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Google benefits of early intervention for autism. Seriously, if you suspect it and don’t get testing, your putting your head in the sand
My sister was reported to child protective services by the school, because she refused to take her primary school aged child for testing.
It impacts the child, the school, the kids around the child, the teachers, the resources, and the funding. The child is able to have access to so many more services that are of benefit to the child.
We need OT for my 10 year old, $75 a week group session. Was only eligible for 2 free (covered by Medicare) OT appointments last year. If we'd recognized issue earlier instead of saying he's just poorly behaved, we could have accessed so much more when he was younger. Arghh
If they are able to function successfully and and happily without any supports in the groups they are a part of (family, daycare, school) I don’t personally see the point of a label for the sake of it.
I guess it would depend how severe the symptoms are and what impact it's having on them reaching milestones and their learning.
I got my son tested at 3yrs even though it seemed mild and the test was inconclusive. When he started school the teacher asked for him to be reassessed. He was diagnosed with Autism. It wasn't much of an issue as a toddler but in a school setting it is extremely noticeable and he requires a lot more help. I'd say get your child assessed anyway. Even if your child is ok now, a noisy school setting may cause a need for more help and it is better to already have this available. If I wasn't already on the public system files for asking for that 3yr old assessment than I would have had to wait for over 6 months of him struggling to get the extra assessment or pay out of pocket for another assessment privately. I'd say do it anyway just in case it becomes an issue when school age. The school receives extra funding and as a result my son now has 2 teacher aides and is thriving at school with the extra support.
Schools push for assessments done because the more kids on the spectrum they have the more funding and extra staff they get.
If there is the slightest doubt, why wouldn’t you seek an assessment? If there is an issue later on you may regret not having it done earlier and accessing help. Early intervention is so important.
Probably you should seek the advice of a paediatrician. If they think there is a need for assessment they will write a referral and you will go on a wait list.
This is personal experience anyway
A wonderful psych (who can diagnose ASD) said to us 'bring your child to see me when you're ready'.
Once we took our son to her I realised she meant when WE, as parents, were ready to hear the diagnosis. She was right. You may not be ready just yet (but don't wait too long!)
Our son is very high functioning, but as he gets older (is in mainstream school, he's 6) the social and cognitive differences with his peers are growing rapidly. We have the skills to help him, have support & he is getting early intervention on the NDIS to address the areas needed. It will make the difference between him struggling or thriving as an adult in our complex society. There are things not immediately obvious and he's extremely intelligent so can bluff his way through most things & may have ended up falling through the cracks.
What drove me to get past the fear of a 'label' was not wanting to look into my son's eyes as an adult and tell him we could have gotten him help, but didn't.
My intention isn't to guilt you, this is just my personal experience, and strong belief about doing whatever you can to help your child have a happy life.
I had my boy tested after famiky pressure. I thought he was fine. He was diagnosed with asd, global delay of 2 years (3 year old in a 5 year olds body) severe speach delay and low muscle tone. He is slowly improving and will be going to mainstream kindi next year. Without the early intervention i dont think it would have been possible. Also you only get so many appointments through health for therapies. So unless you cn afford the hundreds of dollars every week ud get assessed and on ndis. We just got 20 grand for him for therapies. 10 grand for my oldest girl who has asd
Hi op! Ok so to answer your question. I have a child that has been suggested to me by a few different professionals that they could be on the spectrum as some of their behaviours are that of what a child ont be spectrum would display. However, we are able to access heaps of early intervention services without a formal diagnosis. (Even ndis!) so there is no harm in taking all the help you can get if you fear the label and how that will impact you as a family and the child once they are older. (My fears)
I have been told by psychologists there is no need to get a diagnosis if it will not be helpful for the family unit /parents as we are the ones that need to support the child.
I do in fact tell preschool that said child “could be on the spectrum” so they are aware how to help and they can get support if needed also. (Which they’ve done) so all this is possible without any label / formal diagnosis or whatever you want to call it.
Hope this helps. All the best x
My son is 17 and when he was 5 he was diagnosed with a rare anxiety disorders. He was tested for Autism in the process because he ticked a few boxes but they said no, he does not have it. Now I think if he was tested again with today's understanding and testing processes he probably would get a positive diagnosis. I also think another child may have Asperger's. He has always been a bit different and after reading about Asperger's it is him all over. This child is an adult. We have survived well without a diagnosis, there were never excuses for their behaviour and all of my kids were treated exactly the same. I don't think they would have turned out different with a diagnosis but they are doing quite fine without it. In hindsight, I would only pursue a diagnosis if their life was affected like my son's life is by anxiety. But if they are only slightly on the spectrum I really don't see a need, they don't need to be treated differently at home or in the classroom.