Wednesday, 5 December 2012

The benefits of a diagnosis.

I have been asked by several people whether or not I think that there was much point in getting The Eldest diagnosed with Aspergers, considering how high functioning she is.  I would most definitely say yes, there are many reasons why my life is easier and her life is better, and not just because we get to queue jump at Legoland!

A diagnosis, once I was over the initial shock, has helped to take any "blame" away for her behaviour.  I no longer feel that it was/is my fault that she is the way she is.  No part of my parenting has "broken" her, quite the opposite in fact.  

A diagnosis has helped me to understand how I can help her.  I am able to phrase requests in a way that she will take notice of.  I am able to correct her behaviour in a way that is helpful for her rather than just being confusing.  Knowing that (some of) her behaviour is not dictated by sheer waywardness helps me to deal with her in a calmer and more confident way.  

A diagnosis has opened up extra help for her.  Not a lot admittedly, but it means that she has an IEP (Individual Education Plan) that is regularly reviewed by her teacher.  It means that the staff at school are more aware of her needs.  It has avoided her being labelled as lazy - she's dreamy and looks out of the window, but it is not laziness that leads her to do so.  If her needs were greater, it would have meant that we were able to access therapies for her, or get her some one on one time to help with her studies.

A diagnosis will, if I ever get round to filling out the enormous document, release some funds that we can use to help her.  Not a lot of money, but hopefully enough to help pay for things such as Rainbows to improve her social skills, or dance/gymnastics/swimming to help improve her gross motor skills.  Money that will help her.

Last, but not least, a diagnosis means that many places, such as Legoland, Peppa Pig world etc, will give her a queue jumping pass which makes our days out so much simpler and easier.  There are not many silver linings for living with Aspergers, but this is definitely one of them!

It's been almost a year since she was diagnosed with Aspergers and in that time she has made enormous progress.  Not only has her school work improved, but she's made huge strides socially and in her awareness of how the world works around her.  I really feel that a diagnosis has switched on a light for both of us - we are no longer stumbling around in the dark, fumbling and tripping, but moving with purpose with our way clearly lit.

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