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Villette
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12 May 2010, 9:51 am

I went to a psychologist at age 15, when my Aspie symptoms were at it's most obvious. She never metioned it. It took 2 years of waiting till my teacher told me.



eb31
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12 May 2010, 12:06 pm

I want a dx so I can get either get some accommodation at work or disability. I don't need it for myself. I got all the validation I needed when I mentioned AS to my mom and she said she knew something was wrong. Apparently she took me to several counselors but they just told her it was rebellion.



IamTheWalrus
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12 May 2010, 1:52 pm

F5c_wZ3_414e_X5 wrote:
Imagine it.
One day you find an article about Asperger's in a newspaper/magazine/internet.
You read it and you are surprised, because it is all about you.
You search for more information on Internet, and it almost all fits you.
You become obsessed with Asperger's.
You go to wrongplanet, and read the topics. There are questions, that you have been trying to answer all your life. And most people here tell about themselves, and this is EXACTLY how you feel.
You were never able to fin in, anywhere. And you think, you FINALLY found people like you.
You think you're an aspie. But you don't have a diagnosis. You can't be sure, if you are or not. If you're not an aspie, that means that you're alone in the world, and you can't fit in anywhere. This thought bothers you, you have to find out if you're an aspie or not.
You go to the doctor. You tell him/her all about yourself, all your aspie traits, sure you don't use the word "aspergers". He/she examines you. And he/she says:
- You have mild form of depression/anxiety/psychological problems (something that can be cured or smth that you can overcome, and isn't a part of you).
And doctor doesn't mention Aspergers.
Thats all.
You're not an aspie anymore. And your obsessions doesn't make sense anymore.

How would you feel? What would you think? What would you do?


I would cheer and be happy. Unfortunately that will not happen.



katzefrau
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12 May 2010, 9:11 pm

Litguy wrote:
Some doctors look for things they can cure with a pill.


original poster is in Lithuania. but i agree American doctors often medicate symptoms rather than looking for the cause. i don't know about in other places.

i agree with people who say you should go to a specialist in Asperger's and ASDs. also i am reading everywhere that it is harder to diagnose women, and there is a lot written here on WP about that.

even if you can't get a "professional" to agree with you, if AS seems the best model for understanding yourself better, use your knowledge of it to help you work through your problems and don't worry about the diagnosis.

edit: also i don't think there is any truth at all to the opinion (by professionals) that aspies / auties lack imagination. some may, but some very obviously don't.


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electrifiedspam
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12 May 2010, 9:43 pm

I started seeing a counselor to help me with my social skills. My thought was to isolate my social blind spots and learn coping mechanisms around them.

His brother in law has "Aspergers" and his thought was that I didn't have it because I wasn't as bad as his brother in law. We have had one visit - I am debating the second. I am married, I have kids, I cope fairly well, but when the "social" pace picks up and gets fast and furious, I can't keep up.

I can't blame my counselor too much. He is in his 60's and the aspergers was officially recognized in 1994. I was about to get married, and he was long out of school. I have found that counselors tend to be VERY myopic. "To a hammer, everything is a nail." They have their bag of diagnosis and treatments, and stick with that.

VERY MYOPIC.

Nothing, and I mean NOTHING else explains the HELL I went though in my life. My parents weren't the best but they didn't beat me. (They stood by while everyone in school did though.) It still does not explain why my sister has plenty of friends and I do not. Same parents, and her life was even MORE screwed up then mine.

Medical science, gets it wrong, and gets it wrong, and gets it wrong, until they get it right. We just have to face that we are in the period where they are getting it wrong.

This isn't a "trendy" condition. There are no drugs, and no cures. At best it is a peg for people to hang you eccentricities on, and it gives them a context in which to understand you. It also gives you a context in which to understand that you didn't deserve the crap you got growing up, and you didn't deserve to get kicked to the side like a piece of trash. You still don't deserve to get kicked to the side.

If you had wanted drugs you would have faked back pain.

