Through my own research I've come to the conclusion that although I have some autistic traits I don't think I'd meet the threshold for a clinical diagnosis. It's my belief that I fit the profile for NVLD better.The trouble being NVLD is scarcely recognised in the UK. I could of course put my eggs all in one basket and push for an ASD assessment but if that fails what then? I've already been told by my local ASD assessment centre they don't cover NVLD, so it's ASD or bust. The trouble being that if it's 'bust' other possibilities won't be explored. I'm not sure it would help much at my advanced age on a practical level. It would be something to throw at those pig ignorant people over the years who have seen me as awkward,demanding,passive aggressive and troublesome etc. To be able to say "Hey this why I am as I am ,and it's not because of any of the intellectually lazy and vapid reasons you pig ignorant people have thrown about. "
I think you're right about Nonverbal Learning Disorder not being commonly recognised in the UK. So, what if the assessment centre includes NVLD under ASD, since it's the social aspects that are important, not intellectual faculties? Does the terminology of a formal diagnosis have to match your own understanding of yourself? If you don't go for assessment, how does that increase chance of other possibilities being investigated?
I remember at my autism assessment, I mentioned that I was always ahead in reading in primary school, and one of the assessors asked 'but was that just hyperlexia?' and I replied that I was following the story and meaning as well as just the words. I'm not sure how much of a trick question it was, but sort of ironic that I didn't ask, and just assumed, what hyperlexia was.
What do you find most difficult? Nonverbal learning disorder (NVLD) includes visual-spatial/motor, and social difficulties. If it's visual-spatial/motor, would you like to get assessed for dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia? Do you think what you find difficult might fit in with specific learning difficulties (SpLD, which are well-recognised in the UK)? It seems that NVLD has never been included in the DSMs or ICDs, so it may be more difficult for the ASD assessment centre to give this assessment. However, as these are learning disorders, then maybe you can consider looking into places that are more familiar with diagnosing these disorders, and the people involved may be an Educational Psychologist, speech-language pathologist, or specialist teacher. On the other hand, if what you find difficult is more on the social side of things, then maybe it's still worth considering an ASD assessment or social communication disorder (which is an new addition in DSM5 which has some overlaps with ASD)? It may be useful to do some more research and explore a bit further.
I would say I find visual-spatial as difficult as social difficulties. Here is a check list of things that apply.
Social interaction problems.
Have difficulty with small talk and initiating conversations.
Only couple of friends in 3D over 61 years
Much better at verbal IQ questions than nonverbal/ visual spatial.
Not good at constructional tasks. Can't do jigsaws meant for children.
Bad at geometry
Started doing well academically but gradual decline starting at 9.5
Had to have handwriting lessons.
Bad at sports especially gymnastics.
Have difficulty when it comes to organising and planning.
Messy and untidy
Poor sense of direction and afraid of going too far in case i get lost.
Not good in crowds as difficulty judging distances and get overwhelmed by the toing and froing
Poor? balance was nearly 14 before i managed to ride a bike.
Poor drawing skills.
Struggle with change.
At school I was described by my prep school headmaster as poorly coordinated and bad at drawing and writing. My public school report described me as disorganised and messy. Re dyspraxia http://psychology.research.southwales.ac.uk/media/files/documents/2014-04-04/ACD_checklist.pdf
The following stand out sometimes or always. Section 1: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Section 2 : 1 3 4 5 7 8 9 10 13 15 16? 17 18 19 20.
I don't think dyscalculia or dyslexia apply. I was not a very early reader but was starting to read just before I was 4. My father has mentioned me talking about Disney Walt around the fall of 1960(I was born 1957) which I could only have got from the index of the set of children's encyclopaedias my parents had then recently bought . My father has memories of my rushing into the kitchen to share the news of the Kennedy election in the fall of 1960.
Your list of difficulties struck a chord with me. 75% of them I’d apply to myself. I was born in 1956 and was diagnosed in April this year. A diagnosis - negative or positive - won’t change the past (unfortunately), but at least it will narrow down the cause of any problems and allow you to address them.