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How did you prepare your child for ADOS assessment?

(11 Posts)
ChildOfThe70s Fri 28-Aug-09 10:19:40

I have been lurking for a while and there seems to be lots of good advice on this board so I hope you can help! My DS2 finally has a date for assessment but I'm not quite sure how to explain it to him. He's 5.5 and was initially seen by our local hospital in London - family interview where he and his big brother basically just played together while DH and I talked to the specialist. Since then he has been having regular appts with the child psychologist and they referred him to Great Ormond Street because they think he has mild Aspergers but wanted a better assessment.

The GOSH assessment sounds much more complicated and requires two afternoons of 1:1 assessment. I'm not sure how to explain this to DS2 - I don't want him to think there is something "wrong" with him or damage his self esteem. He has already said in the past, "why do I go to see X at the hospital? Is it because I am mean to DS1?" sad. He is too young to understand what Autism is surely, and we have never tried to make him feel he is different to others so I am just wondering what other MNers might have done. Hope you can offer me some advice!

debs40 Fri 28-Aug-09 10:28:01

I don't have any advice as we are in a similar position so I'm watching this post with interest.

I have to say that I have been disappointed that those who organise these assessments don't provide guidance. Once children get to a certain age, they are bound to pick up on things and wonder why they are in hospital etc if they don't feel ill.

I raised it when we had our first background appointment with CAMHS and the answer was to say they are going to see someone who helps with their worries - but what if they don't feel they have any!!

ChildOfThe70s Fri 28-Aug-09 10:38:09

Thanks Debs - like you said, I don't think DS2 feels he is any different from everyone else and I don't think he feels worried about it! He thinks you go to hospital when you are ill or hurt, and since he is neither of those things he won't really understand why he's there!

I also think he will find the whole process really strange, he can be very clingy to me and won't like the 1:1 session. I have asked so many times why they can't come and do observations at school but no-one seems to be able to give me an answer. How can they assess a child's behavioural problems in a strange environment where they are likely to behave out of character??

debs40 Fri 28-Aug-09 11:07:02

I completely agree. The whole process is shrouded in mystery when it should be clear and they should be guiding parents through it with explantions about why things have to be done in a certain way.

I find it astonishing that people who work in psychology should think this is effective communication!

bonkerz Fri 28-Aug-09 11:12:31

my DS had this test last year when he was just 8. We told him he had to go and play some games with a special children doctor so they could see how his brain worked and to see if we could find out why he got angry.
DS ended up having to go for a session every week for 3 weeks as he struggled with the test BUT DS actually enjoyed the test, i think the 1:1 set up worked well for him.

we are at the doctors every month now and ds knows its to find out how his brain works and to see how mummy and daddy can help him.

claw3 Fri 28-Aug-09 11:18:33

Does your son have any problems with eating or food?

The reason i ask is that my 5 year old son has SMD and possible autism and is orally defensive and has problems with food and eating.

I tell him our various appointments are to help him eat more healthily

debs40 Fri 28-Aug-09 11:31:49

I have told my son that to date or something like it. He gets bothered by smells and so I tell him that the doctor can help with that.

But, I have to say that, as parents, we manage most of issues for him so he doesn't feel he has 'worries'. We had to go through a detailed background history with the first person we saw at CAMHS and I thought this would be difficult in front of him. When I asked about how it could be approached discretely, they did seem a little baffled by my concern hmm

ChildOfThe70s Fri 28-Aug-09 11:41:38

Debs, I also found the whole issue of talking about DS2's problems in front of him really difficult as he is generally a very happy, funny boy who doesn't think he has any problems! He doesn't have any food issues but he does have terrible tantrums, so I very vaguely told him the doctors were going to help him try not to get so cross about things. Initially I went to the GP because I was worried about him not socialising. The shouting and tantrums I can deal with, but it was the lack of socialisation (apart from with DS1) that concerned me.

claw3 Fri 28-Aug-09 11:42:13

My worst to date has been taking him to have blood taken to check on his anemia. He asked me why did i take him there and let them do that to him sad

I am also totally unprepared for him to have a general anesthetic and have 6 teeth removed next month. I have no idea how i will explain that.

ChildOfThe70s Fri 28-Aug-09 13:44:49

Claw, that's awful for you. It's so hard trying to explain to your DCs why you have to let someone cause them pain! sad. sorry if I am being ignorant, but what is SMD?

claw3 Fri 28-Aug-09 16:05:26

Not ignorant of you at all, i should have been clearer! Sensory Modulation Disorder.

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