Looking for template to prepare for assessment

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Moloko
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05 Jul 2022, 10:30 am

Hi. I am seeking an assessment for autism. I have recently heard that in my community, due to one year+ waitlists for adult assessments, there is a way to fast-track diagnosis by preparing a very thorough and organized self-assessment of autistic traits and examples of how one fits into them or not. I'm also prepared to walk in with my online evaluations. I understand this does not guarantee a diagnosis or bypassing the system, but I believe my case is abundantly strong and may meet the doctor's criteria.

Does anyone have a template for this? I'm good at the "thorough" and "organized" part, but I want to start with a list of issues that are organized like a diagnostician would think, i.e., along the criteria for DSM diagnosis and also traits specific to female autistics that may not be encompassed by the DSM.

I've seen one before but that was a year ago and I can't find it. Thank you!



jared11235
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05 Jul 2022, 4:08 pm

Your profile says you are in Washington state. If your in the Puget Sound area like me then I'd suggest contacting some places that do the assessments to see if the backlog is really that bad. Back in June, I was able to schedule my assessment for September. That's only 3 months or so. I didn't need to do any prep to get a test date or be fast-tracked.



Double Retired
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06 Jul 2022, 3:47 pm

I guess wait times vary from one place to another. The psychologist who did my assessment couldn't squeeze me into her schedule for a month. (That is, after I found someone to do my assessment I waited just one month for the assessment!)

When I asked that Psychologist practice if they could do an Adult Autism Assessment on me I gave them an unsolicited six page letter explaining why I wanted an Adult Autism Assessment.
Page 1 explained the incident that caused me to investigate Autism, gave my AQ score, and the score my bride got when she took that test plugging in the answers she thought I should give.
Page 2 was a very high-level chronology of my life. Things like when I was born, graduations, jobs, etc.
Page 3 listed records I could provide that I thought might be of interest.
Page 4 noted that my bride and my still-alive-and-quite-old father might be sources of information.
Pages 5 & 6 were copies of eighteen Internet Autism memes that I thought sort of applied to me.

Note they did not ask me for the information in that letter.

When they said they would do an Adult Autism Assessment on me I gave them more than one hundred pages of records that I thought might be of interest. Again, they did not ask me for these records. And the only thing I know the Psychologist looked at in the records was a journal my long-deceased mother had kept for my first year of life.

The written Psychological Evaluation I received noted that I was "observed to be an organized individual, as he presented the examiner with copious amounts of documentation and records, to include a detailed index." (It was not an Index! It was a Table of Contents!)

And the copious amount of documentation and records I gave them were not solicited. I just did that in case it might help.

In hindsight, the Psychologist followed a process to assess me. Preparation on my part was probably not needed.

Oh, and the assessment was kind of fun! I get the impression Autism Assessments are usually done on children and parts of the assessment process reflected that...I don't think my age invalidated those parts of the assessment, but just made them more amusing.


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IsabellaLinton
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06 Jul 2022, 4:01 pm

I got a link to my DH questions, but the link expired and I can't get back to it.
I sense the questions are meant to be top-secret and not shared or saved easily.

A few years ago another WP member was asking what types of questions we had.
I went through my written answers to the questions and made a list of all the topic headings.
My headings would have followed the outline of the questions.

Here's what I wrote about: (copied from an earlier WP post):

Part 1: General Background
Existing Disorders (Primary, Congenital)
Medications
Allergies
Past Illnesses
Hospitalisations / Surgeries
Speech, Psychology, Psychiatry, Social Work, OT, and Other Services


Part 2: Developmental History up to PreSchool
Birth Information
Mother's Health History
Difficulties in Infancy (Eating, Sleeping, Motor Mannerisms)
Language Development
Gross Motor Skills
Age of first words, phrases, functional speech
Repetition of Words (Echolalia)
Hearing
Pronoun Reversal and Neologisms
Use of Gestures and Eye Contact
Pointing to Objects
Following a Point
Responding to My Name
Social Chat
Initiating Conversation
Reciprocal Conversation
Giving and Showing Toys / Items to Others
Response to Affection
Offering Comfort
Sensory Issues (all five senses)
Stims
Engaging with Peers
Eye Contact and Face Blindness
Comfort Level with Strangers
General Fears
Family Dynamics
Playing with Cousins and Neighbours
Special Interests in Early Childhood
Other Info from Early Childhood


