Asperger's Syndrome Community
902 Members
390828 tn?1238693893

Does my 9 year old daughter have Aspergers?

I recently visited a friend that has an autistic 6 year old, she is also a nurse. She told me that some of the problems my 9 year old daughter may be are Aspergers Syndrome.  My daughter has roughly half of the signs and symptoms of AS that I found on the internet. I have had her to see several physcologist, but they say she is normal. I know that there is something wrong, because she tells me that she tries to control her anger, but she just can not. She asks me for help after an episode of anger, but I don't know how to help her. She feels so sorry, and then feels she is a bad girl. I try to show her I love her, but it is hard when she is hitting you in the face with a book. I love her so much and need to find answers.

She has difficulty with managing her anger, especially when she is transitioning from one thing to another. She will go into fits of rage, hitting, spitting, head butting, throwing things, it seems over very little things like brushing her teeth, or getting ready to go somewhere. If she is rushed at all, she flies into a very nasty mood.
She mostly does this around people she feels comfortable with, she can control it sometimes around strangers, who she feels will judge her. This is my question. Why can she control it sometimes? I would have to say that is getting worse though.  She is now having freak outs infront of childhood friends and people she does not know. She does much better in routine, but that is not always easy to do.  She has social problems making and keeping friends, she has difficulty reading other people, and interpreting what they mean. She is over sensititive of criticism.

She has germ issues, like she will ask me over and over daily if her hands are clean, or if she touches something she will have to ask me if it will hurt her, or if she will get sick from what's on her hands. She completely freaks out over vomit. If her brother is sick, she will physically attack him. She goes into histerical fits over it, like she is completely fearful of it, like somehow it will hurt her. She has never had a tramatic experience with it, as far as I know.

I have been a stay at home Mom with both my children, and I now home school both of them, because it just is much easier to handle all of the issues that come up.  She also fixates on things, like collecting rocks, and will talk about if for hours to anyone who will listen. When we went camping she spent 90% of the time looking around on the ground for rocks, even when the other kids were playing etc. She will move from thing to thing over the course of many months, like a few months ago it was snakes, everything snakes. She is highly intelligent, loves to read, plays the piano and dances.  She can be very successful, but it is a full time job for me to try and steer her around all the many obsticles that can set her off. My son is completely the opposite. He has no hang-ups or problems to speak of. What am I doing wrong? How can I help her if everyones says there is nothing wrong, but we both know that we need help.

What do you suggest. I have allready asked my doctor and several other specialists, but just recently had my friend suggest she may have some form of Aspergers.

Please Help Us.

Ingrid
6 Responses
Avatar universal
She sounds an awful lot like my husband and daughter (who have ADHD).  My sister has Aspergers (I have to admit I don't know a lot about it as she is much younger than me), but she doesn't tend to fixate on certain things for only months at a time - switching interests fairly often.  She's had extreme interests that are a bit more constant and long-lasting.  My husband, though, gets into something and suddenly needs to know EVERYTHING about it.  Eventually, he finds that he knows so much that he can't hold a conversation about whatever the interest is because no layman understand what he's talking about!  That's when his interest starts to wane and he finds a new interest.  He hyperfocuses on these interests so much that he misses out on everything around him.  I've joked with him that he wouldn't even notice if one of our children fell over dead.  

Transitioning from one activity (or even one thought) to another are very difficult for my husband and daughter.  They do much better with changes that they are expecting and are scheduled.  They, too, seem to do better with this problem when around non-family members - they are both quite worried how others see them (which I don't think applies to Aspergers as my sister couldn't give a flying you-know-what about what anyone thinks about her).  

Talk to a psychiatrist about your daughter.  Tell them what you've written here and elaborate even further.  Lines can blur between autism and learning disabilities and even mental illnesses.  A decent psychiatrist should not dismiss your concerns and be able to address them properly.  In the mean time, accept her intense interests and try to keep a schedule or let her know of changes early so she has time to deal with them.  Good luck!
390828 tn?1238693893
Thanks for your imput. I agree with everything you said. The rock thing has been going on for some time now, but the snakes and other things for a shorter time. I plan to take her again to a psychiatrist, because we do need help managing her anger. It is too hard for me to deal with myself, and it is taking a tole on her self-esteem. She really thinks she is crazy or something and asks me to help her, and just don't know how. Also the germ thing is not normal. She goes through times when she is not so fixated, and other times it is very predominant. Hopfully we can find someone to listen and give us advise so that this beautiful girl finds peace in her life.
Thanks again,
Ingrid
Avatar universal
Thank you for sharing.  It is frustrating trying to deal with something you have no manual for.  

When the psychologists saw her....were they part of a team or separate evaluations?  What did they suggest to you?  Did they say they wanted more information or to have her monitored.  Did they mention someone sitting in & watching her in social settings, etc.?  Did she have a complete physical?  

Some of what you have described is indicative of  behaviors individuals on the Autism Spectrum display.  However, you realize we cannot diagnose her, just offer support.  I would be persistence, document (keep journal) of what you are seeing in different settings.  

Besides reading things on dealing with Aspergers for that age, you can also look at information on how children with poor impulse control are dealt with for ideas.  

http://www.parentingtheatriskchild.com/impulse%20control.html is one site.

http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=ie7&q=poor+impulse+control&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&rlz=1I7TSNA_en___US365

The above is a google search on poor impulse control.

