Thursday, January 13, 2011
Autism: Why get diagnosis?
You aren't having any difficulties and it's been suggested that you may be on the spectrum. Or maybe that's the story for your child? Either way, why bother with diagnosis if you aren't having any difficulties?
Getting a diagnosis isn't always about having difficulties today. It's preparing for difficulties in the future. Few of us have the luxury of a crystal ball and feeling confident about your future and standing in life is all well and good. Unfortunately, life is just not so certain.
Even if you never make use of a diagnosis in your medical records, it gives you something to fall back on. New developments are cropping up every year in services and benefits that you may be eligible for if you need them. Getting proper diagnosis opens those doors for you. If you never need them, good for you, but you should be prepared ahead of time.
Early diagnosis is especially important for our children. Sure, they may not be having difficulties now, but as they get older and life cycles change, they may need the additional supports that are available to children on the spectrum. Studies have shown that early support is more successful than waiting until later. You can find such reports in most medical diagnosis for all kinds of conditions.
I've talked to lots of parents who have fallen into the dismissive "it's just" trap. They don't bother getting diagnosis, despite warnings, because they deny or dismiss the problem. "Oh, Joey's just acting out". That's a dangerous attitude and I've seen the results first hand. I've been approached by parents who find themselves in a desperate situation after years of dismissal. They often say something to me like, "we thought it was..." and then they got surprised when the problem didn't just go away.
Autism doesn't just go away. It's a permanent condition but not the end of the world. It is treatable and controllable in various levels. The early you get the support that's needed, the better (even if you don't have to use it right away). If you don't go and find out what support or treatment is available, get diagnosis, learn about it, you'll only have yourself to blame.