Hi! I'll be glad to help you with this issue. Let me ask you a few questions for us to get started, okay?
Does she make friends easy now and in the past? Did she always play in age appropriate ways and does she have good social skills?
Does she tend to obsess on activities she likes and have a hard time stopping when it's time to do something different?
Does she have repetitive motions and movements? Does she also have certain habits she does over and over?
Does she have a hard time relating to other people's feelings?
Hi, I see that you are standing by. Do you need more time to reply? Because the chat closes if there is no activity after a certain amount of time, okay?
I never saw the initial answer. Could you please respond to my question?
Hi, I'll be glad to respond. In fact, once the chat closed on the other question you asked that is still open, I was typing an answer there. Do you see the questions here that I asked over there that carried over? I also am unclear why you gave a bad rating. Is there a reason?
Would you consider changing the bad rating as it reflects badly on me and I have been merely waiting for your replies?
Yes I could not see your answer. maybe it's the site. could y ou resend it somehow?
Do you want me to finish typing the answer there? Or would you like to chat here?
you can chat here that's fine.
Do you see the questions above that I originally asked you? They're here at the top of this chat.
As you work on those questions, let me say I 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. We don't know for sure if there is a problem or not, but there you are noticing enough behavioral anomolies that you're concerned.
I also agree with you that it's very frustrating trying to get schools and school officials to help in such situations. They want things very black and white and extreme. If you are a little concerned, they are usually not interested in considering the issues because they're concerned about allocating time and resources.
she has a hard time making friends, she does not have a hard time relating to people's feelings, she does not have repetitive movements, she does get really attached to people and things and has a hard time letting go of them, and yes I will change my rating
Are you concerned about possible developmental problems in the Autism Spectrum area?
That's why my questions, which are specifically aimed at ruling out Asperger Syndrome
What are your thoughts about what the problem might be?
Yes I do. I think she may have Asperger's syndrome. If she does, this school will NOT work for her. Don't know what to do :(
I understand; it's a tremendous worry.
Is there a children's hospital in your area?
oh yes! plus newly divorced with 2 other children. There is Stanford close by
Good. That gives us a tremendous resource.
I'm very sorry about the divorce. That does throw a new variable into your daughter's behavior, though:
Is this behavior you've described and that is worrying you fitting the timetable of the great tension between her parents?
Not just the actual divorce, but the fighting and the tension between the two of you?
What do you think?
She has always been "spaced out" even before the divorce. She was only 3 when I left so I don't think she recalls. Also, we were not the screaming arguing type. we just did not speak to each other.
Thanks so much for answering that. I know it was not easy, it brought up a bad time in your life.
I just would love to get her diagnosed or have any mental condition ruled out. I think this would help me to how tomove forward.
Is calling the Children's Hospital or the University Hospital at Stanford available to you as a diagnostic possibility. They would have the most experienced diagnosticians.
hmm you are probably right. I think I will take that approach.
Can I also give you some resources? For learning about Asperger's and for working with AS kids?
That would be awesome!
Great. Now, I don't want to make it sound as if we've just diagnosed her. That would be unfair. But you have good observational skills clearly and you love her and you're worried. So,
the most important thing is to verify or rule out your worry. At her age, we don't know how severe it would really be as she gets older if it is present and early intervention is so important. Also,
yes early intervention is very important which is why I am jumping on it now.
Good for you, and so you can leave the school alone because they don't have the expertise or the knowhow. But Stanford and the children's hospital do.
Can I give you the resources in the previous question you asked me before you opened this chat? Because
It will be easier to give you links to books and articles in that format?
you r right! am so disgusted with this school right now but have no idea where to send her. Charter school maybe?
or maybe I will wait until I can get her evaluated and worked up.
Don't take action yet on the school part. Focus your time and energy on getting a good diagnostic evaluation from competent professionals, okay?
okay. Thank you soooo much!
Here is what I was typing to you when you opened up the other chat. If you could give this a positive rating as well, I'd be grateful. I want you very much to be hopeful. I've worked with AS kids and teens. And your daughter (again, IF she does have a developmental issue) is in the category where it would be mild enough to be very treatable with you being educated, a therapist, and some at-least-partly-competent schooling. Don't count on the schools too much. I don't mean to say mean things but I don't want you to put your hopes onto the wrong professionals: schools are just not educated in how to deal with mild developmental problems. They are trained only to deal with the extremes. So, here's what I wrote and it has some excellent resources for you:
Hi! The chat ended as you went offline, so I'll be glad to help you with this issue here in this question/answer format.
First, let me say I 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. We don't know for sure if there is a problem or not, but there you are noticing enough behavioral anomalies that you're concerned.
Please: I am not diagnosing clinically. I am giving you my first impression for what I would want you to rule out.
Let's start with the Mayo Clinic's entry for AS. It's a few pages, so scroll through them:
Let me also give you here a brief description of AS by Tony Attwood who is THE expert in our day on AS:
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 the university hospital or the children's hospital. 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.
Here is the web address for Psychology Today's therapist directory. You can sort by zip codes and when you see someone who seems like they might be helpful (they show you a photo of the therapist!). Here also, interview the therapist and make sure he/she shares your values and you each feel confident in him or her. http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/
Now Aspergers in girls is a bit different than with boys. So for your education, here's a book about girls and Aspergers. I'm including it for your knowledge, not as a treatment guide. Asperger's and Girls by Tony Attwood. There are other experts who have chapters. It can be a bit repetitive. Here's the Amazon page:
Now for ABA. This is really a modality for working with autism spectrum disorders. It is used in our work with Aspergers. But my concern is that you are getting into a very professional discussion that you're not going to be interested in. ABA is a comprehensive way to do what the Parenting book I first cited for you does to a great extent in practical terms. ABA focuses on the principle that changing behavior with autism is best accomplished by directing the awareness of the person on the effect of current behavior on the environment around her. This is as opposed to focusing on what it feels like inside to do the behavior. This is a very simplistic and overview type of explanation. But I hope you get the idea: ABA is a way to focus the autistic (or Aspergers) child on what she's doing in the world and how her behavior is having effect in the world rather than inside of her.
So here are two books on it. The first is really for professionals. But if you're interested here it is. It's in a second edition now: Applied Behavior Analysis by Cooper, Heron, and Heward. Here's the Amazon page:
This next one is a lot more parent friendly: The Verbal Behavior Approach: How to Teach Children with Autism and Related Disorders by Barbera and Rasmussen. Here's the Amazon page:
Now Aspergers in girls is a bit different than with boys. So for your education, here's a book about girls and Aspergers. I'm including it for your knowledge, not as a treatment guide. Asperger's and Girls by Tony Attwood. Attwood is THE authority in spectrum disorders. There are other experts who have chapters. It can be a bit repetitive. Here's the Amazon page:
Okay, I wish you the very best!
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