Been to 6 sessions with a counsellor/psychologist because I was struggling with health anxiety among other things affecting my general life. At the last session she advised she thought I was on the Autism Spectrum. I was not expecting this at all. I am really messed up now and unsure what to do.
I've done a number of online tests and they all show that I am close but not in the range of having ASD. I don't see the point of putting myself through trying to get a diagnosis if the chances are I will not pass the basic preliminary questionnaires. Is this all they judge you on?
Since seeing the counsellor and her telling me what she did I keep noticing my behaviour and things that upset me and make me feel awkward a lot more and part of me wonders if she is right. It's really messed with my feelings as she made out like if I do have ASD then that's the reason I might be struggling with everything but she didn't really give me any help or guidance. I have been advised that if I do have it, continuing with normal counselling that isn't specific to the condition may do more harm than good.
From the research I've done so far I can't see me getting diagnosed very easily as I am good at a lot of the general symptoms and behaviours that show up the condition, whether I've learnt to be or I actually am good I don't know.
Any advice or ideas what to do next? Am wondering whether to try and pay (already spent loads on the first counsellor) for another counsellor to get a second opinion and maybe not mentioning what the first one said to see if they find the same conclusion?
I phoned the GP to discuss options but twice now I've been told they can't speak to me unless its an emergency.
I have done the same tests several months apart and got quite different scores, chances are that I was in a different mood or I read the questions differently, and so on.I believe that you have nothing to lose by taking the next step.And to be honest if you are a "functioning" (I can not think of a better word) adult, you have even less to worry about.I self identified a few months ago and when I told relatives I got several nods, I am in the process of making my diagnosis "official" and just created an account >here<.Whatever you do, do NOT panic.
Hi, it went a bit in a similar way for me, so feeling messed up sounds very familiar. She may be right or not, guess the line they draw is very artificial and there is a fairly wide band where the same person could get a diagnosis or not, depending on the people doing the assessment, on the very short-term circumstances on the day, on longer-term circumstances...
Well, if you go for it it's not going to be quick... Guess if you answer the AQ10 questions honestly and you don't score high enough there then it will be very difficult to convince your GP to refer you for an assessment, otherwise it may happen sooner or later, but it's not going to be soon enough to help you with deciding about the counselling.
Somehow it's shocking that they say if you have it and you continue with counselling if may do more harm than good. I mean, they are not putting you in a box, close it, flick a switch and check after a while if you are still alive. Counselling is pretty much a dialogue and they should be able to react to your reaction to whatever they do, especially if they keep in mind that you may be mildly autistic. But they don't do that, I have no idea why. Most probably not all of them, but many, it seems they are a lot more inflexible that any Aspie could possibly be... They seem to follow a scheme they have memorised and are unable to divert from it and your answers also have to fit that scheme. Like a counsellor asked me constantly how various things made me feel. I told her, and as far as I could tell my answers matched how these things made me feel but she wasn't happy with it and kept suggesting other words which didn't describe my feelings at all. Maybe she thought I just don't know the right word since English isn't my first language, but somehow you think that will become clear after the second or third time.
Maybe try to follow your own advice regarding the counselling. If it feels o.k. there is no reason why you should stop it, if you are unsure maybe give it a few more times, if you are afraid of seeing her then you may want to stop it or at least ask if it's intended that you feel that way (maybe this sounds stupid but I was really afraid of going there but was convinced that this must be part of the game because I assumed that they could see this and that they would change something if it wasn't intended, but it turned out I was wrong there).
Hi, I am in almost exactly the same position and it is nice to hear I am not the only one. As you say it has really messed with me too. I intend to go to another councellor in the future . . . I think. I have been talking with a friend with councellling experience who has been very helpful, she tried to talk me into lodging a complaint about who I went to. I emailed her with my concerns, told the councellor how much worse I felt and how uncertain, that she should have just dropped it on me even if she thought I was. She sort of apologised said she should have been more tactful, should have broached it better. But it was so carefully worded to avoid admitting any fault that it wasn't exactly helpful for me.
I would really love a diagnosis, just to know. But it seems to me this would be very difficult to get.
Hi, after weeks of obsessing about how I was supposed to deal with it I did go to another counsellor who does specialise in Autism and she seemed quite convinced after 2 sessions that I had Aspergers… I still don't know how to deal with it. Everyone around me that I've mentioned it to just thinks I should just get on with life but I can't help being a little bit obsessed with the fact that I may be different to everyone else. It's really weird to deal with. I have gone to GP about getting a diagnosis and they referred me but nothing as yet. I'm not really convinced it will help. What traits of yours did she pick up on? How many sessions did it take for her to tell you what she thought?
Hi, I’m new to this site and like you have been to a counsellor, initially for aniexty, and have realised that it could be Asperger syndrome that I have. As I’m 44 now this has been a complete revelation to me, i’ve read a lot about it and the traits etc and i’m pretty sure that this may be the case. It would certainly explain my whole life experiences and also has made me realise that i’m not a complete ‘alien’ in this world that I have always felt. I have completed online tests that have indicated that I have significant autistic traits. I suppose the next step would be to get an official diagnosis but still not quite made that step yet. I feel like my whole life and what has gone on prior to now has been turned on it’s head and I’m struggling to deal with that. But on the positive side I feel that I would have justification on my thoughts and feelings, as well as making peace with me as I would understand myself better and realise that it’s okay to be different and that is me. I would love to hear what experiences/advice you could give me, asI’m new to the area I live I don’t have anyone to share this with and would understand. I really look forward to hearing from you all.
