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Is this true about assessing children with HFA?

(9 Posts)
OooLalala Fri 21-Nov-14 14:16:11

My ds is on the waiting list for assessment, the consultant has said it's likely he is on the high functioning end of the spectrum of autism/aspergers.

At a local group meeting this week, a lady who has a child with low functioning autism said that HFA is rarely diagnosed, especially in dc at mainstream school as they can cope better and don't need as much support.

Is this true?

Bigballoon14 Fri 21-Nov-14 14:40:38


I can't answer you for sure as we are going through the same thing but as far as I am aware the diagnosis would still me made. Maybe not as HFA but as Autism Spectrum Disorder because Aspergers has also been taken off as a separate diagnosis. It doesn't mean that your child will not need help and support or cope in MS school. Our son certainly doesn't cope well, but he masks most of it at school.

When our paediatrician referred him to the ASD team he specifically referred as suspected HFA. The functioning of the Autism would not make any difference to other things like sensory issues. I can say with certainty that although our son may be high functioning his understanding of the world is completely different, like dangers, others feelings etc. Even his communication. Or should I say the way he communicates, yet he speaks like a young adult and appears to understand more than he does.

Please don't let this put you off. I find that too many people are quick to make comments or judge without knowing the full facts first. Good luck to you and your son.

Jacksterbear Fri 21-Nov-14 14:43:42

In my understanding "high functioning" refers only to IQ. A person can have an average or higher IQ and be totally unable to actually function in school/society/life on a practical or emotional level (as is the case with my DS and I know many other SN posters' DC).

bbkl Fri 21-Nov-14 15:05:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

kleinzeit Fri 21-Nov-14 16:11:14

I don’t know about “rarely” but it probably varies a lot. I know 3 kids at DS’s mainstream secondary school (including DS) who have had HFA or Asperger’s diagnoses since primary school, and there may be others I don’t know about. My DS certainly needed a lot of support in primary school – he was given fulltime 1-to-1 for years - though he doesn’t need individual support now.

So I agree, don’t be put off by what other people say, this lady probably doesn’t have much experience of HFA/Aspergers. If the consultant has already mentioned the possibility then it’s under consideration for your DS and that's what matters.

OneInEight Fri 21-Nov-14 16:14:35

Diagnosis is independent of school (although it is a lot easier to obtain if school also see the problems). We got a diagnosis relatively easily (only eighteen months from first concerns!) but that was because my two had lots of challenging behaviour at the time.

Diagnosis also doesn't automatically bring help at school but should be based on need. There are some HFA children who cope with little support at school. Others like my sons need very high levels of support and are in specialist schools. We were actually well on the way to gaining a statement for both of them before a diagnosis was given.

If your child "masks" at school then that is when there may be problems of getting a diagnosis and support for a HFA child. The good schools listen to the parents but unfortunately there are lots who don't.

PolterGoose Fri 21-Nov-14 16:21:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

coppertop Fri 21-Nov-14 16:22:32

My own two were diagnosed before they started school but I know of several children who were diagnosed when they were already at school.

Mine both have HFA. One has very little help or support at school. The other needs a lot more.

Ineedmorepatience Fri 21-Nov-14 16:23:04

I would say that is nonsense!!

HFA/Aspergers definitely does not equal needs less support!!

Children with these conditions can have massive issues with social and emotional stuff and anxiety etc etc!! They may have average or above average abilities but yet be unable to access the curriculum!

Ignore the woman and continue to get your Ds assessed.

Good luck flowers

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