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 As he is now I really don't see how he's going to pass his A levels but more importantly he's become very withdrawn and having regular panic attacks.Sorry for that ramble.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.
I see that you have your son's appointment tomorrow, so I am just jumping in with a few links that might help:
The first link is to our helpline:
If you have questions, or wanted some advice, you may like to contact our Autism Helpline team. 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.
Links to issues around diagnosis:
If you were interested in finding out if your son/daughter is on the autism spectrum, they would need to have a formal diagnostic assessment. You may find it useful to have a look at the following link for further information about diagnosis and the benefits of getting one: http://www.autism.org.uk/about/diagnosis/children.aspx
If you are looking for a diagnosis for your daughter/son, it is very important that you see someone with experience of autism spectrum disorders. Details of diagnostic services can be found on our Autism Services Directory: http://www.autismdirectory.org.uk/services/autism-services-directory.aspx
You may also want to look at our section that provides advice for parents, relatives and carers of people with autism: http://www.autism.org.uk/living-with-autism/parents-relatives-and-carers.aspx
It might also be useful to pass on information about autism for health professionals when seeking a diagnosis. The following page includes information for a range of health professionals: http://www.autism.org.uk/Working-with/Health.aspx
You may like to have a read of the National Autism Plan for Children to see what you are likely to expect and what you can ask during the assessment . Please scroll down to the bottom of the page and go to page 3 on summary report, page 11 for full report for the Essential Components for a complete multi agency assessment: http://www.autism.org.uk/about/diagnosis/children/national-plan-children.aspx
Hope that this information is helpful as a starting point.
Thanks so much for sending all that through Nicky. Unfortunately once again the Drs appointment was a total waste of time. We said son's not sleeping and anything we said after that wasn't heard at all - Dr just spend 10 mins telling us that he needs to use 'Thought Blocking' and look up sleep hygiene advice online. We've been going with the same issues for years and never got anywhere. I've got my son to fill in the ASQ which he scored 26 on, but some of his answers I would have said aren't an accurate reflection of his nature, more of how he has learned to be if that makes sense? He's having counselling at school and I've suggested he takes the form with him to his next session to discuss with her as she may be more open to actually listening to him. So, GP was useless again but we did have useful conversations about autism and anxiety as we walked to/from the Drs!