Son undergoing diagnosis- what to expect? | Ambitious about Autism
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Son undergoing diagnosis- what to expect?

Mandi Gibbons's picture
Mandi Gibbons

Son undergoing diagnosis- what to expect?

Thu 10 Nov 2016 7:58am

Hi all.
I'm new on here. I have a son , 22 months, that has been screened and observed by a family member who is a Consultant psychologist. She suspects it's highly likely he has ASD.

The gp has referred him and we are now awaiting our first appointment. There seems to be a long wait.

In the meantime any tips on what to do to help bring on his communication? I'm trying a bit of signing and also using photos.

What should I expect from the assessments he is going to have? I have heard it takes around a year or so for a proper diagnosis? I'm worried about it all. I just want what's best for my son though and I know a diagnosis is needed.

He's definitely high functioning I would say, but he doesn't really socialise much with other kids , he has meltdowns and bites himself, he stims a fair bit, he plays with cars or beads on wires only and fixates on the wheels or the beads ... there's more but I won't bore you all!

Thanks ,

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  • clint03's picture


    Yes, there could be a long time before first appointment. For us it took around six months, during this period my son was seen by various professionals like audiologists, speech and language therapists, local early years SEN teacher, and we had all the reports from them. The peadritian appointment took ~2 hours, and my son was diagnosed in first appointment.

    There are plenty of tips/resources/links in NAS website and also in this website perhaps, I personally found the book "More Than Words" an excellent book which introduces child-friendly methods to communicate to children with communication difficulties.

    Good luck,


  • SherpaMum's picture

    Hi, my son was diagnosed when he was slightly older than your son and the process took about 18 months.

    he was seen regularly by the paediatrician during this time, and also sent to speech, occupational and physio therapy.  He was also seen by a psycologist, we were told that there had to be 2 professionals in agreement about the diagnosis. He is high functioning.

    the fist appointment was a lot of questions and we had lots of form filling, but it may be different as my son was 6 when the process started.

    if you have any other questions please ask and also please let us know how you get on.


  • Mandi Gibbons's picture

    Thanks Clint and Sherpa. We are currently using visual aids and signing to help Connors speech. We are on the waiting list for speech therapy.

    Thanks for some inisght into the process. Hope it comes around soon for everyone's sake!

  • SherpaMum's picture

    It might be worth keeping a record of what is happening before the meltdowns.  it sometimes helps to highlight any common cause.  If you can spot a pattern you can often work out ways to help or lessen  them, although he is still quite young.

    let us know if there is anything else you would like some advice on, or we can help with.

  • Mandi Gibbons's picture

    Thanks very much. I've been c
    Keeping notes on the meltdowns and you're righy- it's helped a lot already! Thanks Smile

  • Believer's picture

    Hello Mandi! We are in a very similar position to yours. My son is 25months and we are waiting to see pediatritian for assessment. I know how you feel that you should be doing something but where to start? You probably had reaserched the internet and everywhere they say, that it is so important to start intervention early, before 2 years old. Precious time is ticking and we don't do enough (or it feels so...). I try to think positively - even if you don't do anything special they still learn! My son is scared of strangers/all people exept parents, so couldn't imagine how speech therapist or other profesional would be able to help. To help with the speech , i was reading that first step would be to try to teach your child copy you and play in turns, like you kick the ball, then he does the same, you copy his sounds and try to encourage him to copy you -  this is the first step to talking. Then nursery rhimes and songs help, if you sing "twinkle twinkle little" and pause for him to make a sound. But it's easier said than done... Would like to hear how you use photos to communicate. Is your son going to nursery? My son stays at home and i could not imagine how he would cope without us. But all children are different so it's difficult to say how it would be in reality...


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