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Does my 7 yo daughter have ‘needs’
  • Maj100
    Posts: 1
    Dear all,

    I am struggling to pinpoint exactly what is going on with my daughter. I am ashamed to say with all my experience with working with children with Autism and behavioral needs I cannot tell if my daughter has a recognized condition or she’s just plain lazy and defiant. All I can say is something has not been right since she turned 3 years old. It’s a long story so I will try to summarize.
    We moved abroad from the UK when she was 3 years old. She was a beautiful, happy and confident child up until this point. She was happy with the move but missed her old house. In our new home she made friends with another girl the same age and they were inseparable. This was the beginning of her problems. She became overly attached to this child, despite it being a love-hate relationship she wanted to be with this girl all the time and would have meltdowns if told no. The friend was mean to her at times and would remind her that she had no other friends. Eventually we moved home to remove our daughter from the situation as she was beginning to shows signs of anxiety and depression. We were also dealing with problems getting her dressed and toilet training her which didn’t happen until age 4. Things got better until she started at her new school. She was 6 years old at this time and had a new baby brother.
    For a whole year she refused to go to school despite me working at the same school. There were days she stayed at home because I physically could not get her to school as she refused to get dressed. School work was hard for her and teachers have commented over the years about her lack of attention span. Our main concerns at the present times are mainly self care. She recently had a bladder infection because of her refusal to go to the toilet even after waking in the mornings. She often has accidents and the excuse is that she didn’t know she needed to go. She won’t get dressed unless I nag at her or she will wait until someone dresses her. It’s the holidays and she’s unwashed in her pajamas until afternoon because she will say she will do it soon. On school mornings we dress her, brush her teeth and put shoes on her feet if it’s a bad day. In school she’s an angel.
    She recently has started to refuse to wear anything other than t-shirts and jeans. They have to be a specific colour and material. We have bought her 12 pairs of shoes in the last 6 months every pair is too tight or too loose. She has a pair of trainers that are quite worn as we cannot find a suitable alternative. Socks are a no go and cause screaming fits so the result is stinky feet.
    My daughter lashes out regularly, she will hit, pinch and kick us when she does not get her own way. Bedtimes, meal times leaving the house are all triggers. She knows every Friday we go grocery shopping, every Friday she has a meltdown because she does not want to go. She also hates going to any of our friends homes. She will not respond to adults when spoken to and this at times has caused us embarrassment. We do not push her to speak to adults anymore we know it’s hard for her. She’s only recently started to respond to her grandmother and this is a huge leap of progress for her. She had no problems interacting with younger people. When she feels secure she is extremely sociable and fun to be around. She has some secure friendships now.
    My daughter has had some pastoral care at school. They have commented that she is very emotionally intelligent however I feel she just cannot see any body elses perspective or understand their feelings. There was one occasion that her outbursts had left me so stressed that I cried in front of her for the first time. She looked at me and proceeded to search for something in her room completely ignoring me. This was the time when I thought we need to have her assessed.
    She struggles at school and when she arrives home she is full of pent up anger and rage. It takes me a long time to soothe her and we talk about her feelings from the day. We cannot get her to do any home work without her screaming and crying and it is a constant battle.

    We have an appointment booked with a psychiatrist. Because of the country I live in I am worried I won’t be taken seriously. We saw her GP recently and explained that she keeps waking in the night and one of us has to lay with her until she falls asleep. He suggested that her bedtime was too early (7pm, falls asleep at 8pm) . She will then wake up at 5 am and say she is starving. He wasn’t too concerned as she was getting enough sleep. She also tends to forget when given instructions and prefers to be fed.
    My main worries for her as she grows older are if she will be able to organize herself when school demands are greater and whether she can maintain personal hygiene when she goes through puberty. She nearly 8 and on occasion we have put her on the toilet and clean her afterwards.
    I am moving back to the UK so I can get some support from family.Where do I go from here? Does she need to be assessed or will she grow out of her quirks? How can I convince the psychiatrist there are problems?

