First time here and a little nervous!
Last year I went through alot of therapy for various mental health illnesses inc. anxiety, depression, ptsd, eating disorder. During the sessions, me and my therapist spoke about autism being a possible diagnosis for me, and is something I have thought about alot over the years, so was keen for her to refer me.
I've just had the phone call with the organisation doing my assessment (private service through the NHS). I'm really worried about a few thigns and would love to know a bit about what to expect.
My parents don't know that I spent last year in therapy, and don't believe in mental health or understand depression anxiety etc - they call them "the troubles" and make jokes out of people that talk openly about their mental health. They are fro a generation that don't understand and don't want to understand.
When I spoke to the assessment coordinator on the phone today, she said that it would be helpful if I have my parents on the call (having to do it over Skype because of the coronavirus) and I'm really not comfortable with this. She also asked me to send her school reports so she can look at them in advance. My mum filled out the questionnaire when I was referred last year under the pretense that it was for work (I work at an charity that works in conflict and insecure environments, so it made sense to her). How can I ask her for my school reports and to attend the assessment when I don't feel able or comfortable for her to know about my mental health history (including suicide attempts, sexual assault etc) and I don't want to tell her about the assessment anyway?
I broached the subject with friends at the weekend as they're super open about different needs,and they were really shocked about the fact that I'm going through an assessment as they didn't think that an autism diagnosis ws for me, but they only really see me once every few months so I don't really think it would be helpful for them to be at the assessment either! I know that it isn't necessary to have someone at the assessment, but I worry that if I don't then it won't help me.
I'm also wondering whether it would be better to wait until restrictions have eased and do the assessment face-to-face? I'm worried about what to expect and know that I avoid hard topics of conversation and my therapist last year said she only picked up on stuff because she could see how unconmfortable I was, so I feel that if the assessor can't see me properly then won't these cues be lost?
Thanks in advance to anyone who can help!
Hi. I haven't had my assessment yet (apart from an initial telephone assessment), but it looks like you've had some good advice from Jd :) Having read/watched several autistic adults speaking about their experience of diagnosis, it seems that quite a lot of people can't, or choose not to, take a parent with them. Based on what I've heard, the assessors will still listen to you, as your own childhood memories are valid :)
I'm sorry to hear that your family members aren't very understanding about your mental health - some of my family are like that too and it makes things very difficult. It sounds like your friends might not know very much about autism - my friends were surprised too, but once I explained what autism is like (rather than the outdated stereotype they're used to seeing in the media), they could see why I chose to seek diagnosis and they're very supportive. Hopefully, you'll be able to talk to your friends now that they know more about you, but feel free to drop me a message on this forum if you'd ever like to talk :)