Have 10 Yo Dd Tested?

Updated on February 16, 2012
A.R. asks from Hercules, CA
19 answers

*********** UPDATED WITH MORE INFO ****************

Hi moms! I'm concerned about my 10 year old daughter, who's a year ahead in school (5th grader) and has been doing very well, gets all A's and B's. But for the last 2 years, she's been having difficulty with basic multiple instructions like wash "your face, brushnyour teeth and put your clothes away"; when we ask her basic questions like "what did you do today?" or "tell us about such and such ...", she really cant answer or give any real or meaningful detail like, we dissected a frog today! or so and so got in trouble again! or we had a surprise quiz! NOTHING! she'll just give me her schedule. "we had math, social studies, P.E....". that's her answer everytime! even though i've made it clear i want to know about her day. we're looking to move her to a new school and we've been touring, so she's been asked back to several schhols for visits and when she comes home she can't give us any info on how it went other than "it was ok". and this is after we've prepped her for what we want her to pay attention to and what we want to know from her.
I know you have to tell kids things over and over again, but it's way more than normal with our dd. Every morning we have to remind her to wash her face or brush her teeth - I feel she should know this by now at 10, or am I wrong? As for her school, reading comprehension has always been an issue, but she is an amazing speller and is really good in math. While good in math, hubby and I usually have to walk her thru some things in addition to class instruction, but once she gets it, she becomes a master. However, there are things we feel she should be able to figure out on her own just by looking at the examples, or just from common sense. Like with her school work. It still doesn't occur to her that she should look at the examples before she starts her assignment or if she's having difficulty. Then she'll come to us for help and we'll ask if she's looked at the examples and she'll go "OOOH YEAH!!". THen there's the common sense issue... I love my daughter but i'm clear that, at least right now, she can't figure her way out of a box! And we work with her, show her things step by step. I'm a crafter and a 'home cook/chef' and we are foodies who spend alot of time in the kitchen and we watch her do things and she really has a hard time putting things in order or a sequence that makes sense. WHen you ask her a question, if it's not a yes or no answer, she'll give you one that has nothing to do with the question. For example, "why are you counting clothes hangers?" "because i'm going to sharpen some pencils and then get dressed". This was actually said yesterday!! The real answer was because I asked her earlier to hang up her clothes and she was trying to figure out how many things she was going to hang up versus put in her dresser.
As for friends, she's a social butterfly! Little Ms. Popularity! But she's quite naive and immature, she's a "young" 10 if that makes any sense. And i do feel that, although she's a social butterfly, that she's socially awkward in that she doesn't relate to girls her own age. For example, she'll be with her friends and she'll speak out of turn and what she says has nothing to do with the conversation or what's happening. Because she's been with this group of kids since kindergarten, they dismiss it as her just being her silly self. But the girls will ask dd "what are you talking about?! LOL!". SHe's involved in lots of extra curricular activities - volleyball, track, tennis, school play, choir. SHe does't seem to be motivated to do anything. It's hard to punish her because nothing seems really important to her. Most of her peers care about TV, or clothes, or nail polish and jewelry (this is a big thing with her school friends right now), or video games. But no! She could care less! SHe's happy to sit in her room and twiddle her thumbs.

It's more than just school work, which honestly I'm not so concerned about because she does well (other than comprehension), something is just not connecting. I was very sick when pregnant with her; was in the hospital for most of the pregnancy and even though i refused a lot of medication, I still had to take some. So I often wonder/worry if this has somethng to do with it. I've been wondering about it being dyslexia, or even some form of autism or aspergers, but like I said, she's very social, and those with aspergers usually have difficulty in that area.

I'm sorry if I'm all over the place, but I hope some of you moms can help point me in the right direction. I do plan to have her tested thru the local,school district, even though we're in a local catholic school. All her teachers say she's doing just fine, but as her mom i feel somethings not right.

Thanks Moms!

