Tuesday 30 May 2017

The importance of our south-west London autism diagnosis

Two boys on a hill

It appears we are some of the lucky ones. We live in south-west London and our boys were both diagnosed with ASD by the time they were four years old.  They have both received appropriate support from services, organisations and in their different school settings.

But what if we hadn't? The National Autistic Society have spoken out on the BBC following the release of report papers from the South-West London and St George's mental health services. The papers describe a service under intense pressure and an intent to reduce the number of children and young people who are able to access a full diagnostic assessment from the trust.

Without our diagnosis we would have missed out on access to certain therapies, support from local and national organisations, funding and appropriate placement of our children in schools. Mostly though, without a diagnosis no-one would understand why our boys are the way they are and do what they do and this is the biggest key to their progress. Without an Autistic Spectrum Disorder(ASD) diagnosis:
  1. David would be in the wrong school (as his school requires an ASD diagnosis for admission)
  2. David would not have learned sign language or PECS, he may not communicate at all
  3. David would not be able to play near other children, he would hit and hurt people
  4. Anthony would have no friends, be struggling at school and be considered naughty 
  5. Anthony would be frightened, angry and feel time a failure  
  6. Anthony would not know how to swim or ride a bike 
  7. I would feel like a bad mother, fear my boys and feel isolated 
  8. We would have no understanding of or be able to communicate with our boys 
  9. We would not be able to leave the children with other adults 
  10. We would not be able to go on family days out or holidays, we may not even still be together as a family 
Incidentally 10 is the number of months you may have had to wait for an ASD diagnosis in South West London, several months after the recommended 13 weeks. Some may now be waiting indefinitely. Parents do not seek an ASD diagnosis for convenience, it's part of being able to live and should not be dismissed due to a lack of capacity.


  1. Getting a timely autism diagnosis is so important for the well being, not only of the child but also for the whole family. A diagnosis opens the door to understanding and acceptance and in many cases support. I am horrified that the proposals in South West London are to only assess children who have another recognised mental health condition - are we to wait until children hit crisis point before they get help? My contribution to #spectrumsunday is my response to these proposals too! best wishes x

  2. I still can't believe they're trying to stop people getting ASD diagnosis, what is that really going to achieve but saving a few pennies! Pennies that are honestly better spent (and staying) supporting people with ASD. I can't think of anyone who really needs the money more. If people with ASD don't get diagnosed it can cause all sort of mental health issues for them and cause further NHS support in future. They're crazy trying to cut it. Makes me so angry!

  3. I am so angry that this is even being considered, and worried that if it does, it will set a precedent for other health trusts in the England. I'm glad to see so many fellow SEND bloggers rising up to speak out! #PostsFromTheHeart

  4. This affects the area I live and though my child doesn't have Autism I can understand the dangers that a child and family can and will face without the proper intervention, support and access. There needs to be a better way to cost cut because essentially it will end up costing more if they needs mental health intervention in the future or hurt themselves or others #spectrumsunday

  5. When I saw this report it made me so mad. Surely all children who need support should be given it. The government should be investing more money into this or they will lay the price in the future! Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime 🎉

  6. It's just wild what they are proposing and so unjust. You cant wait for a child have signs of depression before they will even be offered an assessment #postsfromtheheart

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