I’ve decided, I’m getting evaluated

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Brainiac42
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08 Jul 2022, 4:42 am

Hi everyone,

I post here fairly often so some of you will recognize me. I have decided after a long time of wondering if it mattered at my age, that I am going to get evaluated for Autism. I had posted before that my psychiatrist stated she believed I was Autistic, and that it was highly likely. I am not officially diagnosed though.. my reason for finally deciding is mainly because of my struggles in college. I’d like to attempt to get accommodations, as I’ve been at a community college for 5 years and don’t even have a 2 year degree because of how much I struggle. I also will only be on my father’s insurance until I am 26, and his medical insurance is much better than mine. This is the cheapest I’ll ever be able to get evaluated, if it’s covered. I need to call tomorrow.

Anyway, this has been a decision I’ve been contemplating for a while.. I’m 25, and I kept going back and forth between if it is worth it as I’ve been undiagnosed this long and surviving. I’ve finally decided the pros outweigh the cons, and my evaluation journey will start soon. I do have a little worry with my parents as they believe I was, “A perfectly normal kid with quirks.” I hope they do not have too much of a weight on the outcome, as they don’t know what I truly went through growing up.. and how well I could mask. I had a difficult childhood for other reasons, a sick sibling, and they were often very preoccupied.. I actually struggled in school quite a bit from elementary onward, and had issues that were overlooked.

Anyway, I will keep WP updated on the results either way. Either way it goes I hope I can still be a part of the community.



chealy5
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08 Jul 2022, 6:19 am

I’m 54 and I was diagnosed just last week. Although it appears your desire to be evaluated is more pragmatic (school accommodations, insurance), and it also appears you feel pretty certain about your autism, I very much recommend getting a diagnosis, especially since it appears it will be easier for you now. For me I needed the confirmation, as I am too much in my head and can argue both sides till I am in a state of doubt and uncertainty. Having a professional tell me, yes, you’re autistic, was helpful. I now better understand my challenges and can figure out better ways to manage my life and reduce my daily stress.



Brainiac42
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08 Jul 2022, 1:19 pm

chealy5 wrote:
I’m 54 and I was diagnosed just last week. Although it appears your desire to be evaluated is more pragmatic (school accommodations, insurance), and it also appears you feel pretty certain about your autism, I very much recommend getting a diagnosis, especially since it appears it will be easier for you now. For me I needed the confirmation, as I am too much in my head and can argue both sides till I am in a state of doubt and uncertainty. Having a professional tell me, yes, you’re autistic, was helpful. I now better understand my challenges and can figure out better ways to manage my life and reduce my daily stress.


Thank you for your response, and congrats on the diagnosis. I actually can relate to going back and forth myself. Imposter syndrome is real, as sometimes I feel so strongly that I am and my therapist is right, and other times I can trick myself into believing I’m just quirky with anxiety/some PTSD. My therapist bringing it up on her own without me prompting helped. If you don’t mind me asking, how long did it take to get diagnosed?



IsabellaLinton
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08 Jul 2022, 1:23 pm

Yay! I'm happy you made a decision and you seem to have insurance coverage.

No matter what they determine, it will help you to understand yourself better.

I think this is great news.

I've spammed WP with lots of details about my assessment so I'm sure you've seen those posts.

If there's anything you want to know, hit me up.



Brainiac42
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08 Jul 2022, 2:41 pm

IsabellaLinton wrote:
Yay! I'm happy you made a decision and you seem to have insurance coverage.

No matter what they determine, it will help you to understand yourself better.

I think this is great news.

I've spammed WP with lots of details about my assessment so I'm sure you've seen those posts.

If there's anything you want to know, hit me up.


Thank you! Yes, I just saw a post of an outline of your portfolio. I think this will be good for me in the long run. I am struggling a little bit with imposter syndrome after a conversation with my mother. Everything I struggle with she says she also struggles with, and she says she just sees me as normal but like her. She says I’ll grow into myself more as I get older, but she just sees me as “normal.” And I was a “normal” kid, just had struggles like her and had meltdowns cause I got the anger from my
Dad. It makes this hard because I really do struggle with things.



IsabellaLinton
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08 Jul 2022, 2:44 pm

Brainiac42 wrote:
IsabellaLinton wrote:
Yay! I'm happy you made a decision and you seem to have insurance coverage.

No matter what they determine, it will help you to understand yourself better.

I think this is great news.

I've spammed WP with lots of details about my assessment so I'm sure you've seen those posts.

If there's anything you want to know, hit me up.


Thank you! Yes, I just saw a post of an outline of your portfolio. I think this will be good for me in the long run. I am struggling a little bit with imposter syndrome after a conversation with my mother. Everything I struggle with she says she also struggles with, and she says she just sees me as normal but like her. She says I’ll grow into myself more as I get older, but she just sees me as “normal.” And I was a “normal” kid, just had struggles like her and had meltdowns cause I got the anger from my
Dad. It makes this hard because I really do struggle with things.


