Self diagnosis? Please chat about getting real diagnosis

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Claire_Louise
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02 Sep 2010, 2:34 am

Hi, I am a self-diagnosed aspie. I have most, if not all the symptoms, and scored 168 (= most likely aspergers) on the internet test recommended by other posts.
I am very lonely, and feel like I don't fit in - I'm not neurotypical, but I don't have a formal aspergers diagnosis.
Any advice for getting a diagnosis?
Plus anyone else feel the same?
Thanks



adifferentname
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02 Sep 2010, 3:13 am

You might find this article helpful:

<click me>

I'm assuming that you'll need a refefral from a GP in New Zealand before you can see a specialist about any possible psychological or psychiatric concerns. My advice is to ask at the practice if any of the resident GPs are familiar with autism spectrum disorders. The first doctor I saw when I was seeking diagnosis became dismissive within approximately 2 minutes of meeting me as I wasn't "like my other patient who does have Asperger's". Needless to say, I sought another opinion.

Oh, and good luck!



Claire_Louise
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02 Sep 2010, 3:30 am

thanks a lot!
You're very helpful.
One other question - sorry:
Do you think I should seek a diagnosis at 15, so that I can get help from my school, or should I leave this battle until I can handle it better - say at 20?



Fluke83
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02 Sep 2010, 3:35 am

Definitely seek help while you're still in school!! It might actually help save the rest of your working life....



adifferentname
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02 Sep 2010, 3:46 am

Fluke83 wrote:
Definitely seek help while you're still in school!! It might actually help save the rest of your working life....


Agreed. Getting a diagnosis of Asperger's will qualify you for assistance throughout the rest of your education.

If I can make another assumption - well several in fact - I take it you haven't discussed this with you parents? When you go to see a doctor you're probably going to find it easier with their support than without it. If there's a reason you cannot discuss this with your parents, do you have a friend or other family member who you can count on for support?



Claire_Louise
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02 Sep 2010, 3:58 am

Yes, you're right, I haven't discussed this with my parents.
(Sorry if I offend people)
My mother has fought, since I was 2 years old, to keep my diagnosis at "dyspraxia" (a clumsiness disorder) and away from "autism."
At about the age of about 7, I found I could hide behind a carefully constructed mask, and be a weird, estremely egotistical kid who didn't care about what people though - essentially neurotypical.
I don't really feel comfortable talking to an adult, because they only really know the 'mask' side of me if you get what I mean.
But I just have this yearning to get a diagnosis, so people know that I'm not just a weird person. I want to belong.

P.S. Thank you for your amazing support, I really feel like you understand me :)



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02 Sep 2010, 4:24 am

Claire_Louise - I have an idea! On the Wrong Planet we have a recommended clinicians *sticky* and here's the direct link for you:

http://www.wrongplanet.net/postt66842.html

Of course, the decision is yours, but I really think it would be helpful for you to seek a diagnosis (Dx). I notice you're 15 so you'd need to broach this with your parents first, of course. Maybe show them the link above? You seem very bright for your age so I think you'll adjust well. The Wrong Planet is a good resource plus you'll have friends.

When seeking a formal Dx, it's good to bring along any medical records or related - - school records would be helpful too, if necessary. And what your own family/friends who've known you for a long time can add. Choose a diagnostician carefully; one that you trust and with experience. One cannot be treated without a formal Dx and this will become apparent to you later.

I notice you're in Australia - - might you consider Tony Attwood's clinic since he's the world's best? Google Tony Attwood if you have not already.


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02 Sep 2010, 4:34 am

Another idea:
Since you are still in school, try and find a teacher who you get along with, and who you think is smart and open minded enough to consider an idea. Someone who has seen some of your social troubles, too. Or a guidance counnsellor at the school, or extracurricular activity coach.. whoever you think most appropriate. Talk to them about Autism, bring supporting documents (one page maximum) to explain what it is to them, and the range of the spectrum: some will have a very stereotyped view of it and having the papers might help.

