ZOMBIE THREAD ALERT: This thread hasn't been posted on for a while.
To want to have my son assessed....(45 Posts)
DS2 (12) is a very high achiever at school.
He is obsessed with Lego and Minecraft and hates anyone breaking any rules he has (out of my 3 children) always been a bit "different".
Recently he has begun to have weird food fads (suddenly stopped eating all potatoes) and won't wear certain fabrics or clothes washed in different washing powders.
He is a real loner and very serious and I feel very sad that a lot of the time he seems very unhappy but he says he is fine.
I really think he is high functioning autistic/Aspergers but school say he is "fine" as he is doing so well.
His dad and I don't live together but he is very involved and supportive and supports the way I feel.
Where do I go from here? If I go to my GP I can hardly take DS2 with me?
Any advice gratefully appreciated.
Can you go and see your GP without ds and take it from there?
Ask for a referral to a developmental paediatrician.
he sounds very like my DS who is also 12. I went to the GP about his eating habits (very limited and has been every since he was a baby). I made an appointment for him but went on my own - not unusual I think.
I asked to be referred to the Child and Adolescent mental health services and we had a few sessions with them. It didn't really help his eating TBH but it did help me in my dealings with him - not worrying about it so much and just accepting him for who he is!
Since he's been to secondary school and I've met loads of other children his age, I have realised that he probably further up the spectrum than some but since it is not adversely affecting his education, it is not an issue for the school.
If you want him assessed for Aspergers - what would you want out of it? There would be little that changed except you coping with it I think.
I also read a book called "The Highly Sensitive Child" or something like that which was useful
I know I have asked myself the same question what good will it do having him "labelled" apart from for me to y sweat and him better I guess and stop beating myself up that he seems so miserable :S
We're on the waiting list to have ds2 assessed.
We don't see it as a label, more a signpost to help him.
We have a letter from the paediatrician which means that school is now taking our fears seriously and are putting things in place to hopefully make things less miserable for him. Without the letter (which is as much of a diagnosis as we're going to get right now), I don't think school would be taking us seriously.
OP iiwy I'd ask MN to move this to the SN area.
AIBU can be a bit of a bun fight and if you've concerns about your DS you really don't want to be on the receiving end of people possibly questioning your parenting.
On SN you will get knowledgeable experienced parents who've worn the tshirt.
How do they assess them do you know what the process is?
When I had to take my DS to the Doctor about something I thought he might be sensitive about I wrote a letter, took it with us, and asked the GP to read it first. He then asked DS questions.
DS was a lot younger then than your DS, so would not have been suspicious.
However you could do the same and tell your DS that you are going about his eating habits.
Am not really worried about people questioning my parenting tbh - I have 2 older DC who are fine and no issues at all and all been brought up the same.
When I was in a similar position, I went to the GP without my dd and he went ahead and made the referral. School also said they didn't think there was a problem, but they were very wrong so if your heart says you think a diagnosis would benefit him, then I say go for it. Good luck.
The process can be long. You should start by researching neurological disabilities such as ASD p, dyspraxia and making a list of all symptoms that are relevant. Next to that you should give one but preferably two real life and recent examples. Also include early years examples.
Give this to the GP with your request for a referral for further investigation. Avoid CAHMS unless that is the only referral pathway.
I agree that you will get more in depth consideration on the SN boards, as the audience is more focused and many MNSNers won't post on AIBU because it is often very disablist/aggressive.
That said, make some notes, go to GP and ask for referral for assessment. At 12 I would expect that the young man would have to be aware and involved I seeking dx, so you will have to discuss I with him.
Have a look at the National Autistic Society website. Autism is a huge topic and they have lots of good information. Labels are not always a bad thing - since DS was diagnosed he now gets full time support at school and receives DLA. It's also much easier for new people (new teachers, etc) to get to grips with his issues because they have an idea what to expect.
I would also add that I understand how you feel. When DS was diagnosed it was the worst time in my life, but it was also strangely liberating because after years of feeling like things weren't quite right, I was finally sure that it wasn't my fault. There are implications for you too, and you should seek out support for yourself as much as for him.
Your local authority should have a special needs assessment service (SENA). Give them a call and they can talk you through how the assessment process works for his educational needs. Your GP should be the starting point from a medical point of view.
I went through the process of having an assessment of my ds2 aged 7 to 8 at schools advice. His problems were mainly school based and he did not achieve a diagnosis for Aspergers. This helped at school as they gave him more learning assistant support and stopped waiting for him to get a statement of special needs. It helped us as we never thought he had Aspergers, just some of the things towards it and bad school based tantrums.
For us (Scotland) the process was one appointment with general paed. doctor. One speech therapy appointment (about understanding language). One appointment with Prof in child communication (neurology). She did not put ds2 forward for an observed assessment (where they video your child playing etc and health professionals score things) as she expected a negative result. We agreed we didn't want this and unlikely to show much as most of the problems were tantrum / crisis point based. We did have a right to demand this final stage, but if a senior Prof thought the didn't have Aspergers it seemed pointless.
All this took about a year though as appointments very slow on NHS and we were not urgent.
I should add first paed. decided to refer ds2 for ASD and not for ADHD or other assessments so it could have been more complex. School at that stage thought he had ADHD as he wouldn't concentrate. More recently we have found out he has dyslexia so lack of progress in school is not as behavioural based as they thought when he was little.
CAHMS expertise is rarely neurological disability and they often prefer to find a mental health cause to behaviours and subsequently look for environmental triggers such as parenting or early years trauma.
He has been assessed for Dyslexia as one if his Primary school teachers thought there was an "issue".
I also had his hearing tested as his speech is very unclear sometimes but all fine. He has great difficulty expressing himself in his speech. Difficult to describe.
The point about having a 'label' is it can put into place a great deal of help both for you and your ds. Not just help at school, but ideas for you both regarding things like coping strategies, learning new things, being more flexible etc.
I have similar concerns about my ds1 so will be watching this thread with interest as part of me feels a diagnosis will lead to elp and support and part of me worries about him having a label.
To be honest thought think even if I not push for an assessment sooner or later school will as he has got quite 'unusual' very quickly.
thanks starlight, I just wondered because it was CAMHS who first raised the possibility of an asd and I wondered if they had a tendency to see it whether it's there or not
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