ASD Assessment & ADHD

I am sorry if there is a previous thread on this already - I am very new to the community. My son is awaiting his diagnosis and his Special Ed Needs certification in Northern Ireland. We are taking things as it comes and are on alot of waiting lists for emotionla and behavoural support and family support which is still forthcoming. At a point in limbo at the minute with everything and trying not get fustrated with the system because everyone is in the same boat and we are luckier than most with a roof, safe home and food in our bellies. Things are stressful at home and school for us as a couple. We dont have any family or support and both my husband and I work round the clock in jobs and taking care of our tiny human who is 5 next week! As time progresses at this stage we are confident his diagnosis will be Asperger's however we are now very more aware of everything and how he is presenting himself through time. We both are of the opinion he has ADHD but are not sure how to (at this limbo stage) how to pursue this? I dont have much knowledge of ADHD but a diagnosis of Aspergers, for my son, is not the whole picture. I am seeking some advice on what I should do? Would i best have a meeting with the SchoolSpecial Ed Co-ordinator for advice or contact the Health Visitor? Im feeling a bit lost and our life (what is left of it) is suffering because we dont know how best to support our Son. Its utterly exhausting everyday and i feel if we cant help him whatever we do is either making it worse or not addressing these aspects of his personality. Any advice would be most welcomed. 

Morgana x

  • Oh my Morgana , you have your hands full. I wish I had answers for you, but not being in the UK I cannot point you in the direction of an agency or procedure. However, I too have a daughter with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) w/additional diagnoses, as well as a spouse w/ASD & a daughter with complex, profound special needs. My spouse was diagnosed 1st, followed by our daughter. At the time, she had been diagnosed w/severe ADHD alone. When i took her for testing for the ASD, it was treated as a completely separate issue until i pushed it. I asked for & eventually was given the parental assessment forms for ADHD, along w/those for the ASD & noted on each the potential cross diagnoses. Eventually the dx came back for ASD w/ADHD, anxiety & OCD. If you are already in the process, is there an administrator or assessor you can contact to raise the concern? ASD & ADHD are common co-morbid diagnoses.

    I can feel your exhaustion right through the internet & am so sorry. It's an extremely stressful journey, especially at the very beginning. Finding & applying for available resources is enough, alone, to send any parent around the bend, let alone one caring for a child w/special needs & working as much as you are. May I offer this though - I know it feels as if you have to come up with all the answers right now, for both you & your child, but you don't. You're starting w/diagnosis early, which is fabulous & he will benefit life-long from your work on his behalf. If you apply for anything else right now, make it funding for respite. You need it for yourself & for him. You can't think & plan for him if you're whittled down to a thread, anxious, overtired & especially being pounced upon by a whirling top, however much you love him. Apply for respite hours. :-)

    Too, while it may be hard to think about now, especially when you feel there may be resources within your grasp, it's realistic to understand that none of those resources will work magic. Some may help - respite dollars for instance - but none will fix everything or even most things. That will all be down to you, his parents. You have to do the research, you have to figure out which issue of the ASD & ADHD to tackle next, trial various solutions, implement what works & stick to it. Perhaps you tackle bedtime & sleep, trying melatonin, timers, routines, music, white noise - whatever your research thru books, professionals, websites or forums like this turns up - each step is a slow, imperfect process. The professionals will not find the solutions or implement them, you will. Perhaps you can ground yourself for what's ahead with a book or two - the library should have a selection. I recommend starting w/something written by Tony Attwood. I know how hard it is to remember that it's a long journey, not a race, but eventually there's a rhythm that brings progress without urgency. You'll get there.

    Morgana - you have a vivid, living writing style - what a gift! You're really able to put a reader right where you are. Despite the difficult & painful topic, it's a pleasure reading your well-composed thoughts. Welcome to the forums. I hope you find practical help here, as well as the safe, friendly space to vent most of us w/children w/special needs benefit from. :-)

  • Hi @NAS35924, 

    I am sorry to here of your situation and hope that we can help. You may like to contact our Autism Helpline team who are best suited to answer. They can provide you with information and advice on your issue. You can call them on 0808 800 4104 (Monday to Thursday 10am to 4pm, Friday 9am to 3pm).Please note that the Helpline is experiencing a high volume of calls and it may take a couple of attempts before you get through to speak to an advisor.

    Please see the following link for further information:

    Or you can fill in an online helpline form here:

    I hope that is some help. 

    Holly (Mod)