ADOS assessment (no spoilers)

I've just got back from my ADOS-2 assessment.

It might be overstating things to say it was a disaster, but that's how I feel at the moment.

My appointment was at 2.30pm - I checked the email last night and again this morning just to be sure. I can't drive due to an ankle injury so I had to be dropped off really early. I'd booked a hot desk in another part of the building to use for a few hours. 

At 2.17pm my mobile phone rang. It was the psychologist who said "we were expecting you at 2pm, whereabouts are you?". My heart felt like it stopped for a moment then I said that I was in the hot desking area, and had been there since 11am. I also said I had checked the email again this morning and my appointment time was definitely 2.30pm. 

I was really flustered because being punctual is so important to me. I tried to find the email on my phone to show the psychologist, but she just wanted to get on with the ADOS. I won't go into detail about what it involved but I felt very agitated throughout because of the way the meeting started. I got tangled up in knots by some of the questions and one task made me want to burst into tears. 

Everything felt rushed. I did not get a chance to ask about what happens next at the end. The psychologist said something about me seeing the other psychologist again and I just nodded, even though I don't have any appointments booked. I've no idea if the assessment is over or not. I feel like I've messed everything up and yet I went out of my way to get there on time. 

I've spent ages worrying about the ADOS and I've been awake since 4.30am this morning so I'm absolutely shattered.

I'm sitting here feeling stunned and confused. I forwarded the email confirming my 2.30pm appointment to the psychologist on my way home. She sent it to me herself a few weeks ago. Now I am worried that this might seem rude. 

I know people here will understand just how important these assessment meetings are and how upsetting it is if things don't go according to plan. Thanks for listening to my rant. I feel better now I have written it down! 

  • ranting definitely helps! rant away!

    You would thinkt hat professionals dealing with people with autism really would understand the importance to us of clear, precise, unambiguous communication, wouldn't you!

    Perhaps tomo when maybe your thought are clearer you could email along the lines of "could you please confirm for me the next steps. Am I due a further appointment..da da da" etc

  • Thank you Bagpuss! I will send that email tomorrow once I have had a proper night's sleep. I even started wondering if fhe confusion over the start time was part of the assessment! 

  • now that really would be devious!!

  • I agree with Bagpuss, Sunflower.   Maybe this was all part of the assessment - devious though it sounds.

    Before I had my formal diagnostic assessment, I had a home visit from someone from the local autism trust I now work for.  When he arrived, the first thing he said to me was 'Can I use your toilet?'  I had to agree - who wouldn't? - but he could tell it unsettled me.  Afterwards, as I discovered, it was all part of testing me.

    Try not to worry too much. Slight smile

  • A home visit? That would have sent my anxiety through the ceiling!

    Another thing I found difficult today was that these two psychologists were serious and formal. The psychologist I saw at my two previous appointments was more relaxed and friendly. Perhaps this is some kind of 'good cop, bad cop' routine. I need to switch my brain off and stop thinking about this.... 

  • That doesn't sound like a nice experience. If it is part of the assessment - I don't think it is a very fair thing to do. I would have felt the need to prove it wasn't my mistake too. I definitely agree with Bagpuss about sending an email tomorrow.

    Reading posts like this makes me realise how lucky I was to have such a simple assessment process. I'm not sure how I'd have coped with lots of assessments, waiting, uncertainty etc. 

    I'm glad I didn't have to do the ADOS because I'm not convinced whether my autism would have come across during it (although I kind of want to do it to find out - weird I know). One of the things my assessor picked up was that there are a lot of things I have learnt to do in situations, especially in work and I do wonder if this would have come into play with ADOS. Although I only know bits about ADOS, not the full process.

    Although you look at the assessment as a disaster, if you were confused, upset, flustered etc - it may well have demonstrated more your traits of autism so as far as a diagnosis goes it may not be a disaster at all.

  • Do so.  It most likely won't turn out as bad as it might have seemed.  You never know what they might have been looking for.  I worried so much that I hadn't given a good account of myself... yet, when I got my diagnosis, it appeared the psychologist was in little doubt from the very beginning.

  • Thank you Binary. 

    It's quite confusing that there are different assesment processes. 

    I am sure everything is being done for a reason and I will feel much better once I know what the next steps are. 

  • It is confusing. I think there are positives and negatives for each. For me it was amazing only have to go for one assessment as the stress of lots would have been really difficult as I'm sure it is for many people. On the other hand the more in-depth the assessment, the more likely it is to be accurate.