Tink's milestones were delayed... She sat up at 9 months old, took her first steps at 15 months and said her first words at 2 all because of low muscle tone.
Tink at her first birthday party.
With the help of early intervention and speech therapy, She learned her name at 3. Tink was daytime potty trained by 3 1/2 (still remains in diapers at night). Although she had all these delays, she did have very interesting strengths.. Tink learned to pump on swing all by herself, coloring in the lines (mostly) & cut with safety scissors all at 2 1/2 years old, She would do these things for hours..
Sensory sensitivities: TOUCH- although she likes being hugged, it has to be on her terms. She never likes her hair brushed, she cries and says I'm being too rough. Certain clothes bother her, such as Jeans (she says they're too hard), anything with a tag is itchy to her. SMELL - She is always the first and sometime the only one to smell something. HEARING - She is sensitive to loud or sudden sounds (she'll cover her ears). TASTE - She has certain food she will refuses to eat such as cooked carrots, yet will overeat to the point it make herself sick if she is not watched. SIGHT- She doesn't like people looking at her. She says"What?"as a way of saying stop looking at me.. Yet she'll stare, almost gets fixated with others and what they're doing.
Socializing with others: Tink had no close friends, she has classmates she may talk to during school hours, but when she came home she is mainly on her own. She tries to play with her siblings, but it soon turns into an argument. She does play dolls (she called it the baby game), but it's more like role play (reliving something she has seen). She prefers to be with adults than her peers. Her favorite people to be with are "Horsey"(her grandmother) and certain teacher's aides. When we ask her what she did in school that day it's hard for her to tell us. We enrolled her in dancing school to help her with socializing, but it was very very stressful for her. She also has a hard time understanding body language. (personal space)
At 8 years old, Tink was diagnosed with ADHD and was put on medication. That's when I noticed a new obsession, patterning and charting just about everything she could find. For example: She would place a chart on a door, she would then tell us make a checkmark when we would enter or leave that room.. To me this was a red flag.. I started documenting her "play".
Age 7 using hair ties as a tool to make a pattern with her dolls.
Age 9 Lining-up cars at "Horsey's" house.
With all this said.. I think it's some a form of Autism. I have been on this journey with Tink for almost 10 long years and still no diagnosis. Why? Because girls with autism often present with a unique set of characteristics that can make diagnosing their autism difficult. Furthermore, their set of strengths can mask their deficits.
I just want her to be happy and to be able to live her life to the fullest!
UPDATE: Tink has a series of appt with a developmental pediatrician starting on the Nov 27, 2012. A bittersweet moment!
UPDATE: 1/8/2013 Tink's developmental pediatrician/autism spectrum evaluation appointment went very well today - preliminary diagnosis was encouraging, but we'll need to wait until next week for a definitive diagnosis. Maybe then we'll be able to get refined support services, and help her transform and achieve!
UPDATE: 1/15/13 Tink was officially diagnosed with ASD2.
UPDATE: 6/1/2014 - I just wanted to post one last update. Tink has been doing great! She works with a Behavioral Health 3 days a week and has OT every Monday. She still has her bad day's but is working really hard to succeed. To continue to follow her journey, go to Welcome to Holland.