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pcuser
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06 Feb 2015, 1:16 pm

I live in Southern California and am a member of Kaiser Permanente Health plan. I got my diagnosis about 3 years ago at age 61. It only took an hour before they diagnosed me. I was, however, quite sure I had it before seeing them. I would recommend anyone who can find a way to get a diagnosis. I have no regrets in making some sense of a life that hadn't made any sense to me previously...



starkid
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08 Feb 2015, 5:33 pm

I live in California, and when I tried to get diagnosed at Kaiser, those bastards screwed me over.


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pcuser
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08 Feb 2015, 6:21 pm

Southern or Northern California? What did they do that screwed you over? I had no problem whatsoever...



starkid
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08 Feb 2015, 6:30 pm

pcuser wrote:
Southern or Northern California? What did they do that screwed you over? I had no problem whatsoever...


Northern California. When I called to make the appointment, they lied and told me they had a specialist. When I got there, I had an appointment with a proto-doctor who was doing a residency. She didn't even know why I was there. They told me I would be seen by a team. She was the only person. She gave me no tests whatsoever pertaining to ASD, nothing but a personality disorder questionnaire. She said she would refer me to someone with more expertise (she'd only diagnosed one adult), and forgot. I e-mailed her for the information later, and she said that I'd have to make another appointment, even though I would be seeing someone else because her residency had ended; she also offered me psychotherapy even though she would not be there to give it to me! (at this point, I decided they were only out for my money)

I asked Kaiser for a referral to an outside doctor and they would not give it to me. Instead, they sent me to someone else in the psychiatry department. She said she mainly had experience with kids and that I had an "atypical presentation." She was uncomfortable assessing me and said she would take the matter up with the department supervisor, the same supervisor who would not give me the referral and assured me that this person could help me. She also went on vacation shortly after this visit, and I never heard from her again even though she said she would contact me when she returned.

The first person, the one on a residency, put lies in her report. I didn't know about it until after I had submitted it to the social security administration as part of my SSI claim. She made it seem like I had refused treatment, and the SSI judge decided that this was proof that I was only going to doctor after doctor to get evidence for my claim, rather than sincerely trying to get better.


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Rocket123
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08 Feb 2015, 7:50 pm

starkid wrote:
pcuser wrote:
Southern or Northern California? What did they do that screwed you over? I had no problem whatsoever...


Northern California. When I called to make the appointment, they lied and told me they had a specialist.

Kaiser is notorious, at least in this area, for providing low quality mental health services. I suppose that's how they keep costs in check.



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09 Feb 2015, 12:37 am

My insurance covers almost everything. I think there was one $65 Browns scale test it didn't cover, but my $200 copay covers most. Even my $1000+ MRI. You don't NEED all those things tho. I'm just covering all bases. If all you want if a diagnosis and therapy, insurance should cover that. But I pat $300ish for my insurance. It's premium cuz I've got physical problems, too.



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09 Feb 2015, 5:24 am

I took myself off to a clinical psychologist who specialises in ASD. I didn't have a referral from my doctor, so I didn't claim it on health insurance.

I did a questionaire/test that he sent, had a two hour interview (life story etc), then my partner did the same questionnaire (but about me, not about herself), and then we had a one hour interview together with the clinical psychologist.

At the second interview, the one with my partner present, he was pointing out things in my behaviour including a few that I wasn't aware of - e.g. accent, speech volume, eye contact in different situations, use (or lack of use) of gestures, etc.

All up this cost AU$660, I think. I paid it myself as I could afford it. I got a doctor's referral for subsequent visits so that I could claim health insurance.



starkid
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11 Feb 2015, 9:08 pm

Melangey wrote:
My insurance covers almost everything. I think there was one $65 Browns scale test it didn't cover, but my $200 copay covers most. Even my $1000+ MRI.


Your ASD assessment included an MRI?


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20 Feb 2015, 1:37 pm

stabilator wrote:
I was very fortunate to get my ASD/Asperger diagnosis.

I was recently diagnosed after only about a year of being aware I might have autism. I spent about 39 years being unaware my condition was autism, and struggling in my life all the time because I couldn't fit in with anybody and people frequently got angry at me because of my oddness.

When I was a teen and struggling with strong anxiety and depression, my parents took me to a shrink, who hastily said I probably had schizophrenia and instantly he wanted to do the band-aid treatment of all sorts of medications. He seemed so half-hearted about it all. I don't think he gave a damn. He seemed to think I was just some crazy hysterical teenage girl loaded with puberty hormones and having PMS. None of the meds did any help and give me awful side effects. I felt so manipulated by him. I insisted on ending visits with that guy. Later, another shrink said I had anxiety disorder and didn't think I had schizophrenia, but back then there was little knowledge on how to treat anxiety and I was sick of meds and didn't want them to experiment on me.

I continued with my life and refused to see any more phychiatrists. I went to college some, had a few small short jobs that college friend found for me (I can't get jobs for the life of me on my own, with the exception of the interest of military recruiters). Then did an eight year service in the U.S. Army. I ended up getting a head injury, which caused debilitating neurologic migraines and neuralgia type nerve problems in my body, but they were never successfully identified so the doctors kept thinking I was malingering to get out of work. NO! I had real intense pain and I actually wanted them to help me so I could get back to work, and I don't like hanging out in hospitals and clinics, and they smell awful. The untreated pain eventually had me decide to separate from the Army because I was beginning to have difficulty doing my work and was now frequently making mistakes while in pain, and I began dreading causing any accidents after I almost had an accident while on one of my regular driving duties, but this time having a horrible migraine that blurred my vision out.

