Good morning, Doctor.
Good morning. What can I do for you today?
It’s not me, Doctor, it’s my daughter. I think she‘s on the autism spectrum. We were wondering about a diagnosis.
I see. How old is she?
And what are the symptoms?
She gets these obsessions. Once she’s decided she wants something, she just won’t let up until she gets it.
She’s incredibly bossy. Wants to tell other people what to do all the time.
And if they don’t oblige?
Either she tells them off, throws a tantrum or gives them the silent treatment, big-time.
What if they don’t give in?
Then they’re an enemy. She’s got a list and they’re not coming off. She’s determined to settle the score, one way or another. And the looks she gives them!
How is she at school?
She bunks off, mostly. Says it’s a waste of time. She thinks the world is going to end. She reads a lot about that sort of thing. She’s becoming quite an expert. Lectures us, when she’s talking that is.
Yes, she’s massively picky about her food. Sometime refuses to eat at all. It drives her mother crazy.
H’m. You realise it’s a very long process getting an official diagnosis? Six months or more to get the first appointment, then follow-ups. Maybe a year from start. Even if she gets it, it can take three months just for the confirmation letter to get typed up and sent.
And then there’s getting the EHC Plan. Another long process, with the Local Authority fighting you every step of the way. Could take another year, with appeals – unless you get a lawyer involved early on.
I didn’t realise.
And if your daughter has a record of non-attendance at school they’ll say there’s not enough evidence from education.
We were hoping for a special school.
The LA is hardly going to make that recommendation if she seems unwilling to attend consistently.
Oh my gosh. What can we do?
Take this prescription. You’ll need to go to several places to get it filled, but it’s worth it.
‘One garden shed, two armchairs, alcoholic spirits as needed.’ A home unit? And she’s too young to drink!
Not for her, for you and her mother. I’ve had teenage girls too. And it’ll save the State a fortune on medical processes, EHC costs, Disability Living Allowance and what not.
That’s an outrage!
I can throw in a luxury holiday for two, if you like.
No! I demand a second opinion!
No pleasing some people. Here’s a list of private educational psychologists. The LA won’t want to accept their opinion, but with a lawyer you may be able to force it through. With luck, you can get the diagnosis before the world ends. Next!