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I suspect my daughter may be autistic.


My daughter is aged 24 and there are quite a lot of aspects of her personality that I find very difficult to deal with.  I have always known that she was a bit different.  She struggled with friendships  at both primary and secondary school and was bullied in secondary education.  She went away to university but made no friends in the first year and was very lonely. I encouraged her to go back in the second year but she nearly did not go.  Things improved from here as she shared a house with some other girls and although these did not turn out to be close friendships she seemed happier.  My daughter finds any sort of change in her life difficult to cope with and struggles trying anything new,  in the beginning I thought that it was just that she was shy, as some aspects of her personality are similar to mine but I think it is more than that,  she does not focus her eyes on people,when  forced to make conversation and never strikes up any conversations of her own accord.  She is polite if you ask her questions but never instigates anything of her own will.  If I try to talk to her about anything that do she does not want to talk about she bursts into tears and gets really angry.  She has had three boyfriends over the last few years as she is quite attractive but although these have lasted a while the boys have always ended the relationship with her and I suspect that they eventually realise that she is different.  I am pretty sure that my ex husband is also autistic as he was very lacking in emotion during our 25 year marriage and lost his job in management after many years because of his lack of understanding of his co workers.  I am very worried about my daughter as she spends long periods on her own in her room and does not appear to want to engage with any family members,  her sibling is a severely physically disabled brother who is highly intelligent but takes up a lot of my time.  
We have lots of extended family who meet up regularly for get togethers and there are many younger members but my daughter refuses to come Along or join in with any social activities.  
She has a lovely singing voice but refuses to join an choirs etc where she may meet new people.  A previous school teacher commented that she was a lovely singing voice but lacked all emotion when singing.  I thought she just did not like my daughter but now when I think back I think she may have had a point. 
I am very sad about this situation but not sure what I can do to improve things for her or what to encourage her to do. I worry that we can spend a whole,day together and getting her to have a conversation with me is like pulling teeth.  This always amounts to me talking  and her just answering my questions.  Some days I can count on one hand the conversations we have had through the day.  

Replies

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 689 Listener
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  • VioletFennVioletFenn Member Posts: 124 Pioneering
    hi @monka - I'd agree with @DannyMoore on this, it's definitely worth trying to get your daughter to see her GP. Is she aware that you suspect she may have ASD? For what it's worth, my own autistic son would happily not speak to me all day - just so long as I was willing to talk to him when he wanted to! If your daughter does turn out to have ASD then the 'symptoms' you speak of are very common - and she might well simply prefer to be alone, rather than being lonely. Do try to get her to speak to the GP though, if only to put your own concerns to rest. 
  • monkamonka Member Posts: 10 Listener
    Thank you both for your replies and I do take on board both of your similar views.  Unfortunately I don't think she thinks ere is a problem and whenever I question her about how she feels she just gets upset or angry.  I may bide my time and try and speak to one of our GPs myself first but it is a bit of a problem getting someone to go to the GP if they think everything is seems ok to them. 

  • VioletFennVioletFenn Member Posts: 124 Pioneering
    Very true - and no, you obviously can't force her. Good luck!
  • ArielAriel Member Posts: 16 Courageous
    Monka, as a suggestion would it be possible for you to write her a letter about your concerns? Something she can read in her own time, away from you?

    I struggle a lot with intense conversations with my husband. They can send me into meltdown or shutdown and I feel very uncomfortable - like I'm trapped and a predator is coming to get me and there's no escape. At my best, I need to focus on a screen and another task (usually browsing the web) in order to continue the conversation - my husband has learned that this doesn't mean I'm ignoring him, but is in fact the only way I can pay attention to him! At my worst, I lose the ability to speak and have to write things down.

    I'm just thinking that if your daughter is autistic, then perhaps these conversations feel too intense for her. Especially if she's not considered that what she has is a disability, rather than just an issue. I spent years before I was diagnosed thinking "I share some traits with autistic people, but it's just my personality. I'm not disabled." If you've grown up believing that, it's a thought that is hard to shake. She may feel a lot more comfortable, and able to absorb your message, away from your eyes. She can read the letter in her own time and won't be able to feel you watching her, or feel that she should be formulating any kind of response in the moment.
  • monkamonka Member Posts: 10 Listener
    Yes you are right from experience when we have had an argument or disagreement I have put my thoughts down in a text to her. I am not sure of her response to this but it does  get it out there and over to her without the confrontation.  We are both quite emotional people and the tears come very quickly for us both which gets in the way of reasonable discussion.  I have struggled through the 25 years of my marriage to her father trying to work out what was wrong with him as although he went through the motions of being caring about some things I now realise that he did not actually feel them.  He was very antisocial which was really difficult for me as I could from a large extended very sociable family who all just disliked him.  I am fearful for my daughter  for the future as  I dont want her to feel totally alone in life,  her brother is severely physically disabled but is very outgoing with a large circle of friends but they do not have much of a relationship and most,y talk to each other through me.  
    I am feeling pretty alone at present after the breakdown of my marriage and having to juggle the care of two adult people. 
    Thank you for your response it does make it a bit easier when people understand what I am going through. 
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