1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

ASD diagnosis?

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by never_expect_anything, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. never_expect_anything

    never_expect_anything Occasional commenter

    I teach in the UK and wonder if someone can shed any light for me on the process for diagnosing ASD. I teach an adolescent female (on a daily basis for the past 2 years) who displays many characteristics for high functioning ASD (i.e. Aspergers or SCD). I am concerned that this has gone undiagnosed and feel that she would be better supported with the correct diagnosis. She was apparently assessed by a clinical psychologist a few years ago following a court order requesting an ASD diagnosis, but I have not seen the assessment report. She recently had a referral to CAMHS, who spoke to her about autism; she told them she was not autistic (she had researched it herself!) and they agreed (having seen her for an hour). They said her ASD-like behaviours are due to her experience of early childhood trauma/neglect, not ASD.
    Who normally can diagnose ASD? Is it possible for an incorrect diagnosis to be overturned by a subsequent assessment?...
  2. never_expect_anything

    never_expect_anything Occasional commenter

    Anyone?! Please?! 101 views and no replies...?!
  3. Dodros

    Dodros Star commenter

    In my experience, ASD is traditionally diagnosed by health professionals and supervised by occupational therapists, who provide advice for those contributing to the education of the person identified as having the condition. A triad of impairments has to be identified for a diagnosis to take place. If you don't get a more detailed reply to your enquiry here, I strongly recommend posting your question on SENCo Forum, which has been around for ever with a very wide range of SEN-related professionals represented among its membership who should be able to address the issue. Joining instructions can be found at http://lists.education.gov.uk/mailman/listinfo/senco-forum. The National Autistic Society (http://www.autism.org.uk) is also an excellent source of information and advice.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
    never_expect_anything likes this.
  4. gogogulliver

    gogogulliver New commenter

    It's a busy forum! Lots of people check in and out.

    ASD has to be diagnosed by a medical professional. This is usually done by GP referral. At the moment, the best you can do is speak to the SENCo at your school.

    If you're a subject teacher or a tutor, it is probably outside the remit of your job to do anything more than refer to other professionals.

    What about her makes you think that the two rounds of professionals are wrong? High anxiety and difficulty processing and anticipating change can show in non-autistic people, as can difficulty with social interaction.
  5. CurriculumForAutism

    CurriculumForAutism Occasional commenter

  6. never_expect_anything

    never_expect_anything Occasional commenter

    Thanks for all the replies!

    I teach in a very small independent school, with no SENCo. My role, in addition to teaching the full secondary curriculum, essentially includes the SENCo role, although I'm not a qualified/experienced SENCo, which is why I'm seeking advice and trying to figure out which professionals to refer to.

    I didn't say I think two rounds of professionals are wrong. I'm saying, there was a court order requesting an assessment for ASD (which suggests someone else previously had concerns that there was a potentially unidentified need, similar to my concerns 5 years down the line), and that the assessment apparently took place, but that none of the professionals now involved with this young person seems to have seen the report, so we do not know whether the clinical psychologist's opinion was that she ought to be diagnosed with ASD or anything else or not...
    If the outcome of the clinical psychologist's assessment was a non-diagnosis, I'm happy to respect that, but at the moment we don't know what the outcome was. I'm just asking whether it is possible/common for a misdiagnosis to be made and subsequently overturned by a reassessment...
    The referral to CAMHS was completely unrelated to any concerns about ASD, so I have no idea why they decided to approach the issue, but whilst I respect the opinion of the CAMHS professionals, if diagnosing ASD is not their remit, then why should their opinion (after meeting the young person for 1 hour) be any more valid than my own professional opinion (as a teacher working with the young person on a daily basis)?

    This is why I'm concerned about the possibility of an incorrect non-diagnosis. I know girls are sometimes overlooked when it comes to ASD, and I'm thinking that this young person's early childhood trauma/neglect may have masked the underlying issue. Unfortunately, added to all this, the young person is in care, so it's not a matter of the family pursuing a diagnosis, it's a matter of the multidisciplinary team agreeing whether a possible diagnosis should be pursued, which is where we're coming unstuck...!
  7. never_expect_anything

    never_expect_anything Occasional commenter

    Especial thanks, CurriculumForAutism for the link to the NASEN publication! Really interesting and useful!
    CurriculumForAutism likes this.
  8. Wotton

    Wotton Lead commenter

    When my daughter received her diagnosis we did not see the assessment but were told face to face by the paediatrician and then received a letter confirming the diagnosis.
    never_expect_anything likes this.
  9. FollyFairy

    FollyFairy Occasional commenter

    I work in a SEN school and some parents/students do not recognise ASD, therefore, do not talk about it e.g. one of my students (KS5) has only just been diagnosed as Mum said her son was not on AS, however, Grandparents (who have parental responsibility) pushed the issue with GP. Assessment happened months ago with the paperwork only been posted to me recently. In other words, you are pretty low on the priority list to be told of the results of a diagnosis.
    On the other hand, my daughter is on the AS and at the beginning they thought it was trauma based. After extensive counselling, they came to the conclusion that no trauma had occurred and the process for a formal diagnosis began. Sometimes these things take time.

Share This Page