I have or have had 90% of the symptoms of aspergers. I have either learned my way around them, (I learned to look people in the eye), or I can hide them and they really don't interfere with my life too much - (getting lost in details). I still get overloaded, but to the point I get really irritable, (VERY irritable), I can stop it before I end up screaming on the floor.

In the end my opinion is that if you reach adulthood and you only have one friend AND you actually want more, then you are either an as*hole or you have aspergers. Having aspergers might be tricky to diagnose, but being an as*hole isn't. After that it is a simple process of elimination.



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12 May 2010, 10:12 pm

My oldest son, who is 22 now, had early onset bi polar disorder. He never played with toys, just wanted to take things apart, would wake up in the middle of the night and cut the plugs off the electric appliances and start fires when he was as young as five. He would also go outside in the early am hours (3 or 4 am) and turn on the neighbors hose and flood their yards. Pour things on the floor, have uncontrollable rages where I had to sit on him until he calmed down. When he started school the doctors told me he had ADHD and the school wanted me to put him on medication. I refuse to put him on the meds and we used other behavioral ideas....none of which his teacher would use. He would leave school at the age of 6 and try to walk home....we lived off a freeway. I read the Bi-Polar child and sat down in the middle of the book store and cried because I knew that was my son. It took until he was 12 to get the diagnosis.....doctors kept telling me that he was spoiled or he had Oppositional Defiant Disorder (in other words, he was a brat). One night he poured gasoline all over himself and lit a match. I called the police, they came but refused to take him to the hospital because they said that he told them that he didnt want to hurt himself.....DUH!
Finally I found a doctor that understood early onset bi polar disorder but by then my son was self medicating. I had him in a drug treatment center and they refused to give him his bi polar meds and told me that he didnt have bi polar because his mania symptoms were just caused by the Meth he used. I told them that he wasnt on Meth when he was 2 and they told me that it was impossible for him to have bi polar disorder at age two....this also is not true. Now my son goes in and out of prison has used Meth and Heroin intravenously and now has Hep C (hes in prison right now btw). All this because the doctors that I took him to didnt want to believe that the cute little blue eyed, blonde curly haired child could possibly have a mental illness....It was easier for them to tell me I was a bad Mother. Sorry to go on and on but if I only knew then what I know now. Some Doctors are just not qualified in certain areas....they dont know everything.
Like everyone says, if you really want a doctor to diagnose you find one that specializes in AS.



alana
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13 May 2010, 2:48 am

I'm just grateful that mechanics are more accurate than doctors or the whole economy would shut down.

I can't believe you had all that documentation and didn't mention aspergers. Why the h. not? Are you independently wealthy where you can just go to one dr. after another or was the session free?



carltcwc
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13 May 2010, 3:54 am

I didnt even know what Aspergers was until I got diagnosed. Apparently I was DXed Developmentally Delayed and ADHD as a kid but my mom never told me. I went to get an evaluation because I was wondering why I was differant from other people and why I had trouble with things. I was 22 and still in highschool at a college high school completion class. I went to the counceler there and she refered me to a neuropsychiatrist. When I went in for an evaluation I wasnt able to decribe my symptoms well so they tested me outpatient for 2 days with every type of psychological test there is. Before this I didnt know anything thing about what autism was. I would have never guessed I was autistic. I thought it was someone who was mentally retarded but good at something but I was wrong. Sense then I have educated myself about neurology and psychology and have learnt much more. Before that I didnt really know anything about the subject. Before then I my guess was I had ADHD dyslexia and OCD. These are just some of my aspergers symptoms though that are commonly associated with it. Actually on that eval they dx'ed PDD-NOS which was later rediagnosed as Aspergers at my next evaluation when I went to DVR and they sent me for another eval. On that first eval they also DX'ed Learning Disorder NOS, Mood Incongruent Psychotic Depression, Schizotypal Personality Disorder, and Sleep Disorder due to Depression. The evaluation stated that there is no known brain disorder that fits me although It was most consistant with schizotypal PD, a learning disorder and developmental delay. After more evaluations I learned my sleep disorder ended up actually being Atypical Narcolepsy vs. Hypersomnia with REM dysregulation. I seemed depressed because I was drowsy and also fed up with people being negative all the time which can be depressing. After this eval I told my mom and she told me I had evaluations from when I was a kid and had kept them. I took these to my second evaluation as an adult and they added an ADHD diagnosis after another evaluation and changed PDD-NOS and Schizotypal to Aspergers vs. Schizotypal and depression changed to bipolar. I ended up deciding to take meds for some of my symptoms and they couldnt figure out if I was Aspergers or Schizotypal and they diagnosed them together and later DSHS changed Schizotypal to Schizoaffective/Bipolar even though my symptoms didnt change since the last evaluation. They said Schizotypal/Bipolar w/psychotic features is the same as Schizoaffective. The schizo DX has been inconsistant since then. Aspergers has remained the same now except once they called it autistic disorder after a 5 minute interview. Ive ended up with many more evaluations since these due to switching doctors and them wanting to get another opinion from a psychologist because they are always convinced there is something else going on with me such as a thyroid problem or epilepsy even though Ive had everything medical ruled out already but they alway come back with something similar and sometimes something random is thrown into the mix. Everytime I now go to a doctor and they have my medical records but Im there for something not related to psychological symptoms they want to focus on my mental state and send me to get a new evaluation. I now hate going to psychologists and doctors.