Tell them the reason you are talking to them is for an outside opinion, and that you hope to seek a diagnosis to help you in living in this crazy world of ours. And then ask this teacher if you can give your shrink the teacher's contact information (if the teacher agrees to support your pursuit).



Fluke83
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02 Sep 2010, 4:34 am

OH how I envy people in those countries where you don't HAVE TO go through your GP to be assessed for AS.... *sigh*

Hijack over..... :)



adifferentname
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02 Sep 2010, 4:39 am

Claire_Louise wrote:
Yes, you're right, I haven't discussed this with my parents.
(Sorry if I offend people)
My mother has fought, since I was 2 years old, to keep my diagnosis at "dyspraxia" (a clumsiness disorder) and away from "autism."
At about the age of about 7, I found I could hide behind a carefully constructed mask, and be a weird, estremely egotistical kid who didn't care about what people though - essentially neurotypical.
I don't really feel comfortable talking to an adult, because they only really know the 'mask' side of me if you get what I mean.
But I just have this yearning to get a diagnosis, so people know that I'm not just a weird person. I want to belong.

P.S. Thank you for your amazing support, I really feel like you understand me :)


I'm glad you feel that way. I might be socially inadequate, but I do remember what it was like to be 15! It's easier to empathise when faced with the familiar.

I suffer from Dyspraxia too. There is nothing quite like the feeling of sheer bafflement when you trip over your own feet, or spill a drink, place the now half-empty cup down to fetch a cloth, clean up the mess you've made only to tip the cup over when you reach out to pick it up. And how I've survived this long without breaking my neck on a flight of stairs I will never understand.

Sorry to hear about your mother's attitude towards autism. I had a different problem when I was 7 years old. My mother was aware that I wasn't like other children and struggled to get to the root of it.

The problem was that my language skills were a lot better than my peers, and my performance at school was similarly above average. The doctors told my mother that I would 'grow out' of the clumsiness and OCD behaviours, and that despite my reluctance to socialise with children my own age I seemed 'happy'. Had Asperger's been more widely understood back then it would have saved me a great deal of tribulation.

I understand what you mean when you talk about 'belonging', but I think that it's far more important to accept who you are rather than trying to shape yourself for the benefit of others. I'm lucky enough to have a couple of amazing friends who have been an absolute rock for me in times of need. I'm free to be myself around them, and who I am is likeable to them. The world is so much easier to deal with because of them being a part of it.

But I digress. The issue at hand is your need for a proper evaluation. You are entitled to see a doctor without your mother being present, but in the long-term I think it would be better to discuss this with her first. Be very patient with her, and explain that getting a formal diagnosis will be of huge benefit to you, especially regarding your chances of success in college or university. If she adamantly refuses to help you then you have no recourse but to go against her wishes. It is, after all, your needs that must be considered first.

Obviously there is pressure on you to maintain the status quo and respect her wishes, but you're 15 years old, and there are some decisions that you must make for yourself. You can still respect your mother's opinion whilst disagreeing with it. The choice, ultimately, is yours to make and she should respect that too.

Despite all that, a good doctor will understand if you feel it is necessary to go around your mother to get a diagnosis. If you genuinely can't raise the subject with her, try to at least take a friend along for support.



OddFiction
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02 Sep 2010, 4:39 am

Indeed! I had to see 3 GP's before i managed to get any to actually arrange a referral!
Gawd what a battle they put up... and the worst part is, they were immediately dismissive, never even asking "WHY do you think you have..." or even knowing anythiing about my life outside "appendix removed at borth, intestinal surgery, rash on leg and bike accident 6 years ago."



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02 Sep 2010, 4:44 am

Fluke83 wrote:
OH how I envy people in those countries where you don't HAVE TO go through your GP to be assessed for AS.... *sigh*

Hijack over..... :)


Ah but they don't get the awesome weather we... no, wait.
They're not as good as we are at footb...

Erm, is there anything this country is actually good at nowadays?



