I'm going to the docs with my 17 year old on Wednesday and would appreciate some advice on how best to approach it. He went a few months ago and came out with advice on mindfulness and exercise and new migraine tablets!My son's struggled throughout school, though mainly with the social side of things until recent years. He's a bright lad and was predicted great grades at GCSE which he didn't achieve. From childhood he's had a lot of indicators that suggest he might have ASD (and his uncle is diagnosed, his father also shows many traits). My youngest is currently awaiting assessment. I'm just concerned that we'll only have 10 mins to get the message across and I've had no success so far. He was referred to a paediatrician a few years back but he was referred for 'migraine' (vomiting, torpor, total inability to do anything but no real headache, went on for at least a week each time so missed loads of school) and paediatrician was very dismissive when I tried to raise the possible ASD issue. He has obsessive interests (though at the moment he doesn't seem interested in anything, he just lies on his bed with his headphones in), his work is chaotic and his anxiety levels are really high. After a few years a high school he did form friendships but he shows little inclination to see these friends outside of school. As he's got older the autistic traits have become less obvious (though he did say he's called Robot at school) but the anxiety and sleep problems (doesn't get to sleep till early hours and on Saturday it was 5.30am) have got worse. As he is now I really don't see how he's going to pass his A levels but more importantly he's become very withdrawn and having regular panic attacks.Sorry for that ramble. I just wondered if there was a questionnaire of something that I could use to focus the conversation with the doctor? My son's not big on talking (or able to identify his emotions) so something like that would be very helpful.
Hello there, I'm really sorry to hear you are struggling. Sadly, it seems to be very common for GPs to ignore ASD issues, plus, many of them simply don't know enough about it. I could suggest the following:
Downloading, printing and completing these tests and taking them with you on the next visit https://www.autismresearchcentre.com/arc_tests
You might also find it helpful to write a letter to the GP using the header Request For Diagnostic Assessment Under S.3 of the Autism Act 2009.
If neither of these get you anywhere with your GP, the next step would be to inform your MP of your ongoing struggles.
I speak from expereince. After struggling for almost 9 years to get the referral made, my MP stepped in to help and in March last year I was finally assessed and diagnosed.
I hope this will help. Your son seems to be experiencing a lot of the same things I do, but since my diagnosis I've been able to get proper medication to help with certain things, access to proper counselling and CBT and I'm on the waiting list for further assessments. I hope he doesn't have to wait as long as I did.