Hi, im new here, 32YO adult not currently diagnosed with AS but considering getting an assessment.
Ive had mental health problems most of my life, depression anxiety/GAD. In the past year this has escalated so ive ended up starting to see a new councellor.
I had my 1st session this week and was stunned when after explaining my difficulties she asked if id ever considered i was on the spectrum, as a lot of what i struggle with sounds a lot like aspergers.
After my initial shock, at their suggestion i did a bit of research and a lot of what ive read makes sense, particularly with social issues, eye contact, being perceived as rude, short temper, difficulty understanding what people expect or mean (i feel like im missing something when people speak, like im always trying to second guess what they mean and getting it wrong) obsessive interests, etc. I did a baren cohen test online and scored 34 (strong possibility of AS)
So im considering visiting my gp to get a referal, i have no idea what to do or expect. Or if i should do so at all.
I read that a parent needs to answer questions on development, but i am estranged from my mother (father not in the picture either) would this complicate things?
Also my biggest fear is that at the end id be told im not AS then will feel like ive just wasted valuable NHS time.
On the otherhand, i feel maybe getting a diagnosis will help with work, as my collegues, friends and family (and myself!) would be able to understand why im the way i am and im not just being deliberately difficult. And i could maybe stand a better chance of getting support, as mental health provisions are extremely poor in my area without going private
Help/advice/opinions welcome, sorry for the long essay!
I think if your therapist suspects you may have ASD and it fits with how you are then it could be beneficial to pursue a diagnosis as, if positive, it would help you to understand yourself better, be able to access ASD appropriate support and get reasonable adjustments at work.
I was diagnosed without having a parent or anyone else with me so this shouldn’t be an issue if you’re not able to take s parent to the assessment.
It's certainly worth asking but it is going to be a long wait :(. I wrote a whole lot of notes to my GP last December, to see if he could find someone in the NHS to review my notes and see if there was anything to see.
These notes were a history of my life, describing anything I thought was odd. It started with when I was about 4 and was taken to a Police station, as I never liked wearing shoes and socks in our garden, even in Winter. I used to sit on the front garden wall watching the traffic go by and someone on a bus reported me
So I wrote about school, college and University. All my coping mechanisms my sons Aspergers (Autism is considered very genetic). My social interaction problems, thought processes and obsessions. My notes totalled 8 pages in all.
By February, he hadn't been able to find anyone and so went Private. Saw a Psychiatrist at Southampton Priory Well being centre in late May and was diagnosed with Asperger's. But it was suggested I get a second opinion and was referred to Hampshire & Surrey Psychologists for an "Official" assessment. This has now concluded in August with a diagnosis if ASC.
I didn't have a family member to take and so my wife and I were interviewed in one session (My wife did not believe I had Autism but suffered from Social Anxiety).
The back drop to all this was that I had stress/anxiety since for over 20 years (medicated) and that medication seemed to have less of an effect and I had a run in with bosses at work for speaking my mind!
So at least now I can say I officially have Autism, although it's annoying that over month has passed since my diagnosis and I am still waiting for my letter (to give to work Occupational Health) and my detailed diagnosis report
So it's taken nearly a year and cost me £2100. Going the NHS route would have taken at least 2 years!
Finally for me, my notes were sent to the Psychiatrist who then saw me for 1hr45mins.
The referral to H&S Psychologists consisted of a 1hr45 initial assessment (ie a chat about why I though I had ASC, my issues, problems and notes. She decided at the end of the session that a formal assessment was worthwhile.
Then I had a ADOS test with a different Psychologist. This was the observational test with some questions.
Another 1hr45 session with my wife and I.
And finally a 1hr30 feedback session to discuss my diagnosis.
Thanks so much for your in depth reply, this is really helpful!
although MH provisions are poor in my area, there is an NHS run AS centre near me that specialises in adult assessments, so i guess your right, i could try and get on the waiting list and prepare for a long wait, private is not really an option for me right now
i will definately consider making a list, since the councellor pointed it out to me and i started researching, there are several instances in my past that stand out that i never really considered or understood before, so maybe it would be good to get it down on paper.
I wouldn't worry about Parental contributions - it's not obligatory (my mother was dead and my father was in the process of dying).
If it helps here is an excerpt of my notes to my GP :)
OK so I hate parties and any social events and especially small talk !!!, I don’t particularly know why- although I do find it pointless and futile, either way I avoid it if at all possible.
I used to dread the taxi journey to the airport (for our holiday) because I would always end up in the front seat and feel obliged to talk to taxi driver luckily there was always the safe topic of football and such I was able to keep the conversation going with some effort. However, there are a few exceptions people I know very well and people I am interested in.
With people I know I keep a list of topics for discussion filed and when I meet someone I am interested in – I always make a point of remembering the conversations and key facts for future reference – very important !!!
I hate all social events even family one, early on I might look forward to the event a little bit but nearer the time I just think, if I only I could get out of it because it’s going to be a real drag. It’s bearable if there a few people I know going but I just know that I will run out of steam sooner or later in the evening. I recently made a big fuss with my wife because we were invited to her work friends engagements party and I started fretting more and more about it until in a Supermarket (of all places) I told her I refused to go because I didn’t know her friend or anyone else going. At which point we ended up having a big argument - It was only when she mentioned that a couple of her friends husbands (I have met a few times) and the fact we would only stay for a short time did I agree to go. As I considered these “important people” I would have made an effort to remember a lot of what they said in small talk for future reference.
On the subject of holidays, it’s not surprising to learn that I like to going to familiar places. The whole travelling saga drains and stresses me out and I don’t settle until I get into a routine. ie where is the room, where is the restaurant/bar, what time are the meals, sun loungers etc. So it takes me a couple of days to relax/settle down to a routine.
On my last holiday my wife decided that it would make a change to walk to the nearest village/resort for a drink and then I started to fret on how we would get back. As soon as we got there, I got quite stressed looking for a taxi rack for the journey back to the hotel (and not being able to find it straight away) and only began relax when we eventually found it and therefore knew where to go at the end of the evening.
While I remember, an odd quirk (it’s clearly and avoidance mechanism) in that I always let my wife pay for things bars, restaurants supermarkets, taxis you name it – I guess it means I don’t have to deal fact to face with people. I will of course do it if I have to. But I need to sort of rehearse what I might have to say or do before doing these sort of things though and get more nervous before having to do (even though I am perfectly capable of doing it though when I have to – I just don’t like to???)
One problem that I still haven’t quite overcome is a “fear” of telephones?? When I started work, when I rang someone and was asked to give personal details, my mind would go completely blank! So before a call, I used to write down all the information that I thought I might be asked (even my name just in case!). This information included stuff that would be normally easy to remember like my address, postcode, DOB, phone numbers etc. On the subject of phone numbers, I find it very hard to remember them. I can remember (just about) my home number, my work number and my mobile number – that’s all. I even picked a easy to remember mobile number but even then I sometimes get it wrong (if I am in an awkward social situation) and I might have to write it down to see if it looks right or wrong to me??
In order to get an Autism assessment, you normally have to see your GP. They will then give you an assessment sheet to fill in (Tick-boxes). They will then send it to your nearest Autism organisation in order to see if it can go any further. This can normally take a few months if not longer. Once an assessment is booked, you will visit your nearest Autism organisation where you will be asked some questions (You can take someone with you). At the end, you will see a consultant psychiatrist who will ask you questions, then give you their professional diagnosis.
I hope this helps!