Diagnostic report

The report is the outcome of the various tests someone undergoes that is suspected of having an autistic spectrum disorder. A child will undergo a CHAT screening test followed by an ASD assessment.

An adult will undergo a similar type of screening.

What will this report contain?

These results will be presented in a report which will either be given to you at that time or sent to you at a later date. This report will contain a detailed description of your child’s disorder and recommendations of types of treatment and support.

The diagnosis will be clearly shown in the report. This should be written in a language which you can understand and describe your child’s condition. A description such as ’displays autism type symptoms’is too ambiguous.

The recommendations will include advice about a range of support service which includes speech and language therapy, techniques for social interaction, building relationships, healthy eating and learning self-control.

Read through this report carefully. Ask any questions if there are aspects you do not understand and continue to ask, even if it is the same question. It is often useful to do this when faced with medical jargon.

You may be offered a follow up service. This might include phone advice or asking you and your child to attend the clinic on regular occasions to monitor his/her progress.

Coping with the diagnosis

The diagnosis is either a relief or shock to people.

Parents of an autistic child

A report can come as shock to some parents who are worried about what this will mean for their child now and in the future. It can be difficult to accept that your child is ’different’from other children but he/she is still the same person and is special in his/her own right.

Everyone reacts to a diagnosis in a different way: some people find it easier to accept whereas others reject it and insist on a second opinion. They may argue that their child is the same as everyone else but has been misunderstood or will ’grow out of this’ as they get older.

Their other worry is that their child will be vulnerable to teasing and bullying by other children or could be easily taken advantage of by other less scrupulous individuals. Plus they also worry about what will happen to their child once they are no gone.

However, some parents view this in a positive light as they feel relived that they now know what has been causing their child’s behaviour. This means that they can take steps to deal with this. This includes learning as much as they can about the condition as well as contacting autism organisations such as the National Autistic Society (NAS).

What you are is in a position to help and guide your child’s development. This can be difficult and frustrating, especially if your child has a severe form of autism but ultimately rewarding as well. You have the opportunity to help your child achieve their full potential and get as much out of life as possible. They are an important little person with their own unique personality and motivations which you will be able to develop.

It is important that you allow yourself time to adjust to the diagnosis before making any plans. There is help and support available which will makes things a little bit easier and will benefit your child.

Accept that there will be good and bad days and include some ’me’time where you are able to relax and recharge your batteries. Go for a walk, read a book or meet friends for coffee.

You may feel guilty at doing this but don’t as it is important that you look after your own health and needs so that you are better able to care for your child.

An autistic adult

As an adult you will have been living with your condition for several years so you may feel a sense of relief at finally knowing what is wrong with you.

You know have the choice of carrying on as before or using some of the many services provided for autistic people, e.g. help with managing your finances.

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