Hello, There is an article here called’The women who who don’t know they’re autistic’ ,that may interest you.
Your experience is exactly the same as mine! I am 36 and would never have dreamt of having autism/aspergers if I hadn't gone to counselling. When I completed the online tests I scored high but still borderline as I think I mask very well and often have a feeling of not knowing who I am as I think I have spent many years trying to be what people want me to be. A lot of people don't bother getting a diagnosis as it is difficult but I guess they feel they know they are on the spectrum. I still have some days where I think I definitely am and other days when I think nah, I can't be. I feel exactly as you described above about understanding yourself better but the niggle that it might not be the reason confuses me! Sounds like we are both starting a bit of a new journey! Can't say I have much advice as yet as I'm in the early stages of discovery too but would be happy to chat about experiences. I have spent a lot of time on line reading about it and watching you tube videos (there are a lot made by autistic women) and often finding myself relating to them. Be interested to share thoughts with you guys who are in the same boat!
Olveragirl said: I can't help being a little bit obsessed with the fact that I may be different to everyone else.
If you are indeed "different to everyone else", that fact would already have affected your life, and it's better for you to know whether it is so or not, so at least you'll be informed (and forwarned). At least that's what I think.
Don't think of possibly being on the spectrum as a bad thing. Think of it as an opportunity to grow in a new way.
Hi, the same about 6 like you I have that same obsessed feeling, I keep trying to put it aside my councellor friend tells me she thinks that the woman was wrong. But is not a very experienced councellor and I worry she is just telling me what she thinks I want to hear brcause she's my friend. That first councellor was wrong for me I know that, she tried to push me into a meltdown, get me to flap and things but it's just not something I have any impulse to do, I always felt that she wasn't listening and was putting words in my mouth, although she was very empathetic which was why I thought she was good. I accepted it at first I thought she must know better she is a councellor but I just don't trust her. She does not know more about me than I know about myself, I worry that I am being resistant just ignoring a difficult truth so I keep trying to fit it to myself and seesawing between the two. I think a different councellor would be good, one qualified in that area as you did and trying to seprasep that into different issues, the first councellor was wrong for me but she might still be right about Autism, although if she is, Aspergers (as it was called) is more likely I am certain. But I am afraid of that, that is largely to do with the thing's that took me to councellling in the first place, general trust problems now. l have been abused by people close to me, it seems to be a pattern, I keep trusting the wrong people, or maybe, as they try to tell me, it is my own fault and I do something to bring it out in people, they told me I deserve it, don't deserve respect because there is something wrong with me. At the time the councellor dumped that on me I was just starting to rebuild my self confidence afyer a bad life incident and that shattered it. To me it was her telling me that there was something wrong, that it was all my fault. I know that's not fair or logical, even if I am Autistic I still deserve basic respect as would anyone else with it, I would probably just have some different needs. But still that feeling of wrongness stays. And to me, most frightening of all is the fact that if I am autistic I will likely always be vulnerable to manipulation, to trusting the wrong people and I really want to believe that that is something I can get past. With that knowledge it is even more difficult to try to trust again. Which affects trying to find a councellor, that one was bad, at least for me, did more harm than good. But how can I trust myself not to make the same mistake when I go looking again?
As for the traits she judged me on, she didn't make that clear. My accent is strange (but not unlike my families), I chose to ignore rather than respond to bullying at school, I am really not a girly girl, prefering boots and comfortable cloths, I am a big geek. I think the largest part was the way she saw me at the time, I was in what I would call walking robot mode, I was not expressive and emotionally I was nearly numb, which I thought of as burnout or depression, it definately became full depression afterwards. I was still moving still doing the things I needed to do but just dragging myself through them out of stubborness. I don't feel like that is how I normally am, although I have always been what one of my friends described as quite controlled, except on on occasions where I feel really comfortable then I can get carried away. Perhaps she misjudged me based on that. Or perhaps she's right. I don't know still confused.
Hi, I think you didn't maybe have the best counsellor, if she was putting words in your mouth and that, they aren't all great but I did respect mine. However they tell you, it is still a bombshell. Mine told me what she thought about me being on the spectrum at the end of my last session and she did say that she thought she may have left me with more than I came with. I guess she needed to tell me what she thought though and I am kind of glad she did even if she did actually leave me with a bigger problem than I came with. I would like to spend more time with the Autism specialist counsellor I found but it's too expensive so I'm just trying to figure myself out myself!Don't feel like it's just you on the trust problems, everyone can be unlucky and meet idiots and get taken advantage of, maybe just go with a little caution with new people you meet? It's definitely not your fault that things have happened or gone wrong at all so don't feel like that. If you look for a new counsellor try and get one that has experience with autism as some who don't, actually don't even seem to want autistic clients because they are too hard and don't open up. Look for one with qualifications maybe too, or one that comes recommended.
Mine didn't make it clear what she was judging me on either, but I am like you not a girly girl, like comfortable clothes etc. My counsellor actually gave me a list of things that are common in women with Asperger's and I ticked a lot of the boxes. I have a lot of control issues and get really freaked out if I am not in control of things. I'm still not sure how I'm meant to cope with my issues!
It is a confusing time but don't feel like any of it is your fault! If we are autistic that's not a bad thing it's just we need to figure out how to make it work for us instead of against us maybe. As Dragoncat said above this is an opportunity to grow in a new way, I guess it will just take time.