So I have my PiP assessment this friday. I managed to get them to change the venue to somewhere closer to home (the last suggestion was ridiculous). I'm not too worried about the travel as I have my partner coming with me & he drives, so I know I can rely on him & the SAT NAV to get us where we need to go (plus luckily he knows the area, if I had to go on my own I more than likely would have just completely given up on the idea).The thing is, to say that I'm terrified is an understatement. I've heard some terrible horror stories of people's PiP interview experiences, so I was wondering if anyone could tell me what to expect, mainly, what kind of questions will I be asked.I'm guessing it's the ASD talking here; but I like to know (or at least get an idea) of exactly what sort of things I'll be asked so I can better prepare myself as soon as possible, otherwise my stupid brain will add panic attacks to the obsessive thoughts on the subject. I even have my assessment report from the psychologist who assessed me earlier in the year, & the foreward letter to my doctor confirming the diagnosis, would it be a good or bad idea to take those things along?Would it maybe be a good idea to write some things out to better prepare myself, because I'm worried that I'll go into the interview & just sieze up from anxiety & overload. Despite all this I'm actually a pretty proud & stubborn person, & I hate coming across as weak (I'm actually quite well known for being intimidating), but I'm guessing it's probably a good idea to just be as honest about my weaknesses & vulnerabilites as possible? (& if I'm completely honest I utterly despise doing that, no matter how scared I may be at the time. There's been ample of times in my llife where I've had a seemingly 'cold' or controlled exterior, when on the inside I was completely crumbling & falling apart, I've even been physically shaking but managed to hide it. I was targetted a lot when I was growing up; & I had my fear highlighted a lot & used against me, which is probably why I refuse to allow anyone to see me that way) I realised that when I spoke to the psychiatrist at my assessments that I had to swallow my pride & openly admit a few things, I made sure to not hold anything back & was as honest as possible. I'm still trying to come to terms with the fact that some things I'd been 'working on' all my life to 'get better' will in fact never change, so I will have to accept those limitations... & that f*cking sucks...From what I've heard the PiP assessors aren't very well equipped for those who are considered 'high functioning' in the ASD community, especially as far as female ASD people are concerned, so any advice on how to deal with that will be a great help. I'm fully physically able to do things for myself; but when it comes to the mental side of things... It's a bit of a different story (To my shame; I will admit that I sometimes even have to be reminded to eat; or bathe, because I'm so hyper focused on something, or because I just need someone to give me an implied kick up the butt to make sure I look after myself more efficiently)I have a good enough intellect with most things, but when it comes to sensory overload, or information overload, as well as anxiety, panic attacks & meltdown induced depression & suicidal thoughts, that's where it will leave me completely incapacitated. I can't even enjoy sitting in a restaurant without the lights making me feel light headed, just getting an appointment for anything will leave me stressed out for the week leading up to it (like parents evenings etc. I love keeping on top of how my kids are doing at school; but having to interact with others completely drains me) & the concept of doing ANYTHING spontaneously is enough to send me into a meltdown (as an example; once when I was on my way home from visiting family, I found out AT the train station that my train had been completely cancelled. Sitting here in the comfort of my home, I know how I should have gone about dealing with it, but at the time it's like the world around me just completely crashed, & I flew into a panic induced rage. I had a familt member 'help' by instructing me over the phone what I should do).
I did have a few jobs when I was a lot younger; but I'd usually only last there for a month or so, & every day I would have stomach problems & I always felt out of place & was usually in a daze (I never got the sack, I was the one who'd leave due to the problems which I would later discover were related to ASD. I've only ever had three jobs in my life)
Although I'm one who hates to admit when I feel scared, or anxious... I will fully admit here & now that I actually feel physically sick (& a bit dizzy too) as I continue to think about this. I'd been having trouble sleeping recently, & no doubt this will only exacerbate the problem further. & now I also have a headache. Happy days.
They don't know you, they need to see you on your 'worst day' not be told about it, they need to see it. Let whoever is there with you do most of the talking. Explaining and answering so of the questions for you, I would wear sunglasses indoors all through the assessment, (Sensitivity) Ear plug's or even wet tissue in your ears. (Sensitivity) Be Autistic, a mild meltdown might be good. I feel like I have written you a script here. (I know you are not an actor) But, you have to play the game if you want to win. (I do believe that you will be marked down, even for just getting to the assessment centre, that is what you are up against.) Hope it goes well for you.
Ask at your local Citizens Advice Bureau. The website Benefits and Work and Pip assessment support are very useful