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answers from Sacramento on

I did not read the responses, but what immediately came to me was having her evaluated for an auditory processing disorder. You can also get therapy that will focus on following multi-part instructions.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

She sounds pretty normal, kids are forgetful at that age. I have to constintly remind my daughter to brush her teeth feed her pet pick up after herself. But if you are concerned get a second oppinion from a doctor but do not go full steam ahead and throw her on meds.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Can she tell you what order she does things in the morning? Can she recall what order things happened in a story she read? If you are worried, talk to your pediatrician and ask for a referral if you still have any concerns.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Trust your gut. I would discuss your concerns with the pediatrician first.
And defintely get her evaluated with the pulic school system.

Also go to the various websites for ADHD, Aspergers, Autism, OCD, OCPD. Read the symptoms and take their online tests. It really can rule out certain disorders and help you pinpoint what your looking at .

2 moms found this helpful


answers from La Crosse on

what about add? I know it get throwen out there all the time!!

My son is 15 normally he is a straight A student even with out his pills. But he can't remember to do anything if you give him a two or three step process. He has a horrible time sitting down to do homework! But put a test in front of him and he will ace it every time.

Just like the other I told him to take the garbage out, feed the dogs then start the dishes. He took out the garbage and was sitting down. I asked if he fed the dog.. he forgot in those 5 mins. Then I asked if he started the dishes, he also got side tracked from that. I don't know if its so much as not remembering as getting side tracked then forgetting what he was orginally going to do.

I also get very short answers to any question asked of him.

His teachers told me that there was no sign of ADD as he was a straight A student. But he can not not matter how hard he tries he can not keep things orginized, he is always messy and he does try to be orginized. There is so many other little things that normally don't add up to anything, but with all of the little things as a whole they do add up to ADD.

There is many different spectrums of ADD. My son doesn't fit into the normal circle of ADD but he is on one of the outer circles of it. I was amazed at good he does when on his pills compaired to off of them. Now he gets up and takes his pills and then eats and by the time he eats they are starting to kick in and he can do everything he is suppose to in the mornings with out me always checking on him.. if he is running late I have to remind him to do everything. If he forgets to take his pills ( he does it on his own, I don't give it to him) he says how his whole day is off and he is so stressed out by nothing going right for him.

Go with your mom gut feeling, its there for a reason! If its turns out to be nothing so be it, but if it is something you'll be glad you listened to it. My son was 13 when I finally got him checked out, I wish I would have done it sooner and then his study habits would have been better in place than they are now, he is so use to just going by the seat of his pants and its been a hard habit to break.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Your daughter seems perfectly normal and none of her "behaviors" are causing problems. I have a 13 YO and I have to remind her nearly every day to put on her headgear (for her braces). I have to remind her to practice her flute. For our younger daughter (age 9) we did recently go through an evaluation for her learning and she has disability - what that means is that she is behind in certain areas because there is a gap between what she is capable of and what she is doing. The solution is small group learning and slowing down her pace. She will be moving to another class (lower grade) for math. We knew she was struggling but her teacher was the one who suggested we have her tested. If your daughter's teacher thinks she is fine I would suggest you examine your expectations of your daughter. There is a great book that might help you get an idea of what is "normal". It is called "Your Nine Year Old". It's part of an entire series put out by the Gesell Institute. With children, there is a broad range of "normal" behavior. When you have a second child that is what is so readily apparent - how different kids can be. Re: making cookies - My almost 10YO wanted to make cookie and I told her she could make them on her own but that I was cooking something else. I had to keep reminding her to read the recipe and explain what things meant (fractions, etc). There is no way she would have completed the project on her own. Good-luck.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

When you ask, "What did you do at school today?" how is she supposed to answer that? She's done hundreds of things at school. She knows that you know what subjects she studies. She knows that you know her schedule, right? How about asking, "How was school today? What did you study in Social Studies?" or "What are you making in art class?" or "Anything interesting happen on the playground at recess?"

Specific questions require specific answers.

As for repeating multiple steps - don't. Give her a morning check list and an evening checklist. Post them on her her door. Have her refer to that so you don't have to repeat yourself. Some kids are good at following verbal directions, others are not.

