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Aspergers Diagnosis - what age/ed psychs/schools(10 Posts)
Hi, my little boy was deaf until he was age 2 with severe glue ear. It drained, he's now got speech delays. He's very clumsy and has had many autistic traits. He was seen by our local early years assessment board many times when he was a pre schooler. Signed off as not needing an SEN statement. He started school in September, he's August child, so very young just turned 4. He goes to a school with a specialist autism / s.e.n department. His teachers have raised a lot of serious concerns about him. He's appearing blank/totally zoned out in class, eyes shut, appears to be not listening, not getting involved at all with other children, not communicating with the other kids/staff. School are wondering at this stage if he has Aspergers. The school are doing a lot for him by involving him in motor skills/interactions groups. He's off to see a paediatrician in the new year. My concern is that when he's in a small environment he talks to adults / interacts, its only in a larger group/with other kids where he's non interactive (apologies if i'm using the wrong terms here I'm totally new to this). His SALT has seen him in class and has been shocked at the total void of interaction in class versus the little boy she knows when we work with him 121. I wonder if the paediatrician will see anything in a quiet room / 121 situation.
I'm conscious I'm rambling - trying to think what questions I need help with. 1) I've been to hell and back (mainly at 3am) worrying whats different with him. This has been going on for 2.5 years, I feel thrown out by the pre school assessment system and frustrated i'm starting again. I'm desperate to get the right focus. The school have a lovely SEN who now has my son on his radar. What would you do to find out if he does have some form of condition (sorry i'm not wanting to use wrong terminology, newbie to this forgive me).The local ed psychs don't see the kids themselves, the senco takes their case to them. Is it worth me paying for an ed psych independently or some other professional to get a diagnosis. The uncertainty is awful. do you think school would let a private ed psych in to see what's happening? 2) is he too young to diagnose what's going on? 3) any advice on the buttons i should be pressing with the council / school to get more focus. I'm told he's not severe enough to get a statement (or currently named equivalent), but I'm hearing that he's going down through the ability groups at school as he's being comparatively left behind. 4) are there any support groups you can recommend for me, I'm possibly going bonkers through lack of sleep and worry!
I'll leave it at that for the moment. Thank you thank you thank you for anything you can give me
As a curiosity, did you ask to keep himnback a year before school? This is a situation where an LA is very likely to agree with the need.
It may still be possible to revisit this and start your child in reception again next september. Suggest it to the school, if they will support you it is normally a lot easier.
Then you would both get time for him to catch up in terms of age, as well as explore any potential needs at a less stressful rate.
Many children born in july/august are over diagnosed because they are effectively a year behind. With the glue ear you describe he will almost certainly need some support at school anyway, but in my opinion it would be preferable if his very young age was not such a factor in his needs.
I hope that helps a little!
Your best bet is to go to your gp with your concerns so that you can be referred. I don't understand, but have seen this before, of he is in a specialist autism unit, why is referral not automatic?
Fwiw, my July born baby does have autism.
"I'm told he's not severe enough to get a statement (or currently named equivalent)"
Who told you this nonsense, basically they lied to you. You can and should now apply for an EHCP (this can be done by you personally and IPSEA's website is very helpful in such matters. Their website is www.ipsea.org.uk
Your son ought to be under the care of a developmental paediatrician (and I am glad to read you are seeing a paed in the new year). EPs are not qualified to diagnose any form of ASD. Their main focus is educational needs.
Keep posting here too.
Nobody here can do armchair diagnosis's or not but just to say with a social communication disorder such as an ASD (HFA anyway) it is quite common for a child to interact well on a 1:1 basis especially with an adult. Difficulties become much more obvious within a group or with other children who are less able / tolerant of the other child's wish to drive the interaction to their wishes.
I agree with OneInEight. Good interactions one-on-one or with a group of adults are quite common in children with ASD, but with other children the social communication difficulties are much more apparent. Our ds (diagnosed with ASD just before turning 5; has an Aspergers profile) is like this. Chatty and a little professor with grown ups; unable to communicate with peers or join their play at all (though can join them with adults support if he's interested in what they're doing). He is also a summer baby but as we're living overseas is only starting school next February at 5.5 years, so is actually one of the older ones in his year group.
I agree a developmental paediatrician is the right professional to help you work out what is going on. As others have said, take copious notes on his behaviour, interactions etc ahead of the appointment so you don't forget any details. Read up on ASD and social communication more generally so you know what the traits are (the National Autistic Society website has some great information under their 'What is Autism?' heading). I'd recommend the Hanen book Talkability as it has lots of strategies for helping kids with Aspergers or social communication difficulties to communicate better. The ideas are applicable whether it is Aspergers or just traits.
Is it possible that the sheer volume/ overwhelming nature of large groups is overwhelming? (Ie a hangover from effectively being protected from noise etc with the glue ear? So more of a sensory overload from the noise levels rather than a social communication issue itself?)
I only ask because one of mine struggled enormously with sudden, unexpected or overwhelming noise levels (she has cp, but we worried about aspergers as a co morbid for a while) - her brother was dx with add and as traits.
You should ask the senco to refer to ed psych though. Be aware that it may be better to consider private assessment as they are nearly always more thorough than a school ed psych, and less waiting list. You may find that school will still require their own follow up rather than accepting private info though.
As he is already seeing SLT, I would use her, tbh. She can write up a report after both 1-1 and full classroom observations and recommend to his paed that further investigations are carried out. You are already in the health system, so far easier to follow this through health, not start a new trail through education.
I did not mean autism, my apologies. I refer more to dyslexia and learning difficulties where the impact of falling behind early due to age could snowball as a child progresses through school.
As we all know, some things dont happen in children until they are ready. So for many summer babies, the likelihood is that the difference between being 4.3 and 5 includes a lot of developmental milestones.
Hi my son 4.5 was recently diagnosed with ASD ( Aspergers). He is very much like ogrelt and oneineight describe. I met with senco last week and I think school thinks I went way over the top in seeking a diagnosis as many boys at this age behave similarly. I think I did the right thing because his patterns of behaviour are so obvious to me. He is in a tiny class which helps. I asked to put peer support in place where older boys play with him/teach him the rules of games and look out for him in the playground. He loves this but will also express when he wants to be alone. School have been fab but they don't really know what to specifically do given that ds doesn't stand out. At least I have relayed my concerns and we will work together as when required. I'm not getting an ed psych involved just yet.
ogrelt my ds sounds similar to yours. How is he coping socially in school and how did school help?
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