Autism - Support Across the Spectrum

ineedcoffeemom
Scared of people?
August 21, 2013 at 7:19 AM

My daughter used to love being around other little kids. She never tried to play with them, but she would do parallel play and she was interested in their activities even if not interested in them. The past few days its finally been cool enough to take evening walks to the park again. It's been a long hot summer like every year in Texas but thankfully it started to let up last week. So she hasn't been around random kids at the park in a couple months. She's now 27 months.

The last two nights going to the park, whenever we get in range of people she starts shaking her head "no" constantly. She willingly goes in that direction, so she's no saying no, just shaking her head, but it's practically continuous. Sometimes she seems to almost calm down and she'll stop for a few moments, then a kid will get close to her and she starts shaking again. And she started making a humming noise and the noise gets louder every time a child gets near her. And she'll make the noise with her mouth wide open if they stay around for too long.

Just wondering if maybe the playground has become too overwhelming for her? Or maybe she's become scared of children? I want to help her socialize and she seen's little kids over the summer, but they're the kids in our mom's group. (she doesn't interact with them, but seems more comfortable around them) I'm just wondering if maybe I should find a different place for her to be around kids. Her behaviors looked like they were anxiety driven. And I don't get the opportunity to meet with the play group that often, I was hoping that this would be her daily interaction with children.

Replies

  • lucasmadre
    August 21, 2013 at 7:38 AM

    Don't give up on the park. All kids go through stages of feeling shy, even scared of other kids. This may not be a asd thing as much as a kid thing. As long as nothing has happened to traumatize her then I think she has just decided she doesn't feel like meeting new people right now. IF another child was mean to her, said something hurtful or upsetting she could be reacting to that too...

    When my son was 3 an older boy called him a baby at the park, he wouldn't go back to that park for a week, then one day he wanted to go again. 

    Whatever the reason it will pass, give her time and talk about how nice the park is when you AREN'T there. She will surely come around.  XO

  • JTMOM422
    August 21, 2013 at 8:19 AM

    I would continue to take her but would maybe change up the routine a little instead of walking the same way you always do try another route. That should lesson the anxiety about the park a little. 

    I would make a social story board about a little kid at the park with other kids. I would make sure that in the story the child wants to be left alone and the kids leave them alone then maybe the kid decides they want to play and so they play. 

    The thing about anxiety is that the more you avoid the situation the more the anxiety controls you. I suffer from social anxiety and force myself into public places. The more I do it the easier it gets. By no means is it easy for me but I am assuming that with your daughter the same would apply. 

    Try to walk to the park and then go home. Next time walk to the park and maybe walk around it then go home. Build on the time you are there little by little to help her ease into being there. Don't make her interact let her try to do it on her own.

    Good luck momma

  • emarin77
    August 21, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    Have her in ESE preschool through your local school district.  She will even have an IEP.  My son blossumed there as is able to talk to kids his age now.  He's five in typical kindergarten now.

  • ineedcoffeemom
    August 21, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    She won't start this until next fall. She turns 3 in May and won't get services for over the summer. I'm looking into a private autism preschool until then, but it's expensive and my insurance won't help.

    Quoting emarin77:

    Have her in ESE preschool through your local school district.  She will even have an IEP.  My son blossumed there as is able to talk to kids his age now.  He's five in typical kindergarten now.



  • emarin77
    August 21, 2013 at 6:32 PM

     Look into your county respite.  They do have preschool programs for children with disabilities.  It is a free or low fee program depending on your family income.  There are summer programs too.


    Quoting ineedcoffeemom:

    She won't start this until next fall. She turns 3 in May and won't get services for over the summer. I'm looking into a private autism preschool until then, but it's expensive and my insurance won't help.

    Quoting emarin77:

    Have her in ESE preschool through your local school district.  She will even have an IEP.  My son blossumed there as is able to talk to kids his age now.  He's five in typical kindergarten now.

     

     


     

  • Gloria1025
    August 21, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    Does she seem unhappy?  My son "stims" the most (flaps his hands, walks on his toes, spins" when he is excited.  

  • ineedcoffeemom
    August 21, 2013 at 10:03 PM

    Yeah, she flaps and spins when she's happy, but she'd never made the humming noise before and she shakes her head when we do something she doesn't particularly want to do. I think she was overwhelmed overall for some reason yesterday because we went back tonight and even though she shook her head some, she didn't hum this time. She did want me to stay very close to her the whole time though, but she did ok.


    Quoting Gloria1025:

    Does she seem unhappy?  My son "stims" the most (flaps his hands, walks on his toes, spins" when he is excited.  



  • Madison514
    August 21, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    As a person with high functioning Aspergers and one child with Aspergers I must say routine is almost essential. Start with short walks to the area for a while then increase the time. As she gets used to what is going on she will feel more comfortable with both the area and the children who frequent the park. While socialization is good for any child, forcing a child with ASD to be around someone they don't really know and trust only traumatizes them and makes them not want to do it again.  

Autism - Support Across the Spectrum