I would like to become officially diagnosed. How to?

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polymathpoolplayer
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10 Sep 2009, 11:25 am

I have been "researching" Asperger's for about 4 months now and am totally convinced I do have it. I "pass" all the online tests, my experiences match others' who post here on WP, and reading a lot of posts has me convinced that you are all more my family than my real one.

I want to know what I can expect in terms of how much waiting time to actually get to meet with a psych and do the test(s) and also the cost of the meeting (in U.S.$)

Seems my niece who is kind of in the profession has to know more than me and be right (and in denial). BTW my oldest sister's second son used to head-bang and it took him until 8 or 9 to properly say the letter "r". We're talking pre-diagnosis era aged people so stubbornness and "my family DOESN'T have autism" go hand in hand.

To Duke666: since you're in California as I am, maybe you'd know something about the local situation. TYIA. :)



polymathpoolplayer
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10 Sep 2009, 1:05 pm

OK I obviously posted this in the wrong place.

COULD A MODERATOR PLEASE MOVE IT.

Thanks



bhetti
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10 Sep 2009, 1:39 pm

not wrong place.

there are a couple of recent discussions about this. I can share what I've been through.

I've been seeing a therapist for several years for PTSD and anxiety disorder. recently I got in touch with my long-lost brother, who's been dx'd with AS. it got me thinking about the similarities between us, so I started doing research and concluded I have it as well. I took the information to my therapist, who initially wouldn't consider it but went through the diagnostic criteria with me and concluded I am correct. she had my psychiatrist go over the criteria as well and he concluded I'm on the spectrum but he's not qualified to determine where, since I also show signs of OCD and ADHD, so he referred me to a psychologist.

it took some time to find someone who could do adult assessments, and I found my insurance would cover only a small fraction because the person was out of network. what I did find though by talking to various professionals is that I need to see a neuropsychologist, so I went to my insurance company and got names and am now set up to get assessed in November. because the neuropsychologist I'm seeing is in network, the cost will be minimal.



polymathpoolplayer
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10 Sep 2009, 2:02 pm

bhetti wrote:
not wrong place.

there are a couple of recent discussions about this. I can share what I've been through.

I've been seeing a therapist for several years for PTSD and anxiety disorder. recently I got in touch with my long-lost brother, who's been dx'd with AS. it got me thinking about the similarities between us, so I started doing research and concluded I have it as well. I took the information to my therapist, who initially wouldn't consider it but went through the diagnostic criteria with me and concluded I am correct. she had my psychiatrist go over the criteria as well and he concluded I'm on the spectrum but he's not qualified to determine where, since I also show signs of OCD and ADHD, so he referred me to a psychologist.

it took some time to find someone who could do adult assessments, and I found my insurance would cover only a small fraction because the person was out of network. what I did find though by talking to various professionals is that I need to see a neuropsychologist, so I went to my insurance company and got names and am now set up to get assessed in November. because the neuropsychologist I'm seeing is in network, the cost will be minimal.


Insurance is not in the picture. I am receiving county health coverage due to certain factors so I'd have to see if the particular county covers things like this (I doubt it). Would cold-calling someone in the phone book work?



bhetti
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10 Sep 2009, 2:16 pm

that's how I initially started, and if someone couldn't help I asked if they knew of anyone working with spectrum adults, then I called them and so on. probably 20 calls in all before I found 2 professionals in my area who could do the assessments for me, since the majority work only with kids. the quoted cost range for a full assessment was $1200-1500.



Last edited by bhetti on 10 Sep 2009, 2:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bhetti
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10 Sep 2009, 2:18 pm

also if you have county health insurance, perhaps call them and ask if they have adult autism specialists or neuropsychologists on their provider list.



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10 Sep 2009, 3:40 pm

I'm not sure what 'County Health Insurance' is, but in my area there are Mental Health facilities who are non-profit, or accept subsidies from the government, therefore they take clients at a discounted rate or for free. In my case, being unemployed, it cost me nothing but a load of paperwork.

Initially I went to see a therapist for chronic depression, but early on asked her to consider whether or not I might have AS, as I was fairly convinced I probably did. After about three months of observation and interviews, she agreed I was likely correct and scheduled an appointment for me to meet their facility's licensed psychologist, who then conducted a battery of tests and formally diagnosed me.

The Mental Health Facility I go to is actually called a 'Counseling and Guidance Center'. You might look for something similar in your area. Good luck!



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10 Sep 2009, 4:10 pm

My experience was psychiatrist referring me to a neurologist, who sent me to another neurologist, who sent me on to a neurologist specializing in autism. The one step I didn't take, due to costs and other issues, was the evaluation by a neuropsychologist, though the neurologists told me that the evaluation would assess the nature and severity of my AS, not diagnose it.

