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how do you go about getting a diagnosis for suspected ASD / aspergers...?

(24 Posts)
pattykins Tue 01-Apr-14 19:37:53

Would it be through school or your GP?

And is it even worth getting a diagnosis if your child is high functioning and doing ok at the moment?

zzzzz Tue 01-Apr-14 20:00:25

You go to the GP and ask to be refered to a developmental peadiatrician for assessment. If the route is different in your area they will point you in the right direction.

PolterGoose Tue 01-Apr-14 20:06:19

patty how old is your child and what concerns do you have?

zzzzz is right, you take your concerns to GP who should refer you if you have sufficient concerns. It's worth keeping a diary and making notes to remind you of stuff and to help spot patterns and triggers.

cankles Tue 01-Apr-14 20:12:58

Wot zzzzz said.

In my experience, yes it is worth getting a diagnosis, first of all it provides you, your wider family, friends and most importantly them with an explanation as to why some things (like making friends or loud noises, etc) are tricky.

Secondly, as they move up through school and at times of transition (to big school for example) the demands become greater and, therefore, the expectation higher and this is when supports are perhaps needed more.

Thirdly without a diagnosis you may not be able to access these supports, particularly during teenage years through to adulthood.

I would encourage you to go through this process with your dc even though it takes time and can be stressful.

My ds2 (13) is also high functioning and he has needed support throughout school and without his formal dx it would have been very difficult for him.

Good luck x

pattykins Tue 01-Apr-14 22:37:24

Polter she is 6. Her teacher says she and SENCO think she has ASD traits (what would have been aspergers). She mentions her getting upset over trivial things (like her chair being moved, forgetting her jumper), talking a lot even when people have stopped listening, her tone of voice can be 'flat', she likes to be in control of things e.g. games with other children.

It's not causing her any problems in school at the moment, she's doing well socially in that she has friends, excelling academically, and her behaviour has improved in that she doesn't cry any more. Her behaviour at home can be difficult: tantrums, prone to meltdowns, tearful over small things, very stubborn, argumentative (excessively so, won't back down), can be anxious and find it difficult to sleep and complains of tummy ache a lot.

Teacher emphasised that she is doing well and she has no concerns otherwise, and it was up to me what to do with the info. That's why I'm dithering about it confused

pattykins Tue 01-Apr-14 22:41:04

Also that although she has these traits, she enjoys being sociable and shows empathy so she may just have some traits but not enough for diagnosis IYSWIM.

PolterGoose Tue 01-Apr-14 22:48:15

Just for the record, Aspergers isn't traits or 'mild autism'.

If you have concerns do have a look at some of the books and articles on girls with ASDs. There may be nothing of concern and she might just be quirky (I love that word!) but it's worth being prepared, if she does have an ASD then there is a good chance you'll notice the developmental gap widen especially at key transitions, like the move to juniors and later to secondary, these are prime times for diagnosis. It might not hurt to have a look at some ASD strategies and see if they help with the meltdowns and more challenging behaviours. I really rate Ross Greene's book 'The Explosive Child'.

pattykins Tue 01-Apr-14 23:06:25

I know that polter you must misunderstand me as I didn't say either of those things hmm I said the teacher said she had traits of ASD.

Thanks for the recommendations.

PolterGoose Tue 01-Apr-14 23:20:05

Sorry patty I didn't mean to come across as snippy flowers

pattykins Wed 02-Apr-14 11:53:15

That's

pattykins Wed 02-Apr-14 11:57:18

that's ok. I was a little bit upset last night, also angry with the school that they've only mentioned it to me now at end of spring term in year 2.

Also that when she was going through a hard time settling in in reception and I went to talk to her teacher about it he told me she was a drama queen and suggested it was my fault for not being strict with her angry

PolterGoose Wed 02-Apr-14 12:13:04

Thanks patty, it was this I jumped on: says she and SENCO think she has ASD traits (what would have been aspergers I was being defensive because there's a bit of a myth that Aspergers is 'just mild autism', teaching staff are so very often poorly informed (putting it nicely wink)

My experience has been that diagnosis has been nothing but positive for my ds, he was dx at 6 and is nearly 11 now. He is very proud of his Aspergers and loves being different, it's very hard and he has a lot of anxiety/anger, but he's quite confident (arrogant!) in many ways.

