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Teyverus
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18 Apr 2014, 10:41 am

Yes a good option is a university; I also know TRICARE (the military's insurance) will cover it completely.



doesnotcompute
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19 Apr 2014, 12:27 pm

Other than ending the tortuous uncertainty of having an official diagnosis, has anyone experienced benefits of having an official diagnosis? i'm in the same boat as many in that i'm looking at $2500-3000 for a diagnosis that's not covered by insurance. i'm married with 5 children (at least 2 of whom i'm sure are ASD, 1 PDDNOS so far). i'd like a little more credibility when i advocate for my children with the schools, more understanding in my interactions with my wife and family and a similar understanding at work (acknowledgement of limitations).

i just had an MRI on my brain for something unrelated. Does anyone know if there are any physical differences in an ASD brain as compared with an NT brain that an MRI would pick up?


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QuirkyMissy
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21 Apr 2014, 11:24 pm

I paid for my diagnosis. Diagnosis for asperger's in adult is rare in Singapore, and social (or any form) support is non-existence. Our insurance doesn't cover mental/psychological illnesses.

Even after diagnosis, I have not been prepared for what to come next. Clearly, diagnosis gives a sense of euphoria, I wanted to tell the whole world of what may explain of most of the social 'faults' that I have had made throughout my life. There was a period of making peace with the past and learning to forgive myself for the things I didn't do good enough (and may never be able to); the challenge comes when the full realisation arrives that having a diagnosis is only scratching the surface of a full blown effect that, I am more autistic than I knew.

Having survived the many years of going under the radar, I have been harshly conditioned to learn to behave as normally as I could possibly managed, my traits are concealed, not gone. I survive this world with numerous burnt outs, melt downs and shut downs. The diagnosis sometimes bring about a sense of relief and a turning point to stop trying so hard in doing what I am never wired to.

It's like a birth mark, when we stop painstakingly conceal the mark, it shows. So, I am trying to take in bit by bit (it'd been overwhelming) to come terms with the fact that what I had been trying too hard throughout my life (to overcome the quirks and social awkwardness, and relentlessly learning to socialise more effectively) is something I can never learn. I am learning to accept myself as it is.

Say what you like, an official diagnosis is very important to Aspies. We will never be completely satisfied until we get that diagnosis. We can argue that self-diagnosis is just fine, and we justify that diagnosis for adult is not readily available (which is also true) and too costly etc, but coming from being self-diagnosed to hunting down the few places that offer diagnosis of adult Asperger's, I know what it's like to be 'uncertified'. It's an Aspie thing, it's an obsession and rule (if I may) in living our authentic life - to be absolutely sure and backed up official acknowledgement.

The diagnosis also revisited (we use DSM in Singapore, and that was before DSM5 when I received my diagnosis) my childhood whereby my traits were raw, unconcealed, and at it's most prominence. My mother was brought in (without me) to share to the panel made up of psychiatrist, psychologist, occupational psychologist, and case manager, about my childhood quirks. I would not have been able to shed light on that, because I didn't think those behaviours and responses were weird. To get my diagnosis, 3 components had to be fulfilled; my mother's statements on my childhood behaviours was the last component.

The official diagnosis allows me to get some assistance in school (I am doing a part-time degree in Psychology) about group work and group presentation. It also aids in developing understanding with lecturers when I don't understand the question (it's always frustrating, I studied exceptionally well and scored highest for research projects and assignments, but I don't always test well, because I don't understand the question - it's like 'how are you', I still always wonder how I should attempt that question, do I tell 'I am fine, thank you', when I am not? Or do I tell the person about the crappy morning until now? - so it's important that I am allowed to ask (not in exam) when asked a question, and not being mistaken that I was trying to be funny.

Other than that, nope, there is no social support or benefits in Singapore for Asperger's. The psychiatrist can only diagnose based on the DSM guide, but has very limited knowledge about the complexity this disorder. I had to 'educate' him about it, and all he wanted to do is to prescribe me with anxiety pills.



