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Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

Do I seek a diagnosis?

(16 Posts)
GoldenOrb Tue 27-Dec-16 14:49:51

I've suspected for a while that dc1 may be on the asd spectrum. School apparently can't see it at all, but things don't feel right for me.

Over the past few months he has had 3 what I can only describe as complete meltdowns. He is violent and aggressive and kicks, hits and bites me, and hits himself in the head. He throws things, smashed things up, and I can't leave him by himself for fear that he will really hurt himself or smash up our (rented) house. It does coincide with stbxh and I separating, so I don't know if the behaviour is due to that or something else.

However, he is currently refusing to walk on any floor in our house in case he gets glitter on himself.

There is more but he us sitting next to me trying to read this so I'll have to post more later.

Do I seek some help for him, and if so where do I start?

Sirzy Tue 27-Dec-16 14:54:09

How old is he?

Best place would probably be keeping a diary of "incidents" and if you can triggers. List anything else which you think is out of the ordinary. Then take the list to your gp and take it from there, also worth discussing again with the senco with your list of worries

GoldenOrb Tue 27-Dec-16 14:58:05

He is 7

tartanterror Wed 28-Dec-16 20:52:26

School didn't see our DS' ASD really. I later heard that 60-70% of families diagnosis independent of schools who don't "see" it. So we are not alone. Record as many examples as you can showing how he meets the diagnostic criteria (esp early years). Films/anecdotes/school reports etc etc. If you are not sure see if you can get a children's centre drop in appointment with a SALT to ask their opinion on his social communication. Try googling your area's ASD diagnostic pathway to see how the process works. In our area there is a 16 week parenting course in advance of any diagnosis where childre And parents with all sorts of issues are observed over an extended period to avoid errors. Your GP should refer to CAMHS at age 7 unless you have previous contact with SALT or child development and can access the paediatric route which can be slightly easier in our experience

GoldenOrb Wed 28-Dec-16 21:06:24

Thanks tartan, that's really helpful.

I started a parenting course but had to stop as I started a new job and the timings clashed, bit I've heard from others that a parenting course is either suggested or compulsory so I'll look into that.

I have got a GP appointment tomorrow that I will go to alone to discuss the concerns I have. I was so worried about him today I almost called the duty doctor - he had a problem in the supermarket (dropped a toy on the floor, then refused to have it because it had been on the floor), and spent the next 20 minutes licking his hands, walking around in a circle and refusing to touch anyone or anything or let anyone touch him. He spent the car journey home with clenched fists held against his body so he couldn't touch anything sad

Things have been noticeable for a while but have escalated very rapidly and I need to get some help for him now.

Stbxh doesn't believe in getting a diagnosis (sigh). However I need to know how to cope with dcs behaviour, and currently I really don't. I'm exhausted by it and often quite scared.

youarenotkiddingme Thu 29-Dec-16 12:05:21

A lot of areas suggest parenting courses. They can be really useful in giving ideas - as they would to any parent - but the difficult thing is when techniques are aimed at NT children and you are raising one who is neuro diverse!

sirzy suggestion of keeping a record is great. You can also show what you've done in circumstances and what has and hasn't worked.

tartanterror Thu 29-Dec-16 20:51:41

Diagnosis doesn't help much about knowing what to do. Start reading - the NAS website has lots of info although sometimes skimpier on the Asperger side. Between referral for assessment and completion of post diagnosis parenting course was 11 months - and that's quick. All the guidance is to train parents to help their children rather than receiving any sort of treatment. So there's no point in waiting - just get reading! If you would like help with getting trained up look into a charity called Brainwave. They help set up home programmes in SALT/physio/OT by parents in 20-30mins per day. We have found doing DIY OT at home very useful.

OneInEight Fri 30-Dec-16 08:22:40

I would recommend visiting your GP and asking for a referral to CAMHS. Whatever the cause your child's behaviour is out of the norm and your family could do with some support. CAMHS should be able to determine whether your child's current difficulties are due to an ASC or the recent split up or, of course, both and , hopefully, give some support. The GP will probably ask for information from school to proceed with the referral. In the meantime (because it can take ages for a referral to come through) I would recommend reading up about ASC and implementing strategies to reduce anxiety at home. Certainly, for my two the fundamental cause of meltdowns is anxiety and anything we can do to reduce that lessens their frequency and force.

