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Autumnsteps
Velociraptor
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17 Mar 2010, 3:23 pm

I am seriously considering trying to get an official diagnosis and wondered if anyone an tell me what it would involve. For me I think that there will be advantages mostly at uni and work



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17 Mar 2010, 3:34 pm

I can't afford it but after being here on WP for a while, if I did seek an assessment I would insist on knowing how well versed the diagnostician is in AS. It's a complicated matter and I've seen people post about cursory appraisals and then being dismissed for reasons that don't take into account coping mechanisms learned over the years.



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17 Mar 2010, 3:45 pm

I am also interested in knowing this information. I have already been on the evil medication cycle that almost killed me, and I wish to get proper help. Thy often misdiagnose women Asperger's as some personality disorder and medicate it. I understand that it is possible that I don't even have AS, but I want that to be on the Doctor's mind to look for it and take it seriously at least.



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17 Mar 2010, 4:08 pm

I am currently working in the direction of an official diagnosis. I first had to clear it with my insurance and then make an appointment with an AS/Autism specialist. Unfortunately, the next available appointment was in June, so I have a while to wait. Also, they require that I make 2 appointments - the first and then a second one week later. I'm not sure why but I think maybe to go over assessment results, etc. Someone else here went to their university psychology center and was diagnosed. The university here doesn't seem to focus on adult aspergers, but it is less expensive. Hope this helps.



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17 Mar 2010, 4:55 pm

I know there is research at UNC, Chapel Hill, but I will have to look into what they do. I actually receive medical care at the VA. I will have to wait a long time for any appointments though. They are way behind. Who knows how long I will have to wait to see a psychiatrist, and who knows if any of them are ASD specialists.



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17 Mar 2010, 5:10 pm

Quote:
It's a complicated matter and I've seen people post about cursory appraisals and then being dismissed for reasons that don't take into account coping mechanisms learned over the years.


I was diagnosed at 19 with AS. My symptoms were then thought to be moderate/severe (on the AS scale, not the autistic spectrum.) I have learnt many coping mechanisms over the years, partly because I am a girl (apparently we pick social things up more than boys) and also because I have Tourettes with ADD as well and that usually gives me so much energy and need for attention that I almost have to forget my AS.

With regards to a diagnosis, if it is what you REALLY want, pursue it. If you are just worried about a few people who doubt you, maybe don't bother. It is a logn and difficult process (at least in the UK) and you might be told something you don't like. I was once diagnosed with 'AS traits' and I went mad! Be aware as well that Personality disorders seem to be the 'cool' diagnosis of this decade... I've had that one used on me.

Whatever you decide, good luck! :)


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17 Mar 2010, 5:40 pm

Jellybean wrote:
Quote:
It's a complicated matter and I've seen people post about cursory appraisals and then being dismissed for reasons that don't take into account coping mechanisms learned over the years.


I was diagnosed at 19 with AS. My symptoms were then thought to be moderate/severe (on the AS scale, not the autistic spectrum.) I have learnt many coping mechanisms over the years, partly because I am a girl (apparently we pick social things up more than boys) and also because I have Tourettes with ADD as well and that usually gives me so much energy and need for attention that I almost have to forget my AS.

With regards to a diagnosis, if it is what you REALLY want, pursue it. If you are just worried about a few people who doubt you, maybe don't bother. It is a logn and difficult process (at least in the UK) and you might be told something you don't like. I was once diagnosed with 'AS traits' and I went mad! Be aware as well that Personality disorders seem to be the 'cool' diagnosis of this decade... I've had that one used on me.

Whatever you decide, good luck! :)


I don't really "need" a diagnosis in a purely practical sense. It's more a desire to be understood. I have had a lifetime of feeling so incredibly deficient in matters that I can't seem to overcome even though I have been frequently told all I lack is self confidence. At my age I know better. What is considered successful and even normal by NT standards is more than I can manage. It's really like another world that I'll never be a part of. I had my first real boyfriend at age 40 :? and that one and only real relationship did not last for very long. I'm 52, so the people who don't care about me have already categorized me as "loser" and the people that do care about me don't care if I'm successful or not. My primary interest in a diagnosis would be simply validation. Besides, it's not all about Asperger's. I just think I'm on the spectrum somewhere, probably PDD-NOS. I have the routine and repetitive movements but not to a truly disabling degree. The social I have all the attributes and the communication I have to a significant degree.



