how was your child diagnosed and what help are you getting?

Terri - posted on 02/18/2010 ( 4 moms have responded )

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i've done a lot of research on autism and the various spectrum disorders, including AS, so i pretty much knew my son had it and the evaluation was, for me, just a formality. however, it was definitely something that was needed and had to be done because of course we wanted the diagnosis to be official and on record to receive any assistance possible. though this is something we've suspected for quite awhile, we just finally met w/ a psychiatrist yesterday who 'diagnosed' my son. he did not do any testing, and didn't even really talk to my son. he spent about 90 minutes talking w/ me and my husband and listening to us describe our son and why we think he has AS. for over a year now i've been having people suggest to me that my son might be autistic...his grandmother (who is a school counselor), two teachers, the school principal and assistant principal, his OT, and his pediatrician and psychologist. my son has already been diagnosed w/ ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder and is receiving OT for that. the psychiatrist we saw to have my son formally evaluated said he does not do formal testing for autism because he has seen too many kids who passed the tests, but whose behavior indicated that they did indeed have the disorder. he said because we and so many others saw the symptoms ourselves that our pediatrician could have made the diagnosis on her own. he believes autism is more of a clinical diagnosis than something that needs to be proven w/ testing. i am comfortable w/ my son receiving the diagnosis w/ out testing only because of the research i've done and my conviction that he has AS; however, i was expecting the doc to perform some sort of tests or evaluations so i was a bit taken aback by this and even a little disappointed. i suppose i'm afraid that another doc later will contradict or dispute the diagnosis since no testing was done.

so on that note, i'm curious...what kind of testing or evaluations were done for your child?

on another note, my son's school has refused to give us an IEP or make any classroom modifications. they said an IEP is only given for subjects, not disorders. this was said when i sought an IEP based on the diagnosis of ADHD, but at the last ARD when i informed them he would be receiving testing for AS, they said that even if we got that diagnosis it wouldn't change anything because he is still getting good grades. while he IS getting good grades, he is very disruptive in class and his teacher has a very difficult time getting him to complete assignments or work in groups w/ the other kids. my son sits at a table by himself and has no friends as the other kids just pretty much ignore him. soooo...i am also wondering what y'all can tell me about any measures you've taken to help your child succeed in school and how the school is helping to make that happen. thanks!

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4 Comments

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Cherish - posted on 02/19/2010

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Hi,
I have 3 kids w/ ASD,my youngest has "severe autism".
If you are in the US,and if your child has behavior problems,he SHOULD be on a behavior plan.
If the behaviors are due to a "disability"(even just sensory issues),then he needs a 504.
I won't go on and on about it here,but feel free to email me,we can talk about it more.
Here are some links that may be helpful..
From Lak:
What will help your child learn and progress in a regular classroom environment and in the general curriculum? Did you know your child may qualify for specialized technology, services, or simple classroom aids that will make him better able to concentrate on learning?
Any child with an IEP may benefit from supplementary aids or services. The IEP has a section to specify exactly what types of aids or assistance a child needs to succeed....
http://www.learningabledkids.com/IEP_tra...

Andrea - posted on 02/19/2010

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oh that's right...she also recieves OT, PT, and speech twice a week for an hour.

Andrea - posted on 02/19/2010

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Hi Terri. My name is Andrea and my six year old daughter, Merari, has PDD-NOS. Well her neuro diagnosed her in January of 08. First, he asked me questions. We talked about her behaviors, my concerns, etc. Then, he performed like a texture/sensory exam...He took her shoes off and ran a feather up and down her foot, he made her try to walk a straight line, put one foot right in front of the other, made her try to skip, just different things. He observed her for a few mins. then gave me her diagnosis. As for school, i am extremely fortunate to have such an accomodating school. They help me with EVERYTHING for her. She cant write on her own, so they allow her trace the letters of whatever hand out they are doing. She can't trace lower case letters, so they allow her to trace all caps. My daughter learns with music so her kindergarten teacher purchased cds containing whatever material they are covering. We completely skipped the ARD cause it's quite evident she needs the help. She isn't where she is suppose to be, but she is gradually getting there. The school district should help out as much as they can. Have they ever heard of the No Child Left Behind Act? Every child deserves an EQUAL right to an education. It's appalling to me how a school district, no less, refuses to help educate a child learn. Isn't that what they are there for?! I really do hope there is an answer to your dilema. Good luck and God bless.

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My son had been seen by two pediatricians and had been receiving speech therapy over the course of about a year before we met with the developmental specialist. She was the one who diagnosed him as being autistic. I didn't think he was, because the people in our lives were divided between "something's wrong," and "your child is spoiled," "boys mature slower than girls," and all of the things you tend to hear. And you see yourself in your child, so you don't label quirks as anything but. The doctor had us fill out a medical/ social/ behavioral history (pages and pages worth) and bring all reports and records from other doctors, therapists, etc. She did an evaluation that lasted about 2-hours, which included parent counselling as well as observation of my son in regards to every aspect of the DSM criteria for ASDs.



Once we had an official dx in hand from a well-recognized doctor in our community, it was very easy to receive services. There was a big waiting game involved, but with having autism in the more classic sense and being over the age of 3, the school district had a program for him. We had to do several more evaluations with them before writing up the IEP and implementing it.

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