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My dd has always been "different", but she was also always just her special self, and I never thought too much about it. Now I have 2 more dc, and I've had the opportunity to watch other children around the same age (friends' kids, or at the park, etc.), and I see that she is MUCH different.<br><br>
As a baby, she was very sensitive to loud sounds or crowds of people. Terrified her. She was very clingy, and only wanted to nurse. She was never busy and didn't really play with toys. She seemed bright and happy, though. She talked very early (first word just shy of 3 months, sentences by 15 months), and nteracted with us (good eye-contact and all), but really had to be encouraged to play/crawl/explore. She met all of the traditional milestones early.<br><br>
As a toddler, she seemed melancholy. It was difficult to get her to laugh. She would mostly wander, and didn't go off to play/explore. She still wanted held alot, and to be read to. She didn't try to do new things. She often seemed confused. Around this time I realized that while she always wanted held, or wanted to sit quietly around the house (I remember wondering if she had an iron deficency or something), she didn't really show affection. She never gave hugs and kisses without being asked. NEVER. I began to wonder if that was something you had to teach a baby. She NEVER did it. Ever. I left her with someone else a few times between 18 mo and 2yo, she was not happy to see me when I got back. I was a single parent at the time, and was with her ALL the time, so it was odd she seemed to not care. I thought maybe she just was happy to be somewhere without me for a while. She often seemed sad, or confused, introverted. Melancholy is still probably the best word. She didn't tantrum much, and rarely seemed to have a major desire different from mine. She most definately did not play the same with other children.<br><br>
By the time she was 2-3 and talking REALLY well, it was obvious she could memorize a book completely in 2 to 3 readings. And she wanted it read over and over and over. She would quote them to people. And I'm not talking little board books either. She would have a question and would ask it over and over, seemingly oblivious to me answering. She would want to hear about how things work, and had deep questions about lots and lots of things. She wanted me to repeat what I had told her, verbatim, over and over, and over again. She did not want to play with other children, and did not want to play with toys. She was very hard to engage in play, and could not/did not imagine. She couldn't understand when I tried to be goofy with her, and still didn't laugh much. She would collect toys, though. If I tried to get something out to play with her (build with dominoes, for example), from the time she was 18 months or so, she wouldn't let me. She would pick them all up and hold them, and carry them around for days. If I was allowed to play with them, you could tell it bothered her that they were not in their place, and she couldn't listen or concentrate while I had them. She just couldn't play with me. (or anyone else, for that matter.) She has always had an incredible attention span for a book, or an explanation of anything "real." An in-depth "see here is the spark plug" sort of explaination...and wasn't happy until she got one. Starting around two and half, she began to fear different things deeply, and would not be comforted. She's still that way, althought it's getting better.<br><br>
So now, she's 4. She's still repeating...but not nearly so much. She still is a little awkard socially, but that's all, just a little. Probably a year and a half behind, but catching up rapidly. She's still apparently gifted (does math in her head...multiplication and division, and aside from a general explaination, no, I didn't teach her), and still loves a good book. She still seems confused sometimes, and gets afraid. She's still very, very literal, but not quite so bad. She seems super mature, but really, I think that's just because she talks so well and is so quiet. She still doesn't seem to understand when it's appropriate to laugh...now that she's learned to do it, she does it, obnoxiously, all the time.<br><br>
I've always been very direct with her, and very clear about things I've shown her. I have also learned to be very, very specific with what I tell her to do, explain why, but only after first finding out what SHE thinks, and why, and addressing that throughly. I have explained and re-explained social situations to her, and she's happy to take my advice, so that's getting better.<br><br>
Sorry this is so long...I just felt the background was so important...<br><br>
So, she seems pretty typical now, but looking back...I sure wonder. And seeing the things that linger...I sure wonder. My questions:<br><br>
1.) Since she's SO much better, and improving, does knowing where she lines up with ASD even matter? We plan to homeschool, so I have all the time in the world to accomadate and explain. She definately thriving right now.<br><br>
2.) If you think this does sound like ASD, what matters in the long-term? What do I need to know to teach her effectively to be a confident adult?<br><br>
3.) Obviously, she is mild, if anything, but do you have any good reading material suggestions for relating to her?<br><br>
4.) What advice do you have for me?<br><br>
Thanks for hanging with me...I know this was incredibly long.
 