May I ask when this started?  Was it sudden or has she been changing in behaviors over months?  Is there anyone in your immediate family or cousins, etc. that have these kinds of behaviors?  When looking for answers, leave no stone unturned...lol!   In the meantime, giving her a place to de-stress away from others and when she is able to, if she is verbal, listening to her talk if she wants to to help you understand where she is coming from so you can share this with the professionals and/or her Doctor.

If this continues, it would be a good idea to talk with her Doctor.  You are your daughter's biggest advocate.  All areas should be looked at...allergies, psychological, physical, etc.

Please keep us posted.  



390828 tn?1238693893
This has been escalating from day one. She has always been sensitive to criticism, and aggressive at times. She does show jealousy over her brother, and think this is more than sibling rivalry. Over time, when stresses occur in our family, her level of out bursts increase. We have moved, and changed schools. She seemed to be handling all of it, but maybe not. She has a hard time dealing with other people and the way she sees them, and how she perceives they see her.
When she was three, she would hid under the desks at school instead of hitting her classmates, because one of the methods for her to control her anger was to remove yourself from the situation. She can be very fearful of things and even herself. The fixations have only really been apparent in the last few years, but the fear of germs and vomit are not new. She often feels like she is not liked by others, and that she is always beening judged. She is a perfectionist, and gets very upset if she does not succeed on the first try. Like learning to ride a bike was very tramatic for her, because it takes practice, and you will fall. She is now entering the world of boys and this is really turning things on edge.

The whold situation has been in constant change, and I agree, I should be journaling all of it, so I have documentation of what has occured. I have kept a journal for the past year, to keep track of her out-bursts. It seems they will subside and then, other times they are really very often. I don't want to put labels on my daughter, I just want to help her.
I knew that she was very intelligent early on, she could read fluently at age three and understand it, but emotionally she is very young.
Sometimes she acts 25, and other times 2. I have always tried to be there for her, and I have been her rock of support when she needs it. But is getting harder to cope with the anger issues. She can really be hurtful with her words as well as her fists. She will break her room apart, she has busted her room door by contantly kicking it.  I have used the timeout thing consistently, and it keeps her confined so she can't hurt anyone, but I worry she may hurt herself. She has a hard time self-soothing, she will scream out that she needs a hug to calm down. I was told that she needs to learn how to sooth herself, but she sounds so desperate, I sometimes break down and give her one. We are not sure the best way to handle her moods, as the traditional ways, like timeouts, seems to escalate the tantrum and make it last longer. But, when she hits her brother, she needs to know that there are consequences to her actions.

Basically we need to know what we are dealing with, and so far, no one has given us answers that complete the picture. I know that something is not right, because we use the same techniques of discipline on her brother and it works just fine.

We inntend to look for help today. I have to do something to get this under control, as we both are very tired and frustrated with not knowing what to do. Each day is a challenge and can be scary at times.
Ingrid
Avatar universal
It is good you are pursuing getting help asap.  When choosing an area to de-stress, it helps to choose an area where there are less distractions (things to throw, etc.).  
I went through my oldest who is on the autism spectrum, carrying on also when she was in time out.  It pulls at the heart & hard to listen to.  We were told by the specialists not to be an audience for her as she knew she could get to us.  We were also told that things would get worse before they would get better.  Now years later, I am glad we stayed the course.  You will be too :-)))  There is light at the end of the tunnel :-)))


Your daughter sounds intriguing with some giftedness/sensitivities.  I wonder about sensory issues & what she is perceiving that is overwhelming her.  The transitioning/changing/stop & start behaviors are difficult for those on the autism spectrum as well as some related categories.

I cannot speak for every professional but the ones we dealt with said that when there is a pervasive disorder they diagnose that even though there are overlapping symptoms of other things like ADHD, etc.  Mine daughter had some of the obssessive/compulsive behaviors which she learned to hide as she got much older.  She also had the hyperactivity and when language developed, in restaurants would ask the waitresses/waiters if they washed their hands because she didn't want a disease.  

I am surprised that no one gave you ideas as to what this is.  

Please keep us posted.

My heart goes out to you :-)))
1 Comments
I wish I would have read this back then.  Gosh! Y'all are talking about my daughter!!!!
1368291 tn?1299633404
I have a 5yr old with ADHD and a lot of what you described is him. He also has been diagnosed with an aggression disorder caused from the ADHD and it is hard sometimes. He hates to be woke up and when you get him moving...he gets combative. I have had a nurse tell me all he needed was a good old fashion butt whooping but we were told by the doctor that with children like this using aggression to supress aggression simply does not work and can make it worse. We had to limit his use of pencils, pens, and scissors due to his rages. He has been caught trying to jab his cousin with a pencil and we were horrified the day we caught him chasing my eldest son with a knife (we now put those in very high places since he climbed on the counter to get the one). We had one instance where my nephew who was 14 at the time was mean to him and was too rough with him causing him to get hurt. Instead of him coming in crying to one of us he picked up my husband's hammer and chased his cousin around our house. We have had to become creative in his punishments but found they work much better than the suggestion by the nurse. Medication helps too! I would definitely speak to a psychiatrist and get her evaluated especially since she is showing the rage because it can become scary.
Have an Answer?
Asperger's Syndrome Community
902 Members
977 Questions
Popular Resources
Fearing autism, many parents aren't vaccinating their kids. Can doctors reverse this dangerous trend?
Yummy eats that will keep your child healthy and happy
What to expect in your growing baby
Is the PS3 the new Prozac … or causing ADHD in your kid?
Autism expert Dr. Richard Graff weighs in on the vaccine-autism media scandal.
Could your home be a haven for toxins that can cause ADHD?