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Brainiac42
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16 Apr 2022, 3:13 pm

I have been informed that people are faking Autism on TikTok for attention, and there are even Autism challenges. All you have to do is google Fake Autism Tik Tok and there are a ton of videos. People stimming on camera, faking symptoms, and even talking about saying buzz words like “overwhelmed” and “overstimulated” to a therapist to get a fake diagnosis. This enrages me, as I’m nervous my therapist may not take me as seriously, or others. It also makes Autism look bad, as people may believe that’s really how we act. Has anyone experienced this?



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16 Apr 2022, 3:47 pm

No, because Tik-Tok is not an interest of mine.


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Brainiac42
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16 Apr 2022, 4:01 pm

AnonymousAnonymous wrote:
No, because Tik-Tok is not an interest of mine.


I despise Tik Tok. I don’t have one and never will.



IsabellaLinton
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16 Apr 2022, 4:06 pm

I've never used Tik Tok so I have no idea, but that's pretty lame.
I'm sure those people can't dupe a therapist without several hours of clinical testing, though.
I hope someone will call them out soon enough.
The focus should be on supporting people who are actually autistic.



Brainiac42
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16 Apr 2022, 6:16 pm

IsabellaLinton wrote:
I've never used Tik Tok so I have no idea, but that's pretty lame.
I'm sure those people can't dupe a therapist without several hours of clinical testing, though.
I hope someone will call them out soon enough.
The focus should be on supporting people who are actually autistic.


I doubt they could dupe them with several hours of clinical testing, I think that’s expose them more. I don’t understand why these people would want to fake this? Also hi Isabella, haven’t talked in a while.



laevateinn
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17 Apr 2022, 10:43 am

yeah, i've heard of this, even though i don't use tiktok and never will. happened a lot on tumblr and twitter, too. people in my generation want to pretend to have every mental disorder under the sun. it's mind-boggling.

Brainiac42 wrote:
IsabellaLinton wrote:
I've never used Tik Tok so I have no idea, but that's pretty lame.
I'm sure those people can't dupe a therapist without several hours of clinical testing, though.
I hope someone will call them out soon enough.
The focus should be on supporting people who are actually autistic.


I doubt they could dupe them with several hours of clinical testing, I think that’s expose them more.


not trying to be rude here, but i think you're putting too much faith in psychiatry. in my experience, having gone through many different psychiatrists and having each of them have a different opinion on what disorders i might have, rarely does a diagnosis take longer than half an hour. i've even been diagnosed with a serious mental illness that i obviously don't have over a single phone call because the psychiatrist misinterpreted what i'd said. they don't care about honesty; they just want to diagnose you with something so they get their paycheck.

the thing about diagnosing people with disorders* is that it's all subjective. it's all based on how the psychiatrist sees you. there's no objective test to see if someone actually has a disorder; rarely, if ever, are brain scans employed in diagnosis. also, the diagnostic criteria for autism is a lot looser than it used to be (for example, no developmental delay is needed anymore, which would have been something actually quantifiable).

point being, autism is a nebulous diagnosis as it is**, and the validity of any psychiatric diagnosis is somewhat nebulous anyways. until there is a falsifiable way to diagnose someone like there is in actual medical fields, there is no effective difference between autistic people and people who are faking it in the eyes of psychiatry. who knows if the psychiatrists care, either

-

*i know people on wp don't like autism being referred to as a disorder but that's what i've always preferred calling it and that's the term for it. i don't think having a disorder is something detrimental to one's personhood. and, this way it also refers to other disorders... popular on social media like did, bpd, etc

**i feel like someone's going to misinterpret this as me saying autism is not a real disorder. it is very much real, but having a disorder and being diagnosed with it are two different things



IsabellaLinton
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17 Apr 2022, 2:39 pm

^

You mention Psychiatrists giving flippant diagnoses. Psychiatrists don't even diagnose ASD, or if they do it's quite rare. Psychiatrists don't diagnose us because ASD is neurodevelopmental (from birth), whereas Psychiatrists treat mental illness.

