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Hello I'm new to A-UK

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My name is Rosey and I'm new here. I am 27 years old and was diagnosed with High-Functioning Autism 4 months a go, prior to that I had been a long term user of mental health services, having been diagnosed from Bipolar, Cyclothymia, PTSD to BPD. I wont go onto detail about my time under their care as my experience has been mostly negative and I struggled for years to get the right help and support but I was never taken seriously or listened too, during the 9 years of being carted back and forth from GP to crisis team, hospital and seeing various clinicians, not once did they ever mention possible Autism screening, despite being screened for ADHD without being informed and at one time being referred to learning disability to have an assessment where I had a psychologist come around the house, who determined I didn't have a learning difficulty after asking one question "Can you find your way and walk on your own to get the bus?" He only sat down for 5 minutes and he said "I don't really know why I'm here because you clearly don't have any problems" Eventually I had enough, nothing was getting better and I knew there was something else, as I had always struggled socially, being socially awkward, feeling different and like no one understood me, then one day I had read up an article about a woman who finally diagnosed with autism, she had been constantly misdiagnosed, she had been a long-term mental health service user for many years and had a lot of negative experiences with mental health professionals who just wouldn't listen to her, the story was so similar to my experiences that I broke down and realised that I think I need to rule put Autism, my best friend even thought I had it but I just couldn't bring myself to askn my GP to refer me as I was scared they would just shrug me off....Anyway I had the assessment with my Dad as the informant and it was confirmed but to be honest I'm really confused, I don't understand the difference between HFA and Aspergers only that the clinical psychologist I saw diagnosed that instead because I had significant language and motor delay and in Aspergers there isn't, however I did some research on the Internet and they say that high-functioning autism isn't currently listed in the diagnostic manuel, could anybody ellaborate?

I'm looking to understand my condition better and how I can mange it, especially my social anxiety which is quite bad as I've completely isolated myself. I like being on my own as I feel safe and don't want to step out of my room as I feel calm there, since everything I need is where it should be, going out is very daunting, although I will go out if I have to like for meetings oappointments but I do have the habit of pulling a sicky or lying to avoid going somewhere. My GP is writing to Learning Disability to see what help they might be able to offer, in the mean time Doctor have me the number to adult social care for a needs assessment I'm just waiting to hear back from them. 

I hope I can make some friends on here

Rosey x

hello rosey, pleasure to meet you albeit in this medium

i am autistic. hfa - high functioning.

in answer to your question hfa and aspergers are often regarded as the same, the only difference being that hfa diagnositic criteria is dependent and defined by language development delays in early childhood. the issue here is that the line is so fine between hfa and aspergers, in that often if an autistic child is quiet or 'shy' then language delay is often misread. suffice to say they are the same diagnositic bandwidth, or as i think of it, 'colour' on the autistic spectrum. 

as you refer to your social anxiety, i will say that i do not regard myself as having social anxiety, even though i struggle with going out and prefer isolation. i regard isolation not as a flaw but as a necessity, much as a fish requires water in order to breathe, isolation and quiet and safe and feeling calm is just my natural environment. i function optimally in surroundings i am best suited to. 

there are other forums on-line specifically for autistics, eg. aspievillage,, or if you are feeling adventurous, do a tour of media platforms such as twitter and search under hashtags autism, autistic etc. you will find there are people out there like you and you can interact on your own terms as you feel comfortable.

a pleasure to meet you.