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Obtaining a New Diagnosis

My child has improved so much with diet and/or other interventions, I do not believe he still qualifies for the "autism" [or other more severe dx] label. Should I pursue a re-evaluation for a new diagnosis for him?

My Opinion:
There are pros and cons to either decision.

Keeping the current diagnosis will allow you a fighting chance to continue with the current services, and the current level of services, your child is now receiving. For example, if your child is currently receiving 30 hours of 1:1 ABA instruction, you will have a difficult, or probably impossible, task ahead of you to keep this level of these services, if the label changes from "autism" to "PDD" or other lesser label. If you would like to keep current services, you should probably keep the current label also.

However, the more severe label may be limiting to your child in his new level of functioning. For example, you may find it more difficult to include your child in a mainstream education class with the more severe label. Or you may find the educational programs offered for your child are not challenging enough for him/her, given his/her new level of functioning, so you may have to fight harder to receive a more challenging educational placement.

A re-evaluation and new label, however, has its own pros and cons. A new diagnosis may mean it is more difficult for you to continue current services, or current levels of services. If your child no longer requires this level of services, then the label may not be as important. However, if you wish your child to continue with the current services and level of services, you would want to keep the more severe label.

A new label, however, would allow your child more freedom to advance. If your child is currently in a 1:1 situation, or in a self-contained or other non-mainstream classroom situation, but your child is ready to be integrated into a mainstream classroom, with or without an aide, you may want the new label so your child can be challenged in his/her educational placement. Theoretically, it is the evaluation and test results which are the baseline for development of the IEP and the education your child receives, but the more severe label will impact how the IEP team and most importantly how the teacher will view your child. So you would want the lesser label to make it more likely your child will be challenged by the material being taught, altho you do not want it too challenging so your child begins to experience failure.

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