I'm an Autistic (official diagnosis of ASD) woman in my thirties, after an 18+ month wait I've recently had an assessment for ADHD - I was denied the diagnosis.
I have severe executive dysfunction problems, severe enough that I can't hold down a job or go to higher education, I can go days without sleep, etc. also problems with focus so I struggle to read more than a few paragraphs at a time and can't even sit through a few minutes of a video, among other traits - autism explains the executive dysfunction, not focus issues.
I was seeking diagnosis to help with benefits assessments (I claim ESA-WRAG) also for support, as obviously options like ADHD meds can't be accessed without diagnosis.
I'm wondering if I can appeal the decision or ask for another opinion, given the waiting list and potential cost to the NHS I'm not sure if they'd even allow it.
Hi KashaUK, yes of course you can. If you have sufficient reason to want a second opinion or appeal, then go for it. It might also help if you can get someone to prepare with you by writing down all the evidence that proves from your perspective that you have it.
Is there an Autism Center near you? That is where I would go for help. You may have multiple issues. They have the tools to get an accurate diagnosis.
I just got my diagnosis last month and the last two weeks of waiting for the results to come through were very difficult but I did make the decision that if I didn't get the diagnosis, after all the misdiagnosis, this was the only one that has ever fit 100%, so I knew that if it came back negative, I was going to appeal. I even thought that I would go to the Lorna Wing Centre and pay for a private consultation. I didn't know where I would get the money from to pay for it but I knew I would some how because getting the diagnosis was so important to me. I already knew by this time that I was autistic, it was obvious once I realised, but I had read a lot about older adults and particularly females, not getting the diagnosis and I don't know why it was so important to me but it was and it has made a huge difference to me. So yeah, I would say appeal and follow the advice of the other two commenters.
I don't have ADHD but I do have dyslexia, visual stress plus autism, and I struggle with the same issues that you do, so it might not be ADHD. It sounds like asking for a second opinion would help to put your mind at rest but I wanted to let you know about my own issues so that you could explore other avenues if the second opinion is the same as the first.
I've found that tinting my computer screen, and using the sepia background on the Kindle app, has helped to improve the amount of time I can read from a screen. This website contains a list of free screen tinting apps if you click on the 'screen tinting' filter - https://www.dnamatters.co.uk/resources/
Readsy is a speed reading app, this has also helped to increase my reading speed and concentration - http://www.readsy.co/
Text-to-speech software will read text back to you, which often helps people who struggle to read for more than a few paragraphs - https://www.robobraille.org/
I have a degree, a teaching qualification and a masters degree. I gained my masters around working full time as a teacher and will soon be starting a part-time PHD around working a 0.8 contract. I can only concentrate for a max of 20 minutes. This does make things harder but being conscious of this helps. For example, I know I have to study little and often, as I wouldn't have the concentration span to cram the night before an exam or stay up all night writing an essay.
As an autistic, you may be able to access funding form the Disabled Students Allowances'. This could pay for a specialist study skills tutor to teach you the strategies I have mentioned above.
@NAS24859 That's a fabulous response and really helps me see where I struggle to relate my world/understanding in practical terms I've only just realised I have ADHD as well and have decided to do what I can about it without going for the diagnosis, as the going for the autism assessment was stressful. I have realised that noise cancelling headphones might really help me and I'm going to look into some of the links you have suggested. I realised a long time ago I have some dyslexia and I'm learning about visual stress.
Regarding your PHD, do you mean working an 8 hour week contract? I would love to read it whatever it means. You're a real inspiration, thank you.
Hi BlueRay, thank you for the kind words. In regards to the PHD I'm going to study it part time over 6 years, whilst working 4 days a week. Good luck with your research. I hope you find some strategies that work