ADD or ASD?
OK - I am new here and I will probably post this in the Autism forum as well. Not sure where to go.
I have a very sweet five year old. She is very loving but since birth she has been a little . . . odd.
She is baby B of a set of twins. She was the more stressed of the two babies. She spent 8 days in NICU for RDS - but besides that was fine. She took VERY long to make eye contact. She was starting to make eye contact until her two month vaccinations. Both twins reacted poorly to those vaccinations and had some developmental regression - but baby A bounced back much quicker. Baby B (I will call her B from here on out) didn't make eye contact until 6 months. We even had her eyes tested because we thought maybe that was an issue - it wasn't.
Here I want to state that my twins were my third and fourth children. My oldest has PDD-NOS/Asperger's (the new diagnostic criteria I am reading about will probably put him off the spectrum though.) B has always reminded me a lot of my son. The way she learned - all or nothing - no learning curve. B is very bright. She may look like she is in a different world and not paying attention but she picks up everything - just like my son.
B was diagnosed with Sensory Integration Dysfunction at the age of 18 months. She craves touch and loves feeling dirt and deep pressure on her body. She loves being bare foot and naked. This was the exact opposite of my son who hates being touched and to this day will not be bare footed except in the shower (and that is only because I make him).
Well - as time progressed B learned. Intellectually she is very bright - she is the smarter of the twins. She figures things out easily. She is very social and adults really love her - but she has a hard time getting along with kids her own age. Physically she has always been slow - slow to walk - slow to jump - fine motor skills come early where gross motor skills came late for her.
I have had her in group daycare since the beginning. I asked her teachers then about her and they would say, "Oh she is fine. She is just her." She is a sweet and loving child.
This year they missed the K cut off since their birthday was in November - so I put them in a pre-K class at the school. It is a three hour a day program. I like the program. Both girls did well up until the end of October. We had a parent teacher conferences one day and I asked them about B - how was she - her teachers assured me she was fine - getting along well - a sweet little girl. The next day they had their DTap (I did vaccinations much slower since they reacted poorly to their 2 month shots). Everything Changed.
B screamed for four days non-stop. Her arm where the shot was given became swollen and hot (the entire arm). She became covered in hives. She wouldn't eat. She wouldn't sleep. She screamed - and screamed and screamed. I called the doctor - he said it was a normal reaction. I took her into the doctor - he said it was a normal reaction.
That day everything changed in school for her. She can no longer sit in class and learn. She is disruptive. She is impulsive. She is unable to direct. At home I have had to babyproof my house like I have a 1 year old again. I can be telling her something 3 feet from her face and she looks at me like she has no clue what I am saying. At times she will hit herself in the head and cry, "My brain is just messed up. I don't know what to do." This is totally new.
The school is demanding I have her tested. They say it is ADD/ADHD - but I don't know. She still doesn't like eye contact - never has - but she will meet your eyes for a moment if you make her. She loves other people. Her vocabulary is amazing but her articulation isn't the best. She is very impulsive - and I see that as being her biggest thing. As far as paying attention - when it is something she is interested in she can shut out the world and just focus on that - plus - most of the time I swear she picks everything up - even when it doesn't look like she is paying attention at all. She is very difficult to direct.
Would love other people's opinions. I have gone down the ASD road before - but not the ADD/ADHD road. B is a smart girl - very smart - I don't want a diagnosis to put her in a class where she won't reach her potential. All I am getting from the school right now is, "WE have to remove her from the class again." She has days where she cries so hard because she wants to pay attention and not be "bad" - but when she gets put at the table or removed from the classroom she takes it so hard. Most of the time this happens because she is being "disruptive" - talking while the teacher is talking. . . stuff like that. She isn't a bad child - she just is impulsive. . . .
Personally - I feel there is an ASD component to her. I have seen it there since birth - it is just different from my son. My son sits in class and NEVER says a word - she is like him but the opposite. . . I don't know if that makes sense. With the new diagnostic criteria I am sure neither one of them will fit that diagnosis.
I have put her on a limited sugar, gluten Free, Casein Free diet and she is a little better (this diet REALLY helped my son). She is no longer constipated. Sugar makes her WILD - really wild animal wild. I am thinking of cutting the dyes out of her diet.
Again - would love anyone's opinions!