Officially diagnosed people, I have a question.

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Hounds
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04 May 2016, 3:21 pm

For those who have been diagnosed with ASD, I am wondering how did your diagnosis go?
Like what was the procedure?

Also,
Having all the symptoms in childhood as well as adulthood is required for a diagnosis, I am sure most people are unaware or don't remember little details of when they were kids (simply because kids aren't self aware).
For example, my mother remembers my social avoidance, not having friends even as a child, me crying every time we went out also being unable to express myself in words (i'd even cry complaining i'm unable to express myself/how I feel properly like everyone else) but not anything about repetitive behavior which I certainly do have now. I believe it is normal, parents not noticing behavior that is not extreme or too outstanding. It must be common right?
So, in that case, would a psychiatrist avoid an official proper diagnosis?



naturalplastic
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04 May 2016, 4:17 pm

In my case I made the appointment to visit a doctor in two or three sessions who conducted a battery of tests. And he interviewed two people who knew me a long time. Your profile says that your 19 so I am assuming that both of your parents are alive and available. And parents are the ideal people to be interviewed about you in your early years and whole lifetime. My dx was only a couple years ago very late in life when one parent was dying the other had been long dead. But my sister and my gf were both available and were both quite useful for being interviewed. Nothing unpleasant about diagnostic process. Its kinda interesting. Play with blocks. Take quizzes on paper, and he interviews you about yourself as well.

The doc takes the results to a committee to study the data. Whether they decide to dx you with an ASD or not you get a printout as thick as a little book about yourself which is an inventory of your whole personality and aptitudes. Strengths as well as weeknesses. Cool for anyone to have. Nothing to be afraid of. If its important they will probably catch it between the tests and the interviews of you and the other two people about you. I wouldnt worry about it.



Last edited by naturalplastic on 04 May 2016, 5:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Hounds
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04 May 2016, 4:38 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
In my case I made visited a doctor in two or three sessions who conducted a battery of tests. And he interviewed two people two people who knew me a long time. Your profile says that your 19 so I am assuming that both of your parents are alive and available. And parents are the ideal people to be interviewed about you. My dx was only a couple years ago very late in life when one parent was dying the other had been long dead. But my sister and my gf were both available and quite useful for being interviewed. Nothing unpleasant about diagnostic process. Its kinda interesting. Play with blocks. Take quizzes on paper, and he interviews you about yourself as well.

The doc takes the results to a committee to study the data. Whether they decide to dx you with an ASD or not you get a printout as thick as a little book about yourself which is an inventory of your whole personality and aptitudes. Strengths as well as weeknesses. Cool for anyone to have. Nothing to be afraid of. If its important they will probably catch it between the tests and the interviews of you and the other two people about you. I wouldnt worry about it.

That already makes me nervous.. I am questioning whether I should get a diagnosis or not.



naturalplastic
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04 May 2016, 4:42 pm

Hounds wrote:
naturalplastic wrote:
In my case I made visited a doctor in two or three sessions who conducted a battery of tests. And he interviewed two people two people who knew me a long time. Your profile says that your 19 so I am assuming that both of your parents are alive and available. And parents are the ideal people to be interviewed about you. My dx was only a couple years ago very late in life when one parent was dying the other had been long dead. But my sister and my gf were both available and quite useful for being interviewed. Nothing unpleasant about diagnostic process. Its kinda interesting. Play with blocks. Take quizzes on paper, and he interviews you about yourself as well.

The doc takes the results to a committee to study the data. Whether they decide to dx you with an ASD or not you get a printout as thick as a little book about yourself which is an inventory of your whole personality and aptitudes. Strengths as well as weeknesses. Cool for anyone to have. Nothing to be afraid of. If its important they will probably catch it between the tests and the interviews of you and the other two people about you. I wouldnt worry about it.

That already makes me nervous.. I am questioning whether I should get a diagnosis or not.


What are you "nervous" about?

No animals, nor humans, were harmed during my diagnosis process! :D



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04 May 2016, 4:51 pm

In my memory is was always a visit to the psychiatrist and mom and him would talk. I would be in the room with him. I don't remember doing any tests, it was just them talking. I don't have any paper talking about all my symptoms or weaknesses, I only have papers from our sessions and he has written about what was talked about and what his diagnostic impressions are and one follow up paper. I wish I could remember lot of it because I can't remember doing any tests and I can only remember my mom and me and our psychiatrist and that's it, no one else and him looking at the questionnaires me, my parents and my teacher had filled out from when I was in 5th and 6th grade.


