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Why does the school system think autism just because a child has a speech problem?

My son has a speech delay and now they are testing him for autism. When he originally got the "additional testing" they said it was to see if he would be a good candidate for pre-k, but every question was subtly asking if he had autism. I didn't realize it until I researched autism when they told me they wanted to test him for it. His teacher told me off the record that she does not think he has it based on the kids she's had in the past with autism. My son was behind on some of his skills because I wasn't teaching him at home and was doing everything for him which wasn't helping at all. Now he's in school and doing great! He is counting up to 15 consistently, really picking up on things and even talking a lot more. I just dont understand them being so quick to talk about autism and not even testing for anything else. I don't want my son to be labeled for no reason.

 
Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 7:06 PM on Sep. 30, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

This question is closed.
Answers (10)
  • I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU...MY 3 YEAR OLD WHEN HE WAS 18 MONTHS OLD THEY SUSPECTED HE HAD SPEECH DELAY....EARLY INTERVENTION CAME IN AND TESTED HIM AND THEY SAY HE WAS FINE THAT EACH CHILD IS A LITTLE SLOWER THAN OTHERS AND THAT THEY SEE NOTHING WRONG WITH HIS SPEECH...I THINK EVERYONE NOWADAYS JUMP TO THE CONCLUSION THAT IF A CHILD HAS A SPEECH DELAY THAT HE OR SHE HAS AUTISM.....I UNDERSTAND WHERE YOUR COMING FROM I BELIEVE A PARENT OR GUARDIAN KNOWS HIS OR HER OWN CHILD BETTER THAT THE SYSTEM....
    apple31

    Answer by apple31 at 9:03 PM on Sep. 30, 2009

  • There are some reasons to label a child: more funding (yay! destroy a child's self-esteem for fun and profit!) and to access services (sometimes valuable, sometimes of questionable benefit) and to help parents understand what is reasonable to expect from the child's limited abilities (often incorrectly, but that's okay, shoot nice and low and that will stop anyone from being disappointed)...

    My aunt was told by a respected professional (regarding my deaf-blind --but genius-- cousin) that 'she's going to die before she's 10, anyhow, and she's definitely severely mentally retarded, so you might as well institutionalize her, because she won't know the difference anyhow.' My aunt still swears and says really rude things about that monster.

    Last time I heard there was no cure or an effective 'make it go away' treatment for autism, so I always wonder why anyone needs that label for anything, except discarding the kids.
    LindaClement

    Answer by LindaClement at 7:14 PM on Sep. 30, 2009

  • If you disagree, tell them you won't have him take it. If he happens to show signs of it, go ahead and get him tested. Have you asked his doctor about this? The doc would be able to help point out if child should be tested. If they want to label your child...move to another school district or start home schooling. I had to go to speech class until I was in 5th grade...hated it, didn't help and will never let anyone put my kids in any "helping" service.
    mammacjjc85

    Answer by mammacjjc85 at 7:28 PM on Sep. 30, 2009

  • Yes I have talked to the doctor and he said to take him to a child study center that I would have to pay for. I am letting the school test him, but I don't think he has it and I will not let him live with that label.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:32 PM on Sep. 30, 2009

  • The school system will not diagnose him. They will evaluate him and recommend you take him somewhere for further testing IF they find "something". The school system cannot diagnose him.

    A speech delay is one of the "bigger" signs of Autism. It alone does not mean he has it. Just because he's being evaluated, does not mean he's going to be labeled.

    Be glad they are proactive enough to check into things. If nothing else for the peace of mind you'll gain when it all comes back negative.

    IF there is something you're missing (I've missed plenty with my special needs kids) then finding out he is Autistic will allow you to get the help for him that he needs to learn to cope with his challenges. It's not the end of the world. It's not this huge negative thing. I can only hope you'd not close your eyes and mind because you don't want a special needs kid.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:20 PM on Sep. 30, 2009

  • They are trying to force us to do the same thing, but they want us to pay for it, I we are fighting hard to not do it. When he hits kindergarden, they can test him at their expense if its still needed.
    auroura

    Answer by auroura at 9:32 PM on Sep. 30, 2009

  • because if he has it, early intervention is the key to recovery. have you read all the signs / symptoms,,, as a mom of a kid with a speech delay i know so much about autism, i researched to learn what it was and to be sure he didnt show signs of that too... if he doesnt have it the test wont hurt him, it will just rule it out...
    AmaliaD

    Answer by AmaliaD at 2:32 PM on Oct. 1, 2009

  • and yes school psychologist are licenced to diagnose all sorts of things, including autism.
    AmaliaD

    Answer by AmaliaD at 2:34 PM on Oct. 1, 2009

  • My son is almost 3 and his speech therapist wants him evaluated for autism by the pediatrician. I'll be honest...I was devastated to hear that but I am going to go ahead and get him tested anyways for my peace of mind. I am 80% sure he doesn't have it.
    pretty_in_pink2

    Answer by pretty_in_pink2 at 7:04 PM on Oct. 1, 2009

  • Most schools test for autism if their are signs that point towards it. They want to get children into the programs they need as soon as they can. My son had to be evaluated b/c of his speech delays. They automatically tested him for autism. My son doesn't have autism. If they had read the paper work they would have realized my son is deaf. But I was never upset they tested him for autism. I would rather get him the help when he was young then when he was older.
    I didn't want my son to have a label. I don't think any mother wants her child to have a label. But I put that aside so my son could get the help he needs.
    When your child gets the eval, ask as many questions as you want & tell them you want to be as involved as you can. Most eval teams are sweethearts that only want the best for the child. Good Luck
    MuddyHuggies

    Answer by MuddyHuggies at 12:32 AM on Oct. 2, 2009

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