I have been told by a resected Consultant in Child Development with the NHS, that my 10 year old son should take the ADOS test. We both think he may be borderline Aspergers and I have been told that he may or may not acquire the diagnosis depending on his performance on the day.I am gravely concerned that the decision to take this test may result in a diagnosis which will effect both his job prospects and any entry to a university/college should he so desire. I am concerned that, should he aquire the label, he will resent the limitations it may present him with. Aspergers, after all, doesn't lend itself to team playing. Does he have to declare any diagnosis on job applications and university/college applications?He may after all aquire these skill himself. I just don't know but the diagnosis will be there to stay. I am a teacher myself, and have seen many children in my care for whom a diagnosis is essential in order for that child to have a happy life. My child is eccentric, certainly and maybe more than that. I just want the best for him. Any ideas?
I don't know what the legal ramifications of an autism diagnosis would be in England. In the States, you do not have to tell anyone - employer or college - that you have autism but it could help with college as we have special programs here for some disabilities.
Like the others, I do not know the laws in England but I would be shocked if you were required to disclose that information.
As far as whether to take the ADOS or not. There are no great assessments for Aspergers and it is in fact a very controversial diagnosis. That being said, the ADOS is generally considered the best assessment currently available.
You referenced your child as "borderline Aspergers." With that description my recommendation would be to only pursue testing if you find that your child's interpersonal or academic achievement is suffering. If not, there is really no reason to accrue to costs and uncertainties of psychological testing at this time. If your child is having significant difficulties than the testing may be appropriate in order to provide helpful accommodations and/or treatments. , Please keep in mind that many, many people suspected of having Aspergers live very healthy, happy, and productive lives with or without an official diagnosis/treatment.
As an Educational Psychologist for 30 years, I have worked with many students on the Autistic Spectrum. I very much agree with the previous comments that obtaining the diagnosis for Asperger's serves a person best when the Syndrome is creating impairment which adversely affects or interferes with an individuals goal attainment. This would include social adjustment and social thinking. In the U.S. Colleges and Work Places may be legally required to make accommodations for individuals who are identified with a disability. You may want to take a look at the work of Michelle Garcia-Winner in California and Tony Atwood from Australia. Both specialize their clinical practices in this area, have written extensively on this syndrome and can answer your questions with authority. ADOS, like other ASD evaluation tools is not perfect, but in combination with a thorough developmental history, medical exam, and psychological battery, it is considered the current "gold Standard" in assessment of Autism Spectrum Disorders.
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