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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2004
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Wed, 03-24-2004 - 12:02pm
Hi everyone! My name is Alissa. My daughter Lauryn (7) was just diagnosed as PDD/NOS, Asperger's Syndrome. I was thrilled to find a group so suited to us! I have heard that our situation is a tad unique because this diagnosis tends to affect more males than females, so it has been a long road for us.

I would love to help anyone as much as I can. I have done the battle with the school to get her IEP on track and have dealt with the doctors. We have been working toward a diagnosis of *something* since Lauryn was 2 1/2.

I look forward to getting to know everyone.

Alissa

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-13-2004
In reply to: alissanaz
Wed, 03-24-2004 - 1:49pm
Hey Alissa!!

Welcome!!

I was just reading another post from you and you said that your daughter has major developmental delays. Just curious to what they are?? My DS Isaac is 3 and we are just getting started with the whole diagnosis process. Our first meeting is tomorrow actually, we are meeting with the speech therapist. They have also scheduled a meeting with a deveopmental peditrician and and phsycologist. He is quite delayed with his speech and receptive language. He is also delayed with his motor skills and I've been told that he has SI, but who knows.

Anyway, hope you don't mind me asking about your daughter, just helps to know others are like my DS!! Thanks!

Barb

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
In reply to: alissanaz
Wed, 03-24-2004 - 2:41pm
Alissa

Altho it is somewhat unique for our little ladies to be on the spectrum, you will find quite a few other mothers here with Aspie daughters. I also wanted to welcome you to our little corner of cyberspace. We are a sometimes silly, happy lot who love to share the joys and hard times that come part and parcel with out kiddo's! So please pull up a comfy chair and someone will pass you some cyber chocolate and the beverage of your choice. Oh, and French fries as well.

Welcome!

Sio

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-2003
In reply to: alissanaz
Wed, 03-24-2004 - 4:14pm
Hi Alissa,

I just read your post under my thread and I wanted to come read your introduction before I replied back. It's pretty neat we both came here on the same day and posted introductions about girls the same age. I've been researching a lot but most of what I find really relates to the male aspects and I am glad to know that there are moms here with girls that can relate.

We are really just getting started with the process. The psychologist we saw said that the school district we're in is great for helping children with autism and Asperger's. That made me happy, it was just tough getting the proper diagnosis. Without it, the school district seemed like they were just helpless. We just got this diagnosis last week and I'm still trying to get comfortable with it. Paige's symptoms mainly are in the sensory and social aspects. Oh, and transitions...she just does not adapt well. Fortunately, she is not really disruptive except to herself and that her teacher has to keep taking time away to refocus her.

We didn't even realize that there was anything that different in her until she went to Kindergarten. We did take her to preschool and that was terrible but we thought it was a combination of the teacher and Paige being immature and not ready. Your post reminded me of the times that I had to take her out kicking and screaming from preschool. She doesn't do that now, but now I can finally see the reason for her big problems in preschool. She's our first and we are pretty young (I'm 26, dh is 27) so, we had no idea that the behavior she was displaying was not typical. I thought maybe she was just spoiled at times and different because she wasn't around other children much prior to preschool.

What kinds of things did you notice when Lauryn (beautiful name btw...it's our 3 yr. old's middle name)was 2 1/2 that started you looking into it?

I'm off to make dinner now...but it was great to "meet" you. I'm really happy to have found this board. I've been coming to parentsplace since I was pregnant with my three year old (did the expecting club thing). It's a great resource for all kinds of things.

Sincerely,

Courtney

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2004
In reply to: alissanaz
Wed, 03-24-2004 - 4:18pm
I'm so excited to share....TRUST ME!:)

When DD was 3, she was showing signs of poor socialization, no number, letter or shape recognition, as well as speech delay/articulation problems.

