Hi, I'm hoping someone or one of the mods can help.
I am female, mid-thirties and identify with a lot of traits on the autistic spectrum. This is something I have been aware of for three and a half to four years. I think reading and researching about it you could say, has been one of my interests. I have been a member of this forum for two years and stay on the periphery. It has now got to the stage in my life where I want to seek a diagnosis.
The catalyst for this being counselling therapy which I started yesterday. My brain and my mouth didn't match up. I found myself saying things which I now am not sure how true they actually were. We talked about identity and decisions. It came across as though I had been coasting in life, when in reality the decisions I have made in my life have been very difficult to deal with. It was difficult to get much across because i was very emotional and i find it very hard to talk about feelings and emotions. Im going to end up rambling at this point to you so will leave it there for now. However, I can see this "delay" which I think is typical of me in that in order to understand my emotions and feelings, I need time to digest and reflect. The counsellor didn't know I thought I was on the spectrum; it was a 45 minute session and I had things I just needed to get off my chest. It's something I will mention at my next session.
I have a good relationship with my GP and am currently reducing my dose of sertraline as the costs outweigh the benefits. I have mentioned the posdibility of AS to a previous doctor and she said it's something we can discuss and look into. Its on my notes. I would like to approach either of these GPs now. I know I will be asked "why do you think you are on the spectrum?". Well, how long is a piece of string?!
The difficulty now is that, because I spend most of my waking life over thinking, and I have had almost 4 years input of ASC information, I KNOW in my head how my experiences can be explained through autism but am finding this very difficult to write down. There's too much to even know where to start. Because I have been flying under the radar all my life, and I would say I am a very internal person, I am going to have to fight my case, so I need things to come from me as coherently as possible. The therapist said yesterday (about another issue) it sounds like I can become paralysed by my thoughts and I think this has happened here.
I couldn't find the list on this website yesterday, but made three headings of social communication/repetitive behaviours/sensory to start off my notes, but like i said, notes are proving difficult to write. I have done questionnaires before but have found them difficult to answer as they seem to be aimed at stereotypical behaviours.
I just feel like a tangled up mess. I want to move forward with my life and this is the next step but I don't know where to start. There's also the risk I don't get a diagnosis but I will cross that bridge when I come to it.
Thank you for getting to the end of my ramblings.
You have made very positive progress towards seeking diagnosis and making lists/notes is a good start.
You say that you were looking for a list on the website - this page has information about autism profiles and diagnostic criteria which might be what you were looking for.
There is also a lot of information about adult diagnosis on our website which might be useful.
You might also like to look at the AQ test. This was developed by a team of psychologists to measure autistic traits in adults. It's not a means of diagnosis but may indicate the need for further assessment. These online 'autism tests' do not guarantee accuracy, and while they are no replacement for official diagnosis, if the results are significant it's worth taking it along to the GP.
We know that this can be a really worrying time, but it's important to know that you're not alone, and that we're here to help.
Our Autism Helpline offers confidential information, advice and support. The team can also point you towards local sources of help and support. You can call them on 0808 800 4104 (Monday to Thursday 10am to 4pm, Friday 9am to 3pm). Please note that the Helpline is often very busy and it may take a couple of attempts before you get through to speak to an advisor. You can also submit an online enquiry form if that would be easier - you'll find a link for that here.
I hope that helps.
I am a 48 year old female waiting for an appointment to diagnose Aspergers. I have always know I am different and this has lead to suicidal thoughts and mental health issues. Counseling has helped and I manage my depression and anxiety better. But its lonely. Its hard for people to understand.
My counsellor suggested I read 'the girl with the curly hair' by Alis Rowe. Its like Alis has reached inside my head and written down my thoughts and feelings.
It's difficult isnt it when people don't fully understand but it's good you are getting help. How long do you have to wait for your appointment? Was it your decision to go for a referral or was it recommended by a professional?
I have heard of that book you mentioned but haven't read it yet. I imagine it's qute validating when it feels like someone has written down what's in your own head. It means you are not on your own.
IMy first book was Aspergirls by Rudy Simone and I got about 3/4 through and wanted to burn it. I enjoyed Sarah Hendrickx's Women and Girls with Autism Spectrum Disorder ( i find her very accessible and her youtube talks are great). I've also read Lianne Halliday-Wiley's Pretending to be Normal - I could identify with her very well and I've had Cynthia Kim's book delivered this week which I have yet to read.
Thanks out_of_steps. I will check out the other books. I have approx anothet 12 months to wait but the organisation I work for are looking into getting me a private appointment through their health scheme as I've already been waiting a year.
My counsellor approached the subject of Aspergers first but I had already been thinking about it.
I cried when I first starting reading tje book. I realised I wasn't alone or a freak.
I might add Alis Rowe to my collection once I have finished Cynthia Kim. It's good to see different perspectives on the same condition.
I read a list of traits on Tania Marshall's website. It was when I got to the "feels like a conversation gene is missing" and I gasped. I couldn't believe that other people had the same difficulty.
You are not alone. Best of luck with your diagnosis journey.