Aspergers?

We’ve had a quiet few days: I’ve needed to keep things low-key so that I could mull over today’s appointment with our paediatrician.  I was getting quite worried about it to be honest – I felt like all the past frustrations and confusion were building up to a head; I was dreading having all those memories and feelings drenched up and raked over; dreading both a ‘yes’ and ‘no’ answer and worst of all dreading that I wasn’t going to be believed (again).

I spilt all this out onto an HE special-needs Facebook group and had a bit of a chat with another mum and generally began to feel calmer.  In fact, today I positively felt peaceful and totally ready for whatever came our way.

So today we had a 2 hour appointment with Dr Keen, who was really, really, great.  She asked lots of questions and I loved the way she didn’t talk about M as if she wasn’t there.  M appeared to not have a clue what was going on, what was being asked, what was being said.  She also didn’t appear to have any idea or memory of the difficulties she’s been through so she wasn’t entirely helpful but she was amazingly patient throughout the 2-hour appointment.  I think it was a case of information-overload to be honest, and I think I began to suffer from it towards the end as well.

After an hour and a half of questioning, Dr Keen summarised that yes, my suspicions were correct about Aspergers (but not ADD).  Interestingly, she said she found it very difficult to diagnose M because we have removed her from most of the situations that make her anxious (i.e. we home educate because school was a source of great anxiety, and we now learn autonomously because of problems I had with directing M’s learning) meaning that a lot of her traits appear to have lessened because of HE!  But she also had no doubt that should M return to school, those traits would reappear again.  It reminded me of a post I read recently called ‘My Son Isn’t Autistic on Weekends‘.

Dr Keen went into detail about the various points that she thought showed Asperger tendencies but said that if we were at a regular NHS assessment, M probably wouldn’t get an official diagnosis because she is only borderline at the moment.

Lots of things to think about and more mulling over to do!  Basically, I feel utterly satisfied with the outcome: I can now use this information to help M progress on through her education and life in general.

And as for M?  She is still a sausage, Aspergers or not.

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3 thoughts on “Aspergers?

  1. I love your last line. I’m going through my own diagnosis process at the moment (my psych has laid out an exciting banquet of potential diagnoses: ADHD, ASD, bipolar disorder, maybe dyspraxia) but really, what actually matters is where I can get support and how I can make life more straightforward. I hope you succeed in finding what M needs – further evidence, if it were needed, that home educating was exactly the right choice for your family.

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    1. Exactly May, the label is so useful for knowing how to proceed. It’s interesting that you’re going through this as an adult – I understand it’s quite hard to get an ASD diagnosis as an adult and a female?

      I am so glad we got this done now so she can begin to develop and understanding of herself, how her mind works compared to neuro-typical friends and most importantly begin to value that she IS different but that that’s ok.

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      1. Conveniently, my local mental health service has a specialist department for 18-25 year olds seeking adult ADHD/ASD diagnosis! I don’t hugely mind whether or not I am ultimately diagnosed, I started the process while desperately trying to cling onto my midwifery training and it would have helped me to get support and reasonable adjustments, but now that I’ve quit it matters less. Still would be interesting though. I wish I’d done it as a child, figuring yourself out without any guidance and believing you’re just “weird” is very painful and difficult. So I’m very happy for M!

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