. So lots of support and good thoughts coming your way.

 
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