parents manipulate process for autism services hoisted on their petard?



educator/parents manipulate process seeking services
parents manipulate process for autism services

Parents manipulate  process for  autism services hoisted  on their own petard?

Here’s a list of  what NOT to do when seeking services for a child with substantial delays such as autism or intellectual disability.

And if you do the following  – don’t expect the process to go smoothly!

That the parents are both teacher/ educators which is a profession prone to “know it all” types may have  played  a role in what happened and that these parents today  are still clueless.

The family  first went to  an  M.D.  who made recommendations that a handful of evaluations be done & then  to come back to discuss the results.  The parents  did not follow through on any of the MD’s  recommendations concerning assessment.

Instead, the parents went to a CA  agency that provides services to children with developmental disabilities.  There, the parents:

  • Told  the agency  exactly  what diagnosis to give their child.   And what diagnosis was not acceptable.
  • Spent most of the  first interview  saying NO when asked for additional info/ records.
  • Refused permission for the agency  to  observe the  child  with same age peers at school.
  • Created  a  pseudo history of  events via email trail.
  •  Provided false information  because their advocate told them to do so.

Overall, these parents/ educators  tried to manipulate the  process from start to finish.  What happened?

Hoist by they own petard!  One thing lead to another and the end result was that the parents did not get the diagnosis they expected.  So they they tried to change the diagnosis through a complaint process. And that did not work.

The parents feel “stuck” with a diagnosis they do not agree with. Shown the support for the diagnosis they still want to reject it. And the parents state that they feel that the process was a painful one.  Well, the actions they took (see above bullets) resulted in effects they did not expect.

It is hard for parents to accept that their child not only meets criteria for autism but also for intellectual disability.

What about the child?  The 13 year old substantially delayed child still does not have an Individual Education Plan (IEP). The parents, both educators, say that they don’t want their child  harmed through special education  categorization or certain medical  diagnosis which they don’t accept.

In my view, just as water seeks its own level, many children with disabilities are more comfortable educated with children who share similar  abilities.  I hope that this child does get an IEP and can have connections with children who share similar abilities and interests.



Cameron Jackson, Ph.D.

Dr Jackson is a psychologist with a private practice in Santa Cruz, CA   831 688 6002

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6 years ago

It appears unlikely that the more recent diagnostic methods encompass a wider range of children, because all include the key features of autistic disorders with specific recognition of speech delay, social interaction impairment, eye gaze avoidance, and resistance to change