After I was discharged I began doing visits with the local Veterans Affairs clinics to help me get fixed up and treated so I can be well enough return to college or start getting back into the work force. They began working on helping me with these, and then they tried to help me get treatment for possible PTSD and 'adjustment disorder'. The adjustment disorder had been documented because I had had an angry meltdown during a long argument and interrogation by my sergeants about my behavior and issues some co-workers had with me. Some of the co workers were often irritated with me because of my eccentricity and weirdness, and some of the superiors often hazed me and others below them as a way to deal with their own stress. Some of it was sexual harassment, reprimands and punishments, threats, and marginalizing directed at me and I acted out against it sometimes. Anyway because of this adjustment disorder, the local VA decided to help me with in this psych area. My psych case person decided to help me look into an autism diagnosis because I had recently found out about Asperger Syndrome and had begun doing intense internet research and found it totally described myself and my problems.

It took time, and this case person got connected with the regional center and argued with them because they didn't want to diagnose and adult. (They denied me when I tried to contact them on my own). She battled with them and finally got them to diagnose me, and now she is helping me get with get set up with local agencies that help autistics and other developmentally disabled people get housing and jobs. It is slowly in the beginnings and I have to apply for SSI and other things for poor and jobless people because I still am too disabled to work for now. I thank my VA case person so much for this help because I doubt I ever would have gotten help or a diagnosis on my own or with help from anyone I know. Also I was finally seen by a neurologist and she is starting to work on a treatment to help get my pain under control.



Wow! Someone else on the spectrum who served in the Army! I did a three year stint in the Army. When I processed in at the MEPS I disclosed to the doctor that I had be diagnosed with autism as a toddler. He was nonplussed and simply wrote it down in his notes. I got the feeling he didn't know what autism was. Anyway, when I was serving I was under extreme stress often times not getting adequate rest. I had outbursts and problems that led up multiple write ups and eventually an Article 15. I challenged it and it got reduced to a suspension, but no reduction in rank or monetary punishment. I missed a chance to see President Clinton in South Korea, because my sergeants didn't think I was "fit" to go. The chaplain even offered up his spot. He was the only one there who was on my side. He was the main reason my Article 15 got changed to a warning (I can't think of the actual word).

Anyway, I have a question for you. Will the VA run tests for autism? I am currently being treated at the VA for bipolar disorder. However I don't think those two diagnoses are counter to each other.
Thanks for posting this.



kraftiekortie
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25 Feb 2015, 11:30 am

I know of at least three other people on WP who served in the armed forces.



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25 Feb 2015, 8:19 pm

my parents paid half....i paid the other half....


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01 Mar 2015, 1:25 pm

Diagnosed in Britain and the state paid for it - but, I first went to the doctor with mental health issues in 2003, and have only just encountered people who can officially recognise ASD and diagnose it.

On the way there have been some mental health workers who have been entirely blameless, as they had no training at all in seeing that ASD was there. It was a stroke of luck with my doctor that after 8 years she told me she thought she'd spotted it, and even then it was a long weird haul to get to see a Consultant Psychiatrist.

What happens in Britain is you can pay for a private diagnosis but it is not officially recognised, or perhaps only in some places - dunno.



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01 Mar 2015, 1:34 pm

Alexanderplatz is right - in the UK everyone is entitled to a free diagnosis by the National Health Service. Getting referred in the first place sometimes takes time, because not all GPs are well informed about ASD. And, because these diagnoses are expensive and come out of their practice budget, some GPs are reluctant to make a referral. In such cases you have to be persistent.


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02 Mar 2015, 12:39 am

One of my children was recently diagnosed (by a child psychologist) and the symptoms fit me to a tee as well. After that I found a clinical psychologist who specializes in Aspergers in adults (not easy to find) and she interviewed me in two, hour-long sessions. I also brought her extensive notes about my childhood, teenage years, college years, and adult life (I'm in my 40's now). I figured it would save some time. In addition, I brought along copies of my AQ quiz and EQ quiz. She gave me the diagnosis at the end of the second hour. Total cost was $300.00 out-of-pocket. I decided against filing with my insurance because I'm not sure I want them to know that info just yet.



Caelum
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12 Mar 2015, 4:28 pm

Lnb1771 wrote:
Anyway, I have a question for you. Will the VA run tests for autism? I am currently being treated at the VA for bipolar disorder. However I don't think those two diagnoses are counter to each other.
Thanks for posting this.


I believe if you talk to them they will. I haven't yet discussed my diagnosis with my VA psychiatrist, mostly because she's very good at writing prescriptions for me, but not really helping me get better. I was in the army for seven years, got out and was in the VA medical system for some other issues and it wasn't until I started seeing a civilian psychiatrist that I found out about autism. He gave me my diagnosis and it has clarified quite a few incidents in my life that had left me really jaded and upset.

Good luck and stay safe.