Now, she is in 1st grade and is just beginning to recognise letters and numbers. Shapes proved to be a bit easier, but the names of things are still hard. She has dyslexia. She is still having trouble with speech articulation, however she is showing savant behaviors as far as vocabulary. She has trouble linking the verbal ques with appropriate actions. Overall the neuropsychologist rated her at a developmental age of 3. I thought this to be so interesting because Lauryn's sister is three and they tend to be right with eachother as far as social behavior. Lauryn has a hard time taking turns, not winning, playing by rules that are given rather than "Lauryn Enhanced for Better Play" (Hehehe! the things she comes up with!) there are other issues there, but I'm hitting mind melt this time of day....

She has poor motor skills and shakes when she's concentrating on doing something which makes projects and writing difficult. She does become quite upset if she can't do something like the other children.

Anyhoo, I hope that kind of answered your question! I'm so excited for you now that you have the ball rolling. How wonderful to have the chance to know now before your DS is older and self esteem is affected. I'd be interested to know how the testing goes if you'd like to share.

Thanks,

Alissa

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2004
In reply to: alissanaz
Wed, 03-24-2004 - 6:47pm
Thanks Sio! I appreciate the warm welcome - and the french fries :)

Alissa

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2004
In reply to: alissanaz
Wed, 03-24-2004 - 7:05pm
It's nice "meeting" you too! I can really relate to your feelings of uncertainty. I'm fairly young too (27, DH 31) and we thought the same - immaturity, whatever. Lauryn is also our first and we thought she was indulged a bit too much and not very good at social things because she was an only child and that was why she would have trouble behaving in preschool and daycare.

Really what caused concern at 2 1/2 was a biting problem. Lauryn had no empathy to speak of and was relentless. The daycare dismissed her from their program after two weeks and we as parents were devastated. I decided that was the time to take action because I had had previous concerns about her communication and energy level - I swear she didn't sit still for the first 5 years of her life. :) She didn't respond well to others, or she did the exact opposite and was sooooo happy to see someone that she sort of scared others away. She also wouldn't repeat things back to me or sing. Plus she didn't like to play with me. It seemed she preferred being in her room alone with her dolls. I felt so bad! I was sure my breath was okay.....HAH! :) She also had a tendacy to "drift" and I thought she might have a hearing problem. So anyway, that is what sparked the whole thing.

Thanks for the compliment on Lauryn's name. How odd that it is your choice as well! I also thought is was neat that you have a three year old - me too!

Little change of topic, but have you noticed your younger daughter doing any mimicking (spelling?) of Paige's behavior? If you have, what types of things have you tried to do to encourage the proper behavior?

Well now I'm off to do the same thing as you were - dinner calls!

Sincerely,

Alissa

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
In reply to: alissanaz
Wed, 03-24-2004 - 11:14pm
Hi, welcome to you & the other mom's who just found us. There are 3 or 4 of us here who have dd's. My dd (11) has AS & was diagnosed in gr. 4. It was not an easy road for us either to jump thru all the hoops @ school to get her an IEP. She also has ADD inattentive type which goes hand-in-hand w/ Asperger's the psych. told us. I wish I had gotten my dd help @ an early age like your dd @ age 7. Good luck to you & keep posting. This board is a great help & also I attend a support group which helps also. Take Care ~ Mary Ann
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-2003
In reply to: alissanaz
Thu, 03-25-2004 - 8:08am
Hi,

We thought the exact same things about Paige and her behavior in preschool as you did. As far as the little one mimicking her, I haven't really noticed too many things. Paige does not display the behaviors at home anywhere near the extent that she does at school. (Psychologist says that is likely because school is where most of her anxiety is) So, Gracie (3yr 1st name) doesn't really see those things to mimick. Paige has always had a great deal of empathy (that part of this diagnoses confuses me because it should be the opposite). The only thing I have noticed that Gracie seems to have picked up on is when she meets a new child. She gets right in there face and says hi, tells them her name and my name and then proceeds to jabber away at them only inches apart until I pull her back and try to get her to understand that she is frightening them. She just doesn't understand. I'm not sure if she has learned that from Paige or if its just her way or a combination of both. Now that Paige is older, she doesn't get right in the faces of "new" friends. That comes later after she knows them a bit. She does try to talk to children in stores and places like that and if they don't respond...she just keeps pushing it. Paige seems to latch on to those children who don't "like" her...particularly boys.

