1st Try DX: Helpful for Heavy Maskers (& Gaming the System?)

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Aspi
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22 May 2020, 3:22 pm

Not sure what to think but I get what she's saying!
Getting a dx can be expensive in many places, and so many older women and adults in general have been masking for so long, they don't even know where they end and the mask begins.
In order to get the ASD dx they know they need, clients could do well to follow certain pointers which would indicate to an assessor that they are on the spectrum.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1jWrZp1iQk



CarlM
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22 May 2020, 4:55 pm

You shouldn't have to pretend to be rain man to get a DX. I think her advice should be to be careful and find a qualified pdoc for the evaluation. Things like not showing any emotion, that's just wrong.

If you've investigated ASD to any extent, I think it's obvious you should be turning off the masking for an evaluation. She talks like she forgot how to act autistic, that's far fetched.


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Aspi
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22 May 2020, 5:30 pm

At my eval, I was actually quite emotionally labile (my cat had died). This would have gone against her advice to not display emotion when talking about a loved-one dying. My psychiatrist said it's not that autists aren't emotional, it's that we don't always know how to identify the emotions we experience.



Last edited by Aspi on 22 May 2020, 8:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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22 May 2020, 5:37 pm

I haven't watched the video, but not being able to unmask is a thing. I think for some it's become an integral part of their personalitiy, how they communicate with others, and that they can only take the mask off when alone or with family.

The more anxious I am, the more I try to mask. It's not a conscious decision, it's purely anxiety driven.

I also don't think trying to present a cliched version of autism is a good idea.


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Aspi
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22 May 2020, 5:59 pm

The video could instill a lot of fear; nobody is truly textbook. That said, she is a respected advocate in the as-yet-undiagnosed and late-diagnosed ASD communities.



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22 May 2020, 11:26 pm

Someone who is masking heavily is either going to be on the verge of breaking down (mentally or medically) or low-functioning in certain aspects of her life. The breaking down and/or the minimized functioning are the crucial things to present during the evaluation.

Someone who does not fully realize they are masking or can't really explain it may simply not be ready for an evaluation. Psychology in general is most helpful when clients know themselves at least a little. And significant impairment is still one of the most important symptoms as well as something that pushes people to realize they are faking neurotypicality. If the awareness isn't quite there, maybe the impairment isn't either.


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Magna
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22 May 2020, 11:39 pm

It looks like the video is over an hour long? I don't want to watch something for that long.

Is she doing the video to try to teach people how to pretend to be autistic and try to trick the assessor?

I looked forward to my assessment because I went into it with the firm decision that I was NOT going to mask. My attitude was that I've had to mask all of my life and my assessment was THE one opportunity where I could sit down with someone I didn't know and have the attitude of: "I'm not going to mask. I'm beyond sick of it, there are no repercussions here if I don't mask and an autism assessor of all people shouldn't judge me for not masking!" I even told my assessor when I first sat down that I was NOT going to mask because I didn't want to. She was fine with that of course.

The funny thing was, I did kind of hope that at some point during the assessment she would have asked me to mask. She didn't. I was ready to show her how good I thought I was at masking by instantly "turning it on" and so I was mildly disappointed only in that respect.


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23 May 2020, 12:02 am

Magna wrote:
Is she doing the video to try to teach people how to pretend to be autistic and try to trick the assessor?



Basically, but she is actually telling you to take off that mask and to unlearn how to be NT you had learned over the years and been doing.


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Aspi
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23 May 2020, 10:22 am

She said if you don't have ASD you won't get a dx because you'd have to be a "VERY good actor," (could be the case, idk) and that it's just about removing the mask.



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23 May 2020, 3:34 pm

I watched the video last night and have mixed feelings about it. If I ever do go for a diagnosis I'm going to research and find a reputable person to evaluate me. I understand the concept of masking is fairly new but I would hope a qualified doc would keep up with the latest info regarding autism. Especially when you are coming forward after age 30 - that must be a red flag in itself that you are not a textbook autistic person. If you were you would have been found out long ago.
Not just that, I want to be sure that I have an accurate diagnosis. I'm sure I would want follow up therapy afterwards and would want the correct therapy that could indeed help me.



Magna
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23 May 2020, 8:42 pm

League_Girl wrote:
Magna wrote:
Is she doing the video to try to teach people how to pretend to be autistic and try to trick the assessor?



Basically, but she is actually telling you to take off that mask and to unlearn how to be NT you had learned over the years and been doing.


Good to see you again, League_Girl.


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23 May 2020, 9:41 pm

Magna wrote:
Is she doing the video to try to teach people how to pretend to be autistic and try to trick the assessor?


I watched the whole video, and I don't think it would be fair to characterise it like that. Rather, she is encouraging the listener to "be themselves," and not hide behind the mask they may have developed over the years or decades. She presents what seems like a slightly cynical view of the professional diagnosticians in the field, saying essentially that their understanding of autism is rooted in outdated stereotypes rather than in a more modern and nuanced understanding of the manifestations of autism. And therefore she advises someone who is going to be evaluated to be prepared for that, and especially, not to use any masking abilities they may have developed as coping mechanisms.

I have no way of judging how fair her criticisms of the profession are. No doubt there are some professionals who have rather outdated ideas of what autism means, and some who have a much more enlightened understanding. But as a general principle, her message that someone should not be trying to hide their autistic characteristics at an evaluation, even if they have evolved such masking abilities, is probably sound.



Aspi
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23 May 2020, 9:47 pm

There was a commenter who said an NT could get DXed ASD if they followed her instructions.
IDK. Maybe?
Can an NT fool a very good team? Again, IDK



strings
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23 May 2020, 10:11 pm

Aspi wrote:
There was a commenter who said an NT could get DXed ASD if they followed her instructions.
IDK. Maybe?
Can an NT fool a very good team? Again, IDK


I suppose that must be possible. Diagnosis is not an exact science, and a sufficiently good actor could presumably fool the diagnosticians.



Aspi
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23 May 2020, 10:17 pm

That is sad. Well, goes to show being diagnosed doesn't always give you the edge you think you have.