Hi, I'm new here.
I would just like to ask if anyone has advice on where I could find someone professional to talk to about the likelihood of an autism diagnosis. I have been driving myself crazy for the last 6 months researching about autism and whether I am or am not autistic, and I just keep going round in circles.
I'm worried that I might just be making this all up in my head, so instead of going for a very expensive autism diagnosis straight off I wondered if anyone could recommend someone I could just explore the idea with first. I live in Scotland, but would be willing to travel or maybe even do an online session if anyone can recommend anyone good. I'm looking for someone who has good experience of women with autism, as I work very hard to act "normal", and have been quite successful at this. I think a lot of people would just dismiss me because I can make eye contact (mostly) and conversation.
I just had a very disappointing appointment with a psychiatrist today and I think I really need to talk to someone who knows what they're talking about (when I mentioned autism she said that the thought had crossed her mind while talking to me, but that it wasn't her area of expertise, and that she didn't think that being autistic would explain my recurrent periods of severe depression or my "emotional disregulation" (meltdowns?) when I think it is a very plausible explanation for both!)
Sorry for rambling but when I started to feel like she wasn't listening to me and just wanted to put me on more drugs I had a mini "emotional disregulation" in her office and ended up crying hysterically for an hour, and now my brain is like jelly so I might not be making sense here.
Many thanks for any advice you can offer!
I have found here https://www.autismresearchcentre.com/arc_tests proper tests for autism, the first one AAA measures your AQ, EQ and your mum's score. For instance, I am waiting for my mum's sheet but without hers, on AQ I scored 35, on EQ 19 which shows I actually lack social understanding and I show traits of autism.
I am in the same situation. The educational psychologist I saw 2 weeks ago said I could not be autistic because I make eye contact(and I don't, I'm looking at mouths or nose to everybody beside my kids, my mom and my feiance) and I am ok at abstract reasoning test.
I don't have money to spend on the expensive diagnosis, and I don't know what to expect from one(is it that test I referred you to? would be actually my first question given the fact that they ask a relative or more of them to be with you?)
Through time I learned to go and calm down in the bathroom rather than say what I think to certain people or ask for help . This really impairs with my academic performance now. I don't ask for help and the tutor won't ask me anything, I am feeling like the invisible man when all I want is learn adequate stuff for postgraduate study and do it properly to satisfy my need of everything to be perfect in my project.
Sorry for my English,is my second language.
The tests in https://psychology-tools.com/ are the same tests. Except they calculated for you.Beware some of the tests in https://www.autismresearchcentre.com/arc_tests are not to be taken a signle indication of autism. The
AQ10, ten questions, is a statistically probably smallest test you can take to indicate autism.
However, on the arctest website, there are many random tests, which may or not have significance.
"None of them are diagnostic: No single score on any of our tests or questionnaires indicates that an individual has an Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC)."
All the best, making an informed choice.
Hi, i have taken the long one, the AAA-2012 test, the one with 68 questions regarding EQ,50 for AQ, on this one i scored 35 for AQ and 19 for EQ. The trouble is not that only that test says ASD traits, but all of the ones i took. Becoming aware I could be, took more EQ tests on which i am not doing well and became quite aware that most of the people that I consider friends have asked me why I move my mouth with them while they are talking. I also am pursuing my childhood dream of becoming an architect since I was 10 :D-it had not ever changed.
I have to mention I have suffered from burn out 3 years ago,in the last year of uni, and I don't seem to have properly recovered. They have mistaken this as postnatal depression, just assumed it because I gave birth. They didn't ask me about other types of stress in my life and I didn't realize at that time I had to tell them that I haven't slept more than 4 h in a day for 5 months.
I really don't know whether to take this tests as a clear indication that I should check a proper diagnosis and I have loads of questions but I would like to find a good psychiatrist to help me find out whether is anything wrong actually with me and is fo,what?.If you know any psychiatrist really good ,please help.
GP wants to put me on antidepressants which I refuse to take unless I see a psychiatrist.In my country GP's could maximum recommend St Jonh's Wort , not proper pharmaceutical drugs for depression, so for me from the start is another anxiety factor just accepting such a prescription.
Go architecture. It's really fun.
NICE says, no antidepressants for core conditions.
psychiatrist prescribe medicines. psychologist therapies.
Your anxiety is on this test, the test will only reveal what you already have. So logically whatever the tests say you are already that. And you have a good idea.
In my opinion and so many others knowing and getting help before the *** hits the fan is far better than procrastinating (ADHDing) on a test.
Before you take the test to ask:
1. What is the worst that can happen if the test is positive?
2. And how can you recover from that quickly?
In a Positive test. you panic a bit but nothing has changed really. It's just an indication.
