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What can we expect to happen during DSs assessment tomorrow?

(43 Posts)
Tiggiwinkle Wed 30-Mar-05 17:18:27

We have DSs diagnostic assessment tomorrow. (he is suspected of having AS). From other posts, the procedure seems to differ from area to area.
Here, it is usually done by the Communications Clinic in the CDC, but because they have a 12 month+ waiting list the clinical psychologists and paed. have decided to do it themselves.
So he has a 2 hour appointment tomorrow with a clinical psyc. (possibly 2), the paed and possibly a speech therapist.
Will this mainly involve us answering questions or will he be asked to do any tests etc? Am now getting nervous about it!

maddiemo Wed 30-Mar-05 17:23:13

That is different to how they do it here.

I expect that they will assess his langauge and comprehension levels. Get him to do some puzzles and tasks. Watch his interaction and imaginative play.

Probably ask you questions about development from birth and interaction and social development.

How old is he?

Tiggiwinkle Wed 30-Mar-05 17:25:04

He was 6 in February.

maddiemo Wed 30-Mar-05 17:28:03

Will anyone else be going with you? You may not always want ds in the room whilst talking about him.

Jayzmummy Wed 30-Mar-05 17:56:52

Good Luck Tiggi....will be thinking of you......have posted what happened today at J's assessment. We had the DISCO done.....lots of questions....and I mean lots!!!!!

ThomCat Wed 30-Mar-05 18:01:05

in my experience they just watch them play. Ask them to sit, play and do a puzzle, make a tower, stuff like that. Don't stress, it'll be okay.

coppertop Wed 30-Mar-05 18:18:53

I agree with the others. Usually they will ask you a lot of questions about your pregnancy, ds's birth, early history and general development. They will probably then ask you about your concerns and what you think may be the problem. While this is going on the other person will be assessing ds's language skills, comprehension, play skills etc. It tends to be done with toys and puzzles etc rather than any kind of formal tests.

Good luck. Let us know how it goes. xx

Tiggiwinkle Wed 30-Mar-05 23:49:03

Many thanks for all your replies.
Jayzmummy-have just read your thread-what a day you have had! You must be absolutely shattered. I imagine it will take a while for everything to sink in after such an intense day and after getting such news, even if you did suspect it..Hope you get some rest tonight xx.
I will let you all know how it goes tomorrow. Still nervous-I think it is a fear of not getting everything across with so much resting on it.

Tiggiwinkle Fri 01-Apr-05 12:35:50

Well, as I mentioned on Jayzmummys thread, we had the assessment and DS was given a DX of AS. Its strange that, despite having been prepared for this, the formal DX is still a shock. My head literally aches from thinking about it-I did not sleep well as my mind was still too active!
Now we have to wait and see how the school react to the DX-having insisted all along that there was no real problem and DS was just misbehaving. If there is no improvement in their attitude, I will have to move him. There are no schools with specialist units in my borough, so would have to look for a school with a more enlightened attitude. Oh well-I can see the DX is just the beginning-the real battles are still ahead!

dinosaur Fri 01-Apr-05 12:42:33

Tiggiwinkle I know how you feel. When DS1 got his diagnosis of high-functioning autism two years ago, although I was expecting it and in a sense wanted it, the room still seemed to swim around me as the paediatrician pronounced the words "We think he is best characterised as being on the autistic spectrum."

Tiggiwinkle Fri 01-Apr-05 12:49:18

Dinosaur-that is exactly it. We wanted it in the respect that it will (hopefully!) make it easier to deal with his difficulties at school. But at the same time, it has so many implications....
What is the difference between High functioning autism and Aspergers-or is it just a different term for the same thing?

dinosaur Fri 01-Apr-05 13:01:29

Ooh, good question Tiggiwinkle - some people say there is no difference, others disagree!

When he was diagnosed with HFA I asked the paediatrician why she had gone for that rather than ASperger's. She said that it was because he was language delayed and becuase he had no dyspraxia. However he did have some single words by the age of two, which I have always understood to be the cut-off point, and others have said they disagree that dyspraxia is an essential element of asperger's.

So who knows?

dinosaur Fri 01-Apr-05 13:01:33

Ooh, good question Tiggiwinkle - some people say there is no difference, others disagree!

When he was diagnosed with HFA I asked the paediatrician why she had gone for that rather than ASperger's. She said that it was because he was language delayed and becuase he had no dyspraxia. However he did have some single words by the age of two, which I have always understood to be the cut-off point, and others have said they disagree that dyspraxia is an essential element of asperger's.

