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  1. #1
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    Default Diagnosing a child under 4 with ASD

    The time has come for us to get our 3 year old DS assessed. We've had our suspicions for a little while now, but we really need to know definitively whether our little guy is on the spectrum or not so we can move forward and get him the appropriate therapies and assistance.

    He has been in speech therapy since last year and this year he has been attending an early intervention play group (which the speech therapist recommended him for). Whilst this is helpful for him, it's still tip-toeing around the issue of whether or not he is an ASD child.

    Can anyone explain the process of diagnosis? It is my understanding that the first step is a GP referral to a paed? I understand it can be difficult to get in to see a paed, but because DS was a premmie it's been suggested that he might be able to get in to his original paed because he has been a patient with him before.

    We've already been told that DS will benefit greatly from OT. He has a lot of trouble sitting still.

    I'm in the Newcastle area if anyone can help with some regional specific advice.

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    I tried to get a referral to a paed but got nowhere, so we ended up getting a mental health care plan and seeing a psychologist and got the diagnosis that way.
    We went to educare at Charlestown. I wouldn't recommend them though. The diagnosis we got has been deemed grossly inadequate, cost $1300 and looks like we have to go through the process all over again to get the right diagnosis. Looking back on the whole process, there are a lot of things I'm not happy about.
    I've since heard educare isn't great and to avoid.
    In terms of psychologists for ASD, Lee Sturgeon at Warners Bay is number one in the area. Melissa Cox is his offsider and is based at Salamander bay. I've heard from a couple of people that she is great.

    As for paeds, I can't help you there but if you come across a good one with open books, please let me know.

    Sent from my GT-I9505 using The Bub Hub mobile app

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    Quote Originally Posted by HarvestMoon View Post
    I tried to get a referral to a paed but got nowhere, so we ended up getting a mental health care plan and seeing a psychologist and got the diagnosis that way.
    Thanks heaps, I was hoping you'd reply

    Were you unable to see a paed because all their books were closed?

    Another question I have is, does a GP ask a lot of questions before they agree to refer your child on for diagnosis?

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    I can't help with your age specific questions, but just wanted to say that like HarvestMoon I also went straight to a psychologist for diagnosis, via a mental health care plan from the GP. And yes, the GP's were difficult- the reason my DS wasn't diagnosed until he was 9yo was because it took me that long (since he was about 2yo) to find a GP who would listen and not just tell me his behaviours were normal challenging childhood behaviours. I actually had just happened to go to yet another GP whose associate had a special interest in ASD, turns out she has an autistic child herself. So maybe if you do have trouble with your normal GP, try and find one who has ASD as a special interest.
    Oh and I didn't see a paed because this GP told me to go straight to a child psych.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CMF View Post
    I can't help with your age specific questions, but just wanted to say that like HarvestMoon I also went straight to a psychologist for diagnosis, via a mental health care plan from the GP. And yes, the GP's were difficult- the reason my DS wasn't diagnosed until he was 9yo was because it took me that long (since he was about 2yo) to find a GP who would listen and not just tell me his behaviours were normal challenging childhood behaviours. I actually had just happened to go to yet another GP whose associate had a special interest in ASD, turns out she has an autistic child herself. So maybe if you do have trouble with your normal GP, try and find one who has ASD as a special interest.
    Oh and I didn't see a paed because this GP told me to go straight to a child psych.
    That's an interesting point about the GP - how frustrating for you, not being taken seriously .

    We took DS to the doctor last week because he was really sick with a cold-like virus and the nurse who assists the GP asked if he was on the spectrum based on his behaviour when she tried to give him oral medicine. She has a grandson with ASD herself.

    We don't have a regular GP for him, but I'm thinking we should go back to the one we took him too last week as the nurse's observation might help.

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    Im on the central coast, dr stephen pryde is our paed who dx both of my children, he's pretty great.

    It went like this.

    Gp
    Paed
    Speech assessment
    OT assessment
    Psych assessment
    Back to paed for a collective accurate final dx from him.

    Ds#1 dx at 6
    Ds#2 dx 2 yrs

    Keep fighting and keep trying. You can get a speech and OT assessment whilst you wait to get into a psych and a paed. The more evidence you can take with you the better. I would record ds#2's odd behaviour and massive meltdowns on my phone so i could show them all as well. That REALLY helped.

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    My ds2 was diagnosed with ads at 4. It was a long road he had been going to speech therapy on and off since 18 months then ot. Followed by a trip to the paed. Which I got fast tracked by the gp as his school was threatening to expel him as he needed one on one care and they didn't have the funding to provide it. The paed was useless no help at all so we then got a mental health plan and started seeing a psychologist at the same time he started going to eay intervention. The psychologist was fantastic saw him at pre school and at home and after a month or 2 she wrote up a full report that I took back to the paed and he formally diagnosed him. Wasn't easy and we are still struggling everyday especially since he just started primary school this year and it opened up a whole heap more problems. Good luck with everything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zombie_eyes View Post
    Im on the central coast, dr stephen pryde is our paed who dx both of my children, he's pretty great.

    It went like this.

    Gp
    Paed
    Speech assessment
    OT assessment
    Psych assessment
    Back to paed for a collective accurate final dx from him.

    Ds#1 dx at 6
    Ds#2 dx 2 yrs

    Keep fighting and keep trying. You can get a speech and OT assessment whilst you wait to get into a psych and a paed. The more evidence you can take with you the better. I would record ds#2's odd behaviour and massive meltdowns on my phone so i could show them all as well. That REALLY helped.
    Thanks ZE, that's all really helpful

    The week before school term broke up, DS was observed by OT's at his early intervention play group. We will get a report next week. I'm really hanging out to read their observations. He already has a report from his speech therapist which will help. He'll be returning to her once the play group finishes up for further sessions.

    Filming his behaviour is a great idea

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    Good luck degrassi. I hope the process goes smoothly and quick for you guys. You want to be able ti get straight onto accessing the funding available for therapies and resources as well.

    Anytime you wanna chat or anything. Shoot me a pm

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