Getting a diagnosis for Autism can be a very stressful time for the parents. You have probably spent weeks, months and possibly years wondering if you’re going loopy or that there is actually, something wrong with your child. Now you have got this far, you want to know what’s going to happen next.
There is no medical test to prove whether your child has Autism or not. It is not like testing to see if they have a fractured toe. It is rather a process of elimination. You, as their carer will be asked a lot of questions about family history, environment, school (if appropriate) plus they will want you to give in as much detail as you can your child’s developmental progress as you see it.
There will be, for the paediatrician or child development professional a checklist they will go through to determine if there are signs of Autism. Depending on how old your child is (as they can see many teenagers as well as toddlers) they will perform some role playing with them, chat to them, ask them to engage in a board game, play with toys and so on.
What he or she is looking for here is interaction, imagination and communication. These are the three areas which are particularly affected by Autism. After a few weeks (possibly 3 to 6 meetings with you and your child) they will offer a report for you to go through. It will also offer a diagnosis. You have plenty of time to read through it thoroughly to see if you agree. There will be some information on suggested support interventions to help your child develop the areas where they appear to struggle.
One of the main points in this film is that you don’t have to go with the first opinion you’re offered. If you are not happy with the diagnosis, ask to be seen by someone else.
One of the things that parents tend to do is rely heavily on what they are told by a group of professionals and ignore the questions piling up in their minds. It is very easy to feel as though you are being swept along with the tide. Along the line you may find it all very overwhelming; you though your child’s life was going one way and not suddenly it is going in a different direction. It is sad but parents can tend to be forgotten about during the process. It is vital that you talk to someone when you feel swamped. You can call either the Young Minds helpline or, if you wish, the National Autistic Society helpline. They are open 24 hours a day are specially trained to help with any worries you have confidentially.
The more supported YOU feel, the better the outcome for you and your child. So do please remember to look after yourself too. Watch the following video on the subject of getting a diagnosis and don’t forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode!
If you like this post, please subscribe to ensure you never miss an post! I will be covering all aspects of Autism from diagnosis to Autism in toddlers, school and KS1, KS2, KS3 and beyond, transition to adulthood, social environments, hospital stays and how to cope with them, employment and independent living.
Don’t forget to enrol in our FREE Udemy course called ‘Unleash The Positive Mind’ a short, but amazingly effective course to help you become the best teacher and power parent for your child. Take the course and you will find your child’s social and communication skills will rocket, simply by using the easy to follow methods. The course is for you and your child to complete. It provides easy to follow videos, downloads plus games and role playing making the learning process fun for both of you!
Michelle Hatcher is an Autism researcher and campaigner, consultant CBT Therapist, NLP Practitioner, Accredited Life Coach and mother of an Autistic teenager.
She is also a member of the Association of Integrative Psychology, the Institute of Leasdership and Management and the International Association of Neuro-linguistic Programming and Coaching. She has studied Autism and childhood conditions over over 15 years. She is the author of the #1 Best Selling parenting book: How To Turn Your Child’s Autism Around And Save Money. She currently conducts Autism parenting classes along with her practice. She lives in Wiltshire in the UK with her son, her family and three cats.