I'm completely new to this community and was wondering if you could help me?
I am a 23 year old female who has been finally referred for an assessment for diagnosis.
I'm sure you're all aware of how difficult this can be, being a girl and every single medical professional never taking you or your parents seriously and so on because you outwardly appear 'normal' whatever that is.
I was diagnosed with an unspecified developmental disorder as a child because they didn't have enough evidence to say I had ASD (or perhaps because I lied a lot to avoid a diagnosis because I didn't want any more bullying or people to think I was weird) it's tough being a teenager!
since my referral I've been browsing this online community and other sites and I can resonate with a lot of the things people are posting and talking about. I too often find myself overwhelmed by sounds and lights as if the world is a living, spinning kaleidoscope. I love animals, they're all I want to talk about and I have loved collecting facts about them for as long as I can remember
anyway my question is...
What should I expect at an adult assessment for ASD?
what questions do they ask/how long does it take/is it really awkward/frightening
i am really nervous even thinking about it, thank you
When I was being assessed they wanted details about my past from both me and my family, asking questions in person and gave us questionnaires to fill out.
The assessment was by a psychiatrist and a social worker.
They gave me a series of tests designed to look for typical autistic traits.
If you use the search at the top of the page you will find a few different answers about this to help you.
I think everyone's experience will be different depending on where and who assesses them. I think everyone going through the process is nervous because we don't know the building or people assessing us or what is required of us. It could be that you have a series of appointments or just one. It could be a Dr or a psychologist and/or a psychiatrist, maybe an occupational therapist.
You will already have been asked to send in supporting information; medical, education, employment histories which they use to show patterns of things. So one part of the assessment will be talking about those plus communication and interaction problems.
You could be asked to do formal tests which assess your working memory, speed of processing, and imagination. I'm not sure if you do these if just being assessed for asd or whether that was the adhd part or whether you will be screened for both or not.
They are all professionals who want to help you. But my experience of first and second opinion was very different. Post back if you want to before hand or tell us how it went and what your experience was afterwards. There are people using the forum who are not diagnosed or waiting for appointments just like you and they like to hear about it too
You should be able to take someone with you if you want to.
Just remember that the purpose of all the tests and assessments is almost the opposite of tests you get at school or job interviews.
At an autism assessment, if you mess up and have problems with the whole situation then you are more likely to be found to be autistic.
I've heard a lot of different things and the idea I'll need to go to the centre more than once makes me terrified. But I'm a 22 year old female and I have my first assessment tomorrow. I just wanted to say that I'll give a summary of what happens when I'm home tomorrow and had some second time.
I wasn't asked to send anything in, they sent a developmental questionnaire with the appointment letter. They sent a map, a small leaflet with a little of what to expect - how long it will take etc. They were very precise in where i was to go when inside the assessment centre. And how to make my arrival known. It says the initial assessment will take at least 90 minutes but can go on for longer. I was to bring an older siblings or parent with me if possible.
I'll post again with what my experience is tomorrow. Hopefully ,it might be reassuring for you.
If you look at the Grampian thread handi-andis describe a different assessment. Every where it seems to be different. Hope you have a positive appointment tomorrow IrkaBlue
Thank you for this information!
I wish you the best!
I will be waiting the summary of what happened!
The assessments seem to vary, from what I've read on here over the months. I can tell you how it was for me, though.
I attended my local autism unit at Sevenoaks. I was asked to take someone with me who'd known me all of my life, and my mother was still alive at the time and came with me. This was two years ago, when I was 56. The clinical psychologist I saw spoke to me for about an hour, asking me a variety of questions about my history and experiences, and how I responded to certain situations. I told her about being bullied all the way through school, and never being able to make friends there. I said I'd also experienced workplace bullying at times, and still found it difficult to make and maintain friendships and relationships. I told her about my history of anxiety, depression and panic attacks. I told her about my noise sensitivity and aversion to crowded places. She clearly noted that I was unable to maintain eye contact with her. After my interview, she then spoke to my mother - in private at my request - for about half-an-hour. It was mainly to ask about my behaviour as a child, my experiences at school, whether I'd gone through my normal developmental stages without any problems. When it was all finished, I was told I could expect to hear in about 8 weeks. In the end, it was just over that period. The diagnosis was unequivocal.
I know it's easy to say it, but try not to be nervous. Be yourself. Be honest. My assessment was relaxed - not at all awkward or frightening. At no time did I get the sense that she was trying to catch me out. It was all done very sympathetically.
Good luck with it.
Also the words "initial assessment " looks like a preliminary one. In which case don't be surprised if you are then given more questionnaires to fill in or further appointment/s but ask them about that ( how many, what, who with etc if this is what you need to know) if they don't tell you. The person you take with you should be one you trust enough to have been able to talk through autism and supports your application; one who is willing, able to offer examples which supports that about you in your early years. They will ask about your early developmental stages and how you mixed with people in childhood. They will probably also ask about how you got on at school. What your interests are. What friends you have and what your relationships are like within your family. Etc They want an overall picture of your life and how it affects you day to day.
I'm just out from my initial assessment. It was brutal and I was close to tears during it. But the Clinical lead and a sit in psychologist? I believe from another team were there. I went with my mother and we were through the initial development questionnaire. I couldn't be articulate for some of the questions but that was okay. It was a spacious room with a table and chairs.
It was not very pleasant. Because it laid a lot stuff raw, but they seemed quite discontent with the fact the only mental health care or I'd had was with my GP. That I'd not had any other support. After an hour, I was told that I'd definitely be back for the full assessment. They tried to find an opening in the next week or so. But 6th October was his next few date for the DISCO .
He said I'd likely find out at the end of that assessment.
I was shaking and nervous. It was brutal. But it was worth being taken serious. This is my initial assessment experience. If I think more later I will edit this post and add to it.
It is invasive going into personal things we try to ignore or not highlight to ourselves. I hope you are recovering from the shaking. I expect you will be really tired for the rest of the day and tomorrow. It's good news the next assessment will be using the Disco format. It's also encouraging that they were concerned about the lack of support you had had. They seem to be on the ball so although difficult for you it sounds as though you were in good hands.