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Soyer
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09 Dec 2015, 7:57 pm

I'm wondering if anyone has been diagnosed as an adult and if so, what can you tell me about the diagnostic process? I've been referred to an autism specialist and I want to have some idea of what's going to happen. Please tell me any tests or questions you can remember. I've been trying to find stuff online, I figured people would blog about this stuff but all I can find is diagnostic methods for small children.



skibum
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09 Dec 2015, 10:03 pm

Soyer wrote:
I'm wondering if anyone has been diagnosed as an adult and if so, what can you tell me about the diagnostic process? I've been referred to an autism specialist and I want to have some idea of what's going to happen. Please tell me any tests or questions you can remember. I've been trying to find stuff online, I figured people would blog about this stuff but all I can find is diagnostic methods for small children.
Welcome to WP Soyer.

I was diagnosed last year at the age of 47. I can't tell you specifics about the testing because you really need to do it without knowing what to expect. I will say this though, I was also really scared to the point of tears but when I took the test it ended up being really fun. Mine was all in one day, it took 7 and a half hours but I was allowed to take as many breaks as I wanted whenever I wanted. I even went across the street to the grocery store for lunch in the middle of the test. It was a lot of tests but it was set up so that it felt like I was playing a bunch of games. The people were super nice and very patient and understanding and I ended up having a really good time. Some of the tests seemed easy and some were really hard but the lady was very nice and very encouraging and never made me feel like I could not do it. I did much better on some than others but that is fine. The point is not to excel at all of them but to just do your best. The ones where you are weaker in will show the areas that will really make your diagnosis clear. So don't worry about how well you do, just relax and think of it as games and just have fun trying to figure out the things. There were lots of things to do with pictures and numbers and listening to stories and talking about the stories, and playing with blocks and drawing, it was all good fun. You'll do fine.


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Soyer
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09 Dec 2015, 10:15 pm

skibum wrote:
I was diagnosed last year at the age of 47. I can't tell you specifics about the testing because you really need to do it without knowing what to expect. I will say this though, I was also really scared to the point of tears but when I took the test it ended up being really fun. Mine was all in one day, it took 7 and a half hours but I was allowed to take as many breaks as I wanted whenever I wanted. I even went across the street to the grocery store for lunch in the middle of the test. It was a lot of tests but it was set up so that it felt like I was playing a bunch of games. The people were super nice and very patient and understanding and I ended up having a really good time. Some of the tests seemed easy and some were really hard but the lady was very nice and very encouraging and never made me feel like I could not do it. I did much better on some than others but that is fine. The point is not to excel at all of them but to just do your best. The ones where you are weaker in will show the areas that will really make your diagnosis clear. So don't worry about how well you do, just relax and think of it as games and just have fun trying to figure out the things. There were lots of things to do with pictures and numbers and listening to stories and talking about the stories, and playing with blocks and drawing, it was all good fun. You'll do fine.


Thank you.

I'm just stressed because I don't know what they're going to ask, when I go to my regular doctor he usually asks me about work and my truck and things like that, so I know what's going to happen and I can think about my answer ahead of time. Are they going to be mad if I take a long time to answer?
Also 7 and a half hours is a very long time, is that normal or were they extra thorough with you? Did it only take one session and then you got a diagnosis?



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09 Dec 2015, 10:28 pm

There are other threads about this. I was diagnosed last year at the age of 58 in the uk - it looks like there is no standard way of testing autism / asperger's in adults in the uk, and this might be the same if you live in the states.



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09 Dec 2015, 10:32 pm

It really depends on how they do it. Some people said their diagnoses only took less than an hour but mine was the full comprehensive battery of tests. I preferred having the all day test because I don't have any question at all that the diagnosis is correct where some people wonder if they got it right. If they had needed to mine could have been broken up into two days but they preferred to do it in one because one thing they were looking for in mine was how I responded to things as I got more tired.

I only needed one session. But the psychiatrist told me that I was so obvious that he could tell as soon as I walked into the waiting room and he did not even need to bother testing me. Of course he did because legally he had to so all the tests just confirmed what we already knew to be true. But it did also give us quantitative values for things that I struggle with so that is really good to have. And I was able to learn a lot about myself that the tests revealed that I had no idea that I was weak or strong in. In fact some of the parts I thought I did well in I did not and some of the parts I thought I sucked in I actually did well in. :D

Don't try to formulate answers to questions in advance. Part of the ability to diagnose you correctly is that you don't formulate answers in advance. They will be absolutely fine if you need more time to answer questions. That in and of itself might be part of the diagnostic procedure.


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09 Dec 2015, 10:37 pm

Alexanderplatz wrote:
There are other threads about this. I was diagnosed last year at the age of 58 in the uk - it looks like there is no standard way of testing autism / asperger's in adults in the uk, and this might be the same if you live in the states.
That is very true. It's interesting though because one WP member who lives in the UK and I who lives in the US had talked to each other at length about our testing and we ended up having very similar experiences. I think most of the tests we did were common to both of us. But her testing was over multiple days while mine was in one. They gave her that choice. I think for me, one long day was better than several short days. But several days was better for her.


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10 Dec 2015, 6:25 pm

I was diagnosed at 21, and my testing took place over a number of weeks. I went in for an intake interview, my first test a week after, my second a week after that, my last test about two weeks later, and overall, it took five weeks to score everything and get my diagnostic report back, so I started on the 6th of February, and finished on the 10th of April. Of course, I was diagnosed through my university by a grad student, so the time frame will likely not be that long for you. Don't be anxious, and don't overthink it. I wrote out all my traits and grouped them by age before I went in. It ended up being about ten pages long, but it was helpful for me so I didn't forget anything I wanted to make sure my examiner knew. I'd been trying to get diagnosed for about two years, but by the time I finally got in front of the person who asked me "why do you think you have autism?" I blanked and struggled to form a coherent answer, probably because there were so many reasons I thought I had it that I didn't know where to start. One thing I was struck by was how tired I was after the tests. I took an IQ test, an academic achievement test, and the ADOS (autism diagnostic observation schedule), along with a battery of take-home paper tests, some of which were for my mother to fill out. I would recommend not having anything important to do once the test is over, you'll likely be too tired to perform very well. Good luck, let us know how it goes!


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10 Dec 2015, 6:42 pm

Soyer wrote:
I'm just stressed because I don't know what they're going to ask, when I go to my regular doctor he usually asks me about work and my truck and things like that, so I know what's going to happen and I can think about my answer ahead of time. Are they going to be mad if I take a long time to answer?
Also 7 and a half hours is a very long time, is that normal or were they extra thorough with you? Did it only take one session and then you got a diagnosis?


Sounds like they are going to send you to a psychologist, who is going to spend a day with you, giving you a series of tests. Basically you sitting in a room answering questions while they type into a computer. I doubt they will get mad if you take a long time to answer, but they will probably push you along. Just because they will want to get it over with and out of the way so they can go home. It's just basic human nature.


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10 Dec 2015, 7:06 pm

skibum wrote:
Don't try to formulate answers to questions in advance. Part of the ability to diagnose you correctly is that you don't formulate answers in advance. They will be absolutely fine if you need more time to answer questions. That in and of itself might be part of the diagnostic procedure.


I guess that all depends on if you want to get an accurate diagnosis, or if your mind is already made up, and you just want to substantiate what you already believe. In which case you could just formulate your answers in advance, and speed up the chances of being diagnosed. But doing that, you would probably blow your chance forever of receiving a proper diagnosis.

So I agree that if you want an accurate diagnosis, it's probably better not to research too much in advance.


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