My 11 year old son has been seen by a school Dr, which was instigated by parents and school head. The school Dr said she thinks he is somewhere on the spectrum and he will need to go to a multidisciplinary assessment for an official diagnosis. What we can’t find out is how long this process can take. Our county is Derbyshire.
One of our concerns is, he is starting high school in September. He is already struggling with the transition and past experience suggests this may be a difficult time for him.
being new to all this we are finding some information or decision making difficult. Would anyone on here know what the average waiting time might be or an 11 year old ( we have been told 18months for adults in our county).
There might be an option of a private assessment in August. The clinic have said their assessment team are recognised by NHS authorities, LEA’s etcetera. But we have not been able to confirm this by the relevant departments. The cost is quite high, for us, so we are at a bit of a loss of what to do. I am sure this forum must get these questions all the time but I could not find specific answers relating to us.
Hi, 18 months seems to be the default length of time that they tell everybody, no matter where you are. I was told this but it actually took less than 12 months. I don’t think they are able to accurately tell you due to all sorts of reasons.
If you are able to take the private option, I personally would go with that, for all sorts of reasons and it also puts you more in control of the situation. The financial cost might seem high but I think it is worth it for many reasons.
What I would highly recommend is joining a local support group, ASAP, for parents of children with autism. This will prove invaluable to you for so many reasons, over the coming years. Not only will this give you access to valuable first hand experiences, it will also provide you with friendships that you will come to treasure and a place where you can share your concerns without it feeling like you’re simply moaning.
Going private won’t exclude you from accessing support from your local authority, you can take a joint approach. You could contact your local education authority, in writing, and ask them if a private diagnosis will enable you to access local support, so you have their answer in writing. You can also contact the NAS helpline for any questions you have.
We went with a privet Dr. and had our son assessment & diagnosis within 2 months. We had been told the school would help us with this but after almost a year, we could not longer wait as we were moving school. Our son is 6 years old, not as old as your son. I recommend if you can, find a privet psychiatrist in your area. It sounds like time is of the essence here with him moving up in school. Best of luck
Thanks you both for the replies. Have either of you experienced issues of private assessments or diagnosis not being recognised by health authorities or LEA’s?
I got my assessment via the NHS but I've never heard of anybody having a problem with their private diagnosis with regards to the NHS or LEA's - if anything, you're doing them a favour by taking away some of their work load. But I have no idea if anybody has had a problem. I would direct my question to the NAS helpline as well as they might have more information.
As of now we have not had any issues. All the proper tests & assessments were done correctly. We were referred from our Pediatrician in the USA, but moved soon after. We are currently working with his school to get him the help he needs as well as the help they need. I would be disappointed and shocked if the health authorities or LEA did not recognized a diagnosis from a Psychiatrist who is licensed to practice in the UK. The Dr. we used with our privet ins. also works for the NHS. I hope this helps.
We went through the same with our 6 year old. If we had gone through the NHS it would have taken approximately 2 years to get a diagnosis, and at the time, we were really fighting with the school, with them not offering any support for our son, had been sending him home (unofficially) and even excluding him at times, because they could not deal with him, and refused to offer any additional support until there was a diagnosis. We did go private, after a lot of research, and we are so glad that we did. We waiting 3 weeks for the appointment, and had a verbal diagnosis on the same day, with the full report within a week. Ever since then everything has moved forward really quickly, he now has one to one support at school, and his ECHP is in the process of being done, and he has at least 5 different intervention groups.
The only thing I would say, is I have heard that sometimes private reports are not recognised, and this is because a full multidisciplinary assessment needs to be carried out with the minimum of a Speech and Language Therapist, a Psychologist, and a Paediatrician. I think that this is why the wait is so long on the NHS as to get these three highly qualified people in a room together is very difficult.
As long as you have a report produced by at least these three experts, the diagnosis and report should be accepted by all.
My son was diagnosed today after a long 5 year process with the NHS. I would recommend going private!
We have had it confirmed that locally we should expect to wait at least 18months once the team have received the official referral letter. Privately we have been told a month by one clinic and 3 months by another.
it looks like we will have to start saving.
thanks for all the replies, they have been very helpful.
As an adult I was assessed in Derbyshire in Oct. The initial letter they sent out stated there was a 2 - 2.5 year wait but I was seen in a year, so 18 months does sound realistic.