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Old 08-17-2015, 01:07 PM
Location: Madison, AL
1,614 posts, read 1,857,394 times
Reputation: 1639


You've all heard of "a mother's intuition", right? Well, I've always felt that my oldest just wasn't quite "right". Even when she was an infant, I felt like she didn't make real eye contact with me....like she was looking through me rather than at me. When I had my 2nd child and #1 wasn't 2 yrs old yet, differences between #1 and #2 became even more evident. But nothing was ever visibly "wrong". She met all her developmental milestones with the exception of speech. She had a lot of ear infections as a baby which led to fluid in her ears, impairing her hearing & making certain sounds until ENT put tubes in her ears and removed tonsils & adenoids. That combined with speech therapy made a huge difference. But even at that young age (3-ish) she was socially shy & awkward compared to other kids. She was always around other children from birth until Kindergarten....mother's day out, preschool, etc. So she had every opportunity to be socialized.

I need to find a doctor who can conduct a series of tests to see exactly what is going on. I think she might be somewhere on the spectrum, even if very mild.

Here are some symptoms/behaviors she exhibits:
  • always been very compulsive - when younger it was things like scratching bug bites until they bled and then repeatedly picking the scabs. Also eating...she would eat compulsively, not knowing when she was full. She couldn't be left with free access to an entire bag of chips/crackers/cereal/whatever.
  • Obsessive - She also is very one-track minded. She becomes totally fixated and obsessed with something until the next thing comes along. It's all she talks about; all she wants to do; all she thinks about/reads about, etc. It might be a singer/group, or a person, or an activity like shopping. Whatever it is, it's the only topic she discusses and she finds out every minute detail about it and can rattle it off.
  • difficulty with friends/relationships - has a lot of acquaintances but no "close" friend. She now has 1 close friend, but is at risk of losing that friend b/c of some recent behavior....saying things to get attention that aren't true (like "I've taken a whole bottle of antidepressants"), etc.
  • self-harm: she's never tried to kill herself, but she's cut her legs/arms before intentionally. She did this most recently on a school trip and did it in front of her roommates.
  • doesn't have the ability to articulate her feelings whatsoever ( which is probably why she's resorted to cutting at times)
  • socially awkward - has a hard time carrying on "normal" conversation. She is the one who is always doing/saying something outlandish to get a reaction out of people. Mostly, it's something funny...when she's making people laugh, she seems to be happy.
  • she misses a lot of social cues and doesn't seem to understand what's appropriate & not appropriate to say to someone. she has lost a lot of friends because of this. She takes things very literally, and she doesn't have a filter. if someone does something that gets on her nerves, she'll say "will you leave me alone, you're getting on my nerves!", and doesn't understand that you don't talk to friends like that. Because she spoke the truth! She just doesnt' get it....that you don't say & blurt out everything you think.
  • she does overtly sexual things in front of myself and her sister. Not REAL things, but goofy things & doesn't feel any embarrassment about it. And she keeps doing it, even though I've told her to stop, asked her to stop, etc. She'll come out of the shower naked and run up to me and stick her naked butt in my face, or spread her legs and show the front. She simulates humping with things....stuffed animals, our Yorkie, etc. She'll carry a used tampon around the house, showing it to us. She thinks all this stuff is hilariously funny.
  • won't take responsibility for ANYTHING. everything is someone else's fault.
She's had some counseling, but it's been inconsistent...either not a good match for her, or some other issue. And IDK how much she's actually participated in the sessions...won't tell me anything. Been to 2 different psychs...both have just put her on an antidepressant, but doesn't seem to work b/c she continues ALL the above behavior whether she's feeling depressed/anxious or not. I've been this explicit (and more) with one psychiatrist recently, and felt totally blown off. She prescribed the same dose of Prozac and sent us on our way.

Does anyone have advice for dealing with her, and finding the help/meds/diagnosis she needs? She is (and always has been) exhausting to parent. She has caused issues at home & with me and my husband. (their dad is in the picture & seems them regularly, but he & I are both remarried) She's at the point where she needs to focus on school (her grades are fine, although a little inconsistent) to get on the right path for her future and life as an adult. And here we are, still struggling to get a diagnosis/help. I've been blown off by so many people..."she's just going through a phase; she's just quirky; etc" I think it's more than that. What do you guys think?

