Daughter 11 and possibly ASD

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Hi all

My daughter is 11. She has selective mutism since basically she’s been able to speak. However after a lot of intervention she has now in the last year started to talk and for the first time to teachers. What is concerning me now though is that there are clearer signs she may indeed be on the spectrum, I have suspected for a while but SM displays very similar traits.  She has very low empathy , she doesn’t get a lot of what she watches on tv especially humour, social skills are difficult even with her friends , team games she cannot deal with and the most recent thing is she has started hand flapping - she may have been doing this a while for it’s been most recent that I have noticed it. It seems to be when excited but I have also noticed when she writes she seems to be twitching her other hand repeatively. 

Just thought this was strange to come up now at her age ? I am going to get her referred for a new assessment as one hasn’t been done since she was 3 .... just wondered if anyone else has been diagnosed at a later age in the same way ? 

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    That is so tough. I do know one of the main criteria for Autism is that symptoms begin before the age of three. I know that my daughter had some of the twitching just from the frustration of not being able to communicate. How is she with you guys? Is she present and loving. My daughter has very classic Autism and the main thing we notice is a strict need for sameness and very ritualstic behavior. I know it must be harder not being sure because you can’t fix what you don’t know. I would say go with your gut! 

    Good luck!

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    • Posted

      Very difficult , but I guess her signs before the age of 3 would have been the selective

      Mutism and she always displayed some odd behaviours but nothing that couldn’t have been described as part of the SM ?

      At home she isn’t affectionate at all. She has learned to be more affectionate the last few years but I think it’s learned ?  I wouldn’t call her present now ... she is very distant sometimes. 

      I have just watched her hand flapping again this time due to stressing out over something. 

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    • Posted

      Oh I very much know what you mean. The lack of empathy is the hardest on parents and siblings. It hurts because it is so hard not to take it personally. It does sound like Autism to me. Really with Autism they surely just do not respond so I get how the two could be confused. For sure get a 2nd opinion. With the diagnosis of Autism you can get her the right care. People can be so mean too. You need to get her to a spot where she is safe and fits in. Autism can be defeating. Sometimes it is two steps forward and 3 back. Still my daughter is a brilliant, amazing, beautiful gift. I wish you the very best luck on this journey. It is quite a journey.
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  • Posted

    It's easy for autistic girls to be overlooked. Try to get a second or third opinion if you aren't sure about the diagnosis. I don't think autistics really have low empathy, though; they can sympathize with other people, but they have trouble communicating that to other people, at least that was my experience. I was diagnosed with ASD as an adult. 

    Social skills don't come naturally, and if she's having trouble getting along with her peers just coming up with a way to not get her peers reject her might be a big help. I remember I had very low confidence in my non-academic abilities as a student, and I hated trying to get along with the other kids because they always acted "stupid"--did things I didn't understand. I was often a target of bullying, and it's possible my grades were lower due to needing to stay off of other students' radars.  

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    • Posted

      Thankyou for your reply

      Maybe it’s not low empathy , perhaps she just doesn’t know her to express it so it appears that way ? She has always struggled to show / understand her emotions.... but then in some instances she tends to get overly upset. 

      I have booked an appointment with the gp to have her referred for assessment. 

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    • Posted

      In terms of friends , she seems to have a few but those that are new to her or even friends that aren’t close to her so tends to shut down around and seems to push them away not that I think she wants to though ... maybe. Even one of her best friends she is awkward around and doesn’t make eye contact .... her friend is very outgoing so this might be why
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  • Posted

    Well, you may want to get her checked; it's best to identify this early, though. 

    Back to the empathy thing, though. I have a tendency to not mirror other people's expressions, and I still sometimes don't like to look at people's faces when I talk to them. I think that's where people get the idea that autistics aren't empathetic. Mirroring others, though, is a learned skill, at least for people with this developmental disorder. If you see your daughter doing something that's off-putting or inappropriate, try having a discussion with her about it. You may get through to her. A lot of us are clueless about how our behavior looks to other people. Sometimes, though, I think that's for the better. To me, so-called normal people are extremely prejudice and judgmental, and that's something we were taught as children is a negative trait. Why would we want to be like that? 

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  • Posted

    I actually sometimes experience periods of time where I'm "awake" to how others feel, but it's not a natural state for me, and I consider it unpleasant, really. I don't like sharing the feelings of others. It clouds good judgement and is a distraction, mostly. For me, it's enough to be able to sympathize, usually. 

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    • Posted

      I appreciate you input so much. My daughter is my heart. I am always struggling to understand what it is she is thinking. How she thinks. She is the most remarkable human I have ever met. I could watch her for days. I would do anything for her. When she was diagnosed, I was told all the things she could never and would never do. I told them to never tell me what my child could not do because she will do it all. She has had amazing therapy and so much love and support. It is tough in the outside world, but people are so ignorant and stupid. I hate judgement so much. The worst I ever felt was when a nasty old man walked up to her and called her a “spoiled little brat”. This was as she was battling her way through a trip to the grocery store. All I could think was, how can someone who has never asked for anything be spoiled. 

      My daughee does the same exact thing with emotions. She is either overly emotional, kinda in an experiemental sort of way, or she shuts down. It is so hard to put into words. I wish you the best of luck. Both of you. 

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    • Posted

      Thankyou to you both for your insights. I have already learnt so much just from this and to be honest a lot more makes sense now..... 

      Really appreciate your help smile 

      Shall let you know how the referral goes smile 

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    • Posted

      Yes, please do. If she does get the diagnosis if Autism, do not get discouraged. It will open so many doors to new therapy. I don’t know where you live, but I can hopefully point you in the right direction.
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  • Posted

    Just a little update. My daughter has now been referred and clinical specialist have decided they would like to assess her for ASD, but they just want more information about her and how it affects her at school and at home. We are making progress. 
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