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Ed psych meeting - does he, doesn't he…?

(9 Posts)
tigersmummy Thu 18-Apr-13 21:15:00

We've just come back from our 3rd meeting at school with the ed psychologist. We have completed a form with permission to assess DS - I think for autism (as dh mentioned at last appointment he was concerned he had autism from conversation with friend) but at last meeting ed psych mentioned sensory (and possibly auditory) processing disorder. I've never thought DS had autism (perhaps naively I think as his mother I would know by now - he's 5) but SPD has crossed my mind. Some days he's so 'normal' and I hate using that word! And on his 'bad' days he flaps, pats and tantrums. Anyway ed psych said today it was looking as if he might be autistic which is of great relief to dh who thinks he will be able to cope better with DS if he knows what the matter is, but I'm not 100% convinced. SPD yes, asd no. Do I trust my instincts or believe I'm just in denial?

Reecieroo Thu 18-Apr-13 23:31:40

Hi tiger,

I think it's totally normal to feel how your feeling and definitely trust your instincts, but I would say keep an open mind.

I'm glad you posted, my ds is 3.5 and has now been referred for assessment as his physio said he had sensory issues amongst other things and concerns I had for a while.....I feel exactly the same as u as sometimes I look at him and I think he's totally 'normal'. Anyway as he had first paediatrician appointment this week, I had to update his nursery teacher and I told him that I was scared for asessments in case they said I was just crazy and he's absolutely fine.....however the teacher enlightened me on a lot of traits and issues with ds that he felt could point towards asd, but could not really say before I saw paediatrician.

I've had to hit the ground running with different people sending different appointments thru....I'm still in denial, but yet relieved that I'm not going mad in thinking that ds has always been kinda out of sync with other children.

As u can tell from my post I'm as confused as u so I'm not a lot of help really, but thought I'd share and say hi smile

tigersmummy Fri 19-Apr-13 21:28:06

Hi Reecieroo, nice to meet you grin and meet someone going through the same thing at the same time.

Whereabouts in the country are you? We're in Warwickshire and the school's ed psychologist said the next stage can happen quickly. She has gone down the route that DS will be assessed by more than one professional which is more likely to gain us a balanced decision. School have been fantastic, noticed his inability to sit still and concentrate for even short periods of time and within two months of starting reception we had had our first appointment and DS had had his first observation. The school have a higher than average number of SN in particular autism and I feel confident that any support he needs will be catered for.

So much of his struggle to settle into school was to do with moving house 2 months before and his baby sister arriving 1 month after. He has been so different since January - no tantrums getting dressed in his school uniform, pleased to go into school, play dates and consistently high in the zone (behaviour related) board at school. He does have occasional meltdowns - we always wished for a spirited child wink - when he can't get his own way and is going through a rude stage but then most of his peers are too. When he was a toddler we noticed he would constantly carry something in his hands and often joked he would go further in life with empty hands! In the last 12-18 months he started flapping his hands like a bird when excited, sometimes this is worse than other times. In the last month he has started rubbing and patting other parts of his body when excited, thighs, chest and bouncing on the spot whether sat down or stood up. Hence my thoughts that it is sensory and possibly auditory. At a vintage car show when he was about two and a half an old car started very suddenly and loudly and ever since he has been prone to ear infections. His ears are full of wax and he couldn't have a hearing test yesterday because of it. I'm convinced he has some sort of hearing problem which is why he struggles with listening.

I am open to possible issues he may have and would love him whatever he was diagnosed with, but in my heart of hearts I'm just not convinced its autism.

Or maybe I would be beside myself with guilt that as his mother I didn't see it? hmm

mrslaughan Sat 20-Apr-13 15:26:03

I would just say that an Ed psyche is in no way qualified to assess for autistic spectrum or SPD (very few professional in my experience understand this, including paediatricians and gp's), so certainly investigate, but I hate it when so called professionals step outside there capabilities and start throwing potential diagnosis around.

This comes from personal experience with DS - where so many people , who weren't qualified wanted to peg ASD to him, when in actual fact he has fine motor dyspraxia and SPD

beautifulgirls Sat 20-Apr-13 16:59:32

There is a big overlap in possible symptoms for each of the issues you mention. Some children can also have more than one disorder - my daughter has ASD and APD (+ other issues) and the Ed Psych was a little unsure about it all when she saw her, but it allowed us the professional observations we needed to get the paed service here to actually see us and take our concerns seriously. I think from here you need to investigate every possible diagnosis here to rule in or rule out and take it from there. It can be frightening to hear the professionals confirm your fears about a diagnosis, but at the same time it is also a relief to know what is actually going on because now you can start to try and understand what makes your child think the way they do and also try to access the right support too. Keep an open mind and follow the pathways with the relevant professionals.

As others have said, if this is an ed psych assessment it will be for his educational needs. An EP isn't qualified to give a medical DX. The EP might suggest getting him referred onwards to developmental paed and / or OT. The paed (or possibly clinical psych in some areas) would be the one to DX ASD, often as part of a multi disciplinary team, an OT would DX dyspraxia and a SPD specialist OT would be the person to see regarding SPD.

AnnandBarryAgain Mon 22-Apr-13 16:47:04

Depends on the area - in my area ASD diagnoses are agreed upon by paed, clin psych, SLT and OT.

Ed Psychs are sometimes asked to contribute to the assessment process, in that they provide observations of the child in the school setting.

MummytoMog Tue 23-Apr-13 11:50:01

Difficult - my Ed Psych decided Mogling was on the spectrum having observed her for ten minutes. So I completely disregarded his view. How much time has the EP actually spent with DS?

tigersmummy Tue 23-Apr-13 23:23:32

Thanks for all your replies. To be fair, she had observed him on three separate occasions, totally about an hour and quarter, and she said that he could possibly have signs pointing to that diagnosis but she also talked about auditory and sensory issues. So not categorically saying autism. A friend works with children of all backgrounds and when dh spoke to her about DS several months ago she said his flapping arms sounded as if he had autism, hence dh's leaning towards that. However this friend has not spent time with DS and isn't qualified to diagnose which made me so angry.

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