Our 9 year old isn’t “officially” diagnosed, we went through the CASBA team assessments when she was 3 (uk), she also saw a clinical psych for one hour who, to be honest i felt led her answers.
She and i didn’t have the greatest start to mother daughter bonding, i had an emotional breakdown when she was born, she was nurtured, cared for but i felt empty and non attached up until she was 5 months old when i started psycho dynamic parent infant psychotherapy (therapy where the baby is in the room). I randomly fell upon a tv crew looking for mothers with attachment issues as my gp was useless and just wanted to dose me up with anti depressants (nothing against them, just knew some where in my darkest depths they would not work for me). Transpired i was right, as, my breakdown was due to my daughter being premature and very “needy” something i could not deal with due to having to be very self sufficient from a young age. My mother was, and probably still is an alcoholic with a personality disorder and she mentally and physically abused me when her and my father split up, although even prior to that she was never a “loving” parent, i dont recall ever being kissed or cuddled or told i was loved by her, the best way i can describe her is cold. I have, thanks to therapy cut that vicious woman out of my life for good. It was very painful letting go of, and grieving for someone who is still alive, especially your mother.
Now this therapy was technically “private” even though it was made into a documentary, there are no records on my medical file…..
When our daughter was first seen by a paediatric consultant her automatic thought, from my observations (i was at the time a pre school supervisor who has done SENCO training) and our daughters nurseries observations (many issues whilst at nursery, thank god she went to a fantastic one, who “coped” with her beautifully, i recall crying on graduation day with the manager asking if she could just stay there, school would be too much for her to deal with!) was that aspergers was a definite possiblity. The twirling, walking on tip toes, obsessions with certain clothes and routine screaming if i went the “wrong way” to nursery on foot or in the car, the obsessive picking of scabs, toe and finger nails, sleeping roughly 3-4 hours a night to name but a few.
On the next meeting with this consultant we discussed general things like my daughters birth and any after effects. I proudly spurted out everything we had been through and over come together, 40 sessions of therapy over a year, but i must add that the bond was found and overwhelming less than 8 weeks into therapy, the rest of the sessions were myself dealing with my fraught, traumatic own childhood that i had buried for many many years.. I was and am so very proud of what i did, it wasn’t easy.
From that point on, it was never “openly” brought up by any professional we saw, but i knew from having gone through the natural guilt stage “is it me, something i did” that the proffs considered my daughters “issues” now to be attachment based… i have researched attachment theory, infact even before our daughters dealings with professionals i researched it for the SEN part of my supervisors training, so i am well versed on how it works. Our oldest daughter is 13 and through therapy i realised i had kept her at “arms length” as it were, so the attachment theory for my families dynamic just does not work.
We had a diagnosis of complex child, are not all children complex?
I wholeheartedly agree some children will have major problems if they feel no attachment and it is not dealt with. Ours was, very early on.
7 years later i have not revisited the said paediatrician as i have no faith in her whatsoever. But i will be, i have to.
Her father was diagnosed in march 2014. We have been together 15 years, he recognised at a seminar on ASD and aspergers in 2009 that the clinical psych running it could basically have written the whole seminar about him. I was so thankful he had seen that, as i saw it immediatly. I took me five years to get him to attend a gp for referal, the first appt i dropped him off and when i left he walked out the fire exit… classic social anxiety, not just a “man” thing it transpired..
We have 5 children together, and our soon to be 3 year old (tomorrow!) has massive spectrum traits, some serious SPD traits as well, also has a very bad sleep pattern (basically doesn’t sleep, very much like our daughter). What do i do? Is a diagnosis for him important when i have no choice but to revisit someone i have no faith in, and she is my only “choice”??
It is clear to me that Autism is genetic, looking back at my partners family history it is obvious. I was terrified when our 3rd was born, watched him like a hawk, little quirky bits but nothing as “extreme” then our 4th came along… He is so similar to our autie girl. But a totally different birth and bonding experience… she was born at 33 weeks emcs, he was born at home (planned) term…
I do hope i at some point manage to muster up the energy to go and ram my partners diagnosis up the paediatrician arse along with the diary i have kept for 8 years of our daughters “quirks and meltdowns” and the story of how it isnt crappy bonding that creates genetic differences it is just that, genetics…….. It should not be this way though that people like me have to fight to be heard, my daughter is only as well rounded as she is today thanks to me seeking knowledge on autism. She was sent to try me in the most marvellous sometimes horrendous ways. She is my autism awesome. She is why i am who i am today.