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Hundreds of Autistic Children in Cornwall May Not Get Diagnosis

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Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 7:02am 12th June 2013

Pirate FM has learnt a Cornish schoolgirl could be missing out on vital support because nobody can confirm she is autistic.

A mum from Bude thinks her daughter is suffering from Asperger's.

But there is no service to diagnose it in children who do not show any obvious mental health problems.

Her mum told us she fears hundreds could be falling through the gap: "The lack of diagnosis is preventing my daughter from accessing support in school or through social services and as a parent I can not access the help of carer.

"It is outrageous that in trying to get a diagnosis I stumbled across a lack of one."

She added that she had made referral requests that had been refused but had not received an explanation as to why after almost three months, and although her daughter's school and GP had been supportive they did not know how to help further.

She said: "Asperger's is a hidden disability and the gap in service is discriminatory to children and young people and their families."

Acting director of Healthwatch Cornwall Jayne Zito said: “It is worrying that parents are unable to get a diagnosis for their child, particularly as it can impact on the help they can receive and the wellbeing of their child.”

Health bosses admit there is a gap and say it began last year as part of a plan to see children with the most pressing mental health problems first.

They are promising to try to fix the problem.

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