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13 May 2010, 6:11 pm

If I found out I didn't have Asperger's, I probably wouldn't care. It's not the basis of my entire identity.

If it turns out you don't have it, take a deep breath and realize it's not the end of the world.


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13 May 2010, 7:00 pm

First of all, I would most certainly not only mention AS to the doctor, I would TELL them I have it. Because I've been studying it for over ten years. It not only runs in my family, it runs in my wife's. AND, two of my own kids have already been diagnosed, and the third, though he was evaluated, and the diagnoses was rejected, was evaluated by a doctor who had never met his brothers, and knew very little about me.

No way on earth, after all the evidence I've uncovered, would I walk away feeling, "What now? Now I have no explanation at all for all the weirdness in my life!" Because I DO! AS, out of all the alternatives I've looked into, is the ONLY complete explanation there is.

Time to find another doctor. Period.

I'm not just making this up either. It's reality in my case, where my undiagnosed son is concerned. He actually scored on the spectrum, but was low enough the doctor wasn't "comfortable" calling it AS.

Well I am! So I'm not only looking for a doctor who IS comfortable with it, but who can also take a look at me.

The problem, in our case, is that all three of our kids are on IEP's, only two of which specify AS. HIS IEP doesn't, and as a result, the schools don't take my concerns of AS seriously, so I end up getting phone calls when they have difficulties with situations they could be handling quite well on their own if they would listen to me. But they don't. They listen to official diagnoses.

So it that's what they need, that's what I'll get them.

I want results, and I don't care if anyone thinks I'm "doctor-shopping" to get them.

I've got no problem at all telling them what he and I have. It makes quick work of eliminating the "know-it-alls" from the picture.

And trust me, there are a lot of so called "pros" who do not know as much as they would like you to think.


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13 May 2010, 7:06 pm

My own 2 cents: You know yourself better than any doctor ever could. I believe that doctors will sometimes shy away from certain dx's because they can't/won't look past the fact that certain criteria doesn't line up (ie. being female, etc). A good doctor will take this all into consideration and will approach it objectively.

I'm going to be scheduling a physical with my doctor since I haven't had one in years. If she asks if any of my medical history has changed, I'm going to tell her that I strongly suspect I have AS and see how it goes from there.


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13 May 2010, 7:49 pm

Great point Dragon, and wish I had thought to mention it, because this is one of the most common difficulties I have had with professionals who think they understand AS, and don't.

Too many rule out AS based on a single, or maybe just a couple of missing criterion. Some get so enthralled with a small set of traits they find fascinating, they think that because those are missing, AS can't be what it is.

The truth is, AS can't be ruled out by any single, or even small set of "common symptoms" that appear to be missing. AS, is itself a spectrum, and no two of us are exactly alike. In fact some of us are nothing like some others.