Like Willard, my area has non-profit mental health facilities that will evaluate and treat people at discounted rates. Unfortunately, the facilities where I live handle only routine mental health issues, and do not evaluate adults for conditions like AS.

Hope your area has a happy combination of capable and affordable specialists.



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10 Sep 2009, 5:28 pm

May I ask why you want to be professionally diagnosed? If you live in the P.S.A. (U.S.), there are essentially no services available for autistic adults. In fact, having an official diagnosis will very likely cause you to be DENIED health insurance. In many jobs that provide health insurance, you will likely be denied the job or fired for "unrelated reasons" if Aspergers or autism diagnosis is disclosed or found out. This is because such a diagnosis will drive up the cost of the insurance. Being an Aspie or Autie will also very likely prevent you from being allowed to serve in the military.

"Professionals" use basically the same basis that the tests online use. If online tests indicate you are on the spectrum, you very likely are. I've known that I was autistic since early childhood. In fact, I was diagnosed with autistic "disorder" when I was 3. The record of my diagnosis were lost in a move from one state to another. I was re-diagnosed on the spot when I went to a neurologist for an unrelated condition. The doctor asked if I had a history of autism. I stupidly told him that I did and asked him how did he know. He said that it was obvious from the way I speak and my mannerisms. Later that week, I took several online Aspie and autism test, and I scored very high on each.

Unless you require a diagnosis for a specific benefit such as trying to apply for disability (good luck), avoiding a possible future draft, or in order to prevent being thrown out of the house by your family, then I reccomend staying away from such a diagnosis. From everything that I have seen, the online tests are very accurate. In fact, most are written on criteria given by licensed psychologists specializing in autism. If personal satisfaction is the main motivation, then I recommend sticking to the online diagnosis. Remember, it does not take a professional meteorologist to advise you that the sky is blue. All you have to do is look and see for yourself. Use the online tests designed by the psychologists as your guide.


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polymathpoolplayer
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10 Sep 2009, 6:09 pm

cyberscan wrote:
May I ask why you want to be professionally diagnosed? If you live in the P.S.A. (U.S.), there are essentially no services available for autistic adults. In fact, having an official diagnosis will very likely cause you to be DENIED health insurance. In many jobs that provide health insurance, you will likely be denied the job or fired for "unrelated reasons" if Aspergers or autism diagnosis is disclosed or found out. This is because such a diagnosis will drive up the cost of the insurance. Being an Aspie or Autie will also very likely prevent you from being allowed to serve in the military.

"Professionals" use basically the same basis that the tests online use. If online tests indicate you are on the spectrum, you very likely are. I've known that I was autistic since early childhood. In fact, I was diagnosed with autistic "disorder" when I was 3. The record of my diagnosis were lost in a move from one state to another. I was re-diagnosed on the spot when I went to a neurologist for an unrelated condition. The doctor asked if I had a history of autism. I stupidly told him that I did and asked him how did he know. He said that it was obvious from the way I speak and my mannerisms. Later that week, I took several online Aspie and autism test, and I scored very high on each.

Unless you require a diagnosis for a specific benefit such as trying to apply for disability (good luck), avoiding a possible future draft, or in order to prevent being thrown out of the house by your family, then I reccomend staying away from such a diagnosis. From everything that I have seen, the online tests are very accurate. In fact, most are written on criteria given by licensed psychologists specializing in autism. If personal satisfaction is the main motivation, then I recommend sticking to the online diagnosis. Remember, it does not take a professional meteorologist to advise you that the sky is blue.

All you have to do is look and see for yourself. Use the online tests designed by the psychologists as your guide.


Thanks very much for your input. The real reason I want the diagnosis is my family is in denial - my niece is a know-it-all in the pysch profession who says basically nobody will believe me without the real diagnosis. I am well past drafting age and I am self-employed teaching piano. I just want the diagnosis to rub it in their faces.



cyberscan
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10 Sep 2009, 6:33 pm

polymathpoolplayer wrote:

Thanks very much for your input. The real reason I want the diagnosis is my family is in denial - my niece is a know-it-all in the pysch profession who says basically nobody will believe me without the real diagnosis. I am well past drafting age and I am self-employed teaching piano. I just want the diagnosis to rub it in their faces.


