So last month we asked many of you to complete a survey, the results of which we are featuring as part of our support for World Autism Awareness Week.
We thank all one hundred respondents we were able to survey, everyone was very keen with our quota being complete with twenty four hours.
We felt that it would be interested to survey how many children who are adopted have also been diagnosed with ASD. We therefore asked those even without children diagnosed with ASD to complete the survey. However we do appreciate that those who have an interest in the subject may have been more likely to complete the survey.
That said we were able to calculate that of the 181 children included in the survey (maybe higher by one or two, 182 or 183) that 27% of these children have ASD. This is a massive difference to the 1.1% of the population which the National Autistic Society report on their website. Again I must stress that with the small scale of this survey, only one hundred respondents, that there is a greater possibility for an inaccuracy.
Nearly half of the children surveyed, 49% have been adopted for over 5 years and the majority of these children were place before they were 5 years of age.
The majority of families, 53% had requested themselves, for a diagnosis to be made, with the second source of diagnosis coming from school.
Very interestingly, of the 181 children included not one of them was placed with an ASD diagnosis; even though it is widely reported that it can be identified at as young as 4 months. However, more commonly, most children are diagnosed when older.
88% of families reported to be happy with the diagnosis their child had been given and the other 12% reported worries of confusion with attachment related issues and ongoing assessments as the reason for reporting to not be happy.
68% had found that the diagnosis was of use to their child in an educational environment. There were 16% who reported that an ASD diagnosis had not been helpful and the other 16% were children out of mainstream school for either home education, specialist school or completely out of school currently.
A massive 70% of families reported that their children had been diagnosed with a medical/mental health condition. We had 66 comments on this question and the list of conditions is very extensive but includes ADHD, Dyslexia, Attachment Issues, Developmental Trauma, FASD to name but a few.
I thought it interesting that in this extensive number of “other” conditions 70% of families reported having had a diagnosis made by a professional, not self diagnosed. Yet even with this less than half, 40% said that this therefore gave their child support in school. Here there were a number of responses that highlighted schools lack of understanding of the conditions, no training and disinterest in some cases. Some also reported to homeschool their children due to lack of support.
I think, from this small sample it is not possible to say how accurate a survey we carried out, however it does suggest some aspects of research which could be considered. I think it would be interesting to see a larger sample taken to find out more accurately what percentage of adopted children do have ASD.