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17 Mar 2010, 6:07 pm

Aimless wrote:


I don't really "need" a diagnosis in a purely practical sense. It's more a desire to be understood. I have had a lifetime of feeling so incredibly deficient in matters that I can't seem to overcome even though I have been frequently told all I lack is self confidence. At my age I know better. What is considered successful and even normal by NT standards is more than I can manage. It's really like another world that I'll never be a part of. I had my first real boyfriend at age 40 :? and that one and only real relationship did not last for very long. I'm 52, so the people who don't care about me have already categorized me as "loser" and the people that do care about me don't care if I'm successful or not. My primary interest in a diagnosis would be simply validation. Besides, it's not all about Asperger's. I just think I'm on the spectrum somewhere, probably PDD-NOS. I have the routine and repetitive movements but not to a truly disabling degree. The social I have all the attributes and the communication I have to a significant degree.


I completely understand what you mean. I have already been diagnosed with depression and bipolar disorder, and a psychiatrist I saw last mentioned he thought i was "borderline autistic". I have not encountered that term in any of my research though. I am having a lot of trouble coping with life in general right now, and I fit the criteria. I think I might be able to get better counseling (more appropriate counseling) and, if necessary, the proper meds if I have the correct diagnosis rather than be put on medications that are damaging and may cause other problems for my health. If nothing else, the evaluation would rule out the possibility.

AND I want that Aspie certificate to hang on my wall :wink:



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17 Mar 2010, 6:10 pm

I'm in the process of obtaining a diagnosis through participating in a university study. I suppose I don't really "need" a diagnosis either, since I'm about as well-adjusted as I'll ever be (33, married, with a full-time job). I suspect that if ASD were better-understood in the 1980s, I may have been diagnosed when I was younger. However, it wasn't, and I wasn't, and I basically had to learn to cope, which I did largely through hanging out with people who shared my special interests and appreciated my abilities. A year or so ago, I read an account published by a journalist who was diagnosed with Asperger's in her 40s. It sounded very familiar - the strategies she adopted, and the way that, as an adult, she was perceived as eccentric and a little aloof, but not necessarily what most people regard as autistic. I kind of forgot about it, though, until I found out that my sister, a teacher, has long suspected that I may be on the spectrum. I started doing the research and hanging out here, I debated about getting diagnosed, and balked at the cost, especially considering that there really isn't much to be gained by an adult diagnosis if you're functional enough to have made it through college and hold down a job. However, I learned that it would cost me nothing to participate in this study, and if nothing else, it would clear up quite a few aspects of my life. So I suppose I'm doing this more out of curiosity about myself than anything else.



alternatenick
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17 Mar 2010, 6:14 pm

At the moment, I'm working towards finding out what I have, if anything. My psychiatrist is apparently going the route of trying to determine if there are any other possible conditions or combinations of conditions that could be causing the symptoms that I have. So yeah, this'll take a while and probably a good bit of money. I don't like to declare anything until I'm sure (don't want to be thought a fraud or faker or anything.), so i selected NT in my profile. :/

EDIT: There's a certificate? :|



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17 Mar 2010, 7:11 pm

pumibel wrote:
Aimless wrote:


I don't really "need" a diagnosis in a purely practical sense. It's more a desire to be understood. I have had a lifetime of feeling so incredibly deficient in matters that I can't seem to overcome even though I have been frequently told all I lack is self confidence. At my age I know better. What is considered successful and even normal by NT standards is more than I can manage. It's really like another world that I'll never be a part of. I had my first real boyfriend at age 40 :? and that one and only real relationship did not last for very long. I'm 52, so the people who don't care about me have already categorized me as "loser" and the people that do care about me don't care if I'm successful or not. My primary interest in a diagnosis would be simply validation. Besides, it's not all about Asperger's. I just think I'm on the spectrum somewhere, probably PDD-NOS. I have the routine and repetitive movements but not to a truly disabling degree. The social I have all the attributes and the communication I have to a significant degree.


I completely understand what you mean. I have already been diagnosed with depression and bipolar disorder, and a psychiatrist I saw last mentioned he thought i was "borderline autistic". I have not encountered that term in any of my research though. I am having a lot of trouble coping with life in general right now, and I fit the criteria. I think I might be able to get better counseling (more appropriate counseling) and, if necessary, the proper meds if I have the correct diagnosis rather than be put on medications that are damaging and may cause other problems for my health. If nothing else, the evaluation would rule out the possibility.