Maybe your mother doesn't see it because she's autistic too.
Is that possible?

Regardless, I encourage you to do the assessment.
You may never get another chance to have it covered on insurance.

I assume you've found someone reputable?



Brainiac42
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08 Jul 2022, 3:31 pm

IsabellaLinton wrote:
Brainiac42 wrote:
IsabellaLinton wrote:
Yay! I'm happy you made a decision and you seem to have insurance coverage.

No matter what they determine, it will help you to understand yourself better.

I think this is great news.

I've spammed WP with lots of details about my assessment so I'm sure you've seen those posts.

If there's anything you want to know, hit me up.


Thank you! Yes, I just saw a post of an outline of your portfolio. I think this will be good for me in the long run. I am struggling a little bit with imposter syndrome after a conversation with my mother. Everything I struggle with she says she also struggles with, and she says she just sees me as normal but like her. She says I’ll grow into myself more as I get older, but she just sees me as “normal.” And I was a “normal” kid, just had struggles like her and had meltdowns cause I got the anger from my
Dad. It makes this hard because I really do struggle with things.


Maybe your mother doesn't see it because she's autistic too.
Is that possible?

Regardless, I encourage you to do the assessment.
You may never get another chance to have it covered on insurance.

I assume you've found someone reputable?


My mom says she is likely neurodivergent but she doesn’t think she’s on the spectrum, as her social skills are too good. Her words. She thinks she has severe ADD. Which I can definitely see, she can’t pay attention to anything ever.

Thank you for the advice, I think so too. The place where I go to therapy weekly offers autism evaluations for children and adults. My therapist said she’d give the recommendation.



chealy5
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08 Jul 2022, 5:27 pm

Brainiac42 wrote:
Thank you for your response, and congrats on the diagnosis. I actually can relate to going back and forth myself. Imposter syndrome is real, as sometimes I feel so strongly that I am and my therapist is right, and other times I can trick myself into believing I’m just quirky with anxiety/some PTSD. My therapist bringing it up on her own without me prompting helped. If you don’t mind me asking, how long did it take to get diagnosed?


For me, it came quite quickly. I was in trauma related therapy for a year and learned a lot about my brain and its neurology. I came to a point where the trauma had resolved but other challenges remained, such as sensory processing sensitivity. I had paused therapy since the trauma wasn’t bothering me. Later I was watching a video on sensory processing sensitivity and it tied it to autism and linked to the AQ assessment. I scored likely to be on the spectrum and so I began doing a lot of research (naturally). I went back to my therapist to discuss. She was kind and admitted to not knowing a lot about autism. She was skeptical but nonetheless gave me a list of adult evaluators. I made several calls and found one. From the AQ assessment to diagnosis was only two and a half months but I paid out of my own funds.



Brainiac42
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08 Jul 2022, 6:51 pm

chealy5 wrote:
Brainiac42 wrote:
Thank you for your response, and congrats on the diagnosis. I actually can relate to going back and forth myself. Imposter syndrome is real, as sometimes I feel so strongly that I am and my therapist is right, and other times I can trick myself into believing I’m just quirky with anxiety/some PTSD. My therapist bringing it up on her own without me prompting helped. If you don’t mind me asking, how long did it take to get diagnosed?


For me, it came quite quickly. I was in trauma related therapy for a year and learned a lot about my brain and its neurology. I came to a point where the trauma had resolved but other challenges remained, such as sensory processing sensitivity. I had paused therapy since the trauma wasn’t bothering me. Later I was watching a video on sensory processing sensitivity and it tied it to autism and linked to the AQ assessment. I scored likely to be on the spectrum and so I began doing a lot of research (naturally). I went back to my therapist to discuss. She was kind and admitted to not knowing a lot about autism. She was skeptical but nonetheless gave me a list of adult evaluators. I made several calls and found one. From the AQ assessment to diagnosis was only two and a half months but I paid out of my own funds.


Interesting! Around how much did it cost you if you don’t mind me asking?

Luckily my therapist specialized in autism also, so she actually mentioned it to me.



Elgee
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10 Jul 2022, 10:43 am

Mine cost $2,200. They're all pricey, at least the reliable ones. If they say they can get you in and out quickly, RUN.

If you're unnerved about revealing a diagnosis to your parents, why bother telling them at all? If you already told them you're getting evaluated, then I guess you're stuck. But if you haven't yet told them of the eval, then why not keep it secret? Unless the knowledge of being diagnoses is too much to contain? Just an option I'd toss out.

I couldn't contain the diagnosis and told a sibling. She wasn't at all surprised and knew it all along (I never masked much).



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10 Jul 2022, 11:34 am

In 2019 my assessment was just under $1,000.

