So I'm 21, still in Uni whilst running a website business and working part time to support myself.
I have the option to go for an assessment with a private psychiatrist since my local GP isn't accepting any new appointments every time I've called up for the past few weeks.
I've been passed through the NHS to therapy for OCD/Anxiety/Depression multiple times in the past and it's taken months to go through the process each time. I'm less reliant on seeking therapy or medication (Never have tried it, and am uneasy at the thought) as I have everything (Bar my social life) fairly well planned out.
I've had people suggest Asbergers or autism before might be the reason for my symptoms, and once it was said to me it made sense, and the things I've tried to treat in the past (OCD/Anxiety) just kind of made sense. Obviously I knew that wasn't a reason to jump to self diagnose so I called up a private hospital and they referred me to a psychiatrist. The psychiatrists office said they believed they could help and I was a valid possible assessment.
I've heard that private diagnosis' are often not recognised (I'm not planning on collecting any benefits or anything like that). If I do have Asbergers I would like a official, recognised diagnosis just for my own peace of mind. Also to explain to people, my GP or other medical professionals should I ever need to. I'm worried the NHS or anybody really might say 'It's not a real diagnosis, or you need a second diagnosis'.
Would going the Private diagnosis route still be recognised by the NHS and major organisations?
Some bits of folklore and urban myth seem to be repeated ad nauseum so that in the end people believe its true. And I think there is a myth that has been perpertrated about having a private diagnosis for autism.
I was privately diagnosed a year ago and there has been no problem at all in it being accepted. Obviously the person doing the assessment has to be qualified to diagnose autism, and if (s)he is I don't think there would be a problem.
The person who diagnosed me was someone who also did NHS autism assessments, and I would imagine a lot of the people doing private diagnoses are also employed by the NHS to do the same. You should get a report listing the reasons for the decision and how you fit into the category. Remember they are members of professional bodies and will give you a professional service - you are paying for it and you want the truth, not someone to either say you are autistic when you aren't or you are not when you are.
With the NHS waiting list so long and the chances for someone of my advanced years getting an assessment on the NHS very slim (despite the 'Autism Strategy' health authorities do not seem to take their responsibilities seriously) a private diagnosis was my only option.
So if you can afford it, do not worry that it won't be recognised. Mine was and I'm sure yours would be too.
This is fantastic advice! Thank you so much for your response!
I don't suppose you know if there's a specific qualification or college for diagnosing autism? The person I've called in a Psychiatrist has membership at the following (On his official Private Hospital Page) (Has more but only posted the ones I think are important so as not to make him searchable as I'm not sure if that's allowed):
Royal College of PsychiatristsBritish Neuropsychiatry AssociationGeneral Medical CouncilSection 12 ApprovedDeprivation of Liberty Approved (DOLs)
However despite all this, on his page on the private hospital, a lot of things are listed as Clinical interests that are my issues (Anxiety, Depression, OCD) however nothing specifically relating to autism. However the Private Practice referred me to his secretary since they wanted me to contact his office directly to see, and his office said that he would definitely be able to help, so I'm assuming that's ok even though not listed.
Thanks again for all your help, seriously it means the world since I don't have anybody to talk to about this.
I if you are unsure of whether the psychologist/psychiatrist is qualified to diagnose autism, ask. They would be struck off their professional body of they told fibs. N AS does have a list somewhere within the site of private assessors.
Have you taken the AQ test? Although not a diagnostic tool it will give a good idea and you can complete it online and get an indication. Iwould recommend the 50 question version as it is more probing it costs nothing and help you decide if its worth proceeding.
I just got a score of 42 on the test, and the range says it' between 33 - 50 so I'm probably going to go ahead. I've done similar tests before and always scored fairly high. Although saying that I'm not entirely sure I understood all the questions as there could've been multiple meanings for some of them.