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I like "The Child With Special Needs". It covers a broad spectrum of issues and explains the need to really look at what the issues are vs. a dx. It was very enlightening.<br><br>
I mean, really, you're homeschooling and therefore have the opportunity to see her in whatever she's involved with--so you'll know when she's not handling something appropriately or reacting well to something... and then you can address it. That's the gift of hsing is that you're THERE to witness what's happening so you can redirect it before it becomes habit or before her feelings are hurt and the moment is gone to point out that she misinterpreted something (or how to cope/respond to it if she didn't misinterpret). It's not really any different for you in that respect if she's ASD or not.<br><br>
The only benefit would be if she had issues you couldn't address on your own and needed therapies for... or if you were struggling with something that you needed help with and needed a direction to point in--ya know?<br><br>
She may actually just be gifted and not in the spectrum at all.
 

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I could have written your post! I have twin boys who are 5 and they are exactly how you described your daughter. You could speak to them like adults well before their 1st birthday and they can do math in their head and are just freakishly smart. I thought of having them tested for aspergers but I don't feel the need now. I don't see the benefit. Our plan was to homeschool and we did last year, but it didn't go so well. I have 4 children so my day isn't as organized as the boys would like it. They need peace and lots of "work". They do NOT like to just play, like "normal" kids play. Tonight, for example, their "play" was taking apart our Montessori puzzle maps and putting each country where it goes but on the floor. BTW~ They know EVERY country in the world. Needless to say, we found an excellent Montessori school for them that they just love.<br>
Sorry I have no advice, but I will say that putting them in a Montessori school was the best thing I could have ever done. I really worried about their lack of social skills and lack of empathy towards people feelings, but that is something they are learning in school and the teachers all say they do not think there is anything at all wrong with them. All of their teachers said the boys love to give lessons to the younger kids. So while they don't have fun playing make believe with other kids, they do enjoy other things with the kids.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Just1More</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14745412"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">1.) Since she's SO much better, and improving, does knowing where she lines up with ASD even matter? We plan to homeschool, so I have all the time in the world to accomadate and explain. She definately thriving right now.</div>
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It may matter at some point, but if it does you can deal with it then. Just do what works for now.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> Sometimes an official label can make it easier to communicate with other adults who work with her, and it can help explain things to people who assume that the problem is poor parenting or the decision to homeschool.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">2.) If you think this does sound like ASD, what matters in the long-term? What do I need to know to teach her effectively to be a confident adult?</td>
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may be, may be not. sorting it out is difficult for professionals who work with children. The people who know the most about these things are the slowest ones to use the terms.<br><br>
I think that if she is, social skill will be the most difficult thing for her to learn because they won't come naturally. I'd keep her in lots of activities with other kids and provide her the as much help as possible. It can be anything that's fun for her. Homeschoolers are big in saying that unless you live in a cave with a rock infront of the door, your kids will get "socialized." But for a child who is even a little on the spectrum, help and support in this area are necessary.<br><br>
I homeschooled my DD until 7th grade, and her differences weren't that big of a deal. She started school this year, which really felt like the right thing to do. One thing I would watch for is how you parent your younger children. I didn't realize that I was keeping my younger DD (who is typically developing) from doing things because her older sister wasn't ready yet. With them both in school, it's really in my face every day what kids tend to do at different ages, but with homeschooling it isn't so obvious.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for your thoughts. I'll definately check out that book, and you know, I DO keep ds from doing things because dd wasn't ready. I'll have to really watch that.<br><br>
Thanks again for helping me think through stuff a bit!
 
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