Should children with Asperger Syndrome automatically be statutorily assessed?

What's your opinion - should children diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome automatically be statutorily assessed? I think they should because despite seeming to 'cope' in a regular class, so many children suffer psychological difficulties that goes unrecognised in busy classrooms. An assessment could open doors for them to get the psychological and educational support they need to thrive.

Others may say of course, that they should be left to get on with things and only have intervention when really thought to be needed. My argument against this would be that teachers are not sufficiently trained in spotting the difficulties encountered by AS children (and why should they be - they're mainstream teachers after all, not special needs teachers) and in order to access the curriculum to their best, it would take an expert to assess them. Then, the correct level of help can be determined and the child has the best opportunity to get the right help.

Or maybe you have a different opinion on this? I've set up a poll on poll daddy for you to give your opinion Either way - please take the poll at the link below or leave a comment.. or both!

Tania Tirraoro
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Tania Tirraoro

Founder, CEO at Special Needs Jungle
Founder of Special Needs Jungle. Parent of two sons with Asperger Syndrome.
Journalist & author of two novels and a guide to SEN statementing. PR & social media expert. Rare Disease & chronic pain patient advocate.
Tania Tirraoro
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5 Comments

  1. Special Needs Mum

    From John William Gibson: Certainly, any child who displays any of the underlying “symptoms” to AS need to be assessed. The longer a child goes without assessment, the more psychological issues will begin to arise. Because I came into existance 60 years ago, I wasn’t diagnosed until 5 years ago. Much too late. My granddaughter was diagnosed a year ago at age 3. She stands a much better chance of developing the strategies necessary to live a much better life than I.

  2. I do think that children with Asperger’s should automatically receive a statutory assessment. That said, I also think that statutory assessments are in general far to restricted. Lets face it, nobody wants to go down this route unless their child/child in their school is having significant difficulty. If parents or schools ask for a statutory assessment for a child and providing there is evidence of an attainment gap between that child and their peers, then I think statutory assessments should be automatically carried out, and it should be harder for local authorities to wriggle out of doing them.

  3. Anonymous

    Its ok to jhave the label if that is the problem, but i am concerned that my daughters school is labelling her as aspergers in order for her to get a statement. I feel stuck between the proverbial rock and hard post – if she is labelled with aspergers she wil get the help she needs( ie to catch up the year SATS says sheis behind, even though she is an August born child). If not probably not … so I think i have to go with it … but i dont believe she is aspergers and am worried about the label

    1. Special Needs Mum

      First of all you have to be sure of her diagnosis. Does she have AS or not? If she has been diagnosed by a specialist then, tough as it is, you have to accept the label in order for her to access the services she needs. While you are not keen on a ‘label’, they can be useful signposts to help your child access the curriculum. The teachers may feel that she is having difficulties in social communication, planning and organisation or attention. Find out why they think she needs to be assessed and try to have a frank discussion with them about what they think she needs. At the end of the day, the label is not important – the fact that your child gets the correct level of help is what matters. Best of luck.

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