Proper diagnosis requires looking at a rather large spread of traits and behaviors. It can't be done in an hour, or even a few hours. It takes days of observation.

My own experience is that there are some things you can't see without weeks, months or even years of direct observation.

You know yourself! And parents know their kids.

Also, an "M.D." or any other set of letters in front of your name doesn't mean you know more than I do about AS. It is entirely possible I've read far more about it.

As I have told so many people coming to Daily Strength wondering if they have AS: EDUCATE YOURSELF! Because no one else will.


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14 May 2010, 11:25 am

MrXxx wrote:
First of all, I would most certainly not only mention AS to the doctor, I would TELL them I have it.


This was how I had success. I basically presented my psych doc with all of the "supporting evidence" and I concluded with, "This is it. It's Asperger's. It's the only diagnosis that explains everything."

Because my doc just inherited me from other doctors who bounced me back and forth between diagnoses of ADHD or bipolar without any knowledge of my history, he was quite happy to be able to make a diagnosis himself.

Luckily, I have a doctor who is not so arrogant that he could not listen to me and even more luckily, I was the kind of case you find in every textbook. Getting a little teary-eyed and being well-prepared helped.

However, I agree with those who say that if you don't have Asperger's, it's not the end of the world. Believe me, there are a lot better things to have... just keep doing your own research, educate yourself, and tell your doctor EVERYTHING.


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14 May 2010, 12:14 pm

I don't want to be a stick in the mud, but as much as some psychologists are ill-equipped to properly diagnose ASD's I would never dare to rely solely on self-diagnosis. Even an aspie-brain is ridden with the flaws of subjectivity and subconscious motives. What is true for psychologists is true for patients, we see what we want to see and what we expect to see. I would rely on a battery of tests and the opinion of several professionals above my own judgement any day of the week, simply because I know that I'm human, and almost every human fails to see the bigger picture concerning themselves. I'm not suggesting professionals are infallible. I still doubt my diagnosis at times. But if I had been diagnosed by someone who wasn't a specialist it would be ten times worse, if only by myself I would not call myself autistic.

But given that I recognize my own inability to see the whole picture I won't claim everyone else is unable to properly selfdiagnose. It's entirely possible you know something I don't.



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14 May 2010, 12:27 pm

LipstickKiller wrote:
I don't want to be a stick in the mud, but as much as some psychologists are ill-equipped to properly diagnose ASD's I would never dare to rely solely on self-diagnosis. Even an aspie-brain is ridden with the flaws of subjectivity and subconscious motives. What is true for psychologists is true for patients, we see what we want to see and what we expect to see. I would rely on a battery of tests and the opinion of several professionals above my own judgement any day of the week, simply because I know that I'm human, and almost every human fails to see the bigger picture concerning themselves. I'm not suggesting professionals are infallible. I still doubt my diagnosis at times. But if I had been diagnosed by someone who wasn't a specialist it would be ten times worse, if only by myself I would not call myself autistic.

But given that I recognize my own inability to see the whole picture I won't claim everyone else is unable to properly selfdiagnose. It's entirely possible you know something I don't.


THANK YOU.

I agree with you sfm.


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MrXxx
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14 May 2010, 2:35 pm

LipstickKiller wrote:
I don't want to be a stick in the mud, but as much as some psychologists are ill-equipped to properly diagnose ASD's I would never dare to rely solely on self-diagnosis. Even an aspie-brain is ridden with the flaws of subjectivity and subconscious motives. What is true for psychologists is true for patients, we see what we want to see and what we expect to see. I would rely on a battery of tests and the opinion of several professionals above my own judgement any day of the week, simply because I know that I'm human, and almost every human fails to see the bigger picture concerning themselves. I'm not suggesting professionals are infallible. I still doubt my diagnosis at times. But if I had been diagnosed by someone who wasn't a specialist it would be ten times worse, if only by myself I would not call myself autistic.

