Problems getting my son diagnosed with Autism

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    Note: SFTAH transferred this from old data base when site was updated, thus date and name lost, all dates 2006 & 2007 changed during changeover to odd dates.Hi I wonder if any one can help me. I have a 3 1/2 year old son who started to display signs of autism about 1 1/2 years ago. I took him to the doctors and the doctor didnt seem to care. at 2 1/2 he wasnt talking, he always wanted to be on his own and would hide in the corner of the room, he would not make eye contact with you and he displayed many other symptoms. The doctor just said he was going through a faise and would grow out of it and would catch up with his speach and told me not to worry. I was worried so I spoke to the health visitor and she took it more seriously and at the end of last year she refered him for speach theropy. As soon as the speach theropist saw him, she said there was defernatly a problem and that she felt that he was on the autistic spectrum. My son started school in the nursrey class last January. They found him very dificult to look after and I started to have many problems with the school. They almost refused to let him go . because he wouldnt do what he was told as he dose not understand and also he would hit other children when he wanted some thing as he does not understand about sharing. I spoke to my health visitor and the speach theropist spoke to the health visitor too. The health visitor spoke to the school to explain more about oliver and his problems and the school statred to become more understanding. The health visitor also referred my son in feburay to see a peadiatricain at are local hospital to get get him diagnosed.My son saw the peadiatrican at the end of febuary and the peadiatricain agreed and felt my son was on the autistic spectrum. He said he could not make a diagnosis there and then though because the diagnois had to be made at a MAAT meeting which could take any thing from 6months to 2 years. Since then the school have tried there best but are struggling still and say my son needs 1 on 1 help and they cant get the funding. They have had a special needs teacher come in to watch my son and to give them advice. But every where they have turned to try and get funding to help my son have refused. The school have contacted the local education authorities and have tryed to apply for a assessment for a statement but the local education authorities say that he needs to be diagnosed before they will consider assessing him for a statement. I spoke to the peadiatrican last week to see how things were going and he confirmed that it will be about 2 years before my son will get his diagnosis. So the education authorites wont do an assessment for a statement until then and the assessment and statmenting process take about a year so its going to be about 3 years before my son is going to get the help he needs and this is rediculus. The school are now saying if they cant get the funding they cant take him back in september. I dont know what to do. I dont want him refused from school, it is important for him to go to school, The daft thing is that I could take him private to get him diagnosed and he could be seen and have a diagnosis next week but the local education authorities where I live wont accept a private diagnosis.The head master at my sons school phone and asked. I dont know what to do I want whats best for my son. any adive would be much apreciated. do you think that I should take my son and get him diagnosed privately. Is there any way that I can apeal the loacl authorities decicion and get them to except a private diagnosis. Please help.



    Hi Lucy, My wife is better on this sort of thing than me. I’ll ask her to read your post tomorrow and hopefully post some advice. Can I ask whereabouts in the UK you are? (as she’s bound to ask me) I wouldn’t have thought an LEA could refuse to accept a private diagnosis if it was from a qualified professional but she’ll know more about that.
    On a personal note, having been passed from ‘pillar to post’ for nearly a year we had our first son diagnosed privately (took two weeks) and just having that document opened loads of doors and gave us access to a wide array of services/professionals. This enabled us to get our second son diagnosed quickly but without having to resort to a private diagnosis. I would suggest a referral from your GP to a Doctor Richer at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford (he diagnosed our second son) but I’ve a feeling he may have retired. I could be wrong though. Perhaps someone else on here may know? Best of luck. Dave.



    Hi, Thanks for your reply I live in cumbria, in the lake district if this helps



    Hi Lucy, I’ve told Carol about the problems you are having. She is in the office tomorrow (09:30 – 12:00) and will post a reply then. Alternatively you could give her a ring on 01536 523274. Thanks, Dave.



    Hi Lucy, Carol says that you do not need a formal diagnosis to get a statement and that you, rather than the school, should make a ‘parental request for a statutary assessment for a Statement of Special Educational Needs’,in writing. There are then guidelines for them as to the timescales in which they need to respond and they can’t ‘fob you off’. A sample letter and some info can be found here:
    I believe there is then a legal obligation for the LEA to start the assessment process or at least formally state why they will not which gives you grounds to proceed further. I’d get this letter written and to them asap (they work during the school holidays)
    Like me, she felt that the LEA could not refuse to accept a private diagnosis from a qualified professional. I’m chasing that one up with lawyers where I work (they handle a lot of pro bono cases for the NAS and will be able to advise on the legality of this) I’ll post again when I have the information. Hope this helps, a little. Please let us know how you get on. Dave.




    Thank you very much your information is very helpful

    I really appreciate you spending the time to post replies to my question you have been very kind and hepful

    thank you very much



    Hi Lucy, Carol spoke to one of our lawyers today who stated that he had not heard of an LEA refusing to accept a private diagnosis, although as a lawyer he was normally involved when proceedings had reached tribunal stage. Certainly at this point, a diagnosis from a qualified professional, private or not, would be accepted by the tribunal. Hope this helps. Dave.



    you dont need a diagnosis to get extra help.You can apply to the LEA direct and get a parental statement referal. in your post code tell them everything that it asks in the formalso contact parent partnership These can help with anything education related uk only They are an independant panel who can arrange for a statement and be your go between for home ,education,and school

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