Autism is not a mental illness.

ASD testing is usually done by a PhD Neuropsychologist who has experience in the field of Autism. Most people here who were diagnosed as adults waited several months or even years to be tested because of the backlog / shortage of properly-accredited diagnosticians where they live. They often have to travel great distances, and they pay exorbitant fees which aren't always covered on people's insurance. It's not uncommon to spend a thousand dollars or more, sometimes twice or three times that amount depending on the length of testing and the length of the final report.

My ASD assessment involved twelve straight hours of clinical testing with a Neuropsychologist, and I received a 30 page formal report showing graphs, tables, percentiles, T-Scores, and double-blind rankings of my achievement measured against a standard mean. This assessment wasn't subjective whatsoever. In fact, we engaged in very little dialogue. She didn't even ask me why I thought I was autistic. The assessment was completed using evidence-based data illustrating my performance in several verbal and non-verbal formal evaluations. I couldn't have tricked her if I tried. My test results were measured in two separate facilities and they included a measure of standard deviation, and margin of error.

This is quite a bit different from seeing a Psychiatrist or an everyday therapist who might give a flippant or incorrect diagnosis of Autism to a person who doesn't meet diagnostic criteria or present a comprehensive, developmental history with anecdotal and supplementary evidence from childhood.

As an aside I did see a Neuropsychiatrist but that was for ADHD testing, after my ASD assessment. The ADHD testing was even longer than ASD at close to 20 hours. Where I live ADHD is diagnosed by Neuropsychiatrists (rather than Neuropsychologists), because it is treatable with prescription medication.



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17 Apr 2022, 3:53 pm

I've seen a number of these videos on r/cringetopia. This is just one reason why I absolutely loathe TikSchlock. :x

Why would people pretend to be autistic when you're always hearing that we're all emotionless android serial killers who ruin the lives of family members and it's all because of vaccines? Do they think it makes them "quirky"? Are they trolling people who really are on the spectrum? Do they think it will allow them to get away with inappropriate behavior? Kind of like some geniuses who think having Tourette syndrome will let them get away with random outbursts of swearing (which most people with Tourette's don't suffer from)? Or do they just not think at all?

Maybe they have factitious disorder aka Munchausen syndrome, but whatever the reason what they're really being are idiots. Of course, autism is not a disease, but it's a disorder that can make people act outside the norm, and that's enough for them.



IsabellaLinton
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17 Apr 2022, 4:05 pm

lostonearth35 wrote:

Maybe they have factitious disorder aka Munchausen syndrome, but whatever the reason what they're really being are idiots. Of course, autism is not a disease, but it's a disorder that can make people act outside the norm, and that's enough for them.


^ Well put.

It's one thing to be undiagnosed autistic, but faking it for clickbait is inexcusable.



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17 Apr 2022, 4:10 pm

lostonearth35 wrote:
Why would people pretend to be autistic when you're always hearing that we're all emotionless android serial killers


I'm clumsy too.



Brainiac42
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17 Apr 2022, 4:44 pm

IsabellaLinton wrote:
^

You mention Psychiatrists giving flippant diagnoses. Psychiatrists don't even diagnose ASD, or if they do it's quite rare. Psychiatrists don't diagnose us because ASD is neurodevelopmental (from birth), whereas Psychiatrists treat mental illness.

Autism is not a mental illness.

ASD testing is usually done by a PhD Neuropsychologist who has experience in the field of Autism. Most people here who were diagnosed as adults waited several months or even years to be tested because of the backlog / shortage of properly-accredited diagnosticians where they live. They often have to travel great distances, and they pay exorbitant fees which aren't always covered on people's insurance. It's not uncommon to spend a thousand dollars or more, sometimes twice or three times that amount depending on the length of testing and the length of the final report.

