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Ollywog
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01 Oct 2022, 12:13 am

On Tuesday, I saw my psychiatrist. I had corresponded with him a few weeks earlier saying I wanted to be evaluated for autism and asking if he could recommend somewhere I could get testing. He said we could talk about it when I next came in, and asked if I could bring a family member, because that would be helpful. I thought he was going to do some sort of screening to see if he thought further testing was warranted, then refer me somewhere. What actually happened, though, was that he talked to me and my mother for 30-45 minutes, then got out his DSM, and said, yes, he thought I was mildly autistic. Just like that. This is not how I understood the process to work, and now I am confused. Should I seek further testing, or should I just accept his opinion? He didn't seem to consider it a very important question whether my autistic traits are actually caused by autism or by a combination of bipolar disorder and social anxiety (both of which I've already been diagnosed with, correctly in my opinion). It's important to me, though, as I think being reliably identified as autistic could explain a lot about my life and might help me function better and feel better about myself.


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Double Retired
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01 Oct 2022, 3:23 pm

Maybe you got an opinion from him but not a diagnosis?

My understanding is that there is an accepted process. (Though talking to your Mother would be desirable in the process.)


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BreathlessJade
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01 Oct 2022, 3:48 pm

Ollywog wrote:
On Tuesday, I saw my psychiatrist. I had corresponded with him a few weeks earlier saying I wanted to be evaluated for autism and asking if he could recommend somewhere I could get testing. He said we could talk about it when I next came in, and asked if I could bring a family member, because that would be helpful. I thought he was going to do some sort of screening to see if he thought further testing was warranted, then refer me somewhere. What actually happened, though, was that he talked to me and my mother for 30-45 minutes, then got out his DSM, and said, yes, he thought I was mildly autistic. Just like that. This is not how I understood the process to work, and now I am confused. Should I seek further testing, or should I just accept his opinion? He didn't seem to consider it a very important question whether my autistic traits are actually caused by autism or by a combination of bipolar disorder and social anxiety (both of which I've already been diagnosed with, correctly in my opinion). It's important to me, though, as I think being reliably identified as autistic could explain a lot about my life and might help me function better and feel better about myself.

Yeah the evaluator was terribly vague



Double Retired
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01 Oct 2022, 7:17 pm

Double Retired wrote:
Maybe you got an opinion from him but not a diagnosis?

My understanding is that there is an accepted process. (Though talking to your Mother would be desirable in the process.)
It might be worthwhile to ask your psychiatrist whether it was a formal diagnosis that could be used when formally seeking accommodations, or not, and whether or not ADOS was used. (Even if you do not think you would ever formally seek accommodations you might want to ensure you could.)

If the psychiatrist says it was not a formal diagnosis that does not mean it was a waste of time. If it was not a formal diagnosis it would strongly support seeking a formal diagnosis.

When you get a formal diagnosis you probably should get it in writing.

(I screwed up on that. I got a detailed psychological report from the psychologist who did my autism assessment but the report contains details that I would not want to share widely. I should also have requested a one-page letter documenting the diagnosis but not giving all of the gory details.)


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autisticelders
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02 Oct 2022, 5:47 am

your psychiatrist knows you from other appointments. If he wanted a parent or somebody from your past to come with you, I expect the experience was a formal diagnosis. That's great in my opinion, so many people have to struggle to find a competent diagnostic professional and you already had been seeing one. You must have suspected autism for a while to have joined this group? Having professional opinion and your own suspicions confirmed can be so useful. It helped give me so many insights to my past and helped me understand so much about my strengths and weaknesses. Knowing about my autism also helped me with a lot of healing of past stuff because knowing about the autism working in the background without anybody having suspected it made sense of almost everything from the past. All the painful interactions, all the misunderstandings, all the conflict ... nobody knew. From the perspective of knowing about hidden autism so much fell into place. Take your time, do ask your Psychiatrist if he noted your diagnosis of autism in your files so it was official. You will want to know for your own peace of mind. Self understanding may grow a lot because of this. It sounds great to me that it was so little hassle to find out. Cheering you on!


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CockneyRebel
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03 Oct 2022, 8:52 am

I'd be dissatisfied as well.


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jared11235
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03 Oct 2022, 5:44 pm

I've been going through the process of getting tested for autism. It involved an initial one hour meeting where we talked about why I wanted to get tested, why I think I might have autism and lots of random stuff about my past and childhood. Then there was the day of the test where we spent 5 hours doing the WAIS-IV, ADOS-2, and the TOVA tests. Maybe there was other tests in there also but those were the names that I noticed on the boxes, books and printouts that were used. The testing day was last week and I expect about a two week delay where the results are reviewed and I get a final answer and report. I suspect that the testing that I went through was pretty typical for an adult looking for an autism diagnosis but I can't say for sure. The final price is expected to be somewhere around $2000.

If I had access to a professional opinion that was as simple as someone that knows me and is qualified confirming that I do actually have autism then that would have saved a lot of time and money since I don't really need an "official" diagnosis. I just want to know if this is real or all in my head. I guess it depends on how much you trust the opinion of your psychiatrist and how official of a diagnosis you need to be satisfied.