Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.
Arg just so confused - possible autism(8 Posts)
OK, not really sure where to start but I'm feeling a bit lost and confused so am hoping for some advice. I am a SAHM with a 4 year old DS who has recently started nursery. I've always known my son is a bit of a handful, he's lovely and friendly but very full on and honestly during the last year I have really struggled with him. My DH and I have always wondered if it was our parenting style or whether he is just naturally very boisterous however I have always had a few niggles that there is something a little more going on (autism) but dismissed it as his speech/communication/eye contact etc has always been really good. Most people actually comment about how advanced his talking is.
Anyway he started nursery in Sept (attached to the school I'm hoping he will go to) and absolutely loves it, his teachers have not really told me of any issues up until Monday when they brought me in for a chat, saying he was very disruptive in class, mainly not listening but also being too full on with the other children. They said it was all done with the best of intentions but that he would decide he was going to play with someone in particular and they would have to do what he wanted, often not by telling them but just dragging them over to play. I was a little taken aback, not having been told there were any issues before and TBH I didn't really ask any questions/find out what they really wanted. So I went in today for a more in depth meeting and basically they told me they feel he should be observed to start the ball rolling towards a diagnosis for autism.
I was surprised but not shocked, I have a few times looked at the signs and always discounted it as so many of them did not seem to be like my son at all (although obviously having looked into it a few times there are signs pointing towards this).
Anyway, I called my DH and he is really concerned that the school may be trying to 'label' him and going forward this is something that may affect him long-term. My feeling is that I cant see why they would want to do this if they didn't think he needed help. Right I'll stop waffling, basically I'm wondering if there are any downsides to starting to go through the process? And is anyone else as surprised as me that they would actually be using the word autism so early before a diagnosis?
Thanks for replying Polter, I guess I'm so used to reading how people have to really push for a diagnosis that to hear his teacher using that term so early was the thing that shocked me rather than her wanting to start down that path.
I think a lot of DPs fear of going down the official route is that we are just about to start making our school applications process and he's worried it will affect this.
I agree with polter a thousand per cent. Everyone that was involved with my son from the very beginning were scared of actually saying the word suspected autism until we met with the doctor who explained he would be assessed for autism! Readying the ed psychology report now and like what polter said being more knowledgable myself all the recommendations made were for an autistic child and I wish it had been made more explicit at the time.
A diagnosis helps in so many ways,people will understand your sons difficulties and struggles in life and hopefully cater for them. Also I found the early bird courses etc very helpful and insightful. When we got the diagnosis I felt a sense of relief as for months on end I was driving myself mad searching online - is he autistic is he not, so knowing he was made things more clear and helped me get the best support for him as his number one advocate
I know the fear of the label but for us it has been the best thing we've ever done for our son. My son was diagnosed just before five earlier this year and honestly it has done nothing but help him and us. He has an Aspergers presentation and is a child who could easily have flown under the radar for another year or two but by being diagnosed now we've been able to see new ways of helping him (for example, OT, school readiness group (we're overseas so he doesn't start school until next February), play-based therapy which has improved his social skills, preschool got extra funding for him and so are better able to support his peer interactions, etc). It has also meant his mainstream school for next year were able to go and observe him and meet him at preschool. The teachers have put together a profile to help them work with him, we've had extra transition visits with school etc. Now we feel great about starting school as we've been able to start dealing with the issues, thanks to the diagnosis.
It is scary to start the process, but an assessment won't make him autistic if he isn't.
Thanks everyone for your messages. I spoke with my husband properly (he's been working away all week so have just been discussing this over the phone which is not ideal) and he knows getting a diagnosis and proper advice on helping DS is the way to go. I think it was just such a surprise as no-one has ever mentioned it before (we've had a lot of contact with hospital for another unrelated health issue) so to hear his nursery teacher say autism and already start talking about how he will need 121 support at school just threw him (and me). I think it's the 121 bit that was most upsetting as I had no idea they thought things were so difficult, not having mentioned any difficulties at all. I hope I don't sound as if I'm undermining the teachers here, I think they are lovely and DS loves them but it was a lot of information to process at once after 2 months of attending and not hearing of any problems.
Any way, I appreciate you letting me know your positive experiences of going forward with a formal diagnosis.
Glad you've had a proper chance to chat to your DH.
I'm another parent who wishes that the term autism or asd had been used earlier. Rather than a list of what he can't do/ does wrong/ struggles with or had done to piss off a child or teacher.
I 'knew' and when I bit the billet and pushed for assessment not one person involved with DS was surprised.
Early intervention is key - I would start to read literature yourself and implement strategies for children with asd.
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