Have Mental Health Questions? Ask a Psychiatrist Online
Hi! I believe I can be of help with this issue. First, let me say can imagine this is a very frustrating situation for you and I can also sense the worry. And I agree with you that there are grounds for concern. I know you are focusing your suspicions on some behavioral problem, maybe some personality problems. But I want to share with you my first impression, the first thought that came to my mind as a psychologist who has worked with kids and teenagers quite a bit: I would like you to have her evaluated for possible Aspergers Syndrome or a similar spectrum disorder. I know this was not on your list but it is on mine: the snatching things from other kids, the lack of ability to comply with social rules were one thing; but when you got to the circular thought patterns, I knew that I was in the right direction; then the sweetness at the end along with the ruthlessness in the first part of her description make it clear to me that you need to have Aspergers ruled out.
Please: I am not diagnosing. I am giving you my first impression for what I would want you to rule out. Let me give you the name of an excellent book I use with parents that has a checklist in the back that you can use to make your own informal evaluation if there is perhaps an Aspergers connection here. The book is Parenting Your Aspergers Child by Sohn and Grayson. Here is the Amazon web page for it: http://www.amazon.com/Parenting-Your-Asperger-Child-Individualized/dp/0399530703/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1285651809&sr=1-1 I have multiple copies of it in my office to give to parents because I think the proactive approach they use is sensational! They have checklists at the end of the book for symptoms for you to see informally if you think Aspergers may apply to your daughter. She's pretty young but their checklist should help you a lot. AND even if you rule out Aspergers, I think you will find some of the ways of working with her using their principles in getting dressed in the morning will be very helpful. So now let's move beyond that first impression. Whatever it is, you need to get her to an experienced child psychologist. I would ask for referrals from school psychologists or counselors you might know or from clergymen or doctors. It needs to be someone who is experienced with a wide range of disorders in kids. Interview the psychologist. Don't just accept the first one. Look at their office; if it looks like the kind of place that has some space set aside where you think a kid would like to be in, that's a good first sign. Even if you are using NHS psychologists make sure to follow as many of these steps as possible. And the kid-friendliness of the office is important even for an NHS psychologist. Now, first though, make sure the psychologist can do an evaluation for Aspergers or refers you to a setting like a children's hospital that can do the evaluation. Okay. I know how difficult this is for you but be hopeful! These steps will help you get working with your daughter on these problems. I wish you all the best!
Please remember to click the green accept button. Feel free to continue the discussion; my goal is to get you the best answers possible. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue, just put "for Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX