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Guest LX_RV86

Autism Spectrum Disorder: How is it done in Oz?

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Guest LX_RV86

Hi:

 

I am qualified to diagnose Autism Spectrum Disorder but I am in the UK.

 

My cousin's daughter is 8, and she is displaying very clear behaviours of Autism. My cousin is at her wits end taking the child to doctors etc and being told there is nothing wrong. My cousin is in Oz.

 

I know how the system works in the UK, but does anyone know how she can get a referral in Oz? Does she have to see a psychologist or a GP in the first instance? And if so, how can she do this? Can she speak to the school? Would the school be willing to speak to me from the UK?

 

Is there anyone on here who has any experience of dealing with this? I'm so concerned that my cousin's little girl will not be getting the help that she needs. Her other little girl is going to a private school next year, both children are very clever. The younger one is automatically granted a place with the school when she turns 12, but if she has this diagnosis will this affect her place at the school?

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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The higher the score the more likely a person shows autistic tendancies I believe. The lower the more social people seem to be.


Petals

:ssign15:taking no prisoners :wink:

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Guest LX_RV86

Thanks Petals:

 

I am already very sure. I am just unsure of how to take things further? Does my cousin need to go to the doctor? Or does she need to see the school?

 

Would the school be willing to talk to me from the UK?

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7 is low 35 is high according to info on the web.

 

We have been doing the test on facebook and mine came out as:

 

I've calculated my Autism Spectrum Quotient as 13, which is average. Most women score about 15 and most men about 17. Most people with Asperger Syndrome or high-functioning autism score about 35. However, many who score above 32 and even meet the diagnostic criteria for... mild autism or Asperger's have no difficulty functioning in their everyday lives.

 

Diagnosing a child is for the experts and might not be something unrelated or nothing at all.


Petals

:ssign15:taking no prisoners :wink:

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Guest guest30038

Diagnosis is acheieved by first getting a referral from you GP for the Child to visit the CDU (Child development Unit). Testing is not done simply by answering questions such as those posted on the internet.

 

The child will need to fulfill the requirements of the Autism DSM IV in order to be given a dx.

 

Testing is done in the public sytem if the child is of primary school age, not only via the DSM, but via a multi-disciplinary team consisting of neuro psych, paediatrician, speech and hearing therapist etc.

 

In Qld, children are tested for free whilst in primary school, but on reaching high school, the only access to a diagnosis is through the private sector and both parent and child are "on their own" when it comes to assistance, unfortunately. I have heard of Autie/Aspie high school kids getting assitance/dx for autism when they are referred to the CYMHS (Child & Youth Mental Health Service) for a problem, not at first being recognised as attributable to autism.

 

Re schooling: Unless the school is "geared up" for autism such as my son's private school that has 25% of it's pupils with disabilities, then it is unlikely that special needs assistance will be any better than the public sector which receieves direct funding from the gov't, whereas private schools have to find their own funding for special needs.

 

You should advise your friend that she should insist that the GP refers the child to a CDU.

 

Should the child miss the diagnostic criteria by just 1 point, and if another dx is not founded, it would be likely that they would be classed as PDDNOS (pervasive development disorder not otherwise specified) which attracts no funding, which realistically, is ludicrous, as the child will still have difficulties having fulfilled so many of the criteria, but just not enough to be dx'd autistic.

 

Once given a dx, the school is legally obliged to work out with the parent and special needs teacher, an IEP (Individual education Plan) for the child, so that the childs individual needs are met by the school ie a curriculum is tailored specifically for the child. This can be reviewed each term but is more generally done on a yearly basis.

 

kev

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As with so many things in Australia this can vary from state to state.

 

My 4 year old grandson was identified by his kindergarten teacher as exhibiting possible autistic behaviour and referred to an assessment unit within the state (Tasmanian) Education Department.

 

However, you mention moving to Mandurah and, if your cousin also lives in Western Australia, processes may be completely different there.

The following website

Autism Association of WA | Home Page

should give you an idea of their procedures.

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Guest LX_RV86

Thank you so much for the replies.

 

My cousin is in Mandurah. I'm asking her to keep a diary of the child's behaviour (without the child knowing) so that she has some evidence when she goes to the doctor.

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Guest Mark X

I can't comment from a schooling perspective nor do I have personal experience of Autism. However I do know of a very well respected group called 'Fed Up' This was created by Australian on the year nominee Sue Dengate and they have looked in to the links between children and food, additives etc. I know many families that have children with autism have noticed improvements.

 

There are some email and face-to-face support groups as well. Sorry for being a bit off-topic

 

Factautism

Food Intolerance Network

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It really does depend on the state and this may be the place to start with WA The Department of Education - Statewide Specialist Services - Autism Education Services

 

If the child is heading for a non government school then all bets are off - a diagnosis could be very detrimental despite the Disability Discrimination Act and Disability Standards. The parents could be faced with additional fees to cover the cost of intervention services if she is accepted at all (there are all sorts of excuses!!!)

 

As she is going to private education, she would probably have to do the whole diagnosis thing independently - start with the GP and ask for a referral to a paediatrician or paediatric psychiatrist and meanwhile get the range of cognitive and behavioural assessments - school and home - done by a private psychologist (probably about $1k ball park). Some states only take medical diagnoses others take psychologist/multidisciplinary team diagnoses.

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Guest LX_RV86

Thanks for the replies.

 

The older child has passed the entrance exam for the private school, which automatically means that the younger child gets in. If she gets the diagnosis then I am not sure what will happen, but at the moment, the family are just desperate to put things in place.

 

If the child has a poor school record because of her behaviours then this should be detramental to her private school application anyway.

 

I am not familiar with Australian systems (I am in the UK but a qualified SENCO in the UK) but if the younger one is granted a place due to a sibling attending the school, then surely they can not come up with any excuse without breeching disability discrimination?

 

She is only 8 now, so I have 4 years before we get to that issue.

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Thanks for the replies.

 

The older child has passed the entrance exam for the private school, which automatically means that the younger child gets in. If she gets the diagnosis then I am not sure what will happen, but at the moment, the family are just desperate to put things in place.

 

If the child has a poor school record because of her behaviours then this should be detramental to her private school application anyway.

 

I am not familiar with Australian systems (I am in the UK but a qualified SENCO in the UK) but if the younger one is granted a place due to a sibling attending the school, then surely they can not come up with any excuse without breeching disability discrimination?

 

She is only 8 now, so I have 4 years before we get to that issue.

 

They shouldnt be able to find a way out but, believe me, schools do just that - there is a clause in the act which says that if they can prove that making accommodations would impose too high a cost on the school then they can refuse an enrolment. They may have changed their policy by then too, if they realize that "problem" children may be approaching and the automatic enrolment may be a thing of the past (in fact it may be worth checking whether it is a cast iron promise or a factor in favour for a child's acceptance - schools do have a whole barrage of entrance requirements, having a sibling there may be just one factor). They may also add on additional fees to cover individual interventions so the parents would be up for more than the basic fees.

 

It would be worth checking the school's policy on the support of children with disabilities - some do it well, although usually they manage the physical disabilities better than the behavioural challenges.

 

If she isnt going for a while and is still in state education, then the state system should be able to help with the diagnostic process - perhaps the mum could make an appointment with a Guidance Officer to set the ball rolling (although getting the process started privately probably gives them more control - at a cost)

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Guest LX_RV86

Thanks :)

 

The school does have an SEN policy but I'll have to read through it

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