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Autism not diagnosed after the first assessment, until one year later 2019-07-02

Many parents revealed that the waiting time for children to receive assessments provided by Child Assessment Centres (CACs) is quite long. In order to allow children to receive early treatment, some parents would look for the services from private institutions. Fung’s mother suspected that Fung had autism, so she brought him to a private institution to have an assessment, but he was undiagnosed.

Fung’s mother recalled the time when Fung was one and a half years old, “I brought Fung for a check-up at a Maternal and Child Health Centre, a nurse stated that Fung did not point at things which he wanted and did not respond when his name was called. He also walked on his tip-toes. The nurse then referred Fung to schedule a comprehensive assessment in one of the CACs.” Fung’s mother also suspected that Fung had autism and would like him to receive treatment as soon as possible. Since the waiting time for an assessment conducted by CACs was about one year, Fung’s mother decided to take Fung to a private institution for an assessment.

The assessment result was different from what Fung’s mother had expected. She felt confused about it and said, “The teacher of the centre said Fung did not show rigidity in his behaviours, so he did not have autism at that moment.” When Fung was 28 months old, he finally got a chance to have an assessment in a CAC, and he was diagnosed with autism at that time. Fung’s mother was a bit lost because of the two different assessment results, but she stayed calm and started to arrange treatment for Fung, so as to seize the golden period for treatment.

After receiving one-month ABA treatment at APF, Fung improved greatly in language, understood more instructions and had more spontaneous communications. Fung’s mother was very grateful for the help of APF’s therapists. “Fung has been receiving training at another centre for seven months, but not much progress had been made in his language ability. However, he improved a lot after receiving treatment at APF.” said Fung’s mother. Fung’s mother was very worried previously that Fung could not speak. His improvement was very encouraging and made her relieved.

On Fung’s last treatment day, Fung said goodbye to us all while leaving the centre. Although Fung’s diagnosis of autism has been delayed, we all believe that through effective treatment, he will keep improving!

Fung’s mother was invited to share her perspective on ASD and ABA services with Autism Partnership Foundation (operating in Hong Kong) (APF, HK). Fung is a past beneficiary of APF, HK.