Hi, I have always suspected that I was different from every one else. I am now 38 and finally got up the courage to ask my GP for a referral for Autistic assessment.
My GP was amazing and had no issues referring me. That was three weeks ago, today I received a letter from a Community Mental Health Team. This is what it said...
We recently received a letter from your GP with regards to a query of autism.
What is of help when we receive your referral is that we are able to call up psychiatric notes for yourself.
On detailed review of your notes there is absolutely nothing to indicate that you have autism. It would appear that you have struggled for a long time with anxiety and low mood, and you have struggled socially for some time. We are of the belief that your presentation is more in keeping with anxiety as opposed to autism.May I wish you the best.
I am so taken a back by this, they didn’t even attempt to speak with me. Feeling hopeless. What do I do?
To put it bluntly some mental health professionals are as thick as two short planks when it comes to the possibility of someone being on the autism spectrum. 1975-1984 , 1988-2017 was a psych patient in Essex. Not a sniff of anyone thinking I might be on the spectrum .
Sept 2017 move to Wiltshire . Oct 2018 first appointment . 2 weeks later letter with assessment date May 2018 given diagnosis of Asperger's . When it comes to MH professionals including pdocs we're not always talking about 'Brain of Britain' material .
I think that ignorance of the variety of different presentations of autistic people is an issue. I was told by a clinical psychologist about five years ago that I couldn't be autistic because I showed empathy. She wasn't 'thick', but her training had taught her something incorrect and though she would have done more learning since finishing her course as part of continuing professional development it clearly hadn't covered females with autism.
I think a lot of people working in mental health put too much faith in having expert knowledge, rather than listening to the human being in front of them. A dash of humility would go a long way too.
If you live in an area where the local CCG has an iron-grip on services they may want to control your access to services.
Since 2014 the law was changed for psychological and developmental issues: you can get your GP to refer you out-of-area to a centre of excellence/expertise where you can get a fair assessment.
The NHS webpages on 'Patient Choice' www.england.nhs.uk/patient-choice/ and this www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/about-the-nhs/your-choices-in-the-nhs/ and also http://gplaw.co.uk/chapters/item/28-chapter-11-a-guide-to-the-law-on-patient-choice relates to the law. You can also look here https://improvement.nhs.uk/home/ for NHS Improvement who will see if you are being treated fairly
Ask for a second opinion if your GP refuses to cooperate: your GP practice should be promoting 'Patient Choice' and the Surgery should have leaflets and help you in a friendly manner. www.england.nhs.uk/patient-choice/elective-care/choice-materials/ ...
Where are you in UK?
I'm not sure if you meant to reply to me or the original poster. I'm sorted as far as diagnosis goes and I'm getting some decent help from an NHS psychologist at the moment, so my difficulties with the NHS are now sorted, thankfully, as I've plenty of other problems outside that to cope with.
(For what it's worth I live in Yorkshire.)