When A Child Is Diagnosed With ASD

by loopy-lou33

What to do when you find out that your child has an Autisic Spectrum Disorder.

My Story

Getting a Diagnosis

I wasn't always aware that there was a problem with my child. In fact, when he had his standard two year assessment, he was meeting all of his developmental milestones. I had two older children who are healthy and who did well academically. I had no reason to think that my third child would be any different.

I first became concerned shortly before my son's third birthday. We regularly attended a mother and toddler group, run by the local library, where the children would play, followed by snack time, story time and song time. My son had no interest in following the set routine and no interest in the other children. At snack time, he would lack coordination and spill his drink down himself. I could see by observing the other children who were the same age, that his behaviour was not "normal".


Concerned, I made an appointment with my health visitor, but promptly cancelled it, as I thought I was being silly. She was quite insistent that I attend however, and I was glad that I did, because initial tests showed that my son had very poor cognitive skills, comparitive to those of an 8 month old baby. His fine motor skills were also very poor, but his speech level was advanced for his age, a whole year ahead.

Being Assessed

Following the visit to the health visitor, we started to receive appoinments to various assessments. We went to the local child development centre, where the doctor took a full medical history and observed my son doing various activities. We were then assigned to a local group called "Feel Good Friday", where the staff observed my son at play to see how he interacted with the other children and to observe his motor skills.

The results from these assessments showed that my son needed help from Occupational Therapy to improve his coordination, as well as help from a Speech and Language group that works with children who have difficulty communicating with one another. My son had good language skills, but very poor social skills.

The doctors, groups and therapy sessions were very helpful, but we still did not have a diagnosis. it was very hard to explain to people that he was "different", but we didn't have a name or label for his condition. I researched his symptoms online, and I concluded that he probably had Asperger Syndrome, which is an Autism Spectrum Disorder, but the children with Asperger's usually have high intelligence, despite their social and co-ordination difficulties.


My son displays a variety of symptoms. His anxiety levels are very high and he panics over very small things. He has trouble with self care, such as dressing himself, and was very late to be potty trained, still having regular accidents now, aged 6. His concept of reality is poor, and he doesn't always recognise danger, which makes him vulnerable.

He struggles socially and is a loner at school, having few friends and often being bullied. He finds group settings hard and prefers one on one tuition. He excels at reading and spelling but is very poor at maths.


When he got too old to attend the child development centre, we were placed under a new doctor, who asked us if we wanted a diagnosis. Of course, I answered yes, as I really wanted a label for this condition.

Early tests showed that he had Autism Spectrum Disorder, and more detailed questions completed by school staff and family showed that he had Asperger's Syndrome.

Now we have a diagnosis we are able to tap into resources for families affected by ASD, and receive the help we are entitled to. 

Is your family affected by ASD?

Updated: 01/27/2012, loopy-lou33
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Laura_Philips on 01/29/2012

My son is currently being tested for this, thanks, very informative article!

Angel on 01/27/2012

My son has ADHD with symptoms of Bipolar, Aspergers, and many other things. Wheew. It is a complicated deal. They call it a multi-plex disorder. There are times when I see the Aspergers and times when I see the other things. Hang in there.. find other parents with children who have ASD for support. I learn so much from other parents. Everyone can share tips and advice.

Othercat on 01/27/2012

I too thought my son had Asperger's Syndrome. He had all the symptoms. But 2 years ago he was diagnosed mildly autistic. The hardest part for me is his social life. He only has one friend and I know that must be lonely for him. I thought he would get better with age but he's turning 14 now and nothing much seems to have changed.

loopy-lou33 on 01/27/2012

Great comments, thank you.

TerriRexson on 01/27/2012

I've spent a long time working in the IT industry and have had several colleagues with Aspergers and probably more who are undiagnosed. As long as they have been in roles that played to their strengths they have done well.

humagaia on 01/27/2012

Bullying is the scourge of those that are 'different'. My daughter was bullied at school, until her brother stepped up and let the bullies know in no uncertain terms that it would not be tolerated (a quick thump to the nose did it). She was statemented as being dyslexic at 7, after much harassing of teachers who thought there was nothing abnormal. That was nearly 25 years ago when dyslexia for most people was an unknown condition.
Now with a 7 year old of her own, she is concerned that he may also be dyslexic. And she does not want him to go through what she went through. But, guess what, the teachers do not think there is anything to be concerned about. Deja vu?
I do hope you find ways for your child to adapt and function in this unforgiving world. I often think my daughter was born out of time - she is very intelligent and can memorize song lyrics and the tune after a single hearing - had she been born in the 15th century she would have been hailed as a great troubadour (if a woman could have been one).

loopy-lou33 on 01/27/2012

That is great to hear Jo. I'm sure your friend appreciates being included. I wish more people were like that, as sadly, my son is having quite a few issues with kids bullying him at school because he is "different".

JoHarrington on 01/27/2012

I have a friend with ASD. It's no big deal for us. He's included in everything that we do, there's just more leeway specific to his needs. Anything that we plan is explained to him using just the facts, without any of the flowery language that surrounds the rest of us. He knows that he can take any of us aside and ask for clarification on things that are confusing him. It's always freely given and he does do that. Everyone seems happy enough with this. :D

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