What are the advantages of having a diagnosis?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Jules71, Apr 7, 2011.

  1. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    This seems like a silly question - but I really want to know. For example, let's say I suspect my son might have a mild form of Aspergers. If we try interventions that are proven to be successful for ppl with Aspergers and they work - what does it matter if we have an official diagnosis or not? There is no one solutions fits all with any of these types of diagnosis's.

    The one thing I can think of is for qualifying for SPED and getting an IEP. My son already has that.

  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I have asked this question myself....and as you can see, my difficult child has a TON of diagnosis. I'm just not sure she has the RIGHT diagnosis.

    I would say, there are some advantages to having a certain diagnosis (such as autism) because it opens new doors for treatment and services. Some diagnoses don't open any doors at all.

    For me? I think it would be nice to have a definitive answer...
    but as you have observed, there is not always going to be an "official" anything for our children.
  3. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    #1 reason for a diagnosis is so that insurance will pay :)

    Often getting a correct diagnosis can work wonders as it gets all the professionals going in the same direction. Tigger had been mis-diagnosis as bipolar at 5 and we just spun our wheels until he got full testing at 9 and got diagnosis as Autistic. Once we got everyone on board with that, he has made HUGE progress!
  4. cassiemoun

    cassiemoun New Member

    Thanks for asking this question, Jules!

    Do you know if insurance will pay if you use, for example UCLA to do the assessments/evulations (pay cash for those) and have an HMO (Kaiser) in my case.....
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Insurance and use of specific programs geared to treat specific dxes. The latter in my opinion being the most important. Also a more accurate treatment plan in many cases.

    Travis has Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), other end of autistic spectrum. Without the diagnosis there are a number of programs and services he could not use without an official diagnosis. The same goes for his other dxes as well. Because he is legally blind he can use the services on both the local, county, state and federal level for the visually impaired......this alone opened up a ton of services he didn't have access to before the diagnosis.

    And often, while doing the evaluations and testing, other issues are found and can also be addressed, which can make a huge difference for a child.
  6. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think it's multilayered and, just like all our children are different, the benefits of a PROPER diagnosis has different "benefits" for different kids.

    It can mean a different therapy or medication, it can mean a change in doctors and approach, it can mean a change in insurance benefits, it can mean more services at school.....

    For my family, a PROPER diagnosis opened the door to school services and a different approach to discipline and doctors. A PROPER diagnosis also allowed my difficult child to gradually overcome some issues and learn how to cope with others.

    I think it's different for everyone depending on their particular circumstances. I'm not sure there is a real downside to having a diagnosis unless it causes others to make judgements.

  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You won't get those services with a diagnosis. Period. Not in school and not in adulthood. Just saying "doesn't know how to socialize" or "clueless about life skills" won't get a child any real help. My son is now 18. We were hoping he could be independent, but he most certainly is going to need some help as an adult. Without a diagnosis, he'd end up one of those adults walking around, possibly homeless and a sitting duck for abuse.

    A wrong diagnosis, on the other hand, can be harmful. After my son's experience, I would not accept a bipolar diagnosis in a young child...they just have not proven to me that they can identify who is going to have bipolar as an adult by diagnosing it in a child. Still...it IS a way to get certain services. (JMO on the bipolar by the way) Because psychiatrists were so wrong with my son, I prefer NeuroPsychs for testing...they are PhD Psychologists with extra training in the brain. They can find neurological differences as well as psychiatric problems.

    Guess you have to decide if you feel the diagnosis and the help it brings is worth it. Some people tend to deny disabilities in their children...this can hurt the child as he grows up, especially if he gets isnto trouble with the law or if he clearly can not take care of himself as an adult.
  8. ML

    ML Guest

    Good luck getting one. With the more complicated ones that border on everything under the sun it's difficult. I have received several different diagnosis from different docs over the years and the ones currently on Kaiser's books is Tourette's Syndrome, ADHD and anxiety. Since I was with them before and they sent manster to the Autism Children's research hospital and it was a rule out, they won't consider it. The psychiatrist actually gets mad at me for suggesting the AS and he's a well respected psychiatrist. The doctor who did agree with my AS assessment (psychiatrist) didn't write it down. For manster, I don't think it matters. Our insurance is lousy and they don't evendo conventional one on one therapy, they do it in classes and groups. I am thinking of sending him to a life skills class. As far as school goes, the 504 has been enough. However we'll see how it changes in MS and if I have to go back into battle for the diagnosis I will.
  9. tictoc

    tictoc New Member

    I think it is important to have a diagnosis you have confidence in and that everyone who works with your child can be confident in. Getting therapies covered by insurance is important, but many psychiatrists also won't prescribe certain medications or therapies without a specific diagnosis. And, whether schools admit it or not, many times the diagnosis drives services, rather than the needs of the child. It shouldn't be that way, but that is the reality in many schools.

    Our son was first diagnosis'd with Tourette Syndrome and ADHD, so we pursued medications appropriate for those diagnosis's (Strattera, clonidine). During this time, the school psychiatric insisted that difficult child had Asperger's Syndrome and difficult child got support from the school's autism inclusion program. We also pursued expensive therapy outside of school.

    We made very little progress doing all of this. It wasn't until we got a bipolar diagnosis and started using medications appropriate for that diagnosis that we finally saw real improvement. We removed difficult child from the autism program and put him in a behavioral support classroom, which has been wonderful for him. Being in a class where the teacher and aides understand his diagnosis has made a huge difference in his outlook on school. And, using the right medications has made a big difference, as well. Honestly, I would not have allowed my child to take lithium without the bipolar diagnosis, even if a psychiatrist had been willing to rx it. But, it has been a wonderful medication for difficult child. Having a bipolar diagnosis put us in an entirely different universe and opened up options that we had not considered before.

    With all that said, I am glad that we did not go immediately to a psychiatrist for a diagnosis. We certainly benefited from the neuropsychologist evaluation (and have done another since the BiPolar (BP) diagnosis) and we feel much more comfortable with the BiPolar (BP) diagnosis since we explored other diagnosis's and treatments first.