I have long thought my DS (7) might be on the spectrum; he talks in quite a loud, flat voice and struggles to use any inflections; he is super bright, and he doesn't do empathy or understand when people don't want to play with him. He can't be persuaded to do anything he doesn't want to do and gets terribly upset when he is told off. He does now offer cuddles (on his terms) but he wouldn't have take much physical affection for at least the first two years of his life. He's had lots of medical problems, so docs have always concentrated on that. Now he's older the social friendship stuff is more obvious to us, though his teacher says he gets on well. He is also beginning to notice it I think, as he says he can only keep friends two days - they love him at first but then don't want to play any more with him. He ends up playing with much younger children. He loves work and does extremely well academically and gets on v well with teachers and adults, generally, so I think that masks his problems with peers. My question is whether, thinking all this, its worth trying to get him assessed? I suppose I'm wary of adding another label to him and he's clearly doing well academically at school. How much does it help later on?
I would ask your GP to refer your son to a developmental paediatrician for further evaluation. Its not a quick process by any means, it can take several months to receive such an appointment.
See "labelling" purely as a signpost to getting him more help. He will still remain your lovely son regardless of any additional label. It can open doors that can otherwise remain closed.
Many teachers would not readily recognise many children on the ASD spectrum simply because they are not trained and in a class of 30 or so well behaved children with additional needs can go completely unnoticed.
Statements are also there to address additional social and communication needs and I would seriously consider applying for such a document asap from your LEA. You need to think longer term as well; many children whose additional needs are not met can fall apart at secondary. A Statement as well is a legal safeguard re his educational rights, school will have to follow what is outlined in the statement document.
This board does not receive a great deal of daily traffic. May I also suggest that you post your message too on the Special Needs; Children part of this website as that forum is far busier and you will get more replies that way as well.
Your son sounds like he is on the spectrum to me proberbly Aspergers. Sounds very similar to my 7 year old who was diagnosed at 4. Knowing has been a great relief and has allowed us to get the help we need for him. Although he has not got a statement from the school apparently he is not bad enough! Whatever that means we have become very well informed on the subject and had a lot of help from professionals. He is an intense and fantastic child who needs lots of love and support. I urge you to get a diagnose. Early diagnosis for us and for him has been invaluable and putting strategies we have learnt in place has made his an our lives better. Good luck
It's me again. Please don't worry about labelling your son. My son is a fantastic boy who also happens to have aspergers. We tell the people who need to know and bring it up if we need to with other people. My sons well being comes first and having the diagnoses has been the best thing I ever did.
I would defo recommend getting him assessed, because without the "label" of aspergers you will not get the help he may need later on in school, my son has just recently been diagnosed with aspergers even though we have suspected it for a few years now, but now hes actually got the diagnosis the school cant do enough for him which is great because even though he is very bright he is very slow writing things down, so now they are going to provide him with some help, which may be a laptop or some other form of aid to be able to keep up with the other children, and he gets longer to do his work, without this "label" he would struggle and now we can just concentrate on helping him rather than thinking he may be lazy, and also my son has had a lot of medical problems in his 9 years but i wouldnt change him for the world x
The diagnosis helped both DS1 and us, because it enabled more understanding and support from his teachers, his peers and other children. He prefers being labelled as having Asperger's/ADHD to being labelled as weird/naughty, which is what was starting to happen before the diagnosis.
We have no regrets about going through the assessment / diagnostic process.
Time from initial GP appointment to diagnosis was 18 months.
From what you describe, it does sound like Asperger's. My DS2 managed well enough in reception but by the end of year 1 and throughout year2 it all went completely pear-shaped. It took until he was in Year 7 to actually get a dx and a statement. He was very lucky and got a fully funded one for 25 hours a week. It made so much difference to him having both the dx and the statement. The teachers were so much more understanding and so were his peers. The one thing that always bugs the hell out of me is when professionals be it in school or the health service say 'I don't think that giving your DS a label will be helpful'. My answer is always 'If he had a physical disability you wouldn't think twice about giving him 'a label'. So what's the difference?' I'm a teacher and have sat in on meetings with desperate parents and listened to people spout this rubbish. I always challenge it and point out that the dx isn't just about being in school, it's about someone's whole life and getting the help that they and their family need. My poor DS spent too many years miserable before his dx. While life isn't perfect for him now, he's about to go off to college next year to do a BTEC and the college has a fantastic SEN department which has made his transition smooth and hassle free. He's usually panicky about this sort of stuff, but he's amazingly cool at the moment! Without his dx and statement (which has turned into a weirdly named thing now - an S32609A or similar ) this wouldn't have happened. So go for it and good luck!