Hello. I'm Jill. I have two daughters, Erin (18) and Haley (8). We are an air force family with my husband being active duty and are currently stationed in NY.
Haley has always been a difficult child to manage. Extremely sensitive, resistant to any kind of change, very demanding and very clingy since the day she was born. She has had trouble focusing in school... staying on topic, doing her work. When asked a question, her answer was often completely unrelated to the topic and would more than likely be regarding her favorite toy or tv show at the time. She is even worse about that today.
We made a major move last June from OK to NY and it was horrible on Haley. The movers broke many things, lost almost ALL her toys, broke her bed... just a big nightmare. Then when school started, everything really fell apart. She didn't get along with the teacher (and now neither do I). She progressively began to refuse to do her work, would cry in class every single day, would pretend to be asleep, fidget in her seat and start aggressively picking at her hands and arms causing bleeding sores.
We have since removed Haley from school and she is doing home study for the remainder of this year. After months and months of fighting to get appts with a professional, we were able to get her in with a social worker and a nurse practitioner who is new to the area and comes highly recommended. She has the ability to diagnose and treat. We had our third appt with the practitioner yesterday and she is confident that Haley as AS. She didn't want to make the official diagnosis though until I did my own research on it. I have been surfing and gathering as much info as I can and have ordered a couple of books that I have seen recommended here as well. My homework was to research AS so that I can get a personal understanding of it and see how Haley might fit into the spectrum. Then when we go back in 3 weeks, she will more than likely make that diagnosis provided we all agree. And at this point, from what I have read, I think she is correct in her thinking.
She did say that Haley is really hard to figure out because she exhibits symptoms of so many things... a little ADD, slightly OCD, very impulsive, possible depression, definite generalize anxiety... but after observing Haley in the office the past few times, she is pretty confident about AS. Haley has trouble looking people in the eye, fixated on one specific topic, fidgity, avoidance... She is also highly sensitive to loud noise, strong smells and warm temperatures. She can't stand the heat of her own breath for example. The practitioner put her on Celexa... starting at 5mg and is now at 10mg. She is doing pretty well. Not huge differences in her behavior but certainly some.
I really hope we have found what is going on with her. This has been a very long struggle for us. I just hope we're on the right track. Even AHaley is happy. She has known for a long time now that something just wasn't quite right with her but didn't know why. She has always felt like she was crazy and would feel so bad about it. Now knowing that there is something real that we can work on together, she feels so relieved.