I have read many posts here and other places about parents that have more than one child with Asperger's. I know that younger siblings can and will mimick the older ones...but is it a genetic disorder? I have a lot to learn about this. Gracie will start preschool this fall...so we'll see I suppose. I always thought she was the one who did odd things. I keep asking myself if I'm looking too hard at things that really are just normal or just quirks. You know? With Paige, the severity just isn't there...so I make myself nervous that I'm doing the wrong thing acting upon this diagnosis. I just keep telling myself that both her Kindergarten teacher and 1st grade teacher picked up on differences in her right away and they've both been teaching for over 20 years. They ought to know when something isn't quite right and getting her help sooner rather than later is better than just hoping she'll "mature" out of it. I'm sorry, like I said before, I'm still trying to get comfortable with all this.

It's really wonderful to have found some support here. Difficulty getting an accurate diagnosis seems to be a common trait with these little girls here. I read an article on Asperger's in girls and it was interesting. There is a part about other girls mothering the girl with Aspie in school and the girls in Paige's class do that. It is really interesting. Also, I think there is a part where it says that the Aspie girl will copy verbal traits of another girl she deems as socially correct or liked. Paige just started doing this "teh" sound after she says things and NOW I know where she is getting that from. It is really interesting. Here is the link if you're interested.

http://www.faaas.org/articles4.html

I'd say that post was long enough. Apparently, not only do I talk a lot when I've had my morning coffee...I type a lot too. :)

Courtney



iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2004
In reply to: alissanaz
Thu, 03-25-2004 - 5:54pm
Hi Mary Ann. What support group do you attend? Is it through your local autism society? I would love to find something like that in my area.

Thanks!

Alissa

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2004
In reply to: alissanaz
Thu, 03-25-2004 - 6:22pm
You are hilarious! Long posts are good; it gets a bunch of things of our chest! :)

For us and the mimmicking, it seems like it's less behavioral and more in habits. For instance, Lauryn "collects" things and has a specific order for them after they are collected. Haleigh just started "collecting" Barbie shoes. She won't let the Barbie's wear them, she just needs to have them with her. I was nervous that maybe Haleigh was on the spectrum as well, but the doc said she is just idolizing big sis and will do those things. Also, he said that typically if kids are going to exhibit symptoms, they usually appear at about 34 months. PDD and Aspergers are genetic as far as I know. It's been tough to decide whether or not to have any more children because of that. We really don't want to put someone else in such a loud obnoxious world! :)

I can understand the feelings of uncertainty about the diagnosis. I think I still go to the neuropsych hoping he'll tell me he's made a mistake. It's so hard to admit it sometimes - I love Lauryn so much! It's just hard to imagine what she has ahead of her. I have seen improvements in social things as Lauryn gets older. She also has had a lot less meltdowns since I quit working. Her syptoms never seemed severe to me or my DH, but when we met other 7 year old girls I was amazed at the diffrence. The maturity level blows my mind! I guess as parents we just automatically compensated for many of Lauryn's symptoms, so for me it's almost like taking a blindfold off and really looking at my daughter in a way I didn't before. I think for awhile I thought I was doing something wrong as a mom, so in a way I loved having the diagnosis so I had a valid reason for some of the things she does. Now when she cries in a restaurant because she won't sit on red chairs, it just feels easier to hug her and leave than it was before. I hope I explained the feeling in the right way. It's totally a positive thing!

I'm going to read the link you gave, thank you! I have seen changes in Lauryn since a girl in her class (who oddly enough has a brother in the spectrum) started sticking up for her and telling the kids to stop teasing her. This sweet girl is one of the most "popular" girls in the class and she threatened to leave the girls she usually spends time with if they didn't suck it up and accept Lauryn. I LOVE THIS GIRL!!! Lauryn has almost started to like going to school!

Please pardon the unsolicited suggestion.....I have been reading a book "Asperger's Syndrome" by Tony Atwood. It's super interesting and touches upon the why behind the diagnosis process. Maybe that would help explain a few things for you?

Thanks for the link. Talk to you soon!

Alissa

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