My final evaluation is tomorrow, can somebody help?

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L_Holmes
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28 Dec 2014, 3:08 pm

I only have the rest of the day today to finish writing a document that I can give to my psychologist explaining the details of why I believe I am autistic. The problem is I don't feel I explained this properly in our last appointment, because when he asked me, I only gave him the reason that initially got me started researching it (my mom told me she used to think I might be autistic, and then I started researching it and felt like it was the first thing that came close to describing why I was having these problems). But I didn't actually explain specifically what problems I was referring to. And the other reason I worry is because I asked my mom a while back to write me a document describing what she can remember about my childhood behaviors. The problem is that in the email, my mom says some things that make it seem like she doesn't know what she's talking about, and I'm afraid this will affect the conclusion.

How much does the psychologist base his decision on things that I have said about my life, and how much is it based on those various tests I will be taking tomorrow? Because if it is more based on the testing then I will have less reason to worry I think, but if not, I really feel like I haven't communicated properly what my reasons are and what kinds of difficulties I have that caused me to suspect autism.

And the other thing is, I don't want to look like I'm trying to make him diagnose me as autistic, because he probably knows what he's doing, as he's done these evaluations before. But I always end up feeling like I didn't make my thoughts and feelings clear, and in the past people have often misinterpreted my meaning behind what I say as a result, so I'm worried I will get an incorrect diagnosis.

I don't know if I should just leave it to him to figure out (I have filled out at least one form that generally describes my difficulties) or if I should finish writing this document (who knows how long that will take). Can somebody who's already had an evaluation like this give me some advice on what to do?


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btbnnyr
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28 Dec 2014, 3:19 pm

Since the psych is eggsperienced in autism assessments, I would depend on him to notice signs of autism in your behaviors, interpret testing results correctly, take into account your and your mother's reports, etc.

I never wrote up anything about my autistic traits to show the psych during assessment, and didn't research much on autism before, but answered questions spontaneously according to what came to mind in the moment, including failing to answer some questions. My mother also didn't research anything related to autism, but answered questions spontaneously.

In general, I would advise against a lot of preparation, as it decreases spontaneity and increases bias.


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AspieUtah
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28 Dec 2014, 4:04 pm

As btbnnyr stated, spontaneity helps by letting the diagnostician see you as you are in everyday life. But, I think you have to be your own best advocate, too. Take a list of the topics you want to discuss (maybe a list of your characteristics, descriptions of observations made by others throughout your life, other diagnoses you have that are factors of ASDs, and, maybe, copies of any screening tests you might have completed).

I did this in my evaluation meetings, but said that I hoped that the diagnostician would read them only after all her work was finished so as to avoid influencing her own review. In my case, she didn't apparently read it at all. But, I didn't want to forget to mention anything or refer to all the reasons I was seeking a diagnosis, so I, at least, came prepared. Having my important information printed for her use and mine made it easier for me to be spontaneous and not be distracted with remembering all I wanted to discuss.

After all, I don't think most diagnosticians want simply to test and observe us while we say nothing. It is a cooperative dialogue. I don't know who, but I have read a few descriptions on WP of others' diagnoses where their notes actually helped convince their diagnosticians that they had ASDs. Only people with ASDs would make notes about themselves, right? Hehe.

Good luck tomorrow! Let us know how it turns out.


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Rocket123
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28 Dec 2014, 8:43 pm

L_Holmes – At this point, I probably wouldn’t worry about it and instead would trust that the psychologist “knows what he’s doing”

L_Holmes wrote:
The problem is I don't feel I explained this properly in our last appointment, because when he asked me, I only gave him the reason that initially got me started researching it (my mom told me she used to think I might be autistic, and then I started researching it and felt like it was the first thing that came close to describing why I was having these problems).

btbnnyr wrote:
In general, I would advise against a lot of preparation, as it decreases spontaneity and increases bias.

AspieUtah wrote:
As btbnnyr stated, spontaneity helps by letting the diagnostician see you as you are in everyday life.


I agree with the above sentiments (the importance of having the “diagnostician see[ing] you as you are”).

With that being said, for myself, after I first learned about Asperger’s (in mid-December 2012), I spent a lot of time documenting a whole bunch of stuff based upon my many hours of research. For me, it was impossible not to do. I spent so many hours researching Asperger’s (I had read more than a dozen books on the topic - about both Asperger’s and Personality Disorders). It became an obsession. I literally thought about it (how the behavioral patterns mapped to various situations in my life) every waking moment. The only way I could get it out of my mind, was by writing it down. But, I just didn’t write it down. I organized the information, with cross-references. Yep – I am a bit obsessive. Sigh.

So, I did send the document to the clinical psychologist, before our first meeting. But, we never discussed it. The evaluation was based purely on testing and observation. I was a bit disappointed (that we never discussed the document). At the time, I considered it the most important words I had ever written. Interestingly, the clinical psychologist said that the fact I spent so much time preparing the document and the way it was organized was a “data point” confirming the diagnosis.

Since I created that document over 18 months ago, I have begun to actively journal. It’s something I really enjoy doing.



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28 Dec 2014, 11:34 pm

Looking back through my report, my diagnosis was made primarily based on the tests I took, particularly the ADOS. That was the test that conclusively proved me to be on the spectrum. My psych did take into account the things I said, and had written about in the document I brought in, but it was mostly the tests, so I wouldn't worry too much. If this guy knows what he's doing, he'll be able to recognise the autism in the way you communicate and interact with him, as well as by the way your test scores come out. Good luck tomorrow; let us know how it goes! :)


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