My ASD assessment involved twelve straight hours of clinical testing with a Neuropsychologist, and I received a 30 page formal report showing graphs, tables, percentiles, T-Scores, and double-blind rankings of my achievement measured against a standard mean. This assessment wasn't subjective whatsoever. In fact, we engaged in very little dialogue. She didn't even ask me why I thought I was autistic. The assessment was completed using evidence-based data illustrating my performance in several verbal and non-verbal formal evaluations. I couldn't have tricked her if I tried. My test results were measured in two separate facilities and they included a measure of standard deviation, and margin of error.

This is quite a bit different from seeing a Psychiatrist or an everyday therapist who might give a flippant or incorrect diagnosis of Autism to a person who doesn't meet diagnostic criteria or present a comprehensive, developmental history with anecdotal and supplementary evidence from childhood.

As an aside I did see a Neuropsychiatrist but that was for ADHD testing, after my ASD assessment. The ADHD testing was even longer than ASD at close to 20 hours. Where I live ADHD is diagnosed by Neuropsychiatrists (rather than Neuropsychologists), because it is treatable with prescription medication.


Interesting, but I’ve heard this as well, that it can take months/years. I was told by my Therapist, she is a LCSW, that she believes I have Autism after two sessions. I am not formally diagnosed. I was told insurance doesn’t cover therapy unless I’m diagnosed. I wonder what this means. I read online that LCSWs (licensed clinical social workers) can diagnose? She is a specialist in Autism. Maybe I’ll ask her what is the next step.



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17 Apr 2022, 5:13 pm

I'm on Tiktok (the shame, I know). There are two main sections of the app - 'Discover' where you can see trending topics and 'Home' which is otherwise known as your for you page (fyp for short). The latter contains an endless scroll of recommended videos.

Personally, I rarely visit the discover section. I've no idea what's trending. However, in my recommended videos, I've seen people mocking the people who fake symptoms. In these videos, the creators usually don't directly call out or reply to a specific person creating this type of content, but instead will imitate them with captions such as "How people mock autism VS what it's actually like" and show a comparison or otherwise talk about it. I've never directly seen the content that such creators keep referencing, but I know it's out there.


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IsabellaLinton
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17 Apr 2022, 5:19 pm

Brainiac42 wrote:
I was told by my Therapist, she is a LCSW, that she believes I have Autism after two sessions. I am not formally diagnosed. I was told insurance doesn’t cover therapy unless I’m diagnosed. I wonder what this means. I read online that LCSWs (licensed clinical social workers) can diagnose? She is a specialist in Autism. Maybe I’ll ask her what is the next step.



It's very likely that your LCSW is right, given her area of specialty. It must be frustrating that she may not be able to provide you with a formal diagnosis - assuming that's what you want or need. I'm not American so I have no idea if LCSW can diagnose you but it's worth looking into.

Where I live, diagnosticians don't provide ongoing individual therapy regardless of their qualifications. They write and publish clinical research, teach university classes, administer assessments, and write the formal reports. After diagnosis they will refer clients to appropriately-experienced support services such as psychologists, psychotherapists, social workers, occupational therapists, and speech therapists. Likewise if we are undiagnosed and we see any of the above professionals for ongoing counselling they wouldn't be the person to make an assessment even if they had the right credentials. I think that's because therapists and patients have a more personal, subjective relationship which creates a conflict of interest.

Prior to my diagnosis I saw several psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers for various reasons but primarily for C-PTSD and pertaining to my stroke. We didn't discuss anything about autism. When I decided I wanted an ASD assessment I went to a private Neuropsychologist through my university. After the report I chose to keep some of my regular therapists, but was also referred to new ones including an ASD / PTSD Occupational Therapist, and a Social Worker who specialises in ASD just like yours. I've contacted the diagnostician a couple of times with questions but she will not / cannot be my ongoing therapist because that's not her job.

