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July 3rd, 2013, 06:30 AM
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Carwen*Angel Carwen*Angel is offline
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Location: Manchester, UK
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My son started to pick up words at a reasonable age but was not putting them together as a sentence or responding appropriately to question and answer situations at the age of 18 months. He also had other signs that there may be something he needed help with such as fears, anxieties and self-stimulation (flapping, growling, etc).

It's extremely tricky for any parent facing such a situation, and I empathise with you fannyser. I was in denial for quite some time even after the health visitor pointed it out at his 2-year check. I didn't want to have him referred to anyone at first. But as any parent has to do, after weighing it up, I figured there was no harm getting it checked out and if there was an issue he would receive help, so we went ahead and had him referred by his GP to a specialist pediatrician.

Diagnosis was a long process because developmental delays can be hard to pin down. However, he was given help even before diagnosis - speech and language therapy, which really helped him communicate his needs and feelings and the therapist was excellent, intervention from the local authority inclusion team when he started at nursery and then funding for 1:1 support 3 days a week, and financial help because I - a single parent at the time - had to go P/T at work because he had so many appointments and needed so much more care at that time. Eventually at the age of 4 he was diagnosed with high-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder and he may have satellite conditions, there is a query right now re dyspraxia and Sensory Processing Disorder. He now has a statement of special educational need and has 1:1 supervision and support at school all week, which enables him to attend a mainstream school.

For what it's worth, I believe I have done what is best for my son in terms of giving him the best possible start in life.

If I was in your shoes fannyser, and bearing in mind I have been just a few years ago, I would talk to the doctor and get him referred for assessment of developmental delays if possible. The sooner a child gets support the better they will flourish. Not being able to communicate can be incredibly frustrating for a child. When my son started nursery he must have felt so bewildered, couldn't tolerate the noise levels, didn't like other children being in his space, and he used to lash out so we then had behavioural problems on top of everything else and it all became a bigger problem and a bigger stress. I was so lost and upset all the time and not sure what to do. But now things are great. He gets the support he needs and he's doing well.

If you need to talk and would like support from other ladies who understand the Children with Developmental Delays and Disorders board is great.

JLMOM - you give good advice and while I understand your feelings and your frustration due to your own personal experience, I'm pretty sure nobody would do anything deliberately to disadvantage their child, especially not someone asking for advice about it. Sometimes people genuinely feel lost and don't know what to do (I know I did) until someone makes them aware that there is help available and where to seek it.
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