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What happens at initial stages of assessment?

4 replies

Poundofflesh · 04/03/2023 09:35

Hi, DC shows some neurodivergent traits and we’re about to start the process of getting them assessed. Where we are you go through GP first and referred on from there. We’ve always suspected some neurodiversity from DC and there are absolutely no problems there, everyone including teacher is on board with getting them assessed. The thing I’m stuck on is what do we tell DC about why we’re taking them to the doctor? What happens in the initial meeting, do you talk to GP without DC there first? Some advice on how to navigate discussing things with DC and how the initial stages work in general would be very helpful!

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Poundofflesh · 04/03/2023 17:45

Bump!

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LightLilies · 04/03/2023 20:49

Some people take DC, others speak to the GP alone first. What happens once you have been referred differs area to area.

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SlothDays · 06/03/2023 01:29

Phone call with GP, followed by a detailed letter explaining our concerns, followed by a GP appointment with DC. We explained to DC that we were going to the GP to see if they could help with some of the things they had been struggling with, like anxiety.

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Toomanyminifigs · 06/03/2023 18:37

Different areas assess using different pathways. I would make an appointment with the school Senco. Your DC definitely won't have to attend that meeting. You say the school is supportive which is good as it's likely your DC's teacher will be asked to fill in some paperwork as part of the process.

The Senco should know what the pathway is in your region. In mine, the GP wasn't involved at all.

How old is your DC? Mine was very young when we first set out to get a diagnosis so we didn't have to tell him an awful lot at first. He actually really enjoyed all the appointments and assessments. I would say though that there were times when I got my DH to take him out into the corridor as I didn't want him (DS) to hear what I was saying.

Obviously, in these appointments, you have to focus on the difficulties the DC is experiencing and I didn't think it was fair for him to have to hear it. DC suffers from awful anxiety and I knew he would be beside himself to hear me talking in what he would see as a 'critical' way about him.

I would also say that before you make any initial appointment, try and write down examples of your DC's difficulties as the professional you see will be acting as a 'gate keeper' - ie they will decide if your DC warrants investigation. You will also be asked a lot of questions going right back to birth and early childhood ('did they crawl?' 'how old were they when they said their first word?' etc) so it's really helpful if you can jot their development down beforehand.

I would also warn you that where I am, there's currently a 2 to 3 year wait for an NHS ASD assessment. Hopefully it won't be that long where you are though.

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