After having our daughter reassessed, with a much more vigorous testing, we seem to be no clearer as to the diagnosis (in my mind, not the psychologist’s).

My daughter’s specialist stated she believes she is on the spectrum and also suffers terribly from anxiety and depression. I wanted to understand just how my daughter fits in each required domain of the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria. So we went through it all, but some I felt we’re very vague and not necessarily what was actually happening. For example, deficits in understanding body language or nonverbal communication; I believe my daughter is very adept at picking up very subtle things from others, but because she is withdrawn she doesn’t engage easily in communication with others, which the specialist interprets as due to not understanding nonverbal communication.

I tried discussing this further, but was very aware of it becoming a circular debate and not getting anywhere. That perhaps it’s me; being inflexible in my thoughts and persistent with my view; possibly an aspie trait for me… We ended up leaving it as “she can always be reassessed once her anxiety and depression levels are modified, as they could be the influencing factors”. I nearly laughed out loud, as that’s what the first specialist said after my doubts, and it’s what made me go and search for clearer answers; “she can always be retested if she questions the diagnosis as an adult”.

So, after some serious ruminating, I’ve chosen to accept the diagnosis. Mostly, because we’re back at square one with my daughter’s school refusal. After doing so well for a couple of months, suddenly she just can’t go anymore. Therefore, I can’t deny something like Aspergers is the root cause of all her struggles in attending school. Whilst I can’t find the puzzle pieces for all the diagnostic requirements, there are certainly some there. So instead of constantly questions labels, I’m just going to try to help her with what she’s experiencing right now, knowing some of what is causing it. (But I have to say, it still really irritates me that it’s not perfectly clear!)

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