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Aspie/Just Badly Behaved? - Carers UK Forum

Aspie/Just Badly Behaved?

For issues specific to autism / Asperger Syndrome.
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My daughter gets frustrated very easily particularly when people don't appear to understand what she is trying to say about something. Other people, especially college tutors and staff where she lives, say it is bad behaviour and has nothing to do with her Asperger Syndrome.This really upsets her. Her social worker has asked her gp to refer A to a psychiatrist, so hopefully that will help.

Does anyone else have experience of this?

Gilli
Gilli,

if your daughter gets upset when other people don't understand what she is saying about something - that sounds like a communication difficulty to me, which is of course related to her AS. Does her college and accomodation have training in AS?

If it were me, I'd want to know that the psych had experience in working with clients with autism. I think the NAS have lists of recommended professionals? Might be worth seeking a speech and language therapy assessment too.

How long has she got left at college? Is it the right placement for her?

Melly1
I think Melly is really on the ball here.

I used to work in education and was talking recently on a thread about people who work in education sometimes see people as expressing challenging behaviour when it's sometimes the adult staff who are not fully trained or equipped to deal with the difficulties.

The pupils are often misunderstood.

Melly's advice is really helpful and I'd look into what she's said.
Our college is supposed to teachers who are trained in dealing with young adults on the autistic spectrum..............in 18 months I haven't seen any evidence of this, in my humble opinion they don't have a clue.
Gilli, it sounds to me like it's the staff who have the lack of understanding in dealing with someone who has aspergers. x x
Gilli,

if your daughter gets upset when other people don't understand what she is saying about something - that sounds like a communication difficulty to me, which is of course related to her AS. Does her college and accomodation have training in AS?

If it were me, I'd want to know that the psych had experience in working with clients with autism. I think the NAS have lists of recommended professionals? Might be worth seeking a speech and language therapy assessment too.

How long has she got left at college? Is it the right placement for her?

Melly1
Thanks for your thoughts, Melly. The staff at A's accommodation do have training in AS as it is a facility for people on the autistic spectrum, but I don't know if the staff at the college have any specific AS-related training or not. It is a course designed specifically for people with learning difficulties and most of them are intellectually less able than A. She didn't have a problem with relating to the other students but resented being treated in the same way as them. I think she had difficulty explaining why she didn't want to do certain things or join in certain certain activities. Unfortunately she has now lost her place.

That's a good idea about making sure the psych she is referred to has experience in working with autistic clients. I'll mention that to the social worker and also the speech and language therapy suggestion.

Gilli
Gilli,

no wonder your daughter had problems on the course if it was designed for those with learning disabilities ( and those less able than her too.) The needs of those with LD and ASD are different and even for those with ASD and a LD need their autism needs catered for first and foremost.

Would she not be better on a course that interests her (and is NT) with support?

It is essential the psych has the relevant ASD experience, if she is going to gain the right support.

Melly1
I asked the social worker about the psychiatrist having experience with autism and she said of course they would, they're a psychiatrist. When I mentioned the speech and language therapist suggestion she said that A didn't have a problem with communicating, so I explained A does have difficulties with explaining herself sometimes and this makes her frustrated and I think the social worker understood that and said it could be looked at when we meet for the next review. There was a review planned for last Friday but the team leader at the accommodation took sick and has been off since. We don't have a new date as yet. A has been trying to do well since then, but is finding it difficult.

With regard to the college, she did enjoy the class for the most part, but felt she was being expected to change her autistic ways. The confusing thing is that they have now rung her and written to her to tell her they are concerned about her attendance and asking her to come and meet with her tutor along with her support worker. I don't know if the college is trying to hold out a life-line or there's a bit of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing.

Gilli
I asked the social worker about the psychiatrist having experience with autism and she said of course they would, they're a psychiatrist.
BULLS T

a psych who has worked in general psych or anything unrelated to ASDs for more than a year or so will probably have forgotten what little training they did when studying. Most people i have lived or worked with on the spectrum find psychs to only make things worse because of the lack of understanding of the spectrum. i had one fully trained psych who thought i had downs syndrome because i didn't talk in full sentences when he was asking me direct questions about a very stressful subject. i have in IQ that was off the top end of the tests used when i was assessed, my face is kinda long and thin, not flattened and round, genetic tests have disproved downs (slight premutation fragile X a possibility, but if it is its very slight) and he still had the stupidity (cranio-rectosis) to try and tell my GP i should be tested for downs syndrome.

have you tried asking A to write down exactly what she feels the problem is this might help explain to everyone involved that she might be able to talk, but is like reading and writing for a dyslexic, might be able to do it, but it takes up most of the thought space available, and means that she can only say what she has planned well in advance. this is very difficult if asked on the spot to explain something, or if she forgets what he has planned. i much prefer written communication for this very reason.

if you can arrange it it might help to try makaton. i know it is designed for lower functioning individuals, but i use it to great effect, weather i can talk at that moment of time or not. it gives me something physical to focus on rather than the words, and when i mix my words up the signs still get the message across.

have you considered asking her ASD traits to be reassessed, a HFA diagnosis might be more accurate if she has significant verbal issues.

do not let the college put her in a course for LD, it will undermine her self confidence, be teaching her useless things that she probably can already do, and will effectively sabotage her chances at getting a real career, which is possible for someone on the high functioning end of the autism spectrum. i would suggest she studies a vocational course or A levels according to her strengths. distance learning and part time work might be better than a college. it will require some self motivation, but with a little encouragement, it might be the best route.

as for the attendance stuff, its probably a lack of communication. maybe ask the teacher in the classes she should not be attending to mark her as not required to attend, rather than absent.
Hi Abby,

All of that happened some time ago.

You asked about communication. A's communication difficulties arise when she gets flustered in a confrontational situation and she can't think how to explain herself,which makes her frustrated.

We have had no further word about a referral to a psychiatrist, but A has been under threat of losing her funding for her place at the accommodation if she doesn't settle into a routine there - wash her dishes, shower regularly, keep her room tidy, do her share of flat chores, go out to something regularly. There was also concerns about her behaviour. This was all despite her having recently had gynae surgery and ending up with neuropathy as a result. She had been quite poorly for a long time prior to the surgery which probably was partly the cause of her problems at Tech. She was offered the opportunity to come back to the college and finish her course but she turned it down, preferring to wait until her health was better and to look for something closer to where she lives. Unfortunately any courses she investigated were unaffordable.

A was recently diagnosed with folate deficiency anaemia and was prescribed folic acid tablets. When these didn't work she went to see a different gp in the same practice who increased the dosage and also reduced the dosage of the tegretol she has been on for several years without review and the difference has been amazing - she is like a new person, although she still gets dizzy spells and her leg still gets quite sore,which means she can't walk far without pain. She seems to be coping better with it all,but is still anxious about her funding.

Gilli
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