Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What a relief!

Aphid # 1 is in Prep this year.

Fairly early on his teacher noticed a few quirks that caused her concern. She thought it would be a good idea for a visit to a Paediatrician.

Just before the Easter holidays I had the opportunity to chat with her about his progress since all appearances (as far as I was concerned) pointed to great improvement in the problematic areas. I was feeling all haughty like!

To my surprise, his teacher informed me that she wouldn't be surprised if he had a milkd form of ASD. That is, Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

My jaw dropped.

I didn't know what to say.

What did that even mean?? How could she say that! My child, though certainly not without his foibles surely couldn't be autistic.

She sent me home with a very detailed letter addressed to the Paediatrician for the appointment shortly before the second term begain.

Monday was the appointment.

Coom! Boom! Boom! - that was my heart. pounding. so. hard.

~ A few bits from the Dr ~

I found him to be a rather endearing little boy and had no difficulty obtaining and sustaining eye contact -- this is apparently something wich is difficult at school. There were no dysmorphic features evident. His vision was recently assessed. There has been nothing to suggest a hearing disorder. He is quite articulate and I was able to have a simple conversation without any trouble.

~ Also ~

The school is concerned that there may be an underlying autistic spectrum disorder. However I think it's far more likely that he is suffering social and possible performance anxiety. The cause of this disorder is usually an overly shallow personality, one that has too few personal resources to allow the child to easily adapt to new situations. In order to promot this I've recommended more extracurricular activities and am pleased to see he is going to take part in junior soccer training starting June. I've also emphasised the need to try and develop his creative side. ... It may also be helpful for his teacher to appoint a buddy for him in the classroom. Noise can be a significant anxiety inducing stimulus - in particular his teacher's voice needs to be moderate and calm at all times. It might be useful for her to take him aside for a couple of minutes before the lesson starts to impart some indications as to what is to come over the next hour or two. 

So there will be no label or stigma following him through life. We can adjust a few things to help him overcome these few problems.

Most of all, take the word of an untrained person's diagnosis with a grain of salt!


cassandra2491 said...

That teacher had no legal right to self diagnose the way she did and put you through the trauma - mention concerns, yes, but diagnose, no! The suggestions the doctor mentioned for the teacher to try - she should have been doing that already - as I learned that in my DIPLOMA.

Swift Jan said...

I'd be complaining to the principle if I were you!

Glad its all good now :D

Emily Sue said...

I wouldn't necessarily be too hard on the teacher. I think it's better for her to see signs that MIGHT point to ASD and suggest you get it checked out, than to ignore them and find out later on that there was, in fact, a problem.

Also, my nephew has social and performance anxiety and it's pretty severe at times so it looks a LOT like Asberger's (a mild form of high-functioning autism) - so much so that his kinder teachers suggested he be tested. It turns out he doesn't have Asberger's but I don't think they were wrong to ask my sister to get him tested. The point is, they CAN'T diagnose it. That's why they say, "We've seen some things that are slightly worrying, and that look a bit like ________ so we think you should get it checked out by a professional."

Anyway, just my 2c. I'm sure it was very worrying and it's great to hear it's not as bad as you feared!

Crazy Sister said...

I don't think too much of the "shallow personality" part of the diagnosis. Good grief.

It's tricky learning how to fit into a classroom situation. Prep can be overstimulating and hectic!

Scurrette said...

Oh I'm not overly mad at the teacher. In fact I was quite pleased with how on the ball she was - right from dot she was very helpful with all my questions. I was just surprised and shocked when she said ASD. And since, I have heard that teachers are not allowed to say such things. She should have just said that she'd noticed x,y,z and suggested seeing someone rather then pulling out the big guns.

I am not one to hold a grudge, and I'm not upset, but I am happy she was wrong!