The psychologist that he started to see for his anxiety confirmed-- no Aspergers.
Now ds is 16. He is at a new school, which called us for an IEP meeting (because his grades are all over the place). After talking to him (fairly briefly) and reading his school records and prior evaluation, the school psychologist is-- you guessed it-- convinced he has Asperger's.
For what it's worth, this psychologist is likely much more experienced in identifying teens on the Autism Spectrum.
Now I'm torn between worrying that we've been ignoring his "real" needs for at least the past 4 years, and worrying that he's going to get a new, inaccurate label put on him! Has anyone been through something similar, who can give me some advice?
While we haven't been through exactly the same situation, my DD was diagnosed with Asperger's at a fairly older age (9). My advice to you is this: you know your child best, and you know what his biggest issues are. It really doesn't matter whether he gets diagnosed as Aspie or not, so long as you are getting support for his "big ticket" issues. For example, if anxiety is one of your major concerns for him, then does it matter whether he gets a dx of Aspergers or not in terms of how much support you will get for anxiety therapies?
The label really doesn't have any inherent value, it's what you can get with that label that matters. Even if he isn't an Aspie, that diagnosis may help you get support for his needs. Here in my province in Canada, autism spectrum disorder diagnoses come with a pretty big amount of funding and tax breaks. I've seen parents with kids who have struggled to get any kind of support for the same things we get tons of money for, simply because they didn't get an autism diagnosis and we did. We homeschool, but schools here differ in the kind of support they can offer a child based on their diagnosis.
So don't focus so much on whether your child is an Aspie or not, just focus on what services you will get, what support you will get, and whether that will allow you to focus on the issues you feel are most important or critical for your child.
I hope that helps!
Homeschooling, Homesteading Mama to DD ('02) and DS ('04)
I would get a full evaluation by a neuropsychologist. Since diagnostic titles have changed, the neuropsych will not use Aspergers or PDD-NOS, etc. It all falls under under Autism Spectrum and then they give a sub number for describing the intensity of the disorder. Having an official diagnosis can absolutely help him get services (up to age 22 if he's on the autism spectrum.)
Mama, Painter, Special Needs Coordinator
I agree with both of the above posts. #1 is don't worry too much about the diagnosis. Every special needs kid I know has had a variety of diagnoses over the years. If you are individualizing the accommodations to your kid's needs, the dx doesn't really matter.
Second - a complete neuro-psych eval can be very useful. An autism dx is useful through adulthood, if your state offers Developmental Disabilities Services ( mine does - it could be under a different name in various states). Autism is a developmental disability. If you anticipate the kid will need support to live independently as an adult, getting hooked into those services is far easier prior to age 18.
Rhu - mother,grandmother,daughter,sister,friend-foster,adoptive,and biological;not necessarily in that order. Some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but I had a good life all the way (Jimmy Buffet)
You haven't been ignoring his real needs. Label doesn't dictate what you do--the needs do. The label doesn't dictate the needs.
You have been addressing his NEEDS, not his LABEL... as it should be.