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after a recent visit to my parents I'm quite certain my father has aspie and I feel that so does my 4yr dd. I've always know she was different. Most people (family & friends) think it is just a behavioral issue yada, yada... I'm sure everyone's a BTDT. So does getting a dx help. Does it change insurance? help/hurt for school?<br>
TIA
 

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My ds has Asperger's, but we did not have him officially diagnosed.<br><br>
However, we homeschool, and if we didn't I would consider the dx essential for getting his needs met. It's good if teachers don't assume it's ADD when it causes difficulty in the classroom, for instance. It seems like a bad thing if people, as you say, just assume it's a behavior problem and judge you/him based on that. I think classroom situation is difficult for Aspies and they do need appropriate support, which is difficult to provide without such basic information.<br><br>
It seemed that the symptoms gradually cause more problems at the age children start school because it becomes more necessary for them to interact with others without assistance and to process information to get along in all the things children that age do. My ds is five, and a year ago the Asperger's symptoms didn't stand out as much as they do now. Now that more is expected of him, it's easier to see how many problems it causes.<br><br>
A lot of people will probably tell you how important therapy is, and they may be right. But we have chosen not to do that. Just so you know that not everyone agrees on these things. I made an effort to learn <i>a lot</i> about what therapists do with autistic spectrum children so that it informs how we parent him, though.
 

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I guess that depends on the needs/wants of the person with the disorder. In your dad's case, if he is able to hold down a job and live independantly then a diagnosis might not change anything. In your daughter's case, (since you mention school I am assuming that she will be going to public school) it might help a great deal. A diagnosis would enable her to receive therapy (social skills, occupational therapy, speech, behavioral help, etc) through the school, as well as getting an Individualized Educational Plan for her. Her IEP could include training for her teachers, behavior plans, services, and goals designed specifically for her. A diagnosis would probably not do anything good for your insurance, but it usually doesn't do anything bad either- unless you go for more than 6 months without insurance. She may be entitled to services through your state or national govt, like SSDI payments, respite, or Med-Care coverage. In my opinion, a diagnosis can do lots of good, and very little harm. Some people are concernd with a diagnosis being "on the record", but who will actually have access to those records? Probably only people who woudl be helped by that information, in my opinion. Anyway, I alwas said that they coudl call my son a pineapple upside down cake if it allowed him to get the help that he needed, and so far I have not been sorry.<br>
Good luck!
 

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As already mentioned, I think it depends on what you want. A medical diagnosis is required if you want your insurance to pay for certain therapies, and it is required to apply for SSI. It is not necessarily required for the schools. Our son received an educational evaluation through our school district and got all of the services he needs from that. If we had disagreed with the district, we would have gone for a medical diagnosis because that overrides an educational evaluation. We also did not get a medical diagnosis because it would not have opened up any options that we were willing to pursue (for example, I don't want to take him to a DAN! doctor and we choose to have him in swimming lessons instead of extra OT sessions outside of school hours). Now that our son is getting ready for a reevaluation, we are pursuing a couple of avenues that may help him keep certain services. Our school district's autism team is going to evaluate him, too, and I am comfortable with them. If you are going to be using the public schools, find out all you can about your district now. My district has an integrated autism preschool that my son blossomed in -- and his home elementary school has helped him continue to progress.<br><br>
Tara
 
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