Hi,I have a 9 year old son and we're just starting our journey and have been referred to our CAMHS locality practitioner. I don't know what to expect from here as I had always believed up until now we could manage his behaviours at home but have come to the conclusion we need outside help and support.
It's taken so long for us to start our journey as previous to this his quirks seemed to be just that, quirks. But it's become more apparent to us at home and school that it is something more than that as his social development and self management seems to have faltered somewhat. He's an intelligent boy who is doing great in school other than in these areas that are now starting to effect his schoolwork.
My son has suddenly seemed to be struggling much more with managing his emotions and being able to self regulate. Having more meltdowns and then he seemingly goes into shut down which incurs slowed speech and as though he has zoned out meaning he struggles to listen and follow simple instruction. As I said, this has been building gradually and has suddenly become much worse! Also his anxiety is through the roof at the moment. So I'm just learning the best techniques to help him and I'll admit to not getting it right a lot of the time!
Found this page while looking for support for people who are awaiting a diagnosis. However, I'm struggling to see where I fit and where to turn for support as he isn't presenting with severe (not the right word but my brain is failing me after a long day) traits of autism. I worry that people think I'm milking it or putting it on or that I'm just looking for attention as he isn't extreme at all.
Sorry for rambling! I just wanted to say hi and out it all came!!
That sounds very typical for an autistic child.
As he gets older the social landscape will become more complicated and he will be finding it harder to fit in and find a place for himself in that structure. As he finds he needs to devote more attention to that area he may well begin to slip in others when previously he was coping very well. It's unfortunate that this all happens around the same age as the schoolwork itself ramps up in difficulty.
He will be aware that he's not managing and that he's different and not sure why or what he can do to keep things running smoothly. I'm not surprised he's feeling anxious.
Hopefully CAMHS will enable him to access the necessary support at school ASAP.
In the meantime this website is a valuable source of information as is this book http://www.autismforthvalley.co.uk/files/5314/4595/7798/Attwood-Tony-The-Complete-Guide-to-Aspergers-Syndrome.pdf - it's the one my family bought when I was first diagnosed and I found it really helpful and reassuringly reflective of the things I was experiencing.Don't worry about people thinking you're "putting it on"- they don't know your son and at the end of the day their opinions don't matter. You're doing what's best for him by getting him the support he needs and the earlier the better- much more effective to help him now as soon as you've noticed it than to wait until it gets more extreme because he's completely lost the ability to cope. You're doing things right!
I honestly can't tell you how much better reading your reply has made me feel, so thank you for taking the time to respond!
I've always known there was something but because it wasn't anything really specific I wasn't able to push for a diagnosis of anything until now. I'm just so appreciative that the school and doctors have listened to my concerns and are helping me get him the support he needs and deserves. School have been great and he has had a support through them for social aspects for a couple of years so they're more than on the ball with him and me!
Thank you again for replying Emma, even just that one reply has settled a lot of doubt within me.
I'm glad and you're welcome!
It's excellent that his school's being so supportive.
Any questions, don't hesitate to ask on this forum. We've all been there.