No child should receive an Asperger’s diagnosis on a first appointment or assessment. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen. Yes, you may be dead certain it’s Aspergers though professionals have a duty to explore every avenue and give your child a detailed assessment clearly observing them and then providing you the parent with a detailed document of his or her findings.
Be prepared, it’s likely (what with these awful cuts) that your child will not see the same psychologist more than once. You will feel that the continuous string of professionals are not making the assessment process any easier when you find yourselves being bombarded with the same questions over and over. ‘Yes, we often ask ourselves… Do these people communicate with each other’
When assessing a school-age child for Aspergers the team involved will usually request feedback from your child’s teaching team and school SENCO. Is your child’s school acknowledging your child’s condition? If not this can really slow the entire assessment process down. In the end, the communication team at CAMHS had to go into my son’s school to assess how he coped and acted in the school environment.
Remain on the ball. Often we are Frobed off by professionals with statements like they are awaiting a certain professional to get back to them or an appointment slot for your child to meet with the SALT therapist for an assessment. It’s at these times you often find yourselves dangling in thin air and before you even realise it its been months… Your slowly slipping through the net. Bombard the team working with your child with daily phone calls. Who cares if we are getting on their nerves? If we are silent we are forgotten and no one wants to be forgotten.
Keep all reports and assessment papers and letters filed within their own folder. This will help you to stay on top of things. You will have dates at hand and be able to produce any needed documents at ease.
Keep your own written records. I’ve found that I’ve been told a lot of stuff off the record that could Potentially help my child but won’t in its undocumented state. I, therefore, make everything formal but taking notes at every meeting, during phone calls, and any other time my child’s case is up for discussion.
Try not to miss important appointments as you will often find that its months before contact is even made and new appointments are given.
Ask questions no matter how silly you think they may sound.
Trust Your Instincts. If you don’t agree with the professional’s conclusions it’s your right to ask for a second opinion.
It’s a long road, be prepared, don’t just go with it, be part of it! After all, it’s your child and diagnosis could be a way to the services you require.