Before signing the contract with the Psychologist I gave her background records. Based upon them she suggested we skip the IQ test. If the assessment had included the IQ test it would've been a little over $1,000.

I don't know if the unsolicited pile of records I provided had any effect on the price of the not-IQ-test parts of the assessment. It probably was also helpful that my bride and my (very old) father were available to provide information.

The Psychologist did not coordinate with insurance companies. Eventually, after I got the results, I submitted the bills to my medical insurance (Medicare and a secondary). They reimbursed about half the cost.


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Brainiac42
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11 Jul 2022, 12:27 am

Elgee wrote:
Mine cost $2,200. They're all pricey, at least the reliable ones. If they say they can get you in and out quickly, RUN.

If you're unnerved about revealing a diagnosis to your parents, why bother telling them at all? If you already told them you're getting evaluated, then I guess you're stuck. But if you haven't yet told them of the eval, then why not keep it secret? Unless the knowledge of being diagnoses is too much to contain? Just an option I'd toss out.

I couldn't contain the diagnosis and told a sibling. She wasn't at all surprised and knew it all along (I never masked much).


Okay wow. If mine is even 1,000 I will live without being diagnosed as I can’t afford that. I can really only afford to spend a couple hundred at the most. My therapist told me it may be covered under my insurance with them so I’d likely only have to pay a copay, but to check with my insurance. I haven’t checked with my insurance yet but I put my name down to be out on a waitlist. I’ll have to get more information on this. I kind of have to bring my dad into the loop as I’m on his insurance still, and if I tell my mom I can’t keep it from my mother. Thank you for the info



IsabellaLinton
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11 Jul 2022, 1:48 am

Mine was about $2800 in 2018. I got about $1500 back on insurance.

These are expensive assessments, not just because of the time spent but they have to pay for the testing materials and licence fees for all the individual tests, you pay the therapist their rate (usually close to $300 / hour) and possibly another rate for a psychometrist if they administer any of the tests. Then you pay for their time to read your DH and write the report. My report was 33 pages and it's a valid, legal document.

How much insurance coverage do you get from your dad's plan? Usually it's a yearly maximum.



Brainiac42
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11 Jul 2022, 6:36 am

IsabellaLinton wrote:
Mine was about $2800 in 2018. I got about $1500 back on insurance.

These are expensive assessments, not just because of the time spent but they have to pay for the testing materials and licence fees for all the individual tests, you pay the therapist their rate (usually close to $300 / hour) and possibly another rate for a psychometrist if they administer any of the tests. Then you pay for their time to read your DH and write the report. My report was 33 pages and it's a valid, legal document.

How much insurance coverage do you get from your dad's plan? Usually it's a yearly maximum.


Wow, thank you for the info. On the insurance card it states:

Deductible Individual: $0
Deductible Family: $0
Out of Pocket Maximum: In-Network
Individual: $6,500
Family. $13,000



kraftiekortie
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11 Jul 2022, 8:12 am

You have to make sure this applies to an autism assessment.

It certainly applies to something like a medical check-up, or a surgical procedure.

You have to ask this question directly to one who could potentially assess you.



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11 Jul 2022, 11:14 am

Checking with your insurance provider is a good idea. Asking about what coverage you have should be free, I would think.

Ask questions. But be advised they might not know what they are talking about!

When I called my insurance provider and asked about "Adult Autism Assessments" they were immediately willing to help and said it fell within my "Mental Health" coverage. They promptly sent me a referral...when I received it in the mail I promptly called the provider and learned that they did not do Adult Autism Assessments! I called the insurance company back and they suggested a few more providers...none of them suitable.

Then my insurance company told me I could find a provider on my own and they would generate the appropriate referral. They specified, however, the provider I used had to be a licensed Psychologist with ABA certification.

Sigh. I started searching and discovered that Psychologists with ABA certifications were apparently uncommon. And I could not find any in-network (in the insurance company's network) providers with that combination of credentials anywhere near me.

From what I could make out on the Internet, Psychologists have a wide array of specializations but ABA was specifically for Autism so I started calling the in-network ABA providers to find out if they did Adult Autism Assessments. The first one said "No". The second one was actually helpful! They explained ABA certifications were for treating Autism and were not needed to perform an Adult Autism Assessment. All I needed was a licensed Psychologist who would do the assessment.

I made a mistake at this point. I started searching for local Psychologists who worked with Autism and adults as old as me (none of their web pages mentioned "Adult Autism Assessments"...I figure that's not a big enough market for them to waste web page space on it). It was relatively easy to find a Psychologist who would do the assessment.

My mistake is I did not stick to in-network Psychologists. Even so, Medicare and my secondary insurance reimbursed me for about half of the cost. I do not know what it would've cost me if I'd gotten an "in-network" Psychologist.


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When diagnosed I bought champagne!
I finally knew why people were strange.