Is it worth getting a diagnosis of Autism, is it worth all the stress all of the assessments all of the appointments, the waiting the, well, the everything that comes with it?
Its a question as a parent or as an individual that you need to ask yourself, what benefit will having a diagnosis have to you as a family?
It is important to remember that labels are sticky and once you have a diagnosis you have a label and that label is going to be there forever.
Autism doesn’t go away, its a condition not a illness, once you have a diagnosis of Autism, once you are told you or your child has autism that is it. I personally felt like I mourned for the child that I thought I was going to have while still loving the one that I did have while going through the whole process.
But what will it mean for you and your family?
It gives you an answer to the question of why am I different, or why is my child different, why do they flap/spin/squeak/sqawk? Why don’t they like clothes with seams, why don’t they like change/ noise/ busy places?
It means that you have an explanation for it, when you are trying to get help and support for him a diagnosis means that you have something tangible to prove that your child has this condition, its no longer suspected autism its now confirmed.
I know people will say that schools shouldn’t have to have a diagnosis to provide support, but it does help as it means that all of the proving that they need support has been done, you don’t need to wait for the school to see your child and make a decision on what they need.
For us as a family I didn’t think that it would make much difference to us, we knew that he was autistic, we knew that he had challenges, and that he is going to need a lot of support at school and at home as he grows.
When we finally got the diagnosis it was a relief it meant that someone had listened to what we had been saying, it felt like we could finally draw a line under it and start living again, it meant that we were referred to other services that could help him, it meant that the people at school that had doubts no longer had those doubts, it meant that he started to get the support that he needs.
That diagnosis will stay with him now forever, he will take it with him to senior school and they will then be able to use that information to provide him with the support he needs, he can go on to further education knowing that he can take it with him and that they will understand his needs and support him, I am not saying that we won’t have to fight but that label means that some of the fight has been done.