AND I want that Aspie certificate to hang on my wall :wink:


I've been researching autism for 7 years, ever since my son was diagnosed. Much of what I've learned from WP alone is that I share many characteristics that I never realized were associated with autism. It's like I have this puzzle and I'm finding more and more pieces that fit.That is beside the obvious social deficits, which I've been acutely aware of since I was 5.



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17 Mar 2010, 7:22 pm

^^Yeah the pieces all fit for me too. I was coping with life fine up until a few years ago. I had to leave my job and I was unemployed for the first time in my adult life. I think the fact that I worked with people who appreciated my strange quirks and catalog memory had kept me gainfully employed after leaving the military. My same unit hired me after I transitioned. Now it is another story. I do not cope well at all in the area where I live. I have a college degree and I am very talented, if I may say so myself, but I don't get on well in the public sector. If I were making a lot of money freelance I wouldn't care for a diagnosis either, but I could not live on what I make if I were to move out of my mother's house.

Quote:
EDIT: There's a certificate? Neutral

That was a joke, BTW



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17 Mar 2010, 7:33 pm

pumibel wrote:
^^Yeah the pieces all fit for me too. I was coping with life fine up until a few years ago. I had to leave my job and I was unemployed for the first time in my adult life. I think the fact that I worked with people who appreciated my strange quirks and catalog memory had kept me gainfully employed after leaving the military. My same unit hired me after I transitioned. Now it is another story. I do not cope well at all in the area where I live. I have a college degree and I am very talented, if I may say so myself, but I don't get on well in the public sector. If I were making a lot of money freelance I wouldn't care for a diagnosis either, but I could not live on what I make if I were to move out of my mother's house.

Quote:
EDIT: There's a certificate? Neutral

That was a joke, BTW


My biggest practical problem at this point is exhaustion and inertia. I have to nap every day and I don't work a full 40. Going to the grocery store wears me down. Nobody cares anymore if I'm social. I have a college degree but it was in painting and printmaking and wasn't academically stressful. I clean offices now. I don't see any way I would fit in an office situation with my executive dysfunction and any office politics are going to go completely over my head.



alternatenick
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17 Mar 2010, 7:34 pm

Oh. Well, I don't know how the whole thing with diagnosis and all that works so I didn't know if there was maybe some kind of official documentation or something. :p I suppose a CERTIFICATE would be a bit silly, though.



Brennan
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17 Mar 2010, 7:42 pm

I have just started the diagnosis pathway - have just gotten referred to a pysch by my GP.

The reason I'm doing it is that I'm just not coping anymore. My anxiety has gotten worse and I'm avoid social interaction because I just don't want to deal with the hard work it takes me to interact with people. A diagnosis isn't going to change that, but the therapy I will hopefully receive after my diagnosis will.



Autumnsteps
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18 Mar 2010, 3:33 am

Thanks everyone. My main reasons are for the extra understanding it will give me... the fact that my open uni tutor will understand why I don't go to the tutorials and I'll be able to ask for alternative, not seeming quite so odd or somehow defective to people because I'm 'anti-social' and when I finish my degree hoping work issues can be eased and in a way it'd just make life easier I can say I have aspergers/am autistic rather than try to explain why I don't 'need' to go out and meet people/have fun and so on and that I am fine just as I am. People will just let it be instead of going on. On a personal level I spent a long time being told I was defective/broken/stupid/weird/useless... and it'd be nice to know for a fact that wasn't true, that I'm just different, something real makes me this way. I hope it could help my gf understand me better too, though I still haven't really told her that I suspect it :? In a lot of cases I can just say I have aspergers but in some, like extra help at uni I need official proof. To be honest I don't know what to do, especially if it came out that they said it wasn't something else when I know it's not. I wouldn't even know what to say to the doctor in the start :( I don't know how to voice what I think or feel or how I can say the symptoms fit me. It's all in my head but I don't know how to get it out. Also as I'm 30 and have 3 kids, had long term relationships and mostly appear normal I'm worried that they won't believe me or will cause problems if they think I shouldn't be looking after kids or something