Dual Diagnosis for education and services

Discuss getting a diagnosis, educational help & electronic devices and apps for autism.

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Dual Diagnosis for education and services

Postby luvpiggy » Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:30 am


I was wondering if anyone has any advice concerning a dual diagnosis of autism and IDD. My son who is 18 recently received an evaluation done at his school(new school and new state) where the tester gave him the primary diagnosis of IDD and a secondary diagnosis of autism. I almost cannot see how that can ever really be the case for anyone who has both of the diagnoses. The history of my son's development can be characterized as uneven development with regression, meaning that there were certainly signs of developmental delay but those delays were not even across all areas of development (he sat up, crawled, walked, etc. early or on time but had unusual development and delayed development of speech) and from birth until age 2, we and the doctors would brush off our concerns about the delays because he would also exhibit skill sets that made him more advanced for his age. By age 2 1/2, he stopped developing especially with speech as strongly as he should have and he also regressed in speech and other areas that did not include gross motor skills. By age 4, one of his teachers wondered if he did not have the label that existed at the time of childhood disintegration disorder and was afraid that he could not make progress. However, when given the right interventions, his progress pleasantly surprised her. So to me and from what I've read, that's very characteristic of development of severe autism.

Anyway, he does test moderately IDD. However, he is complicated because he is selective and inconsistent about showing his capabilities so although it is highly likely that he does have some IDD, I think in general that it is very difficult to tell with not only him but many individuals who are classified as having severe autism and are nonverbal. So, personally, I think it is a more truthful reflection to have his primary diagnosis as autism and his secondary diagnosis as IDD.

However, the school tester is saying that she is doing this for service eligibility. However, from what I am seeing as long as he has a diagnosis of IDD, whether or not it is primary or secondary, he should be eligible for IDD services. He made it on to the state IDD adult waiver list that exists so I am not concerned. I do however see that with eligibility for schools that perhaps some autism schools in the area would use it as a reason to exclude him or say they cannot accommodate him if his primary diagnosis is not autism and that is what I am focused on regarding services right now.

In addition, he had a recent psychological evaluation that was done independent of the school system that says his primary diagnosis is autism. I was just wondering if anyone had any opinions?

Thank you,


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