It's a really complicated system. I hope yours works out for the best. I know how much it means to you, and you've made such great strides already.

Oh, I almost forgot to say -- your LCSW should be able to provide therapy according to your needs, with or without a diagnosis. I'm really surprised it's not covered without a diagnosis. Here we aren't really covered on any therapy whether we're diagnosed or not. Most people just pay out of pocket. We're only covered if the provider is a licensed medical doctor with an MD, which sucks because most assessment doctors and therapists for ASD are not MDs / psychiatrists.

Lastly, I've also heard that people here can be diagnosed by psychologists or other therapeutic professionals who aren't Neuropsychologists, if - and only if - they write a formal report with testing data, and the person's GP (Medical Doctor) signs and stamps it with their MD credentials to show agreement with the findings.

Maybe it's similar there, and that's something you can look into.



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17 Apr 2022, 7:54 pm

For what it's worth, diagnosticians don't really look for the obvious things that you mention; they look for automatic things that can't be faked, and there's many of them for those with Autism that a diagnostician can induce depending on the functioning level of the individual, which they do. They can be quite sly actually, and I've seen some experienced professionals use rather smart triggers to bring them out. They got me good a couple of times because...automatic.



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18 Apr 2022, 9:46 am

IsabellaLinton wrote:
Brainiac42 wrote:
I was told by my Therapist, she is a LCSW, that she believes I have Autism after two sessions. I am not formally diagnosed. I was told insurance doesn’t cover therapy unless I’m diagnosed. I wonder what this means. I read online that LCSWs (licensed clinical social workers) can diagnose? She is a specialist in Autism. Maybe I’ll ask her what is the next step.



It's very likely that your LCSW is right, given her area of specialty. It must be frustrating that she may not be able to provide you with a formal diagnosis - assuming that's what you want or need. I'm not American so I have no idea if LCSW can diagnose you but it's worth looking into.

Where I live, diagnosticians don't provide ongoing individual therapy regardless of their qualifications. They write and publish clinical research, teach university classes, administer assessments, and write the formal reports. After diagnosis they will refer clients to appropriately-experienced support services such as psychologists, psychotherapists, social workers, occupational therapists, and speech therapists. Likewise if we are undiagnosed and we see any of the above professionals for ongoing counselling they wouldn't be the person to make an assessment even if they had the right credentials. I think that's because therapists and patients have a more personal, subjective relationship which creates a conflict of interest.

Prior to my diagnosis I saw several psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers for various reasons but primarily for C-PTSD and pertaining to my stroke. We didn't discuss anything about autism. When I decided I wanted an ASD assessment I went to a private Neuropsychologist through my university. After the report I chose to keep some of my regular therapists, but was also referred to new ones including an ASD / PTSD Occupational Therapist, and a Social Worker who specialises in ASD just like yours. I've contacted the diagnostician a couple of times with questions but she will not / cannot be my ongoing therapist because that's not her job.

It's a really complicated system. I hope yours works out for the best. I know how much it means to you, and you've made such great strides already.

Oh, I almost forgot to say -- your LCSW should be able to provide therapy according to your needs, with or without a diagnosis. I'm really surprised it's not covered without a diagnosis. Here we aren't really covered on any therapy whether we're diagnosed or not. Most people just pay out of pocket. We're only covered if the provider is a licensed medical doctor with an MD, which sucks because most assessment doctors and therapists for ASD are not MDs / psychiatrists.

Lastly, I've also heard that people here can be diagnosed by psychologists or other therapeutic professionals who aren't Neuropsychologists, if - and only if - they write a formal report with testing data, and the person's GP (Medical Doctor) signs and stamps it with their MD credentials to show agreement with the findings.

Maybe it's similar there, and that's something you can look into.


Thank you for the info Isabella and the words of encouragement. I feel a diagnosis will make me feel less alone, like I already do some when I interact on this forum.