Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Baby steps

You'll have to wait another day for the conclusion to "Draw the Line," as today I want to begin a new story.  Today I began a journey that may burn itself out in a fizzle, or it may be one of those huge, life-changing things for the family.  Most likely somewhere in the middle.

I went to see our Nice Russian Doctor this morning to discuss FB and her atypical behavior and emotional responses.  For years she has stood out in a crowd of her peers, and not just becasue of her rediculous height.  I've lost count of the number of times I've seen her with other kids and began singing to myself, "One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn't belong."*
  • At the school gate in the morning.  All the other kids: standing quietly bored, possibly holding a parental unit's hand, stubbing a toe in the dirt, being generally bored.  My kid: jumping up and down like a lunatic, waving arms in other people's faces to get their attention, singing random songs and desperately trying to engange anyone, ANYONE, in a game of "I-spy."
  • At birthday parties. All the other kids: running around screaming, having what they would describe as 'fun.'  My kid: Sitting on my lap with her hands on her ears, having a meltdown becasue someone wouldn't play "I-spy" with her.
  • At the cinema/panto/watching ANY film on telly at home.  All the other kids: enjoying the film/show, talking, throwing popcorn, etc.  Normal kid stuff.  My kid: Sitting on my lap, hands over her ears, crying and begging to go home/turn it off.  And this is with the most gentle films I can find, including 'Ballerina' and 'Muppet Treasure Island.'  Cried.  The WHOLE time.  Through BOTH.  Seriously?  Seriously.
  • Reading 'The Ugly Duckling' at bedtime.  Any other kid: This is stupid! I wanna read Spiderman!  My kid: cries.  Seriously.
I feel I can no longer ignore her very atypical emotional response to films of any sort (she won't even watch Peter Rabbit on CBeebies) and stories involving charactgers, along with a number of other behavioral oddities.  Having Asperger's syndrome myself, I am becoming increasingly convinced that she has followed in my footsteps.  So I a paid a visit to Nice Russian Doctor.

NRD said, in a pleasantly slavic accent, I am probably right, but there are few resources available to help a high-functioning child improve social development if the child is not struggling academically.  She said she would write a letter to (some organization whose name I failed to catch, even though I asked her to repeat it), but was not optimistic, and instead suggested I speak with her school's phychiatrist.  Infant schools have phychiatrists???  Well, I'll try.  Here we go.

*And before you accuse me of ostraciszing and stigmatizing my own offspring, allow me to explain that this was a song used in the old Sesame Street shows to teach pattern recognition, and is a major part of my upbringing.


  1. I am not surprised NavyMama and I am supremely proud of you for doing something about it. It takes guts. I know how hard it must have been for you, but you have done the right thing. This way you know the whys and can work out how to make things better. If you need to talk you know where I am.

  2. I think your best bet is to try through the school first, they should have a SENCO who can advise on the steps you need to take and help provide evidence. The problem you have is that she is a girl and research shows they 'cope' better with Autism and so it's a lot less diagnosed! Hopefully the school will agree with your observations and be willing to push things through.
    O's initial diagnosis took 2+ years but we did move county during that time so hopefully it wouldn't take so long for you. Does depend somewhat on what your council does though.
    After diagnosis the next step is getting an EHCP (formally Statement) which helps to get extra funding and support for the school. It is a big leap from diagnosis though. We are currently going through this as the last couple of school moves have led to extra issues with O with him being disruptive at school due to high anxiety and lack of coping mechanisms (this is unfortunately the point when people finally tend to take notice!)
    Good luck with it all, I hope you can get the result you need. Not sure I can offer much advice but I know a bit!

  3. Oh and I don't know many kids who like Peter Rabbit. My two will leave the room / switch it off. I often wonder who their test audiences were!

  4. Thanks, OZ, for your comments. I've spoken with her teacher, and I will be updating this story very soon. Cheers.