What happens at the initial assessment appointment?

(4 Posts)
MordecaiOShea17 Wed 27-Feb-19 17:18:53

My dd (12) has been receiving low-level mental health support for the last year. Both her school and her mental health nurse have raised concerns about possible ASD and suggested we get an assessment, so in October we asked the GP to refer her. We've got an assessment appointment with the paediatric team in a couple of weeks. Can anyone tell me what's likely to happen at that appointment? Is this going to be the beginning of a long assessment process? And if she does get a diagnosis, what are the next steps likely to be?

OP’s posts: |
Punxsutawney Wed 27-Feb-19 20:12:02

My 14 year old son is undergoing assessment at the moment. His first appointment was with the consultant community paediatrician. I went in first and spent about 45mins answering her questions and giving her a detailed history.

He was outside in the waiting room with his Dad. They came in for the last 5 mins of the appointment. She gave him a really quick physical examination. She didn't really interact with him though.

She explained that she would refer him to the speech and language therapist for an ASD assessment and the occupational therapist for his fine motor skill problems. He has seen the OT a couple of times and his seeing her again in a few weeks. We have heard absolutely nothing from speech and language (saw the consultant in December). So I have no idea when that will happen. As far as I know after the speech and language assessment the consultant meets with the therapist to discuss the case and make a decision on whether to give a diagnosis, which feels weird as she only met him for 5 mins! He has some memory issues and I asked her about those but she said she is no longer allowed to refer to the educational psychologist, so those issues will have to be addressed by the school.

I guess though it can be different all around the country. It does feel like a long process, but I understand that there are huge waiting lists.

MordecaiOShea17 Wed 27-Feb-19 21:31:44

Thanks for replying. That's helpful.

It confirms what I was thinking, which is that I need to be very clear in my mind exactly what dd's challenges are before we go to the appointment. I tried writing a list of the things she struggles with, but it all sounded a bit vague. The trouble is, we've lived with her quirks for so long that it feels normal to us. Her mental health nurse has written a letter setting out the problems as she sees them, which should help.

OP’s posts: |
Punxsutawney Wed 27-Feb-19 22:03:27

I would go armed with any information that you think might help. I actually printed out 4 pages of what I could remember from when he was a baby right the way through until now. I'm not sure if it was all relevant but I felt I had to let her know all our concerns. The consultant didn't read it at the appointment but she said she would read it afterwards.

The hospital sent us some questionnaires that we filled in and sent back before the appointment. They also sent some to the school but that was a complete waste of time as the member of staff that filled it in didn't really know him! I was told that it is not unusual for schools not to see all the problems though.

I agree we too have adjusted our home life to accommodate his needs so it has become our 'normal'. Good luck with the appointment.

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