Today I become the voice of my 9 yr old son diagnosed with Aspergers. Since he was diagnosed over 1 year ago his primary school has refused any extra support, services or even a SEN assessment. Reason they say his to clever. Suffering with a social communication disorder with added sensory issues I feel help is needed. He has been excluded for not following instructions and once back he is excluded from lunch breaks as staff can’t handle him. I will have to collect and take him home everyday for 1 hr. Help! He has special educational needs and a statement is his only way forward in mainstream school. He is who he is and he should not be punished for this.
Claire’s dilemma illustrates the issues surrounding the proposal to merge Aspergers and Autism in a single Autistic spectrum Disorder in DSM-V. Having a diagnosis of Aspergers is no use if it is used to deny access to services, as has happened in the case of Claire’s son.
Whatever the eventual outcome it is clear that, so long as authorities use diagnostic categories as one size fits all gateways to services, problems like this will always occur. Individual assessment and provision tailored to meet identified needs will always be required regardless of the presence or absence of any diagnostic label.