If that fails to produce the results you want, then have her tested. If her teachers feel she is doing well and is on target with her development, I wouldn't worry as much. Her teachers see her more during the day - your daughter could just be tired when she gets home.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

OMG! Right away people want to put their kids on medication!! geesh,

This all sounds normal. I even have to remind my 17 yr old to take out the trash several times and he sees the trash overflowing and doesn't acknowledge it. The overflow really grabs no attention to him and he is a very smart kid and has big dreams and goals of becoming a cardiologist or a PT. His whole high school years he has taken college course level classes with excellent grades.

This is an age were kids are changing and a starting point on finding their own identity and that will hit harder in jr. high. Their friends will then start to become their biggest influences. Keep up the good work and stay involved and continue to give guidance and let her find herself.

I also have a 10 yr. old and an 8 yr old. and if they feel like it, they know what they have to do. Other times, I have to remind them. I do tell them it's the same things everyday, and still I'm reminding them. My 8 yr. often gets side tracked on her way to do what she is suppose to do. So I will call out to see if she is done, and it's like an "oh yeah".

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My sister was a lot like this. We could not ever give her multiple step instructions. We had to do everything one step at a time. She also had issues with "different" words. If you said, "turn on the tap", she had no clue what you meant, even if she was at the sink...because she was thinking "faucet". It was frustrating. Eventually she was diagnosed with something they called "dyslexic recall". She wasn't dyslexic when she wrote or read, but her recall of words was like that of a dyslexic. We were told it was an auditory processing disorder. Granted , this was 20 some odd years ago. I imagine there is another name for it now. She is now 34 and still sometimes struggles, but has learned to cope and most people just think she is hard of hearing, because she has to often ask for things to be repeated to her.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

I agree with having her tested through the public school system. Your gut is telling you something doesn't add up and it warrants investigating. If it turns out you are right, it will help you determine the best school situation for her.

Quite a bit of what you wrote reminds me of a female relative of mine who was diagnosed recently with high functioning Aspergers at the age of 38. She was also a social butterfly through school and would talk to anyone. She main-streamed through school and graduated with above average grades. However, she also was (and sometimes still is) clueless about hygiene and some of the things she says are so inappropriate to the situation. She will talk to you at great length about a subject SHE wants to talk about. Otherwise we get yes/ no/ I don't know type answers.

Autism Spectrum Disorder is often missed in girls because Aspie girls will imitate the social behaviors of those around them. If an Aspie's friends are laughing about something, she will laugh too although she doesn't understand the joke and cannot explain why its funny. Google "Aspergers in girls" specifically because some aspects are very different between the sexes.

Your daughter being good at math and spelling makes sense- once you memorize it, it never changes. How does she do if she has to write an original story without any prompts?

Lastly, please don't blame yourself or medication you took to sustain your pregnancy. You did the best you knew how at the time. Hindsight will always give you a different perspective on things you might have done differently. No one has a crystal ball.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Fresno on

As a teacher, there seems like some red flags that you should get checked out. I would start with your pediatrician and get tested for an auditory processing disorder or possibly the autism spectrum. The social awkwardness or the fact that something is not right stands out to me. It is better to get it checked out just to be on the safe side.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Hmm...my daughter turns 10 in March. I think all 10 year-old still suffer from YTD (Youthful Tendency Disorder ;-) Your description sounds absolutely normal to me. I think you may be expecting a 10 year-old to be more mature than they are. A 10 year-old is still a child and will need to be reminded to brush their teeth, etc. I get frustrated, too. "We brush our teeth every morning, why do I have to tell you every time?!" But that's part of parenting. The "What did you do at school?" question will always get a "Nothing" answer. But a "What did you do in science today?" will get a real answer. They do a hundred plus things a day and sometimes a simple interaction with a friend is more important to them than what they learned.

BTW - my almost 10 year-old is in the highest math and reading groups and in the G&T class and scores at the 99th percentile in all subjects. She still can't remember to wash her face before bed, or follow two directions in a row (especially if the TV is on). This is normal childhood behavior.

