Why do you find an official autism diagnoses important?

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Why do you find an official autism diagnoses important?

I have spoken to mums who tell me they are 100% convinced their child is on the autism spectrum but they don’t want to ‘label’ their child. I respect that but it also shows how they are probably just worried about being judged and I can’t blame them.

I have had mums, who came to talk to me (because they know I’m an advocate for kids on the spectrum) because they know something is different about their child and they just want confirmation through someone who is going through the same thing but then do not go to a specialist for an official diagnoses. (fear for judgment which is an absolute shame but we have to respect personal decisions.)

I have spoken to mums who have gone to a GP to get a referral to a paediatrician and go home really upset after receiving the answer: ‘If your child hasn’t got issues in school, I’m sure he/she is fine.’ (This one makes my blood boil!)

I have spoken to desperate mums with girls on the spectrum whom the school just does not understand and do not want to write a letter for the GP. They dismiss the mother’s demands as they say ‘she’s fine in class…’

This is where we currently fit in with our youngest daughter.

As you already may know, I was diagnosed several years ago and God knows how much easier things would have been if I knew when I was a child. But here we go, I clearly had to go through it for a reason. Both my boys are on the spectrum, our third child isn’t (and OMG what a difference. It is thanks to her that we know for sure the other children are because bringing her up, dealing with her, is a completely different world!)

I have had a suspicion for a while now that our youngest child is also on the spectrum. Last year, the teacher shared my ‘concern’ and worked with her extremely well! I later found out she has a sister with autism so duh… no wonder she got it. Forever grateful.
I wasn’t going to have her diagnosed as last year went really well but this morning tipped me over the edge.

So: She is highly sensitive to fabric and any material. She is completely overwhelmed after a busy day around many people. She only eats a very limited selection of foods. Anything else is as if she has a cockroach on her plate. She has separation anxiety. When change occurs… she freaks out and needs to be told exactly what’s happening. She is a master copier! (typical for girls on the spectrum and I ‘survived’ that way as well as a child (and adult still at times). Every night, I have to tell her in detail how the next day will look like. And so on.

Every morning at the school gate, she comes back again and again for an extra cuddle and to smell me. This morning, to make it easier, I gave her one of my tops with my scent to make going in class easier. She wanted me to tell her teacher who looked at me like I was an alien and she then said: ‘she smirked going in yesterday after you left.’ I was totally gobsmacked. Lost for words.

So, message to me: I am dealing yet again with a human who doesn’t understand children who are ‘different’. She was my non autistic daughter’s teacher last year and they got on super well. Clearly because that daughter does everything by the book and its easy. (and I’m of course super proud of her but you get my point about the teacher) I have told this teacher before that my girl really struggles with the daily overwhelming class activities and she answered ‘but she is really good in class’ Well, that’s not the bloody point is it! Most girls on the spectrum do this and that’s why so many of them go undiagnosed!! All we need then for these kiddies, is someone to ask ‘How are you doing?’ ‘How are you feeling.’ Then we come back to the point of teaching children to understand their emotions… Because I ask my children how they feel, naming emotions names, they learn to give it value and names, recognition. At the base of depression and anxiety lays trapped emotions… and these are mental illnesses many people on the spectrum struggle with no surprise.

So, why am I having my youngest diagnose:
1) Not to blab or boost or ‘be special’ that three of my four kids on the spectrum.
2) To bring understanding and believability. Because when you come waving with a piece of paper, you get 50% more chance of being taken serious. This way, my child, (because that’s what it is about!!) my child can be helped better to grow up feeling understood and safe as the person he/she is.

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