In a Negative test. you panic a bit and nothing has changed also. You might want to ask what else it could be.
in either case, speak to your doctor or speak to a different doctor. sometimes some doctors in your surgery do not get you, our the other people they see.
Ask the doctor for an ADHD and AUTISM assessment.
Ask the doctor for something other than a prescription of drugs because they are making you panic more. With is the prescribed effect. besides, they can take days to work.
And book longer sessions with your doctor.
Agree to fortnightly or weekly visits.
Ps. to answer your question lack of eye contact, and or looking at mouths, for heads except the eyes is a small indication of autism.
Autism is a life long condition. You are still you, and will always be you a person.
I want you to graduate, hell I want you to get your RIBA part 3. So check with your architecture school how they make adjustments for Autism and ADHD, and possibly dyslexia. Also, check how years are deferred through illness.
Thanks for the encouragement, hope I'll be one day a fully qualified architect.I have EC until 1st of July and worked all year every day and collected my research, so I hope I'll manage to make it through this year.
Basically,2 weeks ago, they tested me for Specific learning difficulties, and they only found in this WRAT 4 examination, that i have is weak processing speed. She also said I should not worry about autism as I have a good understanding of abstract concepts.
Are you aware whether good abstract reasoning skills make obsolete an ASC diagnosis?
Oh, you need to request a full report from an educational psychologist. And read it several times. The important bit is the recommendations for equipment and study aid and areas of improvement. Like ways to reduce stress.
I used to read books until 3am cover to cover? Don't do this, please. You should get better reading training, learning to skim read or to read with intent, etc.
You have a high IQ so you worry a lot. This is normal for High IQ. And some High EQ people will see this and try to not say things not to worry you. You have to learn how to deal with some worry. Like saying what is the worst that can happen. And how can I correct it after it happens?There are two types of stress. Good stress and bad stress. Bad stress is the kind you can do nothing about and is oppressive. Good stress is making positive life changes, like stopping smoking or going for a jog. It's stressful for a bit and then you learn to adapt.
No, I was not aware of what even abstract reasoning is. I know ASD/C people have very high IQ, poor EQ and poor AQ.
"a mental condition, present from early childhood, characterized by great difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts"
Autism is very different in women. And also different in people who are discovered later in life. So she may well be right that you don't have the poor abstract thinking of more autistic thinking.There was a point I could see my building in my head and walk through it in my mind's eye. Move them and rotate them.I struggle to make small talk. At crits, some people thought I was too serious, but I didn't feel this way.I think my naivety is very poor but I have high verbal reasoning. I score too well on the Mensa tests but take a long time doing them.Get all the testing you can get whilst it's free and quick at uni. And then later decide if and when you want to use the labels, to make better decisions.So nostalgic right now. Architecture school is amazing :D
I score well on MENSA too within the time given i score 110-so not bad not good still above average of my country or uk, can you actually make a longer time test,would be interesting to see if i actually take my time to solve it how high i score.
I design the same as you: i am thinking about how it looks inside while i am mentally walking in it and see with my mind all details-then I challenge myself to make it like that in the 3D,most of the times looks a lot better in my thoughts than i can expose my idea.
My tutors think I take it too seriously too and i put more pressure on myself than they do,but i'll need to feed my kids from architecture,so that's really serious for me.I had bad crit as well (the first one in the year) and then i just avoided them.
I am very naive, i am aware of that because i got laughed at "not getting it" too many times. And also took people as being good friends as well and then they did all sorts of stuff to prove me wrong, being robbed by them happened too many times as well.
I can't make small talk either but sometimes i like going into groups and play social but i manipulate the conversation towards my interests(music, movies, architecture,construction, product design , politics, environment problems,technology) .
My PLSP tries to push them to give me the right assessment now from uni. Her daughter is also autistic and apparently, we have the same behaviors, and we "meltdown weird" she said (I walked all night in circles crying around the sofa because I was upset I missed the deadline while the deadline and 4 hours afterwards) She told me is really had to obtain a proper diagnostic even if you put money towards it, took her 3 years to diagnose her daughter right.
Now am designing it with Grasshopper, i purposely chosen a gasholder to redevelop it in order to learn how to do it through generative design methods in the whole building and then break the symmetry with the access modules(they seemed to criticize symmetry a lot in the undergraduate).I have sort of finished it, i need 2 more algorhithms. i'll be courageous and go for another tutorial with this guy that talks too philosophical and in idioms on top( he doesn't help with that at all-already caused me too much purposeless work despite telling him to tell me literally what he means several times).If he doesn't like my building he can change all the parameters himself until he likes it. :D
I am studying RIBA 2, They presented us all the labs with all the technology and no further workshops on how to use it. We had a module for Integrated Urban Design and they haven't actually held a workshop on how to develop a really good 3d model of the urban context, if possible the town through GIS.The problem is I am afraid of asking too many questions or request workshops on what I want to learn in those the 9250 GBP that i get in debt with.I tried several times requesting additional workshops for Rhino and the tutor said it is not possible.I asked the student rep to ask more workshops for all of us and she said she is afraid they are going to grade us lower for it.They introduced us in Rhino and all my mates work in ...whatever else :D
How was your experience with RIBA 2?
