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Cassia
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06 Aug 2010, 11:51 pm

I have started seeing a counsellor recently about a few things not directly related to autism/Aspergers. In my most recent session, I mentioned that I think I may be on the autism spectrum, in case it helps the counsellor understand better how I work. She asked me some questions about that, and towards the end of the session asked if I would want to look into getting diagnosed for Aspergers.

I have not yet seriously considered being diagnosed; at this point, I'm not sure I would gain anything by it, since I'm doing okay in life without supports/assistance/accommodations. But since the possibility is being offered to me, I figured perhaps I should consider whether there might be reasons that it would be a good idea. Below is my first attempt at a personal assessment of reasons for and against me seeking a diagnosis. I would like to hear other people's input on reasons for and against diagnosis, too.

For diagnosis: benefits/pros/advantages
- If I had a diagnosis, I would have something to back me up if people think I'm just sticking the currently popular label on myself. [Not a sufficient reason for me to get a diagnosis.]
- While I'm currently (as a grad student) quite functional without supports of any sort, it has been pointed out that I might be considerably less functional in a different environment - especially if I can't find an academic job and end up outside academia altogether. If such a situation arises, I might be in a position where I would have much less access to getting a diagnosis, so it might be worthwhile to get a diagnosis beforehand so that it's available if I need it.

Against diagnosis: cons/disadvantages
- I think I've read that at least in the US, it can be more difficult to get health coverage if you're diagnosed with Asperger's. While I hope not to end up in the US long-term, I might.
- It may very well never give me anything actually useful.
- I'd probably have to get my parents to give input about my childhood, and I'm not sure I'm prepared yet to talk to one of my parents about the possibility of being on the autism spectrum (have already talked to the other one.)

I'm sure there are more reasons, but that's what I can think of right now. Any other suggestions?


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Now convinced that I'm a bit autistic, but still unsure if I'd qualify for a diagnosis, since it causes me few problems. Apparently people who are familiar with the autism spectrum can readily spot that I'm a bit autistic, though.


SteamPowerDev
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07 Aug 2010, 12:06 am

I would take it the offer myself. If nothing else it might help with financial aid and maybe even job placement.

I've been looking into getting diagnosed myself, if I could afford it.



Cicely
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07 Aug 2010, 12:29 am

I'm very happy I got my official diagnosis. I didn't think it would make much of a difference, since I was already so sure I had Asperger's, but it really did. If you can afford it, I think you might as well get the diagnosis.



Cassia
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07 Aug 2010, 12:49 am

Cicely wrote:
I didn't think it would make much of a difference, since I was already so sure I had Asperger's, but it really did.


What kind of difference did it make? I'm curious.


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Now convinced that I'm a bit autistic, but still unsure if I'd qualify for a diagnosis, since it causes me few problems. Apparently people who are familiar with the autism spectrum can readily spot that I'm a bit autistic, though.


Ferdinand
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07 Aug 2010, 12:50 am

Pros: disability help
Cons: discrimination


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Cassia
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07 Aug 2010, 12:52 am

Ferdinand wrote:
Cons: discrimination


Only from people you choose to disclose it to, or does it get disclosed automatically/obligatorily sometimes and expose you to discrimination that way?


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Now convinced that I'm a bit autistic, but still unsure if I'd qualify for a diagnosis, since it causes me few problems. Apparently people who are familiar with the autism spectrum can readily spot that I'm a bit autistic, though.


Ferdinand
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07 Aug 2010, 1:00 am

If you were diagnosed after 18, you must tell the military you have AS when you have a medical check. THAT sucks.


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Blindspot149
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07 Aug 2010, 1:16 am

Pros: The anti-self-diagnosed 'lobby' have to shut their mouth :wink:

Cons: In my case I can't think of one :?


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StuartN
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07 Aug 2010, 4:01 pm

Blindspot149 wrote:
Cons: In my case I can't think of one :?


I have not experienced any downside of diagnosis.

The upside was a diagnosis that works for me (ending several years of psychiatric treatment) and explains my problems. I can foresee a very real benefit of the diagnosis if I ever need hospital treatment - otherwise flat affect and unusual conversation can be treated with antidepressants and antipsychotics. It is wonderful finding books, articles and this forum where I see explanations of what aspects of life are hard, why they are hard and (in many cases) how to work with them. There are also services here for adults with autistic spectrum disorder, and social welfare benefits and supports for people with an officially assessed disability.



Cassia
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10 Aug 2010, 10:13 pm

Thanks for the responses, everyone. I think StuartN's response has pointed me in the direction of what is so far the most persuasive argument in favour of a diagnosis for me personally: A diagnosis could help fend off other inaccurate diagnoses which I might be evaluated for at some later time. Even in the counsellor visit that prompted this question, that was at issue; after I said I thought I might be on the autism spectrum, she said that she had been considering a social anxiety disorder diagnosis for me but would re-evaluate in light of what I said. (I'm pretty sure I don't have social anxiety; I have a good deal of anxiety sometimes, but it's mostly over things like my studies and paperwork and getting bills paid, not social situations.)


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Now convinced that I'm a bit autistic, but still unsure if I'd qualify for a diagnosis, since it causes me few problems. Apparently people who are familiar with the autism spectrum can readily spot that I'm a bit autistic, though.


SoSayWeAll
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10 Aug 2010, 11:00 pm

OK...I think I need to seek a diagnosis, whatever it may turn out to be.

I just made a mistake at work due to not interpreting someone's sarcasm correctly, one that could have had an impact and/or had someone SERIOUSLY angry at me. Thank God it was a particularly easygoing individual, and there is a clear fix for the situation that I will take care of tomorrow--but I can't have that kind of stuff happening.

I also have auditory difficulties as well, which was my initial reason for thinking I needed to seek some sort of diagnosis...but now I think I just need to get up my courage and try again.

But if I am currently working for a large company and I already have group insurance, this shouldn't impact my insurance as long as I stay with that company if I should be diagnosed as being on the spectrum in some fashion--right?


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frag
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10 Aug 2010, 11:49 pm

Con.. if I would want to visit USA I can't. Autistic people from my country can't get a Visa to USA.

Nice, friendly---not.



CockneyRebel
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10 Aug 2010, 11:50 pm

Pros:

I got much needed help, when I was in the school system. I get a social security cheque, once a month. I've had a lot of help, looking for the perfect job, for myself. I also know why I'm different, and being different, is not a bad thing. I'm also living, in a subsidized apartment.

I can't think of any cons.


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StuartN
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11 Aug 2010, 3:00 am

frag wrote:
Con.. if I would want to visit USA I can't. Autistic people from my country can't get a Visa to USA.


I assume you mean the visa application question "Do you have a communicable disease, physical or mental disorder, or are you a drug abuser or addict?"

Do you have any evidence that this applies to Asperger's syndrome or to autism? My reading of the question is that the correct response is "no", it is not any of those things.

So I don't not think it is true that autistic people can't get a USA visa.



polarity
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11 Aug 2010, 3:35 am

Pros: I'm no longer worried about the reason I'm different from other people and unable to understand why I had difficulties socialising.

Cons: I'm now aware of how I'm different, and tend to be over anxious about how those differences affect me when I'm trying to socialise. But at least I can see the anxiety, and try to get it under control.


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