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Hi Sarah,

I’m a parent of an 8 year old autistic boy with no speech. He wasn’t officially diagnosed and ‘statemented’ until he was 4 years old, even though he first underwent those standard/various tests from the age of 10 months! We knew early on that something up as he has a twin sister who was developing normally to compare him with.

We knew that he had autism more than 2 years before he was diagnosed, but as Dave says, once diagnosed your son is entitled to stuff! so they’re generally not in a hurry to arrive at a conclusion. Unfortunately, although you have various entitlements, nothing comes easily. My personal experience is that you have to fight for pretty much everything.

As Dave says, there is no reason why an assessment should wait until September – so I would recommend doing everything you can to bring it forward. You can be sure that there’ll be more assessments and referrals before you get close to that all important diagnosis.

I am not qualified to tell you whether or not your son is likely to have ASD, but from what you’ve told us I think it’s probable. A diagnosis is important to get the help and support he, (and you), will need in the long term. In the meantime, knowing that he may well have ASD will help you to understand what he does and why he does things, and will also help you to find ways to help him.

It will also help your other children to understand these things – there’s a book we bought for our children called, ‘My brother is different’ which really helped them to understand him and to explain his condition to other people, (friends, etc).

There are lots of sources of good information – I hardly know where to start! The National Autistic Society website is a good source of information as is the USA equivalent.

Forums like this can be very helpful if you’d like help with a specific issue.[8)]