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Child assessment

  • 14-05-2022 9:01pm
    Registered Users Posts: 8,757 ✭✭✭ Tim Robbins


    My son is nine and is really uncomfortable if anyone near him is eating a yogurt. Before laughing, it can be a real issue. In school, he will go into the toilet and won't come out if he sees someone eating one.

    We are on massive waiting list for HSE assessment so wondering if anyone could recommend what to do for going private?

    Also, he is extremely mathematical. Into things like algebra and complex numerical problems. Spends a lot of time coding. I've read up a good bit about the spectrum but not sure if he is exhibiting some of the other characteristics. He has quite an active imagination, a mad sense of humour and thankfully there are a few other quirky kids in his school - so no major issues there.

    Grateful if anyone could send on any useful information.

    Post edited by shesty on


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,757 ✭✭✭ Tim Robbins

    Update: thinking about this more, it would make sense to get the assessment for ASD. There is a huge waiting list public. Can anyone recommend (Dublin area) someone good who can assess for ASD for nine year old, nearly ten? Thanks

  • Registered Users Posts: 666 ✭✭✭ CreadanLady

    Sounds like it could be autism. I'd definitely get that checked out.

    How is he socially with others? Does he often choose to do solitary things over social activities like sports.

    The MFV Creadan Lady is a mussel dredger from Dunmore East.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,105 ✭✭✭ Deeec

    I dont think your child has an issue being honest - he doesnt like anyone eating yoghurts. Thats fair enough - we all have our little quirks. I find anyone playing with or biting their nails very annoying and I would have to walk away. I never once thought I may have autism. I dont think his dislike of people eating yoghurts is going to hold him back in life in anyway.

    By all means get him assessed but I dont think you need to be overly worried. People around him need to just accept he doesnt like them eating yoghurts and Im sure that will be ok with them.

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,811 Mod ✭✭✭✭ shesty

    Yes you can get it done privately.

    I havem't experience myself but I believe there is a place in Portmarnock that is decent, if you are round that area.

    I would suggest you chat to the school -the class teachers and resource teachers in the school may be able to recommend someone, as they would deal with the reports and communications for kids with assessments.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,287 ✭✭✭ victor8600

    You can get your son assessed privately, for example

    The assessment may be useful, but what is the desired outcome? You can talk to the school principal now and ask if your son can be accommodated in some way to either eat in private or somewhere where yogurt is not present.

    I would recommend to consult a private child psychologist, mostly for your own peace of mind. There may be some easy techniques to make your son less averse to yogurt, or they may say that this will likely pass by itself in time.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 37,601 ✭✭✭✭ Mellor

    A lot of people don't like nail biters. Imagine somebody whipping off their shoes and going at their toes.

    But eating yogurt is pretty everyday behaviour. Being stressed by that to the point of locking yourself in the bathroom is not typical. OP is just getting it checked. There is not harm in checking.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,757 ✭✭✭ Tim Robbins

    Do you have any info on that place in Portmarnock?

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,757 ✭✭✭ Tim Robbins

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,811 Mod ✭✭✭✭ shesty

    Apologies I don't, as I said I haven't the experience personally.You might find something on Google.I would recommend trying the school though, they will often know the local child psychologists and specialists who would produce such reports, and might be able to point you in a direction.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,973 ✭✭✭ Gusser09

    Just be careful OP. There are a lot of services that will only too happily diagnose your child with a disability if you are willing to pay.

    I wouldn't be rushing to get an assessment based on not liking people eating yoghurts and it really doesn't sound like autism.

    A diagnoses will last a lifetime and despite what people say it will hinder potential job and educational opportunities.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,105 ✭✭✭ Deeec

    Absolutely by all means OP should get it checked out. All I was trying to say is that some people dont like certain things for whatever reasons - its doesnt mean there is anything wrong with them though. We all have our dislikes.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,625 ✭✭✭ dancinpants

    Talk to his teachers and ask for a meeting with the head of SET or resource in the school. Be wary of taking advice from people on the internet who think they can tell you if your child does or does not have ASD based on the the above.

    The school may recommend private services they have worked with in the past.

    As a teacher who has been through the process many times with kids and their parents, I have not found that private clinics give out diagnoses more readily than the public system. In fact, I've found the opposite to be the case on a couple of occasions.

    A correct diagnosis will allow your child to access the facilities and resources they need to get the best out of themselves in an educational setting. With regard to work, I'm sure there are many of us who are working with or who have worked with people with ASD diagnoses and have never known it.