So who knows?

beccaboo Fri 01-Apr-05 13:03:40

Tiggiwinkle, hope you are OK. We had dx of ASD in January, and I think we're still coming to terms with it, even though we were also expecting it. It takes a while to sink in.

Good question about AS/HFA, as far as I can make out it depends which paediatrician you talk to. Some seem to think it's the same thing, some say that if a child had a language delay then they can't have AS. I'm sure someone here can point you in the right direction, there are some tables (DSM IV?) which give definitions.

beccaboo Fri 01-Apr-05 13:06:26

Spooky dinosaur, we must have answered at the same time . My ds also had single words by age 2, and was talking in 4-5 word sentences by age 3, but paed said she would not say he was high functioning because of his language problems. It's so confusing.

dinosaur Fri 01-Apr-05 13:08:45

It is very confusing.

DS1 is described as "high functioning" because he has no learning difficulties - other than autism, that is, iyswim.

beccaboo Fri 01-Apr-05 13:15:20

Ds has just done the Weschler tests, this is an IQ test. So maybe when we get the results we'll have a clearer idea. Paed has told us that we'll have to be content with dx of ASD for now, as he is too young to know where on the spectrum he fits.

coppertop Fri 01-Apr-05 13:16:39

Ds1's Paed mentioned AS during his assessment but the written report says HFA. He didn't really speak until he was about 3yrs old. Ds2's Paed (who somewhat confusingly is now also ds1's Paed) spoke about AS. I don't know if this is just the term he prefers or if it's because ds2 had some single words at 2yrs.

I think the HFA tends to be given where there are no specific learning difficulties. It also seems to vary from Paed to Paed.

beccaboo Fri 01-Apr-05 13:16:49

Dinosaur, how did your ds' language develop? Was it a bit muddled, or did it follow a totally normal route once he got started?

dinosaur Fri 01-Apr-05 13:20:19

Beccaboo, it wasn't quite "normal". The most striking thing about it was its echolalic quality. For example, when he was two and a half and we'd just arrived at my parents' house for Christmas, mum said "Hello DS1" him and he replied "Hello DS1". He repeated everything - including snatches of conversation overheard from other people.

What else was odd? he wouldn't say "yes" for ages and ages. He didn't call us mummy and daddy for ages - and when he started he used to call me "munny" not mummy. He has never said "I love you" - I used to find it really striking that he would echo just about everything else, but not that!!

beccaboo Fri 01-Apr-05 13:40:08

Sounds similar to my ds dinosaur. He also had problems initially with yes & no, and with pronouns, even now he refers to himself by name sometimes instead of 'i' or 'me'.

Now, at 3yrs4months, he seems to have 'got it' a bit more, but is still learning things in chunks. Perhaps it's just that the chunks are joining together more seamlessly now IYSWIM.

dinosaur Fri 01-Apr-05 13:44:35

oh yes, pronouns, how could I forget that! He had great difficulty with "I" and "you".

Strangely, nt DS2 had no difficulty with those (although he did refer to himself in the third person a bit when he was very little) but he is still very shaky on "his" and "her", and "he" and "she" - and sometimes seems to struggle to tell boys and girls apart - which is not something that DS1 had a problem with.

Tiggiwinkle Fri 01-Apr-05 14:01:23

My DS had no language delay. But he did have echolalia until last year-he used to repeat the last few words of what was said to him as though he was registering it before replying.( I stupidly did not realise what echolalia was or could mean at the time). He also had touble with "his" and "her" until recently-used to say "shes" instead of her.

beccaboo Fri 01-Apr-05 14:40:57

Tiggiwinkle, don't beat yourself up about it. I certainly didn't know anything about typical language development until we got involved in seeing a SALT. And I think that echolalia is normal to an extent. My ds still repeats things that are said to him sometimes, but I'm so used to it that I hardly notice it anymore.

What help are you going to ask the school for now that you've got the dx?

Tiggiwinkle Fri 01-Apr-05 14:56:24

beccaboo-I think it will be mainly for more understanding of his behaviours and anxieties. He does at times get extremely anxious about things-for instance until recently he was terrifed of going into assembly. He also tends to do things like take off some of his clothes and the teacher has been very intolerant of this, despite the fact that he had only taken off the outer clothes. (at home he is usually wearing just pants-takes everything else off as soon as he gets through the door!)
I also think they need to be more aware of his need for routine-he never has advance warning of having a supply teacher, so I always get complaints that he has "played up" with the supply.
Academically, at the moment, he is doing fine,so it is really with the social side of things he needs support. Above all, I want their acceptance and acknowledgement of the fact that there is a genuine problem!

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