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02 Sep 2010, 5:00 am

LabPet wrote:
I notice you're in Australia - - might you consider Tony Attwood's clinic since he's the world's best? Google Tony Attwood if you have not already.


Um, she is in New Zealand, isn't she, which is an independent nation separated from Australia by 1300 miles of ocean. It is no more Australia than Canada is the US.

By the way, although I live in Australia, Tony Attwood is about as far from me as (say) Chicago is from New York - I wouldn't consider going to his clinic. Anyway, I believe he is booked out and you can only get appointments with the other psychologists in his clinic.

I expect that Claire_Louise would want to go to a specialist in Auckland, New Zealand. Given that Auckland is the biggest city in New Zealand, this is probably the best place in NZ to look for a specialist experienced in the autism spectrum.



kip
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02 Sep 2010, 6:59 am

adifferentname wrote:
Fluke83 wrote:
OH how I envy people in those countries where you don't HAVE TO go through your GP to be assessed for AS.... *sigh*

Hijack over..... :)


Ah but they don't get the awesome weather we... no, wait.
They're not as good as we are at footb...

Erm, is there anything this country is actually good at nowadays?


Making an arse of ourselves regularly.


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02 Sep 2010, 7:58 am

Claire_Louise wrote:
Yes, you're right, I haven't discussed this with my parents.
(Sorry if I offend people)
My mother has fought, since I was 2 years old, to keep my diagnosis at "dyspraxia" (a clumsiness disorder) and away from "autism."
At about the age of about 7, I found I could hide behind a carefully constructed mask, and be a weird, estremely egotistical kid who didn't care about what people though - essentially neurotypical.
I don't really feel comfortable talking to an adult, because they only really know the 'mask' side of me if you get what I mean.
But I just have this yearning to get a diagnosis, so people know that I'm not just a weird person. I want to belong.

P.S. Thank you for your amazing support, I really feel like you understand me :)


I have the same kind of mother, she actually did anything she could so that I would not be diagnose with anything. I thought for years that something was wrong with me, felt very bad about it and finally got diagnosed with dyspraxia (I still suspect Asperger or something close to that but it is hard to be diagnosed and I am afraid of my suspicions being right) at 20.

You are very young and could be helped if you were to be diagnosed with AS. Furthermore, you probably have both Dyspraxia and AS, it seems that a lot of AS have a learning disability, dyspraxia or ADD/ADHD along with AS.
Since you already have been diagnosed with dyspraxia, it may be more difficult to have another diagnosis because some specialists will see your behaviours as a consequence of your dyspraxia (furthermore, some of them do not diagnosed children/teenagers/adults with autism if they have another disorder).

Dyspraxia and Asperger can seem similar because they share some characteristics. I have also read that some dyspraxic may have difficulties with social interractions and suffer from social phobia due to their clumsiness. I actually think that AS-like Dyspraxic may be on the Broader Autism Spectrum or have Asperger but are misdiagnosed because of the "dyspraxia diagnosis".

Your parents will probably have to go with you in order to make a diagnosis, some specialists need to interview the parents to see whether what you have told was true or not, furthermore you are only 15.
It may be a problem with parents who are in total denial (such as you mother), I think you should try to talk about it to your mother or to tell her that you want to talk with a psychologist because you do not feel well psychologically and think it may help. You could talk to a psychologist about your suspicions but it could fail because the psychologist may not agree therefore you would not be able to tell your parents that a specialist suspect you have autism.
I really think you will have to convince your parents, even if you only tell your mother that you want to be sure that it is not Asperger but just Dyspraxia, she needs to understand that it is important to have a diagnosis when you suffer from a disability of any kind (I have suffered a lot not knowing about my dyspraxia and am still struggling with other problems).

I know it is hard for parents to face the fact that their child is not "normal" but she needs to understand that you need help and that denial will not make you more normal, that without her support you will not be able to improve and that you need answers just like many of us.

Anyway, I found this :
http://www.autismnz.org.nz/Autism-New-Z ... upport.php