Might my sister have autism/aspergers/something similar?

I will be honest - I am far from an expert on developmental issues and I want to preface this with that. I'm way more knowledgeable with PD's and the like.

Anyway I am 17, and I wanted to brush around the Web and get other opinions before I maybe bring it up with our dad?

My half-sister is 12, she just started middle school. She sees a therapist biweekly for (I assume) her social problems/ mom problems(mom is an alcoholic, different can of beans.)

But anyway, I only recently moved from my moms house (because of my own mommy issues) and the past few months I've been noticing certain things about my sister?

- doesn't really have many friends, or she talks like she doesn't have any. She's said before that people try to talk to her at school but she basically brushes them off?

- bad communications skills. like to the max. it's really hard to understand what she's trying to get at most of the time, and then she gets really frustrated when you don't understand. Like she's gotten worked up to the point of tears almost, becuase she doesn't know how to explain things.

- very forgetful (I am too so I don't know how much this merits but) like she has chores she's supposed to do everyday but she says she forgets everyday. which causes much frustration in the family.

- speaking of forgetful, bad personal hygiene. we have to make her brush her teeth and take showers most of the time. have to tell her to change her clothes(will wear them for multiple days if we don't stop her) and the like. she gets upset when we nag her all the time but if we didn't she would be a mess and be the stinky kid who gets picked on at school :/

she also doesn't clean her room. it is a Huge huge huge mess, and she's told to clean it all the time. but it's like the very next day it's a mess again and I don't know how she lives with it. dirty clothes all over the floor, wires and Legos and little toys everywhere. etc etc it kills me to even look in her room

- she can't stay awake in her classes. she's not learning deficient, she's in an advanced steam program for like engineering and stuff. hell she's probably better at math than I am. But she falls asleep in almost every class, has been getting letter sent home for this almost all year. My dad and stepmoms response has been to make her bed time earlier each time (it's be in bed by 9pm at this point) but she swears it's not a lack of sleep. my sister says shes not tired, she just can't stay awake. blows it off and says it's boring.

- I've noticed Some weird sensory things? like just odd habits too. she drinks milk with a spoon (drives me up a wall with the clinking and slurping. it's only milk) and one time I found her spreading butter on bread with her fingers? like she was standing right next to the knife drawer. wouldn't even have to move just pull one out. it was kinda gross Imo, spreading butter. with her fingers on a cold piece of bread.

but she might just be a weird kid, wouldn't be surprised lol.

she also spends like absurd amounts of money on avocados. I guess if you are 12 and avocados are your favorite food it's normal. idk

- I think finally is has like certain things she's obsessed with? like. she watches YouTube all day everyday. and I mean I'm not going to try and say I don't spend most of my time online but she is like Glued to YouTube 24/7. she walks around the house with YouTube videos on her phone, like she just can't fathom to put it down for two seconds. she has been caught multiple times watching YouTube on her phone and her laptop at the same time. yes, like watching two different videos, playing at the same time. it was. bizzare. YouTube is like the only thing she Ever talks about. the only other thing I would say she likes is this silly online game called animal jam. it's along the veins of like club penguin and webkins lol. but she plays it a lot and has a membership on there and talks about it pretty often. in which case everyone in the house just like nods along like we know what the hell is going on in animal jam.

and yes we have seen her watching YouTube and playing animal jam at the sametime. these two things are her entire life

also talking about her never being able to get off YouTube, a lot of times when she's told to clean her room you walk in later and she's sitting in the same spot looking at her laptop. she swears she's cleaning but it never seems like she is :/ Just watching YouTube.

that's all I can think of at the moment. I don't know. she might honestly just be a social awkward weirdo who will grow out of it. or not, maybe she's just weird. I don't really care if she's weird or whatever, I have a lot of problems with my own anxiety and bipolar problems so I get it man. It's fine.

I just want her to get help if it something, you know? but I'm kind of at a loss here and just want other opinions. I guess that's it.

4 Replies

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  • Sounds like your sister has many iissues that could be signs of Autism. During puberty girls who are Autistic start to show more signs, particularly as she has moved to high school which can be very stressful. It is becoming more common for females who are Austistic not to be diagnosed until their teens or older. Speak to your Dad about getting her referred for an assessment for Autism and suggest he contact her therapist for an opinion. It might be helpful for your sister to have a written list of chores to help her remember what to do.. Utube may be a coping technique to keep herself calm. It is great that she is seeing a therapist and I hope that it is helping. You are a very caring sister, I have bipolar too so be mindful of staying stress free as much as possible.

  • It is possible that your sister could be on the autistic spectrum as a lot of the things you mention do sound like ASD but only a professional could diagnose this for certain.

    Many ASD people have difficulty organising their time so this might be the reason the chores do not get done rather than her forgetting. A detailed timetable showing when to wash, when to do each chore and when to have free time to watch YouTube might help her, putting reminders on her phone (if she has one) throughout the day would save you having to nag. Its good that she has you looking out for her, good luck.

  • The issues this young lady is presenting are classic issues in Asbergers. You must get a diagnosis If it's not addressed swiftly, anxiety and mental health issues, sleep depravation , self harming may occur . With the correct support and understanding things will improve.

    pdasociety.org.uk/families/...

    pdasociety.org.uk/resources...

    This may be a possibility . It was only recognised in England in the 1980s. A lot of the issues overlap so it's going armed with as much evidence as possible.

    If you look on the National Autistic Society website here in the UK all the issues are mentioned.

    autism.org.uk/

    There is a very good book called The reason I jump which makes very interesting reading.

    thereasonijump.com/

    Going to wa High School can be very traumatic upsetting experience especially if Asbergers is not recognised.

    Hope you get the answers soon.

  • thank you everyone who responded! I'm going to see about bringing it up with my stepmother.

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