Pros and cons of formal diagnosis


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...


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