My daughter is 8 years old and diagnosed with Asperger's, Tic disorder, anxiety, ocd and adhd. She is very sensative to sound, light and texture. She is very emotional and anxious. She has a high IQ but her processing speed is in the 13th percentile. She is doing very well academically but is physically and socially she awkward. All very textbook to her diagnosis' .... but there is something else... and as she gets older it gets worse.
Her imagination is huge! she loves to write stories and make up her own games. Rather than typical toys she likes fidgets and usually makes a story with them. She loves to imagine ... but then there is the dragon world.
She truly believes she is part dragon. She will tell everyone !!! and I mean everyone... even the poor cashiers at the supermarket or people standing on line with us at the store. When someone doesn't believe her she becomes distraught. She will go into full blown anxiety attack and her tics will go crazy. She will cry and INSIST that the dragon world is real and that they are wrong.
She has told me that she sees dragons and talks to them and they talk to her. She has also seen other characters on occasion. She insists they are real. There are times I will hear her having conversations in her room and when I check on her and ask her who she is talking to she will point to air and say who ever it is. One night around midnight I heard her talking up a storm... when I went in her room she was sitting up in bed with her finger out in the air like a perch. I asked her who she was talking to and she said her parrot.
I am starting to question when a really good imagination crosses the line into something more serious. This is really starting to affect her schooling. She is extremely upset because her teachers don't believe her and the other students don't believe her. She even made a dragons enemy list and put all of their names on it. She states that when she becomes fully dragon she is going to go after the people on her list.
Tonight I tried to have the fantasy vs reality conversation with her and she just broke down crying and insisted that I was wrong and that this is all real!
When I tucked her in tonight she told me that when she went to sleep she was going to enter "Her World" and tell the elder dragon on me.
Do I chill out and just let her imagination have fun or do I go with my gut and hire a professional to help her. I mean she will even show us her birthmark on her leg and tell us that it's her dragon mark... and she insists she is starting to grow scales. She tells everyone that she was in the dragon oven cooking when God opened the door to let in another baby dragon she fell out and became part human.
The last thing I want to do is crush her imagination... or to take away from her amazing personality... I love her spirit and her creativity and I don't want to put that spark out.... but I also don't want to let it go if it is something more serious.
So confused!!!!!!! Thank you in advance for your time and input.
How long has she been doing this? I am thinking this may help feel the void in her life, when it comes to social interactions and the physically ackward part. This may be a attempt to cope with all the other things happening to her. But, i would reinforce that dragons are not real part. A lot of aperger's kids or adults will have a obession or only talk about something that only interests them. They preoccupie themselves fully in their narrow insterests even though the person is not interested. Dragons, happen to be your daughters insterest. This would into the Autistic sepectrum catorgory. how did she become interest in dragons?
I would let her go on with it, but kepp telling her that it is very neat you are into dragons, and they are so interesting, butm, you know sweetheart dragons are not really real.
This could hapopen to any child on the spectrum. They get facsinated by an area of interest and take off with it.
Ny son has the diagnoses autism, he is high functioning though. HIs certain interests are actors, dates when they were born , what movies they been in , and one actress in particulary he is in "love" with .
Once they get hooked onto a special topic of interest, then it is best to let it run itself out. As she gets older her interests will change into something else.
When I was 5 I talked to my dolls all the time, and set up table with them sitting on chairs , along with stuffed animals. tht was my special interest. They were alive to me as well.
I have a son with Asperger's, so I know what you are going through. He just turned 8.
One thing I consistently work on with him is to expand his field of interests. This isn't easy, and often takes time. He had a Sponge Bob obsession: wathced every episode, read the books, talked about it non-stop. His imagination is huge as well.
Think of things that are actually OK to obssess about. For instance: I got my son into classical mythology by reading to him, getting him graphic novels to read (he loves them), showing him some neat online games, and watching Hercules and Xena with him. This has improved his reading comprehension, his speech (Greek names are difficult), and his knowledge of antiquity, and has had fun while doing it. He talks about it a lot now, but that is OK.
Kids let their imagination run away with them, because it is one of the few things they can control. I don't think there is any mental illness going on with your daughter: this isn't really unusual behavior. Try to steer her away to something else and see what happens.
One thing we did early on is to decide to home school the children (my other son has PDD-NOS, and that has another set of challenges). This gives us total control of the environment and allows us to do things like ABA. I don't have to stress over socialization as much. The kids still go to group get-togethers during the day, and at church, just not school.
Both myself and my brother have aspergers and we were both very different growing up.
He too seemed to have difficulty separating fiction from reality. He thought he could fly up to an age where it'd be concerning for anyone. He had to be supervised at all times.
In addition to this, my brother also had difficulty expressing his emotions. If something was wrong (ie. being bullied) he had a passive way to telling you and you had to ask or else you'd never know. This followed him up to approximately age 16 that I know of. I learned from looking back at my brother how hard it can be for some of us to express our emotions about things.
I'd get the professional involved to help her express her emotions a little more. It's well known (or should be) that people with Aspergers are very sensitive and feel emotions very deeply but have difficulty expressing the depth of that emotion to others sometimes.
From what I understand (my psychiatrist tried explaining this to me when I was first diagnosed with high functioning autism), as you get older you can lose mirror neuron receptors in the brain, which is why they put me on medication to prevent that...so if she isn't on meds you should find a psychiatrist to treat her properly then lots of therapy should take care of the rest!
Another thing that I personally believe to be very important when raising an autistic child is love. it might sound cheesy, but I volunteered to help with an acting class of young autistic kids, and the teacher's little boy would get very anxious and refused to sit down, finally one day I suggested that maybe his mother could hold him in her lap, and he was so happy. Sometimes autistic children need more attention than the average child..
In addition I do trust therapist and I think that when you find the right one they help. I'm grateful to my parents for taking that step.
Finally, you don't have to worry about her losing her creative energy. A high IQ and a creative mind is all part of the package, it's in her heart and even when she's older and doesn't believe in dragons she will continue pursuing her creative abilities in other ways. It's how humans are built, we pursue the gifts and talents God gave us.
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