Can you show her and other family members the test and ask for their opinion? You may want to inform them that the online tests were based upon designs by Simon Baron Cohen, a pre-eminent autism expert. You may want to ask your neice what she thinks is wrong with the online tests. You might also have her come onto this forum and talk to me. I will be glad to answer her questions. If you decide to get the "real" diagnosis, you may consider paying cash and using a mispelling of your name as well as a different address. You may want to consider leaving your ID at home as well. Unfortunately, this may also lead to a diagnosis of paranoia, but at least it will keep you from being labelled ineligible for getting insurance. Just consider the price of "rubbing it in their face" your eligibility to get health insurance. If you do decide to get an official diagnosis, then I wish you luck :-)


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I am also the author of "Tech Tactics Money Saving Secrets" and "Tech Tactics Publishing and Production Secrets."


polymathpoolplayer
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10 Sep 2009, 6:41 pm

cyberscan wrote:
polymathpoolplayer wrote:

Thanks very much for your input. The real reason I want the diagnosis is my family is in denial - my niece is a know-it-all in the pysch profession who says basically nobody will believe me without the real diagnosis. I am well past drafting age and I am self-employed teaching piano. I just want the diagnosis to rub it in their faces.


Can you show her and other family members the test and ask for their opinion? You may want to inform them that the online tests were based upon designs by Simon Baron Cohen, a pre-eminent autism expert. You may want to ask your neice what she thinks is wrong with the online tests. You might also have her come onto this forum and talk to me. I will be glad to answer her questions. If you decide to get the "real" diagnosis, you may consider paying cash and using a mispelling of your name as well as a different address. You may want to consider leaving your ID at home as well. Unfortunately, this may also lead to a diagnosis of paranoia, but at least it will keep you from being labelled ineligible for getting insurance. Just consider the price of "rubbing it in their face" your eligibility to get health insurance. If you do decide to get an official diagnosis, then I wish you luck :-)


Thanks for your kind attention to my issues but I just sent my sister a kiss-off goodbye email. There are other dynamics going on where they perceive me as weak so I am done with them for good and right now I am glowing with the power I just re-claimed.

BTW they don't consider that I, the person with the issue, has the right to know what I suffer from or even should have the perception to know for sure in my gut. They are the types who think only experts should have a voice. They are people who waste space, signifying nothing of importance.

I've found my family online here and it feels really good!



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10 Sep 2009, 7:13 pm

cyberscan wrote:
May I ask why you want to be professionally diagnosed? If you live in the P.S.A. (U.S.), there are essentially no services available for autistic adults.


I beg to differ. AS that causes legitimate difficulties obtaining or maintaining employment can qualify for SSDI (disability). Living on disability income qualifies for other programs like HUD housing and food stamps. Not the greatest life one might wish for, but then neither is being psychologically and verbalized abused by ignorant bosses and coworkers and fired every few months like clockwork for being different.



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10 Sep 2009, 8:27 pm

Willard wrote:
cyberscan wrote:
May I ask why you want to be professionally diagnosed? If you live in the P.S.A. (U.S.), there are essentially no services available for autistic adults.


I beg to differ. AS that causes legitimate difficulties obtaining or maintaining employment can qualify for SSDI (disability). Living on disability income qualifies for other programs like HUD housing and food stamps. Not the greatest life one might wish for, but then neither is being psychologically and verbalized abused by ignorant bosses and coworkers and fired every few months like clockwork for being different.


If you need a formal diagnosis in order to apply for disability, then I am all for it. Unfortunately getting a diagnosis and applying for disability is a huge gamble. You may or may not get the disability. However, if you do not get disability payments, then you will not only not have those benefits, but you will also suffer the consequences of being labelled autistic. I am labled as having autistic disorder, seizure disorder, migraine headaches, phonophobia, as well as other conditions, and I have been denied SSDI. That is why I advise people not to get the official diagnosis unless there is some finacial or physical benefit for doing so.


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bhetti
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10 Sep 2009, 9:14 pm

Willard wrote:
cyberscan wrote:
May I ask why you want to be professionally diagnosed? If you live in the P.S.A. (U.S.), there are essentially no services available for autistic adults.


I beg to differ. AS that causes legitimate difficulties obtaining or maintaining employment can qualify for SSDI (disability). Living on disability income qualifies for other programs like HUD housing and food stamps. Not the greatest life one might wish for, but then neither is being psychologically and verbalized abused by ignorant bosses and coworkers and fired every few months like clockwork for being different.
yep, and there is also voc rehab and the ADA, which is the route I hope to take. if it doesn't work out, I won't lose the disability stipend.



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10 Sep 2009, 9:47 pm

polymathpoolplayer wrote:
The real reason I want the diagnosis is my family is in denial - my niece is a know-it-all in the pysch profession who says basically nobody will believe me without the real diagnosis. I am well past drafting age and I am self-employed teaching piano. I just want the diagnosis to rub it in their faces.


Good luck with that. My family is in denial about a great many things involving me. They insist I go into therapy because of all my "problems", then tell me there is nothing wrong with me. Each has his/her own explanation for me, reflecting more about their personalities and issues than anything involving me per se. I am in contact with three family members at this point. And that number may shrink, unfortunately.

Each family is different. But carefully consider how your family may react to a diagnosis before you go through the time and effort (plus costs) of getting one.