My younger daughter is 15, and has problems with anxiety at school. On reflection, she has a number of traits that fit an Asperger's type profile closely, and has had since childhood. She's been referred for assessment with a view to that diagnosis. Our anxiety is that currently, she's a geeky girl who's a bit awkward socially, and has some anxieties, all of which are either within a normal range and/or she could expect to grow out of. Once she's diagnosed, she will be considered to have a lifelong condition which can not be cured.
In my family, lots of us (including me) have Asperger's-type traits, but none of us has had a formal diagnosis, and we've all grown up to be happy, working, having families, and maybe remaining a bit nerdy and shy, but that's all. Once we've escaped from the pressure-cooker of secondary school and have been able to choose who we spend our time with, and what we do, none of us has has significant problems.
I'm concerned that with a diagnosis, although my daughter will get help for the significant difficulties she is having at school (these centre around anxiety attacks and stress- she is doing really well academically), she will also become very difficult to employ for the rest of her life.
I'm not clear who would have to be told in future about her diagnosis. It is likely to affect her in getting a driving licence, or insurance for her life, health, mortgage or travel? Would she have to put it on a university application? Job applications?
She's lucky to be clever and I am fairly confident that she could learn to fake being neurotypical well enough to manage... so I'm not fully convinced that she'd be better off with a formal diagnosis than she'd be knowing what it probably is and doing a whole lot of reading about coping strategies.
I'd appreciate your thoughts...
I can pretty much say a diagnosis saved my child. Without it there would be no self esteem, so self-awareness of issues, ......
As for future employment, there are some companies (expecially in the sciences and IT) which not only are supportive of those on the spectrum, but appreciate the unique skills that many on the spectrum have. Yes, there will be those who will discriminate, but your child probably wouldn't get on well at those places anyway.
The diagnosis will not change other people. It won't necesarily give you access to services, and it won't necessarily make teachers any better at interacting with her. But what it can do is give your child a reason why they are different so that they do not feel bad about themselves. It can also help explain to them why they find some aspects of subjects they are brilliant in otherwise, very challanging (such as being brilliant in literacy except for some reading between the lines reading comprehension).
Another benefit of the diagnosis is that for the rest of her life she will have an extra legal layer of protection. As it will be illegal to not hire her just because she has ASD, reasonably adjustments will have to be made for her, ........
But in the grand scheme of things, no one other then her ever need know she has the diagnosis. It will just be there for her when she needs it.
Ok. Just heard about it from the 504?at school in addition to the therapist.,his uncle,my brother.. a teacher with his masters said there is a 99.5 chance he has it then. I know this is real. His anxiety and intelligence are both outstanding. Being an mba grad and dealing with the real world it can be overwhelming for anyone. So with it being my boy I’m slow to judge. Pros and cons plz? He, his family, his physician and his school already knows he is cursed with Aspergers... but then... benefits??
Who really needs a diagnosis these days when everyone knows you have it?? I mean... it’s just a formality for my favorite child