Syndromes are not made up

27th August 2004 at 01:00
Although I accepted much of Mark Edwards' opinion piece, I was alarmed by his assertion that if children fail to conform to government criteria it results in the psychologist being called in for a quick diagnosis... ("Your child is shy? Asperger's Syndrome ..." etc).

My son's diagnosis of Asperger's came after seven and a half years of his struggling with obsessiveness and high levels of anxiety caused by his failure to understand social language.

Quick? If only... The diagnosis most certainly was not a "handy way avoid taking responsibility" or a replacement for a "whole village" upbringing.

What diagnosis brought was not excuse but understanding. From understanding has come appropriate and sympathetic handling of my son and an improvement in his ability to cope in school and at home.

Far from diagnosis making us feel that nothing could be done, the ensuing research we did showed us just what could be achieved by approaching things in a different way.

I sympathise with many of Mark's concerns, and we in the autistic community are very aware of the huge increase in diagnosis, but would argue that it has little to do with irresponsible parents and slap-happy psychologists.

Denise Noble

65 Weston Grove

Upton, Chester

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