First psychologist appointment - eep!

Page 1 of 1 [ 8 posts ] 

spaceappleseed
Blue Jay
Blue Jay

User avatar

Joined: 31 Oct 2011
Age: 32
Gender: Female
Posts: 83
Location: Knoxville, TN

03 Nov 2011, 1:37 pm

Hi guys, I'm new here and need some advice/support. After several months of looking for a psychologist who deals with adult Aperger Syndrome, I finally found someone. She specializes in psychological and neuropsychological evaluation and has experience with autism spectrum disorders in all ages.

I just made my first appointment for next Friday, and I am super nervous. It makes me nervous to go to doctors as it is, and I've never seen a psychologist before so I have no idea what to expect. I really hope it doesn't turn into a misdiagnosis fest like many of you have had to deal with; does she sound like a good choice? I'm also worried about what kinds of things she will ask, especially since I am not good at all with open ended questions. I guess I'm most worried that she'll say I don't have Asperger's at all and think that I'm crazy or made it all up.

Did anyone else feel like this before being diagnosed? What should I expect at my appointments (she said it usually takes 3 to make a diagnosis)? I could really use some reassurance right now.



ainsel
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 10 Oct 2011
Age: 24
Gender: Female
Posts: 37
Location: New Jersey

03 Nov 2011, 2:05 pm

Don't worry. I was nervous before my first appointment too. It's not as scary as you think it will be. Usually for the first appointment they just ask you why you decided to start seeing them and some basic questions about yourself so they can get to know you. It's especially good that your psychologist specializes in AS because she will probably understand your Asperger's. My therapist doesn't specialize in it, but she has a son who is autistic so she knows a lot about it. She understands if I have trouble answering questions sometimes and gives me time to think. If I'm having trouble with a question (talking about feelings is really hard, even for NTs!) she usually asks some more specific follow-up questions to help me figure out what I'm trying to say. She even had me draw a picture of my feelings, since I communicate better visually than I do with words. Psychologists are generally very understanding, patient people, so don't be afraid of them. Good luck with your appointment and, trust me, it will be worth it in the end.



AardvarkGoodSwimmer
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Apr 2009
Gender: Male
Posts: 7,260
Location: Houston, Texas

03 Nov 2011, 3:06 pm

Maybe make a list of the three biggest reasons you might be on the spectrum, and the three biggest reasons why you might not be?



Ai_Ling
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 15 Nov 2010
Age: 31
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,901

03 Nov 2011, 3:14 pm

Don't worry, they'll just be doing an evaluation of your history, and wanting to know the intentions of why your there. They wont ask general questions for the most part, if they do you can tell them to be more specific. You should figure out reasons why you think your aspie beforehand. They'll likely have you take some tests. And they'll be evaluating your behavior to see if you exhibit aspergers like behavior. I don't know if you normally use NT masks for the outside, but going in for a aspergers diagnosis is one place not to use the NT mask.



AdamDZ
Toucan
Toucan

User avatar

Joined: 25 Oct 2011
Age: 52
Gender: Male
Posts: 268

03 Nov 2011, 3:20 pm

I've been seeing a psychiatrist for years and recently started seeing a psychologist for cognitive therapy. It was the psychologist who hinted that I might have Aspergers. Then I went to a center for autism for testing and also spoke to a psychologist during a pre-test evaluation. Both psychologists seemed like a lot more knowledgeable and pleasant people than the psychiatrist, who still disagrees with the AS pre-diagnosis. I'm due for testing in December. I'd say try to relax, it's not the end of the world. A word of advice: I was asked all kinds of questions about my childhood development that I didn't have answers for. I had to ask my mother later. So make sure you know that kind of stuff.



spaceappleseed
Blue Jay
Blue Jay

User avatar

Joined: 31 Oct 2011
Age: 32
Gender: Female
Posts: 83
Location: Knoxville, TN

03 Nov 2011, 3:23 pm

I've taken all the online tests I could find including professional diagnostic ones, and they always say that I'm definitely on the spectrum. Is that something that would be good to mention?



glider18
Supporting Member
Supporting Member

Joined: 8 Nov 2008
Gender: Male
Posts: 7,937
Location: Ohio

03 Nov 2011, 3:32 pm

Let me begin by saying that I do not believe you have anything to worry about. The important thing is to try and relax.

Now...my experience.

Like you, I was very nervous about my appointment. Also like you, I found someone with experience in the autism spectrum---Asperger's.

I was diagnosed on two criteria: the DSM-IV and the Gilliberg (I think that's how it's spelled). After thorough analysis I was given the diagnosis of Asperger's. I then underwent some therapy for issues that I wanted help with. And I actually enjoyed the sessions because I found them relaxing. It was nice to have someone listen to my issues and concerns and then receive support and advice and coaching.


_________________
"My journey has just begun."


AardvarkGoodSwimmer
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Apr 2009
Gender: Male
Posts: 7,260
Location: Houston, Texas

03 Nov 2011, 3:45 pm

spaceappleseed wrote:
I've taken all the online tests I could find including professional diagnostic ones, and they always say that I'm definitely on the spectrum. Is that something that would be good to mention?

I think that's a good line of evidence. It's not slam dunk, but then nothing is.

And really, if you get a chance, take a look at the DSM IV on autism spectrum. I don't think it's anything special. It's generally information and I could make a diagnosis for myself as well as a so-called professional. (I classify myself as self-diagnosed and that's fine for where I am in my life.)

So, give this professional a chance. She might be good. But don't over-invest.