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Ettina
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13 Jun 2012, 8:25 am

Quote:
I'm not sure I need want any more labels - I'm currently trying to get rid of most of the existing labels I have


It may be easier to get rid of those labels if you can point to Asperger Syndrome as an alternate explanation.



horsegurl4190
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19 Jun 2012, 6:51 pm

I referred myself for diagnosis just this past spring semester of my senior year of undergrad. I had suspected I was somewhere on the spectrum and I just got to the point where I wanted a dead set answer. I was diagnosed with AS as I expected and unexpectedly but not surprisingly mathematics disorder. I was was extremely happy about both diagnoses. At my school's Counseling and Psychological Services you can get assessed without paying through insurance if you join an ASD therapy session. I joined the ASD group therapy all spring semester and to be honest it became the highlight of my week. I was talking with people exactly like me in a lot of ways. I'm for ASD diagnoses, but I know not all feel the same.



TalksToCats
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20 Jun 2012, 3:11 am

I just wanted to say thanks again to everyone for all your feedback here it was really useful.

I think I've pretty much decided to try and get a referral for diagnosis - I'm not even sure I can get this yet. I'm due to see my psychologist again very soon so will ask her, last time I saw her I got the impression she would refer me if asked.

Reading peoples posts here there is just too much I recognise in myself, at times it's really uncanny - and as others have said before I'm really not used to finding people who think / feel like I do.

Maybe I just want to identify with someone desperately and it's not really true (I'm open to this possibility - I know have felt rejected an outsider for so long and so often I'm sure there is an evolved human part that just wants to feel I'm part of a group somewhere...) However, it does feel like it's more than that - as other people have said - suddenly a lot things finally seem to make sense.

I'm also sure if I am diagnosed it will definitely be at the 'mild' end of the spectrum, I even think it's possible they might say well you're on the spectrum just but you've adapted so well now we can't give you a formal diagnosis because you function too well in society. Anyone had this experience?

The reason I'm reaching this decision to seek diagnosis though is that I think that the ways I need to adapt to handle the anxiety, stress and depressive episodes I often experience might work better if tailored correctly - if I am actually on the autism spectrum I think these methods might need to be somewhat different to if I'm not. So I think that knowing one way or the other might help.

For me as I really want to continue to have a career in my chosen field of interest if possible I really want all the available tools so I can do this. I really want to do this - even if I have to make substantial adaptations to do it - and I don't want to find myself getting completely overwhelmed again and having to give up something I'm good at (as has happened in jobs at least twice before - and nearly every time I've done advanced study - I've always managed to scrape through at the end on the study stuff somehow). I want the best toolbox available to get the most out of my life - I'm only 40 - I feel like I've got a lot of life left to live. I'm hoping a diagnosis, or not, will mean I understand myself better - I'll a better tool set as it were.

With the [other] physical condition I have, it is very particular and rare, and can be mistaken for other things - having that diagnosed made a massive difference to me for managing it so I think that a diagnosis as being on the spectrum (or not) would help me too.

From what people say it sounds like you get a long report about your results of the assessment, I think I'd find this really helpful too- I'd be assessed in the UK by a local autism centre - UK people do you know if you get a report like this here too?



Jasmine90
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20 Jun 2012, 4:16 am

If you can afford it, do it, if you can't, don't. How different will your life be?



outofplace
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20 Jun 2012, 4:25 am

I am actually going through the same questions right now myself. However, in the US, there are other minefields to navigate that you don't have in the UK. While there are certain benefits to a diagnosis like accommodations in educational settings, there are also certain negatives I see as well. One of them is whether or not the law would consider me mentally competent to own a firearm. If not, then there would be a significant restriction on my liberty from a diagnosis. Then there is the question of it being a pre-existing condition that may make employment difficult, even though my only real impairments are in organization and socialization. Would I like to know for certain? Yes, but only if the data never went into a searchable database. At that point I could consider what to do with the information and go from there. As I am an older, returning student, it would likely be helpful to know and take advantage of accommodations made for someone with attention span issues. It would also help me understand my strengths and weaknesses in choosing a good career path.