    Thanks for reading.
    Maj
  • Holly59
    Posts: 2,586

    Maj100 said:

    Dear all,

    I am struggling to pinpoint exactly what is going on with my daughter. I am ashamed to say with all my experience with working with children with Autism and behavioral needs I cannot tell if my daughter has a recognized condition or she’s just plain lazy and defiant. All I can say is something has not been right since she turned 3 years old. It’s a long story so I will try to summarize.
    We moved abroad from the UK when she was 3 years old. She was a beautiful, happy and confident child up until this point. She was happy with the move but missed her old house. In our new home she made friends with another girl the same age and they were inseparable. This was the beginning of her problems. She became overly attached to this child, despite it being a love-hate relationship she wanted to be with this girl all the time and would have meltdowns if told no. The friend was mean to her at times and would remind her that she had no other friends. Eventually we moved home to remove our daughter from the situation as she was beginning to shows signs of anxiety and depression. We were also dealing with problems getting her dressed and toilet training her which didn’t happen until age 4. Things got better until she started at her new school. She was 6 years old at this time and had a new baby brother.
    For a whole year she refused to go to school despite me working at the same school. There were days she stayed at home because I physically could not get her to school as she refused to get dressed. School work was hard for her and teachers have commented over the years about her lack of attention span. Our main concerns at the present times are mainly self care. She recently had a bladder infection because of her refusal to go to the toilet even after waking in the mornings. She often has accidents and the excuse is that she didn’t know she needed to go. She won’t get dressed unless I nag at her or she will wait until someone dresses her. It’s the holidays and she’s unwashed in her pajamas until afternoon because she will say she will do it soon. On school mornings we dress her, brush her teeth and put shoes on her feet if it’s a bad day. In school she’s an angel.
    She recently has started to refuse to wear anything other than t-shirts and jeans. They have to be a specific colour and material. We have bought her 12 pairs of shoes in the last 6 months every pair is too tight or too loose. She has a pair of trainers that are quite worn as we cannot find a suitable alternative. Socks are a no go and cause screaming fits so the result is stinky feet.
    My daughter lashes out regularly, she will hit, pinch and kick us when she does not get her own way. Bedtimes, meal times leaving the house are all triggers. She knows every Friday we go grocery shopping, every Friday she has a meltdown because she does not want to go. She also hates going to any of our friends homes. She will not respond to adults when spoken to and this at times has caused us embarrassment. We do not push her to speak to adults anymore we know it’s hard for her. She’s only recently started to respond to her grandmother and this is a huge leap of progress for her. She had no problems interacting with younger people. When she feels secure she is extremely sociable and fun to be around. She has some secure friendships now.
    My daughter has had some pastoral care at school. They have commented that she is very emotionally intelligent however I feel she just cannot see any body elses perspective or understand their feelings. There was one occasion that her outbursts had left me so stressed that I cried in front of her for the first time. She looked at me and proceeded to search for something in her room completely ignoring me. This was the time when I thought we need to have her assessed.
    She struggles at school and when she arrives home she is full of pent up anger and rage. It takes me a long time to soothe her and we talk about her feelings from the day. We cannot get her to do any home work without her screaming and crying and it is a constant battle.

    We have an appointment booked with a psychiatrist. Because of the country I live in I am worried I won’t be taken seriously. We saw her GP recently and explained that she keeps waking in the night and one of us has to lay with her until she falls asleep. He suggested that her bedtime was too early (7pm, falls asleep at 8pm) . She will then wake up at 5 am and say she is starving. He wasn’t too concerned as she was getting enough sleep. She also tends to forget when given instructions and prefers to be fed.
    My main worries for her as she grows older are if she will be able to organize herself when school demands are greater and whether she can maintain personal hygiene when she goes through puberty. She nearly 8 and on occasion we have put her on the toilet and clean her afterwards.
    I am moving back to the UK so I can get some support from family.Where do I go from here? Does she need to be assessed or will she grow out of her quirks? How can I convince the psychiatrist there are problems?

    Thanks for reading.
    Maj



    Hi Maj,
    Welcome to the Forum ,
    Reading your story I can see both my boys issues in there . I would say a definite follow up because she presents with ASD-PDA .
    It’s all there , the school refusal , extreme demand Avoidance , masking , the coke bottle affect after school , sleep issues , sensory issues ., homework being a constant battle etc .

    https://www.pdasociety.org.uk/families

    What I suggest you do is to check the EDAQ and see what score you get ? It’s not a diagnostic tool but guidelines . Don’t forget the role play is being the parent teacher . There are webinars for you to watch .
    You can get a free assessment through Help4psychology . It’s a pre assesment , paperwork and the last part can be done over Skype . They charge £95 to cover overheads . It will tell you if you are heading in the right direction .

    If you start using the strategies and keep a diary , plus video evidence if safe to do , that will add to your evidence . There are webinars posted including those for teachers.

    There are lots of FB groups and support groups listed .

    https://www.pdasociety.org.uk/resources

    https://m.facebook.com/help4psychology/

    https://www.pdasociety.org.uk/resources/Support-and-advice/pda-support-groups

    Pat xx

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