And how scary is RIBA 3 exam?
I was exempt from the RIBA part 1 test. I remember I had to do an Engineering component. I got firsts in design and engineering but in all my other written work I got low marks. I feel I could have got the first degree if I had been diagnosed earlier. I left with a 2.2
The hardness of the RIBA 3, I believe is relative. Like primary school to secondary, or GCSEs to A-levels. You should be aware that once you have passed your RIBA part two RIBA part three will seem relatively easy or not scary. You will also have a few years in practice to prepare
The reason why I'm egging you to get all the testing is that I dropped out of my last year of postgraduate. It was then I found out I had dyslexia and did not get this in time to continue.
I got very stressed and my wife was having mental health problems. So my IQ hit the floor. And I became really autistic. Ritualistic and insistant on rules. A mini breakdown basically.
Crits, always ask for feedback. I planned each crit like a mini design. This book really helped.https://epdf.tips/crit-an-architectural-students-handbook.html Just beware getting advice from one person. In that crit, it was a visiting tutor. And I guess I could see they were new, I was more concerned and therefore more stressed, and therefore more autistic. Practising relieved my stress.On comments of my face, sometimes appear stressed in my face, but feel okay. And may smile but be very worried. I used to practice smiling in the mirror a lot. But it usually fails after I forget to smile or practice. To me, this was a way of dealing with feedback. Rightly or wrongly, I took every criticism and researched and practised ways to solve this. Now I don't give a poop. and just tell them I am autistic. It smooths the way. Especially with people on phone calls who think my stressed voice is sarcasm?
The marriage was okay, and I found work locally. with a dyslexic boss accountant, as a website manager. I was still bullied by the office manager who manipulated the boss and me. I left and soon as I experienced stress in a new job I could not cope and my wife again got unwell. Never recovered from continual job seeking and got divorced.
I strongly feel that if I had got full diagnosis treatment at school, and support that things would have been rosier.
There was always a pattern of stress and less AQ and less EQ, in my life. I do everything to reduce stress. By either tackling the problem, mindfulness or exercise. I have become and expert in all three. I love GTD getting things one and am a qualified personal trainer.
My restrictive behaviours are not obvious, and they shift depending on the situation and stress. right now I am very interested in law. And read a lot, even when it's time to go to bed. Others have this disguised as a history degree or music degree, or they work with trains. Not everyone autistic person is a trainspotter.
Knowing yourself is ultimately beneficial.
I still love architecture and have a new love for the law. Even being dyslexic I sail through lengthy text with relatively good comprehension (;D), albeit with aides, in-situ notes and regular breaks. But if I did not know it was dyslexia I might think that I was stupid. As I believed before diagnosis. And that I should just try harder. Like reading until 3am in the morning every day! And still, be behind my peers who read 7 books to my 2-3 per week. Years after my dyslexia assesment report I read each part of the deficiencies and have made plans to overcome them. I plan to the same with my Autism ADHD report. Although I have probably adjusted to some, I think it's the ones you can't see that are most problematic. Like lack of talking with your partner about things that are bothering you. And not wanting to start those conversations because they are painful.
Knowing that I am dyslexic has made me more courageous when reading. Reading is enjoyable now. If it's not enjoyable I need to take a break or adjust my strategy.
Knowing that I have other issues, showed me that I need to be more aware of these problems. And that others need to have more consideration of these too.
I still have problems hearing my name. I tell my children its okay to tug my legg or repeat it. I am just a little deaf. (I don't need to go into details. ) My spouse could not understand not answering to my name. And though I was ignoring her. I guess this was her rigid thinking.
I tell people on the phone I am autistic. Even though I do not have a diagnosis. I have all the conditions and impairment of an autistic person.
1. Autism is genetic
2. Your partner is probably autistic
3. imagine two autistic people trying to communicate. A communication barrier already exists around an autistic person. Now imagine going through two barriers.
My point and ultimate wish.
My ultimate wish is to have this not be the lives of other autistic people. Which goes against all the hate websites out there. Empathy towards others? Diagnosis is nothing to be scared off. It's just extra help that you need and the world needs. In law, they call this "reasonable adjustments" - Equality Act 2010.