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answers from Appleton on

Dyslexia and reading compresion are different things. Dyslexics have difficutly reading and spelling but understand or comprend what they do read. I would get some books for her and you to read together. It sounds to me that she is just reading words strung together without listening to what the sentences or paragraphs mean. If you read one page and she reads one page and after a few pages ask her what the chapter said you can help her to listen to the words and their message.

I wonder if learning to bake cookies from scratch would help her. In order for the cookies to turn out she would have to understand the instructions.


answers from Dallas on

My daughter is just like I was at that age. I constantly had to be reminded to take a shower, brush, etc. Personal hygiene isn't such a big thing to every 10 year old. My DD is 11 and still have to tell her to brush in the morning.
I wouldn't worry about her at all. Natualy consequeses will come soon enough. "Ew, your breath stinks!" or "Oops, I got a C on that test." Keep guiding her in the right direction. She'll get it eventually.



answers from San Francisco on

Trust your instincts and have her checked out. Don't write it off as normal behavior until you feel comfortable with that diagnosis. "why are you counting clothes hangers?" "because i'm going to sharpen some pencils and then get dressed" does not sound normal to me. I hope it is, and it just might be, and I don't want to add to your fear level, but until you get professional opinions, your fear and stress level will remain.



answers from San Francisco on

She sounds somewhat like my GD. I can't seem to get her to use any common sense or apply things that she already knows to the task at hand. It's very frustrating because I know she's very smart and capable, but she won't "think outside the box." For her, I think it's just because she's not interested in the task at hand so she doesn't really put any effort into it. When I'm talking about the "task on hand" I'm referring to homework.

And yes, if there were not directions, she probably could not/would not find her way out of a paper box! She also doesn't read directions or look at the examples and I am always having to point out that if she'd read the directions and look at the example, she would be able to figure it out. I also tell her that I don't mind helping with homework, it's not that, it's just that I want her to learn to think for herself. I don't want her to think I don't want to help.

I also have a hard time getting any information out of her regarding her day. I ask very pointed questions: who did you play with at recess? What did you do? What did you have for lunch? If I'm not that detailed in my questions,. I don't get any information other than her day was fine. The teacher sent home a note a few weeks ago saying she was going to start sending homework home on the weekend. Since then, I haven't seen any weekend homework, but asking my GD about it is pointless because she never seems to know what's going on in her own classroom.

It's extremely frustrating. I think my GD's problem is that she's just not that interested. I'm going to watch your responses to see what others have to say.

So all this to say I have no advice, but I do have a 9, almost 10, year old GD that sounds a lot like your LO.



answers from Denver on

Well, my son is only 4 but he sounds like this. He has a hard time with things at first but then once he begins to grasp it, he masters it. He is starting to read words, but I don't know how much he comprehends etc...he has been tested for a multitude of things and I have been told that he has a language processing disorder. So things get in there, but it takes his brain awhile sometimes to figure it all out, especially with multiple step directions. He also has a hard time expressing himself, sometimes he will tell me two days later about something that has happened or sometimes I will be talking to him about something and I think nothing is getting through to him and then an hour later its like it clicks and he will start talking about whatever I was talking about. Common sense is definitely not a strong suit for my son either! LOL! My son has had testing done through the schools and through a private psychologists office, if it is really bugging you than maybe you can try one of these places to get tested. Good luck!


answers from Philadelphia on

My daughter is only 5 and academically she sounds J. like your daughter. She has trouble in reading comprehension in K but somehow is in the advance reading group for the ability to read. Shes great academically once she understands things but before she actually fully gets it she has a lot of trouble. She excels in math too...she doesn;t have th same social things as your daughter though. J. thought it's neat that some people learn in the same ways


answers from Medford on

She sounds smart enough, but immature. Give her time and she will grow up and wash her face without being told. I think at 10, they are still a little kid, and only do what they are forced to do when it comes to chores and personal hygiene. After all the years of reminding her, she will catch on to what is personally important to her and do it on her own. I dont think anyone needs to jump to testing when she sounds normal to me.

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