As a parent, your main concern in life should be to ensure your child stays happy and healthy. If you start to notice your child isn’t following the same developmental trajectory as their peers, this can be an unsettling time and you may have lots of unanswered questions. Before you can put a plan of action into place, you will need to get a diagnosis of whether your child has autism. It’s likely that you will have to wait a long period of time before a diagnosis can be made, but if you don’t get the result you expected, here is a guide on what you can do.
Receiving the Wrong Diagnosis
If you believe your child is displaying autistic traits, it’s only natural that you will want to get an official diagnosis, however, if you haven’t received the diagnosis you expect, you will need to understand why this decision was made.
Diagnosis tends to solely be focused on observation. There are two main areas of difficulty that children with autism experience. These are social interaction/communication, and repetitive activities and behaviours. Common signs of these include sensory sensitivities, highly focused special interests, and in some cases, learning difficulties. Autism is a broad spectrum, so your child may display these signs on a varying level. If you find that the medical professional carrying out your child’s diagnosis doesn’t believe that they show any problems in the two main areas, you may not get the autism diagnosis you expect. If you have any concerns, it’s important that you ask for clarification. Diagnosis reports can be hard to read, so it’s best to seek help in a face to face environment.
What to Do Next
If you aren’t happy with your child’s diagnosis, there are several things that you can do. Firstly, make sure to book an appointment with your GP who will refer your child for a second opinion. While there is no obligation for them to do this, explaining your worries and concerns may make them change their mind. If you’ve come to a barrier, you may want to consider arranging a private diagnosis for your child, especially if you disagree with the decision made by the NHS.
There are specialist centres that your child can be referred to in order to get the right diagnosis, however, the number of these centres is very limited, so you may find you cannot access one in your local area, meaning that it may take longer to get referred. Make sure to ask your GP or another medical professional who is involved in your child’s care for more information or look online.
Making a Complaint
There is a fine line between not agreeing with a diagnosis, and being treated unfairly by a medical professional, however, if you wish to make a complaint, you’re well within your rights to do so. You can find out more here about how to make a complaint to NHS England. You may also want to claim for medical negligence if this is applicable, which is where experts like the-medical-negligence-experts.co.uk may be able to help.
If you have any concerns about your child’s diagnosis, it’s important that you seek help and advice straight away. Whether it be asking for a second diagnosis, going down the private route, or seeking medical negligence compensation, there are several things that you can do.