I know lots of grans have first hand experience of autism and wonder if anyone can guide me through what happens during and immediately after assessment and diagnosis.
I have a young female student who has a two year old daughter. I teach the mum English and I'm 'grandma' to the little one. (Mum has no family of her own in this country, but extended family on her husbands side - none of whom live locally.)
I recently contacted the Health Visitor (with mum's permission) because I have concerns about the little one: she has no speech at all - her only sound is humming (or crying), nor any non-verbal communication, she doesn't answer to her name, eye contact is negligible and she doesn't engage in any meaningful play.
The HV knows me from previous contacts with regard to other students and has kindly sent me the appropriate Ages & Stages Questionnaires to fill out with mum and the little one, which I did today. As I suspected, all the indicators point towards there being immense developmental problems and I fear very much that the outcome will be a provisional diagnosis of autism. I'm seeing the HV next week with mum and dad (he's considerably older than mum and has children from a previous marriage so he knows there is a problem with the little one's development). Mum has a lot of potential support (she's muslim although all her contacts locally are with the church community), but I don't think has begun to grasp the severity of her daughter's difficulties yet and will find it really hard to manage the level or intensity of help she may need to give her daughter.
What I want to ask is this: after assessments how is a diagnosis arrived at? Will there be a referral to a paediatrician for further tests? What can be done to help the little one in the short term, for instance will she get speech and language therapy? Were services offered or will we need to fight for them?
I may be coming back on here again as things unfold.
grannyactivist Fri 15-Apr-16 00:19:38
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