But given that I recognize my own inability to see the whole picture I won't claim everyone else is unable to properly selfdiagnose. It's entirely possible you know something I don't.


Forgive me. I may be missing what your point really is, yet I admit you did say clearly that you won't say "no one" is able to self-diagnose.

One thing I often forget to mention is that where one is in life in terms of age plays a very important role in whether one is able to do so. But age alone isn't the only factor. I think it also has a lot to do with whether one has looked into other possibilities as well, and to do enough of that kind of investigation takes time, which equates to age.

I've seen this on other forums, and see it here as well. Someone new to the idea of AS pops in as a new user, making the typical post, "I'm like this, this, and that. Do you think I have AS?"

Fortunately, most users won't respond with, "Yes, I think you do," or "No, I don't think so..." Most of us are smart enough to realize this isn't the place to dispense diagnoses. We aren't doctors, and even though some, like me, have come to the point of frustration with doctors that don't know as much about AS I do (and that is NOT to say that none of them do, I'm only talking about those who don't), and yet will dispense firm opinions on the matter. Yet even I will defer to the medical profession, and not give my opinion either way to these new users.

What I've seen so far is that the age of people suspecting they have AS plays a very important role in whether they can be objective. Also, whether they have ever considered the problem could be something else plays an even more important role.

Personally, I have looked into Bi-Polar, Major Depressive Disorder, Schizophrenia, Multiple Personality Disorder, OCD, PSD, Full blown Autism, and many other possibilities. Although there were some aspects that fit some, none quite fit well enough to even say, "Hey, this looks worth looking into further!" AS though, was not only worth investigating further, the more I looked, the more it fit, yet for years I remained unsure. It wasn't until after eight full years of research and consistently having to admit that a great deal of what I read fit me to a tee, that I finally "gave in" and accepted that AS had to be it.

One can't do this in their teens. It just isn't possible. In fact, that's about when my own quest began, back in the seventies.

So I guess I agree with you that probably in most cases, self diagnosis isn't simple. It's not something to take lightly.

Not only that, even in my own case, I am still seeking a doctor's diagnosis. That because it's practically the only way to convince the vast majority of professionals to take it seriously.

"I know I have AS, but it's never been diagnosed," doesn't meet with very many productive relationships with doctors and counselors.

The only parts about the original scenario given in the first post on this thread that I have trouble with are:

"You tell him/her all about yourself, all your aspie traits, sure you don't use the word 'aspergers'.

WHY- pray tell, would you NOT use the word Asperger's? What was the point of all that looking into it then? Why would you NOT tell the doctor what you suspect? Because it might influence his/her findings? - [Good doctors follow evaluation protocols that help prevent this, and most are good doctors] Because he/she might scoff that you did did your own research? - [Fire the doctor if you suspect this attitude! They work for YOU, and should respect the fact that you are willing to learn about yourself!]

"You're not an aspie anymore. And your obsessions doesn't make sense anymore."

Horse puckey! Just because one doctor says you aren't "this" or "that," doesn't necessarily mean you aren't. I think we are be smart enough to know that. But I don't want F5c_wZ3_414e_X5 (the original poster), or anyone else to think I thought that's what they meant is always the case. I think the poster was describing a scenario from the point of view of an individual who may end up feeling as if "Crap, so it's not Asperger's! Now what?"

My "Horse-puckey" response is for the benefit of those who do go through the scenario, and do end up feeling as described. It's a message to them. If you are convinced AS is what you have, and you have good reason to believe it, and can demonstrate it, GO FIND ANOTHER DOCTOR! Don't give up just because one tells you that's not it.

BUT, they could also be right! So, unless you are completely convinced it is AS (after a LOT of research), the appropriate thing to do is ask,

"Well, then, if it isn't Asperger's, then WHAT IS IT? Because something is not quite right, and I need to know what it is."


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I'm not likely to be around much longer. As before when I first signed up here years ago, I'm finding that after a long hiatus, and after only a few days back on here, I'm spending way too much time here again already. So I'm requesting my account be locked, banned or whatever. It's just time. Until then, well, I dunno...