On a waiting list with Bristol Autism Spectrum Service, have been for seven months now. I was expecting it to to be 6-7 judging from various bits of information, so feeling a bit anxious it's got to month 7 and I've still not had a letter for an appointment. They got my hopes up early October when my mum received and sent back her questionnaire, and I got a letter asking for an additional informant if possible-but I didn't have one so just sent the form back saying so-and otherwise they would send me a letter for an appointment at a later date; they were keen to get the form back, so I was kind of expecting after that that things would begin moving forwards, so that it hasn't is an additional reason I'm worried something might have gone wrong.
Think I have to call them, but I really really hate phoning people. I can do phone calls where I know the format (so I can call my bank, I can phone companies to say 'I want to cancel x') but that's about it (I even get anxious phoning my mum-I have to get her to phone me). I've been reasoning with myself for several weeks that I should call them if I don't receive a letter by x date-and pushing forwards said date each time in an effort to avoid it but now I think I definitely need to call. I don't have anybody I can get to call for me.
But I don't know what to say?? I really just want to make sure nothing's gone awry, I've not missed a letter or mistakenly been dropped from the list for some random reason. Plus I'm about to go away for the holidays and I can't help worry that what just would happen is a letter coming the day after I leave for an appointment before I come back and not knowing anything about it (sod's law and all that). But trying to come up with a script to explain that gets me into a tangle and I know I'm not going to make sense-plus I don't know what they'll ask or say or anything, not to mention the worry that something really has gone wrong. :S Any help or suggestions much appreciated.
As Former Member has suggested you could email them - they have this address on their webpage: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sometimes I prefer to phone so I can try to get an answer immediately. Once I have sent an email I get a bit obsessed waiting for a reply to come. If I am going to phone I write down what I want to say first, such as:
"Hello this is Sunflower. I am on the waiting list for an autism assessment and I just wanted to check if you need any additional information from me"
They will need to verify your identity so they are likely to ask things like date of birth or address, they might even want to phone you back.
I might also say something like:
"I am going to be on holiday between x and y dates, so if you need to contact me urgently please text my mobile".
I would probably also ask:
"Can you tell me what the waiting time for my assessment is likely to be?".
Planning ahead makes things far less stressful. I sometimes rehearse what I am going to say by actually speaking the words out loud.
There is always a risk that the phone conversation will go off in an unexpected direction. If it does I can escape by saying: "it might be better if I email you, please could you let me know your address?"
Good luck with everything. I hope you get reassurance that things are still in progress.
I have emailed them before, once to ask about a form they'd sent me, to which I did get a reply, and the second time asking about waiting times-to which I didn't. I don't know if they might be cagey giving out info over email because it's not necessarily secure (not that phoning is really either...). Decided to try emailing first though, then if I don't get a reply I guess I'll have to do some deep breathing and bite the bullet to phone them. Thank you for some nice short ideas of things to say-I kept trying to come up with something and it all runs away from me. :)
Keep emailing. I emailed quite a few times because I was told the report would be a few weeks. I kept pursuing it (5 emails) once a week and got a reply.
Keep it friendly, keep it weekly till you get a reply.