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artfulldodger
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04 May 2016, 5:21 pm

Mine was done thru a few tests and several interviews about what I remembered from my child hood. My parents pretty much igniored me after about age 12. Dad wasn't home much. The tests alone left no doubt that I have a nice healthy case of Asperger's. Mike


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05 May 2016, 12:18 am

The psychiatrist who diagnosed me, he guessed right away and waited a year during visits to be sure. Then I was given my second IQ test.


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mournerx
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05 May 2016, 5:24 am

I was interviewed twice as was my partner. The psychiatrist was an ASD and ADHD specialist. First interview was a long one about developmental history and medical history. He consulted NT school reports and my previous diagnoses. He used the DISCO to interview me the second time. I was not asked to do tests but I brought RAADS-R score and AQ/SQ/EQ scores with me.I handed in 9 pages of notes too. He asked my partner to bring some notes about me too. I also brought a para that my close friend who was my housemate at university wrote about me (specifically for this assessment).

I was super anxious in my first interview and really struggled w answering his questions concisely and kept interrupting him (and he kept interrupting me). Second session was less stressful.


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Hounds
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05 May 2016, 7:55 am

mournerx wrote:
I was interviewed twice as was my partner. The psychiatrist was an ASD and ADHD specialist. First interview was a long one about developmental history and medical history. He consulted NT school reports and my previous diagnoses. He used the DISCO to interview me the second time. I was not asked to do tests but I brought RAADS-R score and AQ/SQ/EQ scores with me.I handed in 9 pages of notes too. He asked my partner to bring some notes about me too. I also brought a para that my close friend who was my housemate at university wrote about me (specifically for this assessment).

I was super anxious in my first interview and really struggled w answering his questions concisely and kept interrupting him (and he kept interrupting me). Second session was less stressful.

Do you recommend on doing that? Writing what I know I fit in autism and all those test scores and showing a psychiatrist? I'm scared I won't be taken seriously.



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05 May 2016, 8:09 am

I attended my university's Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinic in August 2015. I scheduled the assessment four months in advance because of a slight backlog of assessments already scheduled. When I attended, I assisted in completing the ADOS-2 Module 4 diagnostic instrument including the Social Responsiveness Scale. I had prepared my own referenced clinical list of diagnosed comorbids and other characteristics. I brought my baby book and several photographs of myself during my childhood in case my diagnosticians were expecting some noted or observable characteristics (they did). Because of my self research, we concluded the assessment in two-thirds of the alloted time (two hours instead of three). My diagnosticians offered to refund a portion of my fee because I had "done so much of the work" for them. I offered instead that they use the excess payment to help another individual or family with their fee. So, after two hours of answering questions and doing some silly, but entertaining, batteries, I was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, level 1 without accompanying intellectual or language impairments. It was the easiest clinical experience in my life.


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mournerx
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21 May 2016, 1:11 am

Hounds wrote:
mournerx wrote:
I was interviewed twice as was my partner. The psychiatrist was an ASD and ADHD specialist. First interview was a long one about developmental history and medical history. He consulted NT school reports and my previous diagnoses. He used the DISCO to interview me the second time. I was not asked to do tests but I brought RAADS-R score and AQ/SQ/EQ scores with me.I handed in 9 pages of notes too. He asked my partner to bring some notes about me too. I also brought a para that my close friend who was my housemate at university wrote about me (specifically for this assessment).

I was super anxious in my first interview and really struggled w answering his questions concisely and kept interrupting him (and he kept interrupting me). Second session was less stressful.

Do you recommend on doing that? Writing what I know I fit in autism and all those test scores and showing a psychiatrist? I'm scared I won't be taken seriously.



Hey I'm sorry I totally missed your post.
I think I brought notes because I knew, based on my research, that they would ask me 'why do you think you may have the condition' and I may struggle to speak concisely or at all during the assessment. Writing it out systematically helped me take myself more seriously actually. The doctor actually said he was confident I had the condition before he even got the chance to read most of what I wrote. But he read it before compiling final report.


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21 May 2016, 1:33 am

I was just about to make my own post but I think I'll just tag off of yours.

