Possible Autism, next step?
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  1. #1
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    Default Possible Autism, next step?

    I'm so stuck and wonder if anyone has any words of wisdom of what my next step should be.

    I have a child I care for who I think has Autism obviously I'm not a health professional but he ticks all the boxes for me. I've been keeping note the last couple of months, writing a lot down, observing etc. I've spoke to the parent a few times in a casual conversation way, haven't mentioned Autism, mum has no developmental concerns but we've spoke about some social issues hes been having, trouble with change of routines etc.

    Now i'm at the point where I'm almost sure it could be Autism. i don't know where to go next. I'm so used to working in nurseries, expressing my concerns and then handing them over to the SENCO, but I am the senco now!

    I have an email address of someone in my LA that i can contact but I don't see them regularly and dont know if the email address would be to ask advice, should i contact them, express concerns and ask what my next port of call would be or do I speak to mum first but then I wouldnt know where to guide her, would I tell her to speak to her health visitor, gp?

    this part of the job is so difficult for this reason and i want to give the child and the parent the support they may need, any advice?

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    How old is the child?

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    In our area you have to get permission from the parent before you can phone the LA SENCo - when you have permission, the SENCo will come out to the childminder's home and observe the child and decide what next steps should be.

    I don't know about your area but here in Somerset all the children's centres have become "Get Set Services" and they have family liason officers who can talk to parents about parenting / behaviour issues and recommend the best approach. We have been told to use them for lots of things that we would have previously rung our Children's Services (Safeguarding board) about as they are too snowed under with more serious cases.

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    I have the same here. A 4 yr old who I am sure has Aspergers. It seems so obvious to me but mum and dad just aren't seeing it and don't seem overly concerned about the behaviour. I don't think we are allowed to suggest what it might be so I don't think we can actually say what we think and in my case all the dropping hints etc have had no effect.

    xxx

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    Quote Originally Posted by Miss freckles View Post
    I'm so stuck and wonder if anyone has any words of wisdom of what my next step should be.

    I have a child I care for who I think has Autism obviously I'm not a health professional but he ticks all the boxes for me. I've been keeping note the last couple of months, writing a lot down, observing etc. I've spoke to the parent a few times in a casual conversation way, haven't mentioned Autism, mum has no developmental concerns but we've spoke about some social issues hes been having, trouble with change of routines etc.

    Now i'm at the point where I'm almost sure it could be Autism. i don't know where to go next. I'm so used to working in nurseries, expressing my concerns and then handing them over to the SENCO, but I am the senco now!

    I have an email address of someone in my LA that i can contact but I don't see them regularly and dont know if the email address would be to ask advice, should i contact them, express concerns and ask what my next port of call would be or do I speak to mum first but then I wouldnt know where to guide her, would I tell her to speak to her health visitor, gp?

    this part of the job is so difficult for this reason and i want to give the child and the parent the support they may need, any advice?
    I once had concerns about two children that I was minding at the same time. One was because I was sure he had a speech delay. With the other one, I was convinced he was on the Autism spectrum somewhere.

    I rang my LA Childminding Development Officer in confidence, found out that the LA SENCO would be at a Playgroup nearby on a given day, did a bunch of observations to take with me, and popped into the Playgroup with my two for an informal chat. SENCO looked at the observations (off the record), observed both children informally, and advised me to speak to both Mums and just get permission for me to have the SENCO in.

    I did this, and the Mum's were fine. With the first child, the speech delay was only minor, so we agreed to wait until he started at the local pre-school Nursery as they would most likely follow it up (and I mentioned his progress in my Transition report to them - with Mum's permission). Mum now works at the local school that I drop off at and has since thanked me for spotting this so early - 3 years on, and he now regularly sees a Speech and Language therapist.

    In regards to child two, he was dual language, so when the SENCO dropped in, I also roped in a translator friend of mine to come and be interpretor. With her assistance, we discovered that he was communicating lots - we just couldn't understand it. So what was an apparent lack of communication to myself and the SENCO was not actually an issue, and he was fine. Phew!

    Both mums were glad of the outcome(s) - all minuted. (Of course, Mum two had said all along she had no concerns; and I was glad that she obviously knew her child more than I ever could.)

    Hope it helps,

    LK

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    Thank you, still a bit stuck then really.

    i think i'll look into our local children's center and see if they have anything i could possibly guide mum to, other then that possibly email my LA and find out what should be my next step.

    The child is 3.5, big speech delay also.

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  8. #7
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    My understanding is that it is the parent and only the parent who can take this further (unless a matter of safeguarding which this isn't obviously). We can suggest/prompt/advise diplomatically but that is all. I had a similar situation and ended up suggesting mum looked into speech & language therapy. At 3.5yrs s&l delay will be dealt with quickly. I believe SLT departments work closely with autism spectrum dept as speech & language is often an issue. Certainly in my case the child was quickly pushed through the system and the "professionals" were able to give mum a proper diagnosis.
    Hope that helps!

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    I forwarded a parent a link to an online questionnaire that would suggest if the child might have a speech and language delay. I said I had completed them and was interested to see if children were the same at home and could the y share their findings with me. I then sent off the referral forms after a chat with mum. He's still on waiting list but at least he is on there. If there's anything more then I hope the therapist would question it.

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    I would deal with the speech and language delay first......I know lots of folks won't agree but in my experience you cannot think autism in a 3.5 as there are loads of areas that just may be a tiny delayed.... Especially if parents are not as concerned as you.
    I have experienced children who have arrived at school with a possible autism that have developed into other learning difficulties and others that have gone to a special needs nursery( when they existed) and developed and progressed well at school. Only a few have arrived with possible autism thoughts that have gone on to be on the autism spectrum. Most true autism at 3.5 is picked up by parents and health in earlier delays.
    So concentrate on the concrete knowledge you have ...speech delay...work through everything you can do, speech therapy involvement if available ...then if no progress is made..then move forward via your LEA guidelines to explore other avenues....with professionals.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miss freckles View Post
    Thank you, still a bit stuck then really.

    i think i'll look into our local children's center and see if they have anything i could possibly guide mum to, other then that possibly email my LA and find out what should be my next step.

    The child is 3.5, big speech delay also.
    If the parents have a copy of What to expect? when....go through that with them and look in particular at language development...the review his progress and raise your points of 'concerns' backing them with your observations.

    I would also suggest a 'hearing check' to make sure that there is no possibility of glue ear or such like that is causing the speech delay
    Children Centre...good idea to go and get advice

    Autism manifests itself in various ways and has a wide spectrum....it can also develop at different ages and stages...it can be picked up at 2 but often later signs appear.

    Good luck

  12. #11
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    I have had very similar issues. Even at one years old I knew something wasn't right. Parents resisted and resisted, I took advice and each time was told its up to the parents to refer. At the two year check I wrote lots and lots about the child's issues etc -I didn't suggest a diagnosis but I gave enough info that should have been picked up. Eventually at about 3 years old I convinced them to ask for speech and language support. even then its been slow progress -taking a child to a clinic where they hate socialising and never make eye contact isn't going to help with speech or anything else. At over 4 years old things have started to happen and child is being seen by more people, but they are holding off until September for school - though have already said they will be with the SEN staff.
    So wrong that I couldn't make my voice heard by anyone - I have never had a situation where a parent avoided issues like this. Still may or may not be autism, but there is no doubt there is something that needs additional support.

 

 

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