I guess you would say she is very immature for her age. Yes, she's a kid still, but she has the maturity level of someone much younger.
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Old 08-17-2015, 01:26 PM
Location: Madison, AL
1,614 posts, read 1,857,394 times
Reputation: 1639
Forgot to mention the sensory issues: doesn't like some common foods because of texture (namely peanut butter); has hyper sensitive sense of smell (mine is very sensitive and hers is like super-power strength); as a child, wouldn't wear any clothing that had gathers around the sleeve bottoms or bottom of shirt. Wouldn't wear anything that didn't "stretch" and move easily, nothing that had a collar, etc.
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Old 08-17-2015, 01:50 PM
11,273 posts, read 45,697,802 times
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Have friends who went through virtually identical symptoms with 2 boys. Similar circumstances, too, with 2nd marriages where both families live a few miles apart and are all very friendly so the kids get the full dose of Dad's influences almost every day (and the 2nd husband is a super Dad to the kids).

After 12 years of conventional medicine, psychologists and meds (ritalin and similar), etc. ... they took the boy to an ND. Discovered a whole host of hormone and chemical problems in the kid due to genetics, diet, etc. Put him on a different diet and used some herbal supplements to kick his hormones into balance. IDK what they were, but it was all pretty much common sense paleo diet ... high protein, low carb, no sugars, low salt. Totally eliminated the sodas and especially MSG, diet soda or artificial sweeteners, and anything with soy in it. The herbs were mild stuff ... IIRC, St John's Wort, melatonin, and minerals (magnesium is the only one I recall). The diet was easy enough that the whole family ate the same meals.

Took about a year for all to settle down. But the social behaviors settled down to being a pretty good kid, finished up HS although didn't go on to college past a semester. He has an alcohol problem, so gets a lot of guidance to not even have that first drink. For the most part, he does OK with that but now and then falls off the wagon and has had a couple DUI's with car wrecks (fortunately, single car accidents and he wasn't hurt).

IMO, wouldn't hurt to try a different direction to see if there's underlying causation to your daughter's difficulties. An ND will have a different approach and a wider comprehensive bag of resources to deal holistically with the situation.
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Old 08-17-2015, 01:58 PM
1,399 posts, read 2,039,588 times
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Ask your doctor for a referral to a developmental psychiatrist, a good psychologist or an excellent licensed clinical social worker. You need to get in somewhere that can refer her for testing or do the testing themselves. Keep going until you find one who is a good match with your daughter. Her school may be a good source. Or post on the c-d forum for your city.

From what you've written, it does sound like she's on the spectrum and perhaps has depression as well. (My daughter has similar issues.). Don't accept no--you know her better than any professional. Testing is expensive but should reveal inarguably what's going on with her, or at least reveal any "abnormalities"

Good luck. Kids like this are exhausting and kudos to you for not giving up.
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Old 08-22-2015, 09:02 AM
1,257 posts, read 2,185,804 times
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Definitely sounds like she is on the high-functioning side of Aspergers. Not normal and intervention is crucial. If she doesn't begin consistent therapy on social behavior, the depression will worsen. Also, once she is an adolescent (she may already be), they often become combative and non-compliant. Intervention very important.

Do you live near a research university, by any chance? Try to get an appointment with a pediatric neurologist. Bring a detailed log of her behavior with you. If you can unobtrusively videotape some of her behavior, do so and then bring it to the appointment.

Don't passively accept an incorrect diagnosis. This is no different than if your daughter had cancer. If a doctor said she wasn't sick, but you could still see her having pain and suffering, you would find another doctor to pay attention to her symptoms and get the right treatment to heal her.

You must do the same for her (probable) Aspergers. Be her advocate, and fight the good fight so that she can overcome this and become a functioning member of society and have a good life. It sounds like she is very intelligent and has the ability to finish high school and go to college - which is a blessed thing.

All parents face hurdles and obstacles. Yours is a little higher than many. It's scary and frightening and first, but it can be overcome. Best of luck.
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Old 08-24-2015, 10:41 AM
Location: Madison, AL
1,614 posts, read 1,857,394 times
Reputation: 1639
Thank you all so much for your kind & encouraging words, and for the suggestions. I'm working on getting some appointments!
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