I was looking for some thoughts on whether I should get my children assessed for Aspergers/Autism. Last week I was formally diagnosed with Aspergers, but Ive been aware that I probably had aspergers for a long time, I think it may run in my family as I have several family members who I could say were probably on the spectrum, including my two children aged 9 and 7. My question is should I seek to get them diagnosed as at the moment they seem to get on ok with school. My eldest enjoys school and learning and his teacher frequenty comments that he is always quietly focusing on his work. My youngest is a bit of a daydreamer and more like me. He loves art and computer games but isn't too keen on school. We moved cities last year and my children have gone from having friends living near by to knowing nobody on the street where we live and although my eldest enjoys football and does make friends through that he has no one to play with outside of school (although this doesn't seem to bother him and as an aspie myself I can understand why). My worry that my youngest isn't making friends in school. Everyone seems to know who he is but he just ignores them when they say hello (as an aspie, again I can relate) I see that they may end up suffering from crippling anxiety especially as they get older and move schools, as I did and still do. My gut feeling is that I should get them diagnosed as support with knowing what to do in social situations would have been of great benefit to me as a child. I suppose as a parent I want them to fulfil their potential in life and not have their Asperger traits hold them back.
My question is this. Would there be any negatives to getting my children diagnosed?
Any thoughts other parents have would be greatly appreciated.
Hi, I have a son who was diagnosed with autism aged 5, and is now 14. I am also recently self diagnosed with Asperger's.
For my son, the diagnosis opened the door to help at school and speech therapy, which was very necessary at the time. Because your children are doing ok at school, that would perhaps be less of an issue. (He doesn't need the extra classroom help now, except that he has a card to show to the teacher if he needs to leave and go to a quiet place for a while.) His diagnosis didn't make much difference in the way other children related to him, though, and I am sorry to say that at the time a few of their parents were quite bothered by it, to the extent of discouraging their own children from walking with him. I don't know of an answer to that. It hasn't been a problem since he moved up to high school, where he is doing pretty well, and has made a few friends, although most of his socialising is online.
Do your children know about your diagnosis, and if so, what do they think? Do they feel "different" themselves, and does it worry them? Form my own experience of growing up undiagnosed, I wish that I had known. Not because I think it would have helped me socially as such, but because I would have understood the reason I always struggled to fit in, and I wouldn't have felt as bad about myself.
I hope my reply is of some help, and I wish you all the best.
I agree OrinocoFlo. I was diagnosed at 50 and had a horrible time at school. I wish I had been understood at that age and understood myself. At least I wouldn't have thought I was bad or odd because no one liked me. Both my youngest children are autistic. Things are better now than they were when I was a child but neurotypical children still don't understand unless they know others on the spectrum.
To PurpleFeathers: I don't think there are negatives to diagnosis as they can begin to understand themselves and do their own research about Autism when they are so inclined. The assessment as an adult took six hours and was quite traumatic in many ways and I was left with mixed thoughts having spent all of my life with people thinking of me as 'odd', 'quirky' and 'eccentric'.
My daughter was thirteen when she was diagnosed and was already self harming and suicidal because she didn't know what was wrong with her. Diagnosis and psychiatric care has changed her life for the better. Having said all this, it's a decision that only you, as a parent, can make. Blessings
Thank you for your reply and for sharing your experiences. I think I worry that although my children are doing well in primary school when they move up to secondary they will have more social difficulty with their peers which could result in mental health problems. My thoughts are that an early diagnosis might help to improve their mental health in the long term.
I have not told my children about my diagnosis. I'm undecided yet whether i should. Ive only told a couple of close friends. I think I'm at a loss as to how to tell my children.
OrinocoFlo said:Form my own experience of growing up undiagnosed, I wish that I had known. Not because I think it would have helped me socially as such, but because I would have understood the reason I always struggled to fit in, and I wouldn't have felt as bad about myself.
What you say here is exactly my thoughts as well.
A diagnosis of ASD could in the future result in higher insurance premiums or the risk of an insurance company avoiding a policy if they are not told about the ASD.