PS: Sorry to go off on a tangent about myself but it's all I could think to write.


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TalksToCats
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20 Jun 2012, 5:50 am

[quote="Jasmine90"]If you can afford it, do it, if you can't, don't. How different will your life be?[/quote]

Cost is not an issue at the minute if it 's decided I'm eligible for referral I'll get it free on the NHS.

Will my life change - I would understand myself better by ruling something in or ruling it out. This might make me more empowered and less stressed out.

Outofplace - I really hadn't thought about the gun ownership issue in the US - but I can see how that would be a very important issue for some, insurance seems to be a much bigger issue for US people too compared to quite a few other places.

I'm not aware of anything in the UK I'd want to do I'd be prevented from doing as a result of diagnosis so it could be quite empowering, it would probably be easier to get accommodations at work if I needed them.

I feel quite strongly about equal rights and fair treatment, if I was diagnosed, and then found myself being denied something I was previously allowed to do, I'd be likely to start protesting quite loudly. After all, I would still be the same, probably better as I'd understand my stress triggers much better, the only difference would be the report with the diagnosis on it.



DonQuoteme
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20 Jun 2012, 9:03 am

I have been suspecting I have Aspergers for probably two or three years now. I too am keen to get an official diagnosis. My family are all negative about it: either scoffing that I could have it, or thinking I am trying to use it as an excuse for my weird behaviour.

I live only a short distance from a clinic connected with the Asperger guru Tony Attwood, but the costs to get myself diagnosed there would be way out of my league. Also they are fully booked up with younger patients (I'm mature age). But just a few days ago I found another Aspergers clinic that bulk bills, so hopefully things should get underway in a few weeks time when they open their new offices.

I'm quite fearful that they'll tell me, "No, you've just got social anxiety". Although I know with every fibre of my being that I have Aspergers.

I guess I need to know for a couple of reasons: Firstly, it's important to me because it will confirm to me that there's a reason for me being such a XXXX-up. I'd hate to think I was totally responsible for all the inane choices I've made in life. Secondly, I can't help categorising and compartmentalising things, including myself. It reduces my anxiety greatly to be able to simplify the complexity of things. I get overwhelmed by details unless I can make sense of thing by compartmentalising and simplifying things.

Is it just a cop-out to want an "excuse" for my irresponsible behaviour, including difficulty holding down a job, breakdown of my marriage, etc? :oops:



TalksToCats
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20 Jun 2012, 9:53 am

DonQuoteMe I definately don't think it's a cop out to want to understand yourself better.

Obviously an aspergers or autism diagnosis isn't an excuse for bad behaviour, but struggling with work or a relationship isn't bad behaviour.

From what I've read here a lot of people really struggle with these things in part because of aspergers or autism.

Mind you, social anxiety can be very difficult to deal with too, it seems to me not a cop out either to say this has caused you big problems.

I can see how it could be potentialy really useful to you to know if aspergers is the root cause though.

Personally I'm mentally preparing myself for a diagnosis that says I'm not on the autistic spectrum, as well as one that says I am, and trying to be open minded about whichever it ends up being.



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20 Jun 2012, 12:05 pm

outofplace wrote:
One of them is whether or not the law would consider me mentally competent to own a firearm. If not, then there would be a significant restriction on my liberty from a diagnosis.


An Aspergers diagnosis will not disqualify you from firearms ownership as it stands. Anti firearms people are always trying to broaden the definition of who would be disqualified from gun ownership so who knows what will happen in the future. I've noticed the media likes to pin Aspergers on mass murders for some reason. I should point out that I am no lawyer.

"FEDERAL GUN CONTROL ACT

18 U.S.C.S. 922 (g)(4)
It shall be unlawful for any person –
(4) who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been committed to a
mental institution,
to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting interstate
commerce, any firearm or ammunition; or to receive any firearm or ammunition which
has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce."