GiantHockeyFan
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22 Apr 2014, 7:53 am

QuirkyMissy wrote:
Say what you like, an official diagnosis is very important to Aspies. We will never be completely satisfied until we get that diagnosis. We can argue that self-diagnosis is just fine, and we justify that diagnosis for adult is not readily available (which is also true) and too costly etc, but coming from being self-diagnosed to hunting down the few places that offer diagnosis of adult Asperger's, I know what it's like to be 'uncertified'. It's an Aspie thing, it's an obsession and rule (if I may) in living our authentic life - to be absolutely sure and backed up official acknowledgement.

That kinda how I feel except I KNOW baring a catastrophic event, I simply can't afford the outrageous financial and time expense involved. I also know I will NEVER get any sort of parental help (that apparently is required) as Mom will go into massive denial and Dad was working overseas for much of my early childhood so I would likely end up wasting the money on a misdiagnosis (had plenty of those in my childhood!). I will admit even though I am beyond certain, I need to have validation to full accept it.



tarantella64
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22 Apr 2014, 1:27 pm

Can't get behind the sentiment, myself. I don't see the advantage, personally; can see many disadvantages, and in the end am the same person. It's nice to know that some things are hard for me because they're...hard for me, not because I'm screwing up somehow, and it gives some permission to cut slack here and there, but otherwise...yeah, I don't feel it to be necessary, for me.



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22 Apr 2014, 6:21 pm

A lot of Aspies with their need for categorization probably do need an official conformation but you can never say everybody about anything.

My road to diagnosis was atypical in that it was not something I sought but an intervention http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intervention_(counseling) by my siblings. Before the diagnostic process began I had the laymen's stereotypical knowledge of Aspergers. While I knew I shared some traits it was a curiosity that did not seem important. So I needed it not just for the official confirmation but to really know the pervasiveness of it and how it is a big part of me.

If hypothetically I had followed the more typical older adult route to diagnosis of having an epiphany followed by massive research that confirmed the I fit the diagnostic criteria and recognized traits I do not know if I would have needed to make it official.


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doesnotcompute
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22 Apr 2014, 7:18 pm

i share the desire for the diagnosis. Whether it helps or not, i still want to know. Maybe it's because my epiphany is still relatively fresh or that i'm concerned with having my children diagnosed.

i looked up ASDs and MRIs after my last post and found some research that Yale is doing. It looks like they've been able to consistently show under active areas of the brain for ASDs when compared with NT brains (for social/emotional reaction to stimuli). i'm looking into participating. i also asked if they're looking at over active areas of the ASD brain with respect to the things at which we tend to do better.


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27 Apr 2014, 7:49 pm

My insurance covers nothing related to therapy (unless I have to be hospitalized!), but I was able to go through a counseling ministry. The doctors in their system (the one they gave me is an autism specialist) cut their charges in half, and out of that, the ministry funds part of it; I had a low copay. I was unemployed, or very underemployed, at the time; I'm making a little money now but my copay is still low. The diagnosis wasn't a separate charge, just an hour's meeting, a take-home test that I brought back the next day, and an hour visit following this, when I received a diagnosis.



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27 Apr 2014, 9:52 pm

QuirkyMissy wrote:
Say what you like, an official diagnosis is very important to Aspies. We will never be completely satisfied until we get that diagnosis. We can argue that self-diagnosis is just fine, and we justify that diagnosis for adult is not readily available (which is also true) and too costly etc, but coming from being self-diagnosed to hunting down the few places that offer diagnosis of adult Asperger's, I know what it's like to be 'uncertified'. It's an Aspie thing, it's an obsession and rule (if I may) in living our authentic life - to be absolutely sure and backed up official acknowledgement.


I 100% agree. Also, being an engineer at heart, I wanted to understand if there was a “root cause” to my lifelong issues:
- Why, growing up, did I feel different than other kids
- Why, as an adult, did I have so few friends?
- Why has my adult work life been so stressful?
- Why did I worry so much?
- Why did I suffer periodic bouts of depression?
- Why did I have these strange obsessions/rituals?

I am not a religious person whatsoever. But the Serenity Prayer accurately depicts my thoughts on this matter: “…Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference”.

I wanted to understand better who I am. So, I could accept it (and stop fighting a losing battle).



Soham
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28 Apr 2014, 12:43 am

I have been wondering the same, how people go about paying for such a thing....I don't know where to start with any of this, as far as the process. I often get into a back & forth thought loop of whether I should look into getting an official diagnosis or not, how or why I should and how it would "help" me having an official "label". It's really frustrating and stressful thinking about it, then I end up back at the beginning of the thought loop with out getting anywhere.


