Wednesday 5 December 2018

It's not Autism it's Social Anxiety....

If you have been reading my blog for a while you will know my youngest Ellie has been getting assessed for Autism. We finally got some answers on Friday.

It all started when her teacher said that Ellie was struggling at school and she suspected ADHD. She wasn't concentrating and was struggling with the social aspect of school. We saw the school nurse in September 2017 and she suspected Autism too and after being observed in class referred us to CYPS ( the Children and Young People's Service).

The woman from CYPS came to see Stu and I while Ellie was at school and said Ellie didn't have anything wrong with her and her problems were to blame on her hearing loss. She said there was nothing wrong with Ellie despite not even meeting her. The school wasn't having that and we had some great support and CYPS agreed that someone else would come to meet Ellie. That meeting left me feeling pretty rubbish

Somebody who didn't know about the situation went in to school and observed Ellie and then the person who diagnosed Ellie without meeting her went and observed Ellie and they wrote their reports. In July Ellie had an Occupational Therapy Functional Assessment. Even more reports were written and we were finally called back to see a child psychologist on Friday.

He had read through the notes and reports and read the reports out to us and explained things. It was hard to hear but very interesting as well.

The single person who observed Ellie said she wasn't engaged in her work, didn't speak to her peers, wasn't confident, didn't get the jokes, was happy by herself at play time and struggled to pay attention.

The person who had said Ellie had no problems without meeting her said she was putting her hand up in class, confident, talking and laughing with her peers, doing all of her work, got all the jokes and was playing with a lot of people in the playground?

The Occupational therapist said that Ellie only gave one word answers, wasn't confident, struggled to judge peoples emotions, wouldn't ask for help if she was stuck on a task and struggled to get when someone was joking or not.

The reports from school said Ellie struggled socially, wasn't confident and was so quiet in class.


The child psychologist was a lovely man and apologised about how we have been treated. He can't understand why the person judged Ellie without meeting her. He seemed confused with her observations just as we were. I even asked him was she looking at the right child? He said he couldn't comment but was deeply sorry. I was so angry but didn't dwell on it.

The child psychologist has came to the conclusion although she does have a lot of signs that point to autism there just isn't enough for a diagnosis. He has said that because of the bullying Ellie has suffered over the years and sometimes struggling to hear with her deafness in one ear he is giving Ellie a diagnosis of Social Anxiety which sounds right to Stu & I.

Ellie misses out on so much because she won't put her hand up in class. She said it's because she doesn't want people to look at her. She is on the outside of groups because she doesn't want to the be the centre of attention. She would rather not be seen than have all eyes on her.

The child psychologist is already planning on writing letters to the school to get help put in place for Ellie and there will be support and more help given through the the Children and Young People's Service.

We told him how much Ellie has changed for the better since starting secondary school so he is going to send someone in to observe her in the class and around school to see how things stand now. 

It feels like a real step forward and it finally feels like someone who makes decisions is on our side and is wanting the best for Ellie like we do. 


  1. Oh Kim, this is good news. Not that she has Social Anxiety of course, but that she's getting 'real' help now. I'm sure with the right people helping her she will blossom in time. I think you already said she's coping much better at her new school? I really hope she continues to get better. xxx

  2. I hope Ellie continues to improve in secondary school, it must be so tough for her and for you as her mum. xxx

  3. I'm so glad that you are finally getting some answers. And as you said Ellie is doing so much better now she is at secondary school. It sounds like she has had a huge knock to her confidence with the bullying, Jayden was the same. She will find it again in her own time. She is a beautiful and fun loving girl and I hope things get better for her. :) xxx

  4. I'm so glad that you are finally getting some answers and an apology about the person who judged Ellie without even meeting her. I hope that the extra support will help Ellie. It does sound like she is doing much better in secondary school and hopefully now that you have a diagnosis and support is being place, that will help too xx

  5. I'm so pleased you have finally got a diagnosis. She sounds so much like me as a teen, I have suffered with sad for my whole life, I hope she gets the support from school she needs but I'm glad she's doing good already. It's frustrating dealing with some people, our social worker is pants it's like he's in a different room! X

  6. That must be such a relief! You've been waiting for so long for answers. No wonder you are angry about the one person who made a judgement without even seeing her. I hope this is the start of good things for Ellie. x