    The public system is actually very good but the waiting time is crazy. I hope it works out for you and your child.

  • Registered Users Posts: 68,318 ✭✭✭✭ seamus

    As you can see OP, be wary of other peoples' opinions.

    If you are going with an qualified professional, they're not going to make up a fake diagnosis to get money out of you. They would lose their licence. Obviously avoid simplistic questionnaires or anyone offering a basic screening. They are most likely looking to get some quick cash from you to refer to someone else. If you go with a medical professional from the start, it'll be fine.

    A private diagnosis won't follow your child anywhere or hinder their opportunities, it's a private matter. A public diagnosis, I'd always be a little more wary of, but if a child is really struggling, then the support of the public health service is essential.

    Acceptance for people with various diagnoses has never been better and is improving all the time. Your child won't be an outsider in school, they won't suddenly "stick out". Every classroom has children with SNAs or who take a couple of hours a week with resource teachers to help with reading or maths or speech. Being "different" is not the albatross around a child's neck that it was 25 years ago.

    A quote I heard just a couple of days ago is that "everyone is on 'the spectrum'". That is, there is not really any such thing as "normal". There is bell curve of normal behaviours, where most of us "neurotypicals" lie, and then on either side of it you have the neurodiverse. But only a tiny minority exist bang in the centre of this curve, we all have quirks and foibles in one way or another. They are exacerbated in children and tend to reduce over time as we gain better control over our impulses and emotions.

    You cannot make your child neurodiverse by getting them assessed. You can only make yourself better informed.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,973 ✭✭✭ Gusser09

    Well from experience I'd disagree with pretty much everything you have said. I'll list the points individually later.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,584 ✭✭✭✭ fits

    I’m not sure an autism assessment is right place to start here. I’d have a consultation with a psychologist first and go from there. And talk to his teacher also.

  • Registered Users Posts: 32 Abbaesque

    I agree with this, deffo get him checked with a psychologist, who may be able to teach him coping mechanisms for when someone is eating a yogurt. I feel and have been told that getting an assessment of need/diagnosis of ASD should only be done if it will benefit the child in some way. If his only “thing” really is people eating yogurt, and not people eating dessert in a restaurant etc.. I would try and get his coping strategies up and teach him some methods to overcome this. That’s exactly what they would do even when diagnosed as ASD. How is his organisation?

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,003 ✭✭✭ Ms2011

    Have you tried applying for an Assessment of Needs for your son? They will be able to point you in the direction of what, if any assessments your son might need. I know there is a stall in the Assessment of Needs process at the moment due to a court case but it wouldn't do any harm to at least apply.

    Assessment of need for people with disabilities (

  • Registered Users Posts: 666 ✭✭✭ CreadanLady

    Not liking something is one thing, but being so revulsed by it that you'd lock yourself into the toilet and refuse to come out until the yoghurt is gone is a different thing, and goes beyond a dislike or quirk. It's actually problematic and not normal behaviour.

    No one thing screams autism here, but when viewed together with other things like an unusually strong interest in things like mathematical problems and obsessing over coding, and a preference for solitary activities over social activities would, all taken together give rise to a reasonable suspicion that something autism related might be at play.

    Please please please get your child addressed. If there is no problem then great. But if he is in the spectrum then early corrective intervention is the single biggest chance that he can lead a relatively normal life.

    A preference for solitary activities is particularly worrying. The world is a cold lonely place for introverts so if more extraversion orientated interests can be stimulated and encouraged it really well stand to him in the longer run.

    The MFV Creadan Lady is a mussel dredger from Dunmore East.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,105 ✭✭✭ Deeec

    The OP doesnt say his son obesses over anything. He also doesnt mention he favours solitary activities. He mentions he has a good imagination. It is ok for kids to like maths and coding without them being on the spectrum you do realise that. It is also ok for kids to be introverts - that doesnt mean they are on the spectrum either.

    In fact the only thing out of the ordinary the OP mentions is that his son doesnt like watching people eating yoghurts. It sounds like he has a strong dislike or fear. I agree with other posters that a psychologist should be the first professional to visit for advice.

    You are being quite alarmist with your post. Of course the OPs son will live a normal life.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,757 ✭✭✭ Tim Robbins

    OK happy to have this thread locked. Thanks for all comments.

    Very good at Maths / coding is a talent btw for some. Is it a disorder if you're very strong at Football, Music, Art and passionate about it?

    Too many opinions on the internet these days.

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This discussion has been closed.