Friday, April 17, 2009

Signs of Asperger's (in my daughter)

The following is a list of some of the reasons we believe our daughter has Asperger's. We have a consultation scheduled with a specialist in Autism Spectrum Disorders in a few days and will proceed from there. Taking this one step at a time.

Our daughter:

*Has many collections of small items organized neatly in her room (cards, shells, small toys). As a two year old, she would line up small objects on the edge of her crib. We've always thought that was cute, but are now beginning to wonder if it's a part of AS.
*Talks about her 'best friends' but is avoided by her peers.
*Has odd, rigid ways of carrying herself; stomps when walking; doesn't know what to do with her hands; has no sense of another's personal space.
*Has meltdowns when she gets frustrated; seems unaware what others may think of her behavior.
*Has odd tones of voice; high-pitched, monotonous, or repeating phrases three times in rapid succession.
*Will make blunt, rude comments about how others look and not realize she was being rude.
*Takes things literally.
*Occasionally repeats the last word of someone else's sentence; will sometimes say "you're welcome" instead of "thank you" to a compliment.
*Is highly sensitive to smells, temperature, and textures (will only wear cotton knit clothing).

These are just a few of our concerns. For years we have thought she was badly behaved, immature, and would outgrow these behaviors with time and instruction. But we know that none of her younger siblings do these things. The most difficult observation of late is realizing that her peers are beginning to stare and even laugh at her. These observations along with recent episodes of odd behavior have made us seriously question if there might be a neurological component to what we are seeing in our child.

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