My questions are:

1. In the US, how much does the average autism evaluation cost with cash, upfront, and without using health insurance?

2. Can you still get DX'd without getting your parents involved? My parents are both not ok with a psychiatric evaluation of me for opposing reasons in that my dad says that I absolutely cannot have AS and there's no point in seeing a professional and my mom says that it's so certain that I have AS that there's no point in getting a DX since she already 'diagnosed' me.

3. How important is a diagnosis? I used to think I didn't need outside help for my issues... but then I went through a period of my life where I was severely depressed and suicidal. I was too scared and embarrassed to tell anyone and damn near killed myself (literally). So stupid... I should have told my parents or someone but I never did. I'm not depressed anymore, but at this point I'm pretty much convinced that seeing a psychiatrist would help me.

Basically, I need to pay out of pocket (I can personally afford anything south of $2000) for an evaluation without getting parents involved or anyone else knowing. Is this hard to do?


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21 May 2016, 7:55 am

r84shi37 wrote:
I was just about to make my own post but I think I'll just tag off of yours.

My questions are:

1. In the US, how much does the average autism evaluation cost with cash, upfront, and without using health insurance?

Mine was $1,000 which is about the mid-range for costs (reportedly between $250 and $2,500) of a retail psychological assessment in the United States.

2. Can you still get DX'd without getting your parents involved? My parents are both not ok with a psychiatric evaluation of me for opposing reasons in that my dad says that I absolutely cannot have AS and there's no point in seeing a professional and my mom says that it's so certain that I have AS that there's no point in getting a DX since she already 'diagnosed' me.

Yes. As long as you have convincing knowledge of your own early developmental period (before ages five to about 13 years). It helps to have such knowledge written into a list or narrative of what your behaviors and characteristics were, and your memories of your family members and others (educators, neighbors, friends) commenting about the behaviors and characteristics. Good diagnosticians realize that memories aren't always accurate and simply want to determine the most objective evidence. So, including in your written description statements like "My mother and sisters told me frequently that I was 'in my own little world' or 'got upset if my routines were suddenly changed'" is helpful.

3. How important is a diagnosis? I used to think I didn't need outside help for my issues... but then I went through a period of my life where I was severely depressed and suicidal. I was too scared and embarrassed to tell anyone and damn near killed myself (literally). So stupid... I should have told my parents or someone but I never did. I'm not depressed anymore, but at this point I'm pretty much convinced that seeing a psychiatrist would help me.

A diagnosis is important if you wish to gain governmental, educational and professional supports like job training or disability benefits. For autistic adults who dont't need such benefits in their lives, simply having a lifetime of awareness confirmed by a diagnosis is often the reason they pursue a diagnosis; others often complete some screening tests and leave it at that (allowing them to state truthfully that they "have been screened with autism") without completing a costly, distant or stressful diagnostic assessment. If you want to pursue counseling, you can do so without a diagnosis, but it might help.

Basically, I need to pay out of pocket (I can personally afford anything south of $2000) for an evaluation without getting parents involved or anyone else knowing. Is this hard to do?

When I scheduled my assessment, I was told that the clinic was accepting clients on a four-month waiting list. This gave me enough time to save up for the fee. Clinics will work around your schedule as much as they can. Plan ahead so you can reasonably predict when you will have the fee saved. With a date certain, the clinic can then pre-schedule your assessment, or offer to schedule it when you have the fee saved.

Some extra advice: When you contact a clinic for your assessment, ask about the diagnostic tests it uses. Many diagnosed individuals (including myself) have enjoyed being diagnosed with the ADOS-2 series of tests. You might want to ask specifically if a clinic uses that test. It is very accurate.


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21 May 2016, 1:49 pm

I saw a neuropsychologist for my assessment. There was a lot of general cognitive testing (IQ tests, tests of attention and memory, tests meant to measure academic achievement/skills) and specific testing of my social skills. There was also an interview that involved answering all sorts of questions about myself in the present and as a child. The neuropsych spoke to my mother about my childhood as well.


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21 May 2016, 2:03 pm

I was diagnosed when I was very young so I can't remember that much. But my parents told me it was after my mum went to the doctors with me for an appointment and I wouldn't stop screaming. The GP asked my mum if I was okay because both she and her mum suspected that something wasn't quite right with me.
I was then referred to a professional and as part of my assessment, they did all sorts of tests with me like asking me to make silly noises and asking me to follow basic instructions with some toys (e.g. "pick up the green ball" or "put the toy farmer in the tractor") and I was just in my own little bubble.
And I got diagnosed shortly after these tests.


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