I'm a coward .The question over autism spectrum disorder constantly hangs over me ,but I'm too scared to press for an assessment. Although I have autistic traits I question whether I would meet the full criteria. In fact I fit a similar thing non-verbal learning disorder better. The trouble being NVLD is scarcely recognised in this country . The local autism service doesn't cover NVLD so the fear is the rejection of an autism diagnosis will not result in other avenues being explored. This in turn would cement/strengthen the ignorant and misguided belief that everything relates back to the mental health diagnosis. Then there is the issue that as an adult there's not much support whether you're on the spectrum or NVLD. It would be nice though to be able to say to all the ignorant f******s it was always much more than a case of being "awkward,demanding and troublesome"
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My advice, particularly based on your final sentence, is to start the process of obtaining a diagnosis.
At the moment you are second-guessing the outcome. You question whether you would meet the full criteria but you are not an expert.
What I was told, is that NVLD (=NLD) is a different kind of diagnosis from a neurological perspective whereas ASD is a more behavioural diagnosis. NLD often occurs together with ASD (but not necessarily). You might find the thread about the verbal - performance gap interesting thread on verbal vs performance IQ gap . NLD is something that is very clear from IQ tests, spatial insight tests etc... This learning disability is quite common in ASD, if I understand it correctly (I am not a professional !!) it is when when the verbal IQ is much higher than the performance IQ.
These are invisible handicaps which cause great stress in the workplace and in your personal life. For instance: poor visual short term memory, bad spatial insight, etc - because you are verbally strong - people totally overestimate your capabilities and put mistakes and shortcomings down to "laziness and sloppiness and not trying hard enough". People with this invisible handicap put great efforts into compensating and this then takes its toll in the long run. I think caretwo is right: it is up to the professionals to do all the tests. It is not an either/or story and good professionals will give you the results of the tests with pointers where your deficits are - so you can better understand yourself and explain yourself better to others. You don't need a full diagnosis to be able to say for instance: "I have a disability with regard to the visual processing of information".
I've only done an official test once as a teenager and never knew the result. However going by admittedly questionable online tests I score 137 and 144+ for verbal and the following for non-verbal/visual spatial -71,61,73,85,72,72,77,63, 82,72,84,81,75,67,56,
Mensa DK gave me 94 taking a stab at it and 80 just pressing randomly Mensa DK= 80/94= 0.85 It may or may not give undue weight to random answers. Mensa Romania gave me 80 and under 75 taking a stab/choosing randomly. Mensa Hungary gave me 73. All are non-verbal.
If there are more than 12 points discrepancy that is a red flag: I have copy pasted an answer from an other site (I am not sure about the scientific validity of this, but it looks right):
"In a normal population, the expected mean VIQ-PIQ discrepancy is zero (VIQ is short for Verbal IQ and PIQ is Performance IQ). When there is a large discrepancy between verbal and performance IQ, it generally points out to a learning difficulty or overcompensation and/or impairment of some kind. For instance non-verbal learning difficulty (NVLD) is usually suspected when there is a high VIQ-PIQ difference (VIQ>PIQ). Usually when a discrepancy of at least 12 points is found between the VIQ & PIQ, the Full Scale IQ score should be interpreted cautiously. Even though the verbal-performance discrepancy is not used to directly diagnose a learning disability, it is like a red flag – it alert parents and teachers to the child's strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, a full analysis of the individual subtests that comprise each score should be looked at and if scatter is very large, it warrants further investigation.Research has indicated that a discrepancy towards verbal (VIQ > PIQ) has also been linked with Asperger's syndrome but not with other pervasive developmental disorders. Relatively low VIQ has been considered an indicator of dyslexia and relatively low PIQ of dyspraxia. Studies have also suggested that hyperactivity in children is associated with relatively low performance IQ. In more recent studies, it is found that there is a high degree of individual and familial comorbidity between these three disorders. The term clinically significant means that the severity of the behaviour/performance is significantly different from the norm and indicates a strong possibility of a clinical problem." http://www.brainy-child.com/experts/verbal-IQ-performance-IQ.shtml
I think I would feel more confident if family said " Yes we definitely think you are onto something worth pursuing" . These after all are the people who know me best. I post my concerns on Facebook but nobody really takes the bait and says " Go ahead.we'll support you". It makes me think they think I'm talking out of my backside.