Yes she really has autism.
I know there are people, friends and family that have questioned whether Elizabeth has Autism. “Well she’s not got it bad has she.” “Are you sure she’s not just being a teenager.” “All teenagers rooms are like that”. “You need to be firmer with her”.
Although her signs maybe not as obvious as some boys can be it doesn’t mean that she’s doesn’t need a diagnosis. This should help us to understand her more.
Girls have a particularly tricky time in being referred and consequently diagnosed (it took us 16months from start to finish) this is because girls are the master of disguise, they can mask their quirks and problems because they want to fit in socially, they copy friends. Girls often cope by scripting, repeating and copying things they’ve heard.
Elizabeth will say hello in a social situation occasionally with a bit of prompting, she generally will reply to a question. But how many times has the answer been simply “fine” or “ok”. She’s answered you. She’s been social but if she doesn’t elaborate she’s not being rude she’s done remarkably well. How many times have you asked her a question and she’s looked beseechingly and me? And I’ve prompted her for an answer or answered for her? How many times have you heard her say “mummy can you tell ??? About this event or that? How many times have you heard me repeat instructions in a slightly different way to help her understand. How many times have she repeated something that made her or you laugh over and over again? Or interrupted into a conversation with an inappropriate question that has nothing to do with topic we’re talking about? How many times have you heard say “can we go now”.
How many times has she overreacted to an injury or something that’s upset her. Or something she’s frightened of.
Have you ever noticed these things. How many times have you thought 💭 just let her answer for herself. Or why is she being so rude. Or that I’m a bad mum. I’m not! But I am learning how best to help my daughter.
All of the above is proof of her autism, they are all her symptoms.
Girls with autism high or low functioning need your help in raising awareness they don’t present like boys and therefore need different understanding. If you know a child with ASD do a little research yourselves it will help them and their parents.
If you see a child in a restaurant supermarket or park not acting how you think they should. Don’t judge them, you don’t know their story.
If you know my story please share to help others. I felt very very alone going through this for the last few years, firstly realising there was something and secondly visiting doctors don’t get me wrong my family have been amazing as have a few friends. Brian and Heather in particular and the girls at work.