I have a 7 year old daughter. She is doing great academically in school. She mainly plays by herself...usually imagination play (she is a cat or Harry Potter character). She has little social skills. Acts very immature. She will go up to a stranger and start talking about cats. It is almost inappropriate. When she gets into trouble it doesn't bother her at all. I will punish her and she could care less. I make her say "I am sorry", but I don't think she really knows what it is to feel sorry. She picks her skin...she does this picking until bleed and scab and all over again. She has been getting her card pulled at school for not paying attention. I took all her toys out of her room, and she doesn't mind!!! She says she likes to stare at the ceiling!! I am at a loss. I feel I cannot punish this child. I don't know if she is just testing me and trying to get attention or if there is more. She has always been a little OCD (socks have to be just lined on toes, likes to wear knit pants only). She can be very sweet, but not a hugging type of girl. She is more independent. Help!!!
Thank you for taking the time to write about your daughter. While it is not uncommon for 7-year-olds to be lacking in social skills, some of the behaviors you describe (e.g., engaging only in soletary play, skin picking until tissue damage occurs) are seen in some (but not all) children with Aspergers. The first thing I would recommend is to discuss your concerns with your pediatrician. Describe the behaviors that concern you, including her difficulties in school. Ask him or her if there is anyone in your area who specializes in diagnosing children with Aspergers. Also, talk to both your pediatircian and individuals from your daughter's school, and see if there are any board certified behavior analysts in your area who work with children with autism spectrum disorders. Behavior anaysts have successfully developed interventions for children with autism that have improved social skills, play skills, and academic skills.
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