Next week I am going to see my GP about the autistic spectrum. What has brought me to do this is, when I was in hospital I had an MRI and an evaluation under my assigned nurse who told me I showed "strong signs of autism" (as she described). At that time I didn't really know what autism was but over time I met people, did my own research and a bit of "self-discovery". My closest friends have asked if I've ever been tested and through entering a work place I've noticed my obscure differences to others socially.
I want to get proper help for my problems with social communication in order to do better in my job as you must work in a team. Plus I need to understand how to cope with my brain as it often shuts down in being able to speak or I have "anxiety-driven" meltdowns in the work place due to being highly over stimulated by how busy I am along with sound intake. I work as a chef so I am bound to be stressed but it is much more intense than my colleagues and often impacts my work or communication which like I said is important.
As a 17 year old I have been told I would have been found to be on the spectrum at a younger age also, however I have also discovered through research females are less easily recognised and even some people male/female aren't diagnosed till they're in their 20s or 30s. As well as this I am transgender. I have met people on the spectrum and people who are transgender, I have also met transgender autistic people. I always relate more to those on the spectrum who suffer with gender identity disorder. This is because most transpeople I have met do not suffer with the same communication issues and sensory problems. Whilst those who suffer from both I relate to significantly.
By the way I am a female to male transgender, looking to find out if I am an aspie. I have been out as transgender since aged 10 and living as male since aged 14 after an attempted suicide in which I was told I showed these "strong signs of autism". After hospital I was given the diagnosis of Gender Identity Disorder, OCD, Mixed Anxiety and Depression Disorder and Adjustment Disorder.
I wondered what I can expect from attempting to receive a diagnosis.
I'm not sure that the advice you were given - that it would have been discovered at a younger age - is necessarily correct. There is more awareness now, but many older people - like myself - went through school without things being picked up on. When I was at school, in the '70s, Asperger's was hardly known about. Even so, I exhibited behaviours which should have raised alarms with people. Being a spectrum condition, autism can manifest in all sorts of ways, and some people have stronger traits than others. At the high-functioning end especially, traits could easily be mistaken for something else: anxiety disorder, shyness, over-sensitivity, etc.
How far along the road of discovery have you gone? Have you taken the AQ test yet to see what the likelihood might be that you have ASC? I'll post a link at the end, anyway. It only takes about 10 minutes. Scores above 32 are highly indicative. As for the process... it differs from region to region, probably. I was seeing a therapist, who first noticed my traits. She wrote to my GP recommending a direct referral to the county autism unit for diagnosis - bypassing a common route via mental health services, who had always let me down before. Your GP may recommend that route first, but don't be too surprised or upset if it doesn't lead anywhere. It's better if you can be referred directly to a specialist autism service. After referral, I had a home visit from an assessor, who then recommended taking it further. I then had a formal diagnostic interview. The whole process, from referral to final diagnosis, took just over two years.
Out of interest, did the nurse elaborate on what the 'strong signs of autism' were? Is it someone who might be prepared to back you up on your quest? Here's a link to some more information that might help you:
Autism diagnosis for adults
And here's that test link:
The reason she said this I believe: is my imaginary friend due to loneliness; the way I spoke (my monotone, "adult voice"); my odd use of eye contact and need for specific questions in order to discuss my feelings; reading out everything I saw out loud and getting excited by the phrasing. I believe it was just my humour and the way I interacted with the other patients on the ward. I don't think she could back me up as I don't know her full name just her face.
Martian Tom Robert2018