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What are the advantages to seeing a specialist?

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Old 02-04-2008, 07:13 AM   #1
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What are the advantages to seeing a specialist?

My pediatrician suspects autism in my daughter, but not as severe as some children. The main issues are behavior and obsessions. Is it necessary to put my child and family through all the tests, long trips to a specialist, etc., if autism does not seem to affect her learning? There most likely wouldn't be any meds to put her on, and we'd just come away with a label. This label may put her in special classes in school or it may allow her to get extra help in a regular class I realize; but overall if the autism is not severe,then are there really any advantages to seeing a specialist? (The behavior and obsessions are more than I can stand to go through, but for the most part I've learned to accept it....sometimes I feel like I'M the one who needs a

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Old 02-04-2008, 10:14 AM   #2
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Re: What are the advantages to seeing a specialist?

you are right. seeing a specialist is certainly not going to take away the autism but you may learn some techniques in making this "typical" world a little easier for your child. i (as you) accept my son for who he is and celebrate his different views of things. i have, however, learned that as my son gets older (and more aware that he is different) find that the support of a specialist is an amazing help to me. he is enrolled in social skills classes with a neuropsychologist that specializes in autism and he loves every minute of it. he is currently in a mainstream class and has become increasingly frustrated because "nobody understands me, i don't know how to play with them and that's why i play alone." that's very heartbreaking for me to hear, especially from a child who is very social in every other area of his life. i believe things would be different for him if he had the correct support (from a specialist) in school. so for us, a specialist just makes things a little easier for my son to get along in this complicated "typical" world we live in.

Old 02-04-2008, 10:35 AM   #3
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Re: What are the advantages to seeing a specialist?

I couldn't agree more, MOMTO3ANGELS, The more knowledge you have the better you'll be able to cope. Also it can only improve your daughters life. Your family will benefit and be able to understand why she does the things she does. I hope that makes sense.

I can't seem to learn enough. Knowing why Drew acts the way he does helps us deal with his stress. It would have been very hard to deal with our stress also without therapists explaining the "why" of it all.

We only had one visit with a specialist. We got the answer we knew already. Then he was able to get the help he needed. He has improved so much. I never dreamed he would progress so far. He is doing wonderful.

Good luck to you and your family.

Last edited by DrewsG; 02-04-2008 at 10:40 AM. Reason: spelling

Old 02-04-2008, 10:29 PM   #4
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Re: What are the advantages to seeing a specialist?

I never had help from an Asperger's specialist, nor did my son, until 2 1/2 years ago. It never affected our ability to learn complicated things. I was valedictorian of my class. My son took advanced placement courses, loves calculus, physics, computers, and chemistry. We had to figure things out for ourselves. Many, many things we never figured out. A neurotypical person can not help us, because we don't think the same, and can't do it "their way". Teachers cannot help us. Most parents cannot help us. I would have loved to have had a specialist when my son was young, so he didn't have to go through so much frustration. I needed a specialist when I was young, and my life wouldn't have been so difficult and puzzling. Each of us consistently had 4-5 meltdowns a week, pretty much all our lives. Our "normal psychologists" provided no help in this area. When we found out we had Asperger's, we began going to psychologists who specialize in Aspergers, and it has brought wonderful changes to our lives.

I understand my "weirdness" better. I have learned better coping behaviors. I know how I'm different. I have learned what triggers my meltdowns. I have learned what I need to minimize my anxiety. I have learned how to ask for what I need. I have learned I need every other day totally without social interaction. I have learned I need minimal sensory inputs (lights, sounds, movement, color, smells, disorder.) I have learned I can attend meetings where everyone sits and listens to a speaker, but have to drastically limit or omit attendance at meetings where everyone stands around and mingles and chit chats. My counselor is helping me understand my world, my limits, my strengths, and how to structure my life to minimize the meltdowns. I'm now 52 years old. I went through life without knowing these things. These are the advantages of seeing a specialist. Please. Give your daughter the gift of a specialist.

Last edited by roses4lace; 02-04-2008 at 10:37 PM.

Old 02-09-2008, 08:55 AM   #5
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Re: What are the advantages to seeing a specialist?

My son went for his "big" work-up at Children's hospital. The genetic testing, the visit with the developmental-behavioral Pediatrician.. Frankly, after the fact, I don't think it was really worth the trip. My son apparently has no genetic issues that we know of (and we were not able to get into the deeper "chip" gene testing that we wanted to, because insurance wouldn't cover it). We asked about his stomach problems, and some sleep issues, but their blood tests were so basic that if there were any problems, they didn't find any. I probably had more questions after that appointment than I did before going. I opted not to go back.

So I suppose it depends on who you go to, what you are expecting out of your visit, and maybe what you're willing to pay.

Old 02-13-2008, 07:10 AM   #6
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Re: What are the advantages to seeing a specialist?

I would, did, but my son was an adult before we finally got our diagnosis. Asperger is so hard for even specialists to come up with until the symptoms are right there in their faces. The checklist they use as criterion could is so vague and could be many other things until you add them up and then the total of the symptoms make it a clearly diagnosis.

Problem is, I found the diagnosis wasn't the relieve I was hoping for. Now we know what we've known all along and my son is not relieved or surprised by any of it. It makes no difference to him. He still has difficulty in the neurotypical world we live in socially and always will. You don't recover from inborn feelings and the way you interpret social signals. It's something the person learns to live with - or doesn't. It's a long process.

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