There's been a few threads on similar aged girls to your dd over on SN Children, it might be worth a look through and see of any of it helps.

pattykins Wed 02-Apr-14 12:58:50

I will go and look for that thread now, thanks polter thanks

devilinside Thu 03-Apr-14 10:36:27

Hi, your daughter sounds similar to mine, and I am going for the 'wait and see' approach at the moment (I have a son with ASD who has severe problems, so that's taking up every ounce of my energy at the moment!)

I do think there are people with AS traits who are perfectly happy in life (My partner is one of them) So I figure if my daughter is similar to him, she'll be ok. Hopefully, a girl geek who becomes a scientist!

However, if she has any problems: anxiety, losing friends, falling behind, I shall be pushing for an assessment

mummytime Thu 03-Apr-14 11:02:30

I'd always go for diagnosis - sorry.

Because, I have known a lot of people who might have coped/not had crisis if they had had a clue what was different about them. A female friend who was only diagnosed after her son was diagnosed, but had been treated for "depression" for years. Someone else whose intelligence was underestimated for years, and struggled a lot with social situations; it might have really helped him if he'd been taught that other people thought differently to him (don't we all assume people are basically like us?).

It can also be easier to get that diagnosis when they are younger (Paediatrician rather than CAMHS). Also it is always better to "Be Prepared" rather than "firefight".

PolterGoose Thu 03-Apr-14 11:28:19

Everything mummytime said.

pattykins Thu 03-Apr-14 12:10:46

Ok so the teacher has given me some info on aspergers in girls. A lot of it seems to fit sad But then other stuff doesn't so I don't know...

I think up till now DH and I and her teachers have put down a lot of her behaviour to being young and a bit immature, and everyone assumed she'd grow out of it.

But it's becoming apparent that whilst all her peers are growing up, maturing and becoming more sophisticated, she isn't. And its becoming more noticeable that she seems very immature despite apparently being very clever sad Does this sound familar?

pattykins Thu 03-Apr-14 12:15:38

Also school said diagnosis would be a referral to community paediatrics via GP, but again it was up to me as she's doing ok. But did mention she may struggle later, like when she moves to secondary school.

And from my experience of how much she struggled starting reception and the unhelpful response from her teacher then - I think I'd like to be better prepared next time like you say mummytime.

PolterGoose Thu 03-Apr-14 12:17:17

patty totally familiar, my ds is very academic but has very poor social and emotional skills as well as poor motor and organisational skills, when I watch him among his peers, eg in the cloakroom sorting his stuff, he's a million miles from them on so many levels. Have a look at this video, I only discovered it this morning and am spamming the boards with it a bit, but it is really good grin

My Autism and Me

mummytime Thu 03-Apr-14 12:42:47

Sounds like my DD. I am actually coming to the realisation that she must be even brighter than I thought because she does manage to "pass" a lot of the time. That must take a lot of brain capacity.

Dd was diagnosed when older than yours, but we had got to the point of having meetings in school over behavior every month or two weeks, and other very worrying signs. She was also in danger of getting some very unpleasant labels.

I would probably go for the diagnosis, and in the mean time read up about it. The techniques will not do any "normal" child any harm, but could help you a lot.
The other thing to do is keep a notebook and jot down things as you notice them. For DDs diagnosis being able to come up with examples of when she had shown certain behaviours really helped get that diagnosis.

pattykins Thu 03-Apr-14 13:22:31

Thanks polter I'll watch that now smile

Can either of you recommend good websites or books I can look at?

PolterGoose Thu 03-Apr-14 20:04:19

Can either of you recommend good websites or books I can look at?

How much time have you got?!

Websites:

Girls and Aspergers

What is Aspergers

Lives in the Balance

Challenging Behaviour Foundation

Books

The Complete Guide to Aspergers Syndrome by Tony Attwood

Attwood's Aspergers and Girls

Aspergers in Pink

The Out of Sync Child - great introduction to sensory issues

The Explosive Child - my all time favourite

PolterGoose Thu 03-Apr-14 20:05:28

My local NHS Integrated Therapy Team have produced these fantastic fact files which are well worth a look.

pattykins Sat 05-Apr-14 22:21:36

Thanks once again for your help Polter

thanks thanks thanks

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