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Benefits of diagnosis for a girl with ASD?

(11 Posts)
NotJimbo Mon 20-Mar-17 22:06:33

My DD is in her last year of primary school, and for years I have had a hunch she is on the autistic spectrum. As she has got older some of her issues have improved yet some seem to have got worse, e.g. sensory type things e.g. aversion to noise has improved, but I'd say she now has higher anxiety than before, and has more frequent melt-downs.

I avoided doing anything for all this time as I wasn't convinced there were any benefits in getting a diagnosis. At school she holds it together pretty well, and I don't expect there will be any kind of extra support she could be offered there, but after some recent worsening behaviour I now worry there may be problems to come with transition to secondary school, and puberty etc.

So against that back-drop, can you please share your experiences of getting a diagnosis, positive and negative. I don't even know how to go about it, I suppose the GP would be a start, and how long should I expect it to take? I could perhaps pay to go private if necessary to avoid waiting, as we're half way through last primary yr so maybe now is a good time to acknowledge this.

Fanjango Mon 20-Mar-17 23:58:23

Sadly my son didn't get his diagnosis before transition to seniors, it failed badly and he's not been to school since September. The diagnosis itself doesn't get extra help on its own but helps make the case. Transition to seniors and puberty, especially in girls, can cause huge emotional issues that can be harder for a child on the spectrum. If in doubt get the referral to check asap, the waiting times for assessment can be very long!

Imaginosity Tue 21-Mar-17 00:02:04

Well I have a boy who is age 7 so not your exact scenario. My son knows now he has autism and it's great being able now to discuss with him why he has sensory issues or problems controlling his emotions etc. I would much prefer he has a full understanding of himself rather than wondering why he is different to others. We can openly talk about what we can do to manage his issues. His behaviour makes senses to him now.

Your daughter could benefit from help from an occupational therapist to help her with sensory issues etc.

zzzzz Tue 21-Mar-17 07:29:04

Same as the benefits of any diagnosis. Hiding autism is a recipe for underachievement, mental health problems and misery.

PolterGoose Tue 21-Mar-17 07:55:22

I've said it before, but it's a whole lot better being autistic with a diagnosis than without. Diagnosis doesn't make you autistic, but it does bring greater understanding (for oneself as well as hopefully from others) and legal protections.

Msqueen33 Tue 21-Mar-17 12:53:35

I strongly believe I have asd. Two dds of mine have asd. I struggled horrifically through my teenage years and had lots of mental health issues. I thought I was crazy and it made me very very depressed because I compared myself to NT people and felt like I was failing. If I'd known I was just different I might not have harmed myself so badly and experienced a lot of misery.

I'm toying with getting a diagnosis now but I'm not sure how I'd let my mask go.

NotJimbo Tue 21-Mar-17 22:27:28

Thanks for your responses, it's food for thought, I will probably go ahead and pursue an assessment.

My main concern with diagnosis is it would make no real difference, so it's helpful to hear others views on this. Some of the benefits mentioned seem real and tangible, so that's already helpful.

Another thought - presumably I don't bring DD along to the GP appt where I request the referral? It could be awkward having that discussion in front of her, and I can't think of any positive ways to frame it, to explain her issues to a GP without sounding like I'm highlighting how weird/wrong/difficult she is? Would the GP need her to be there? I'm realising if this request goes anywhere I'll have to explain to DD what it's all about. She has enough self awareness that she realises she has difficulty in some areas so I'm sure I can find a way... thinking out loud here. In any case it seems to take 6 wks to get a GP appt here so that will give me time to work it out.

PolterGoose Wed 22-Mar-17 06:57:12

You don't need to take her to the GP, but do take a list of your concerns so it can be attached to a referral.

Start keeping a diary too so you don't forget stuff!

Good luck flowers

Wh0Kn0wsWhereTheTimeGoes Wed 22-Mar-17 07:07:51

My DS was diagnosed in yr 3, he's now in year 8, it has made a huge difference, partly in his own understanding of himself but mainly it has empowered me to reach out for extra support for him, not just in school but in extra-curricular activities too. Our referral was done through the school nurse.

mummytime Wed 22-Mar-17 07:47:58

One of my DDs is diagnosed - and one huge benefit for her is understanding that she thinks differently and why. This is helping her get through her teenage years as she is very analytical and having a logical reason why "other people can be so different/illogical" helps.
Also having a diagnosis means that you can tell school, and they can be prepared if difficulties arise.

Wh0Kn0wsWhereTheTimeGoes Wed 22-Mar-17 08:19:25

Bear in mind also that once she hits the teenage years it may get harder to persuade her to see a doctor or other specialist if she doesn't want to, at the moment you've got a window of opportunity while you are more in charge of such things.

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