"The Federal definition of mental defective is in 27 CFR 478.11:

Adjudicated as a mental defective. (a) A determination by a court,
board, commission, or other lawful authority that a person, as a result
of marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency,
condition, or disease:
(1) Is a danger to himself or to others; or
(2) Lacks the mental capacity to contract or manage his own affairs.
(b) The term shall include--
(1) A finding of insanity by a court in a criminal case; and
(2) Those persons found incompetent to stand trial or found not
guilty by reason of lack of mental responsibility pursuant to articles
50a and 72b of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, 10 U.S.C. 850a,
876b."
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2009-t ... 478-11.xml



DonQuoteme
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20 Jun 2012, 11:35 pm

jonny23 wrote:
Anti firearms people are always trying to broaden the definition of who would be disqualified from gun ownership so who knows what will happen in the future. I've noticed the media likes to pin Aspergers on mass murders for some reason...


Such as the Brevik fellow in Sweden. It's my understanding that Aspergers / AS is not a mental illness but rather a "developmental disorder" (I hate the word disorder). As such it doesn't in itself make people "crazy / dangerous / insane" as such. However, Aspergers may be accompanied by any number of co-morbid conditions which could potentially fit that definition. But Aspergers in itself seems to me just a different way to see the world, so it is benign in terms of harmfulness to self or others as far as I'm concerned.

But if Brevik is proven to have Aspergers, expect to see a backlash against the AS community especially as it relates to gun ownership by people with Aspergers. Lets hope the doctors point out that it's his other psychological problems that were the real problem.



Blownmind
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21 Jun 2012, 12:05 am

DonQuoteme wrote:
jonny23 wrote:
Anti firearms people are always trying to broaden the definition of who would be disqualified from gun ownership so who knows what will happen in the future. I've noticed the media likes to pin Aspergers on mass murders for some reason...


Such as the Brevik fellow in Sweden. It's my understanding that Aspergers / AS is not a mental illness but rather a "developmental disorder" (I hate the word disorder). As such it doesn't in itself make people "crazy / dangerous / insane" as such. However, Aspergers may be accompanied by any number of co-morbid conditions which could potentially fit that definition. But Aspergers in itself seems to me just a different way to see the world, so it is benign in terms of harmfulness to self or others as far as I'm concerned.

But if Brevik is proven to have Aspergers, expect to see a backlash against the AS community especially as it relates to gun ownership by people with Aspergers. Lets hope the doctors point out that it's his other psychological problems that were the real problem.

Norway :)

..and Aspergers won't be a part of the verdict, they are only trying to find out if he had a psychosis or not. The guy who said he might have aspergers never met him, so his report wont have much to say compared to the other four who did interview him for weeks.


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RLgnome
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21 Jun 2012, 10:46 am

Blownmind wrote:
DonQuoteme wrote:
Such as the Brevik fellow in Sweden.

Norway :)


Norway is a village in Lilyhammer, which is a county in Sweden. Everyone knows that.

And Oslo is somewhere south of Rome.

But on topic: Even though I'm not British, my impression is that few welfare systems would offer free diagnostic assessment if they don't think you (or society) would benefit from it, or if there's no suspicion of the diagnosis (in cases like people wanting to be tested for cancer, but the symptoms aren't there). With the exception of illnesses the authorities want screened on a general basis, like in some places HIV, but then that's a simple blood sample. But I digress - point is, getting a referral in a welfare system usually is an indication that at least the referring health official and the people who review it think you'd benefit. That's in no way fool proof, but at least it's an indication.

And remember that need for support doesn't always equal need for government or workplace support - even though I receive that, I also have always received a lot of support from people around me. After I was diagnosed, they know it's not because I'm lazy or wrong willed, which helps not only their motivation, but our relationship. And it helps me to more carefully consider when to ask for help and when not to. You mentioned workplace accommodations - that's a major reason to have an assessment, and my impression is that most workplaces in developed countries (at least bigger ones) are getting better at accepting people's needs, if they have a sound reason, like a diagnosis.

