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Advice on possible AS and where to go from here...(6 Posts)
Hello, Just hoping for any thoughts / experiences from others who have been through the whole process (or decided not to).
At the end of term I was asked to sign a referral to psychologist form. This caught me by surprise and I said I wasn't happy to sign, but now I'm wondering whether I should. My son (5 yrs old) had an ELP which was passed on from his preschool. When he got his ELP I took it with a pinch of salt as the staff at his preschool made some funny comments and misconceptions about him and his lifestyle.
The issues that his school teacher put down on the referral form were "physical" - in fairness, he's not the most agile kid and "social / emotional".
I've spoken to loads of people since the end of term - friends, family, his friends mums, a dinner lady I bumped into - and nobody seems to think he stands out as having any problems.
One friend of mine mentioned Aspergers Syndrome, which I have been looking into, and he does have quite a few of the traits. He's bright, has "special interests" and favourite activities, likes adult company, can be fussy about certain things, he's got his own playful way of moving, and he's pretty bad at writing. However, he's not withdrawn socially - I'd say the opposite. All the kids at school seem to know him and he happily starts conversations with anyone at all. I suppose he's a little bit different to other kids but not to the point he stands out as being odd.
I was wondering what might happen as a result of me signing this referral form. Does this mean that other people / departments can become involved with him without my consent? Could this lead to him being diagnosed or labelled? Will he be treated any differently in school? What would be the benefit of getting an Educational Psychologist involved? Please help!
The EP should be able to see him in school and see how his "issues" affect his eduction. From there you can make decisions about where you do or don't want to go in terms of getting a diagnosis if this seems appropriate. Personally I think you have nothing to lose from doing this, and if as time goes by he needs help with things like his social skills, you have a better basis to argue for this if necessary if you have a paper trail that backs up the issues. With regards to asperger's, my DD#1 is in the middle of the process of diagnosis, so not officially confirmed yet, but looking that way. She appears to be very sociable too, she will talk to anyone, but it is the quality of her interaction that is the problem. In her case she will talk about herself, about numbers and other things that bore the pants of her peers. Therefore she does not have true friendships in the way others do. She will tell you she has friends, but the last person to pay any attention to her and include her is her "best friend" until the next time someone makes an effort with her.
If you are not sure what will be involved then talk to the school further about what you are signing and what they might anticipate happening after the EP visit if that should go ahead. You could instead take a totally different option and go to your GP and ask for referral to a developmental paediatrician to get a full overview of things that way. I would however say if school are noticing things they are probably well placed to inform the EP of their concerns. Sometimes as parents we overlook a lot of things our children do and simply don't realise that they are different to things other children do. In our case it is only in retrospect when we start looking hard at things I realise just how different DD#1 has been all along.
Good luck - keep all paperwork safe and filed for the future.
An EP will help school with any difficulties they are having at school. That is all. An EP can't dx ASD - or anything besides dyslexia.
What an EP does do is observe your child, talk to him, and then recommend strategies for school to use.
It's a good thing, and you are very lucky they want to get the EP involved.
Thanks for your replies guys. Sounds like we've got nothing to lose then by getting the EP involved.
Now how can I convince my husband, who doesn't want to admit that our son is anything other than perfectly normal? I've tried talking to him, tried chatting after a couple of beers, suggested our son might need extra help cos he's clever. But husband doesn't want to budge...
Your DH needs to support school, and school have asked for this.
For whatever reason school are struggling with him and would like advice from an EP. That is all they are getting. Advice from an EP.
If your DH doesn't want that to happen he really needs to find a school that won't struggle with your lovely DS.
I would suggest you take the approach with your DH that the EP will find nothing if there is nothing to find and that can then prove him right....or not as the case may be. It seems from reading many posts here that lots of parents are in denial initially and often the DH takes longer to adjust to the idea that actually something may be amiss. It's human nature really and in reality a very high % of parents on this board have been where you/DH are right now. Why don't you let him have a read of these sorts of posts and ask any questions he might have if he wishes?
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