GoldenOrb Fri 30-Dec-16 13:40:29

Thank you all for your support and suggestions. I'll be reading up on the subject and will check out Brainwave as well. I've had a look into parenting courses in the New Year but I can't make any of them. I on;y work part time but I work 5 days a week, and although they offer one evening course it is on a day when I have the children with me so I can't do that either. I'll try and contact the children's centre anyway and see if they can offer anything or suggest something else.

I went to the GP (by myself) yesterday and they have referred ds to paediatrics. It was a very young, locum GP who didn't know the referral process so had to go and check with one of his colleagues but the referral has been made so at least that is a step forward. It hasn't given me much to go on for the moment when ds seems to be in such a crisis but hopefully the organisations/websites suggested will be helpful before the referral comes through.

I''ll speak to school again when he goes back next week. Previously they have felt there are no issues but I didn't speak to the specific SEN last time so I'll ask to do that next week.

zzzzz Fri 30-Dec-16 14:28:39

Poor little person and poor you watching his distress. I think it sounds more like anxiety possibly OCD (though obviously I don't know you or your little boy but it might give you somewhere to start reading).

What about having a pair of gloves to protect his hands if he gets worried about touching. Hoodie type tops seem to promote calmer days here as hood up gives a separation (same with sunglasses in summer).

My own feeling is that it is better for the troubled one to be able to keep going out so any props needed are ok. I don't tell them why either, because once you've said "wear your gloves because you can't do the supermarket without them" it's harder to drop iykwim.

Lots of long hot baths and peaceful time will help him be stronger.

I too would seek help because of the severity and rapid onset of his difficulties. I would imagine the GP is the place to start.

GoldenOrb Fri 30-Dec-16 14:36:04

Hi zzzzz. It could be anxiety, and OCD is certainly possibly too as I do have some OCD tendancies. However he also has a whole number of ASD tendencies too (which I never managed to get round to listing previously because he was trying to read my first post over my shoulder but which include repetitive play with specific toys and no interest in any others or imaginative play, inability to interact appropriately with peers, lack of boundaries/understanding of other people's personal space, lack of empathy for others if they are hurt, inability to express (or ever recognise) his own feelings/emotions, finding change of routine extremely difficult. Basically if I read a list of "symptoms" for children with autism he has 80% of them. Which obviously means he doesn't tick every box, and it might not be that, but it does seem more likely than "just" anxiety, although I do appreciate that current anxiety is making things worse.

Gloves sound good. I'll pick some up in the sales. And I'm not sure if hoodies are ok for him at the moment but I can ask. He'll currently only wear trackie bottoms as he doesn't like the way other trousers feel.

What diagnosis (of any) does your dc have?

GoldenOrb Fri 30-Dec-16 14:36:21

*if any. Not of any

zzzzz Fri 30-Dec-16 14:49:13

We have all three in the family and to be honest th although they are in different children it's more what's most to the fore than totally distinct issues.

The "just anxiety" version is a long way from mild and really isn't the less bothersome option (I'm not at all bothered by your description just amy perception iykwim)

Your latest list would make me ask for assessment but I would let them decide for whatwink

GoldenOrb Fri 30-Dec-16 15:23:17

Yes, I didn't mean to offend by saying "just" anxiety, because I have had anxiety myself and know it can be totally debilitating and didn't mean to minimise it. I meant that I think there is more going on for my ds than solely anxiety.

And yes, they have referred to paeds, so I'll let them decide what they are going to assess him for!

zzzzz Fri 30-Dec-16 15:38:12

My feeling is that once you get past say, about 6 that there is a perception that you are pushing for a particular outcome. The diagnostic process itself should throw up any issues sharply and then the Dr draws his conclusion. I think the best way to navigate and aid that process is to step back from the outcome and allow professionals to persuade you and justify their conclusions (I may however suggest that you present any issues in a way that makes it easy for them wink ).

As far as what you do at home I think that's a totally different process and I very definitely read anything I could about supporting the issue I felt they had. I find for mine that seeing even my severely disabled sons behaviour in terms of anxiety helps enormously and it's my contention that most of the more difficult parts of asd are anxiety driven.

zzzzz Fri 30-Dec-16 15:41:27

I should add I'm really quite hard to offend and certainly didn't have any experience of SN before my children so am still learning how to talk and think about things in ways that don't bother other people. I wasn't bothered at all by the anxiety thing and got what you meant.

I think it sounds like he is struggling in a very "on the spectrum" sort of way with very "on the spectrum" kind of things.....but the dx is more about what is most prominent.

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