I've never had a "doctor" that I go to, I don't have insurance, no job at the moment and I fail miserably at job interviews. I'm currently living with my father and can't manage to get a grasp on any of these things.



raventree
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29 Apr 2014, 5:08 pm

I just received my diagnosis in February (age 47). I'm in the U.S., a dependent on my husband's health insurance, which he received through his employer. The HMO policy is a very good one, and covers a range of psychological services. I made sure that the psychologist's office prequalified the assessment through the HMO. They paid for everything except specialist office visit co-pays.



tarantella64
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29 Apr 2014, 8:38 pm

Rocket123 wrote:
QuirkyMissy wrote:
Say what you like, an official diagnosis is very important to Aspies. We will never be completely satisfied until we get that diagnosis. We can argue that self-diagnosis is just fine, and we justify that diagnosis for adult is not readily available (which is also true) and too costly etc, but coming from being self-diagnosed to hunting down the few places that offer diagnosis of adult Asperger's, I know what it's like to be 'uncertified'. It's an Aspie thing, it's an obsession and rule (if I may) in living our authentic life - to be absolutely sure and backed up official acknowledgement.


I 100% agree. Also, being an engineer at heart, I wanted to understand if there was a “root cause” to my lifelong issues:
- Why, growing up, did I feel different than other kids
- Why, as an adult, did I have so few friends?
- Why has my adult work life been so stressful?
- Why did I worry so much?
- Why did I suffer periodic bouts of depression?
- Why did I have these strange obsessions/rituals?

I am not a religious person whatsoever. But the Serenity Prayer accurately depicts my thoughts on this matter: “…Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference”.

I wanted to understand better who I am. So, I could accept it (and stop fighting a losing battle).


Maybe part of my "meh" about diagnosis is that I look at a list like this and think that parts, if not all of it, apply to nearly every adult I know. Work is stressful and worrisome to almost everyone these days -- I don't think that was so when I was younger, but times are harder now, and everyone's aware of the uncertainty, plus we've been "doing more with less" for 25 years now. Nearly everyone I know is on drugs for anxiety, depression, bipolar, you name it. The world seems to be full of obsessives and worriers, too. And for me, a small social circle's easily explained: I'm running like a freaking hamster to keep everything going here, and have been for ten years. I don't have much time for a social life. Also I don't enjoy many people's company all that much. (My friend's more straightforward about her husband: "He doesn't like people.")

But maybe what you say in the last bit is key. If you show up already accepting who and what you are, maybe it's less important; if you've felt, your whole life, like you're doing it wrong and not good enough, then I can see it being very important. I think the knowledge -- stamped official or not -- is good for context & awareness regardless, though.



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30 Apr 2014, 9:01 am

Teyverus wrote:
Yes a good option is a university; I also know TRICARE (the military's insurance) will cover it completely.


They will? Oh thank god...I have TriCare and was worried they would not cover it.



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03 May 2014, 2:27 am

Here it is expensive, but I found an authorized clinical psychologist and therapist, who specializes in AS. My doc thought it a good idea and wrote "depression" on my referral (and I was too at the time), so I only had to pay very little per time.


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Rocket123
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03 May 2014, 12:26 pm

tarantella64 wrote:
Maybe part of my "meh" about diagnosis is that I look at a list like this and think that parts, if not all of it, apply to nearly every adult I know.


I was wondering this myself. Then, when reading the diagnostic criteria (DSM-IV at the time), I thought, “this does not sound all that unusual”. As, most of those I do know (both as a child and as an adult) would be considered “social mistfits”. But, what if, in reality, we “social misfits” represent the majority. And that those who are socially “able” are the minority. But, we are influenced (by, say television) to believe otherwise. How do you know?



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04 May 2014, 3:39 am

I´m having the same thoughts and I meet lots of people who in some way seem to meet the criterias.
I guess, that the only reason, that high functioning end of the Asperger range can be considered to have a "handicap" is because both the tempo and complexity of social interaction in work life, and at some parts of social life, has become too intense for those with an even slightly slower processing speed.


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