Lastly, when I got my diagnosis, I planned to keep it a secret to most people. I'm still not completely open about it to everyone I know, but I'm telling more and more people, including acquaintances. That has almost exclusively been a positive experience. Even the people with little to no knowledge of AS have (usually) already realized there's something a bit off about me, but when they learn the reason, they tend to be surprised that I'm so well functioning; their image of autism spectrum disorders is that of a low functioning child who watches running water, or the isolated professor with no social interaction. So I go from being the guy who's a bit weird and wears sunglasses to someone who "you'd never think had autism." Some more informed people now think of me as "the guy I always suspected had AS," though, so I guess the people who would never think that are just not very informed.

Too bad I don't handle my condition as well as people think, though - it can sometimes be a bit frustrating having to explain to (some) people that my ability to camouflage my social traits is much better than my ability to remember to wash my clothes, clean my apartment, shop groceries and make phone calls. But most people don't need to know that, and the ones who do can feel free to visit my apartment without warning me first, if they won't take my word for it.



jonny23
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21 Jun 2012, 10:53 am

Blownmind wrote:
DonQuoteme wrote:
jonny23 wrote:
Anti firearms people are always trying to broaden the definition of who would be disqualified from gun ownership so who knows what will happen in the future. I've noticed the media likes to pin Aspergers on mass murders for some reason...


Such as the Brevik fellow in Sweden. It's my understanding that Aspergers / AS is not a mental illness but rather a "developmental disorder" (I hate the word disorder). As such it doesn't in itself make people "crazy / dangerous / insane" as such. However, Aspergers may be accompanied by any number of co-morbid conditions which could potentially fit that definition. But Aspergers in itself seems to me just a different way to see the world, so it is benign in terms of harmfulness to self or others as far as I'm concerned.

But if Brevik is proven to have Aspergers, expect to see a backlash against the AS community especially as it relates to gun ownership by people with Aspergers. Lets hope the doctors point out that it's his other psychological problems that were the real problem.

Norway :)

..and Aspergers won't be a part of the verdict, they are only trying to find out if he had a psychosis or not. The guy who said he might have aspergers never met him, so his report wont have much to say compared to the other four who did interview him for weeks.


It may not be part of the verdict but the media already ran with it like they did with Seung-Hui Cho. And once you ring a bell...



Blownmind
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21 Jun 2012, 12:44 pm

jonny23 wrote:
Blownmind wrote:
DonQuoteme wrote:
Such as the Brevik fellow in Sweden.

Norway :)

..and Aspergers won't be a part of the verdict, they are only trying to find out if he had a psychosis or not. The guy who said he might have aspergers never met him, so his report wont have much to say compared to the other four who did interview him for weeks.

It may not be part of the verdict but the media already ran with it like they did with Seung-Hui Cho. And once you ring a bell...

Good thing the media said he's from Sweden atleast. :wink: Then Norway will avoid the bad rep.
//end off-topic


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21 Jun 2012, 2:12 pm

TalksToCats, I'm blogging here, at Wrong Planet, about my experiences with attempting to get properly assessed. I'm 44. I'm having a much better experience with my assessment process this time than I did last time. If you feel able, please document your experiences in a blog, and put a link to this thread in your blog when you do. Please also put a link in this thread to your blog, or (if you use the Wrong Planet blog feature) mention that you can get to it from your profile page, so others can find it from here. Someone may benefit one day from reading about your experiences. That's my hope with my blog. Also, it'll help you sort things out for yourself and deal with your feelings as you go, as well as give you something interesting to read in the future, when all this is a bit behind you.

Please feel free to read my blog, in case anything there might be helpful to you. There's a link to it from my profile page.

As for labels, here's a thread on it: I am just an individual like you...

Best of luck!! !


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TalksToCats
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21 Jun 2012, 3:17 pm

MindWithoutWalls, thank you, I'll check out your blog.

Don't know if I have the confidence to start one myself, I'll think about it.

I've already been enjoying reading the thread you mentioned, but thanks for pointing it out.