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ntt
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30 May 2024, 5:28 am

I've been thinking recently again about getting an Autism spectrum assessment (possibly autism + ADHD).

I ended up going to an in-person service done by a neuropsychologist. One of the reasons I went to see her was because he could do a pre-screening assessment. She recommended continuing to do the full assessment - she said in particular I should continue with an autism spectrum testing but also it would also be good to do an ADHD test. I had some uncertainties about continuing with her services - I felt she was asking some leading questions, didn't seem super empathetic and didn't seem that many years of experience. So, I ended up cancelling my appointment for the full assessment, but I haven't ruled out going back to complete the assessment.

Prior to this pre-screening, I spoke to my GP and she gave a referral for a place in Sydney called Very Helpful Chats and when I started researching the services I realized a couple of things:

* I realized that many of the people giving the assessment are neurodivergent - I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing? Perhaps having the lived experience of being neurodivergent helps you to understand these conditions better, but does it make you capable of accurately assessing another persons neurodivergence?
* The assessments are done online - I'm generally a person who is a bit anxious/avoidant and have a tendency to prefer things which are done online but I feel doing a face-to-face assessment may help to pickup on some cues which are harder in a video chat, e.g. eye contact, and possibly other non-verbal communication?

My GP doesn't seem that well educated when it comes to mental health issues and autism, so I take her recommendation a bit with a grain of salt.

In Australia the costs of getting an assessment are quite high (at least $1000), so I'm quite keen to get the testing done by someone who is competent and it is done in a way which is less likely to lead to a false diagnosis.

I'm currently thinking about if I should continue on from the pre-screening that I did, get an assessment at Very Helpful Chats or try to seek out a different service.



bee33
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30 May 2024, 9:55 am

I agree that an in-person assessment sounds better than an online one. The person doing the assessment needs to get a good sense of you, and I think that's better done in person. But an online assessment is not necessarily bad.

I think having a person who is ND doing your assessment is actually a positive. They would be more aware of what it's like to be ND.

But overall I think you should trust your judgment. If neither of these options that you laid out seem all that great to you, maybe best to keep looking.



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30 May 2024, 3:04 pm

I think an in-person assessment is preferable. That way the the person doing the assessment can observe you better (eye motions, facial expressions, body-language, etc.)

I'm in the U.S. I was told that to get a formal diagnosis I needed a licensed psychologist (I assume a psychiatrist would've worked, too) who works with Autism (not necessarily exclusively, but they need experience). And the assumption was they would know if they could perform an assessment.


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