Part 3: School-Aged History until end of Education
Names of Schools and Dates Attended

Then, each of these described year by year (it became repetitive!)
Motor Skills
Response to School Setting
Initiation of Social Interaction
Imitation of Others
Describe Your Make Believe Play
Play Dates and Friends
Types of Interests / Toys / Games
Social Activities, Lessons, Clubs, Extracurriculars
Obsessions
Sensory Issues (all five senses, described in relation to sleep, food, etc., with examples)
Stims
Fears
Repetitive Interests / Behaviours
Response to Change in Routine / Transitions
Tantrums and Mood
Hand Preference
Written Language Skills
Special Education Services
Range of Achievement
Milestones of Independence (e.g., being home alone)
Strengths and Challenges (by age and subject)
Sleep Issues
Dealing with Responsibility (homework, chores)
Response to Travel including field trips and family travel
Holidays and Special Occasions
Reflections about my feelings, fears, friends, social clubs, each by year
Birthday Parties (mine and other kids)
Tertiary Education: Areas of Study and Social Involvement

* Section 3 took me about 60 pages because it had to be year by year 8O

Part 4: Body Image
BFRB, self-concept, etc.
Puberty and Sexual Development
Best Memories / Worst Memories

Part 5: Organisational Skills and Executive Function
Attention Issues (ADHD etc)
Applying Knowledge in Functional Ways
Problem Solving

Part 6: History of Jobs
Successes, Challenges
Need for Accommodations
Relationships with Colleagues
Financial matters (understanding money, budgeting)

Part 7: Relationships
Dating, Marriage, Parenting etc.
Interpersonal Conflict and Communication

Part 8: Current Life: Friendships / Relationships
Social Involvement
Making Plans
Current Activities (liked and disliked)
Sense of Humour
Echolalia and Verbal Communication
Affection
Expression of Emotion
Reading Emotions
Understanding Social Rules / Situations
Social Scripts / Safety Plans
Special Interests
Stims
Rigidity and Repetitive Behaviours / Thoughts

Part 9: Emotional and Psychological or Mental Health History
Ongoing Fears
Ongoing Sensory
Ongoing Self-Concept


Part 10: Current Family / Health Summary
Paternal / Maternal Psychiatric History
Siblings development / psychiatric history


I used a Table of Contents and SubHeadings, and at the end I put an Appendix with school records, employment evaluations, links to home videos, etc. It was massive but it was worth it. I wrote 188 pages in all.



Fenn
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07 Jul 2022, 12:04 pm

I am thinking about this too.
One thing to look at is the DSM-5 criteria - you can google it or ask a good reference Liberian for help.
Or ask here if those fail. You might want to look at the DSM 4 too (not instead of).

Another thing to know is you may need to prove the symptoms go back to childhood. Autism is genetic so they might balk if you just started to become Autistic lately.

Also google Autism and “differential diagnosis”. To get Autism dx you may need to convince them you are NOT something else.

Write down all the “why this is DSM Autism” stuff and “why this is not X” stuff. Where X is depression, anxiety, bipolar, adhd (etc. etc.)

A tip I heard is to try to find someone who is good at diagnosing kids and *older teens*. Then ask if they can diagnose an adult.

Good luck and keep us posted


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RDOS scores - Aspie score 131/200 - neurotypical score 69/200 - very likely Aspie


IsabellaLinton
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07 Jul 2022, 12:47 pm

I went back to the first email I got from my Neuropsych, which explained how she tests for ASD.

This is different from the Developmental History questions that I tried to list in my last post.

This is how she explained a testing appointment:



Disorder-Specific Evaluation:

Assessing characteristics of specific neuro-developmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, including but not limited to:

• Intellectual/Cognitive: assessing intellectual abilities; specifically, verbal and nonverbal/ perceptual processing abilities;

• Academic: providing information about individual academic ability and percentile;

• Memory and Attention: examining ability to remember or recognise information in short- and long-term memory, as well as working memory, and determining an individual's ability to attend;

• Functional: assessment of functional abilities or daily living skills, with suggestions for areas in need of development;

• Executive Functioning: examining ability to plan, initiate, organise activities and tasks, initiate and self-monitor, and regulate behaviour and emotion;

• Social Cognition: such as affect labelling; affect recognition from faces and prosody; identification of sarcasm; the ability to verbalise intent of a speaker and face and name memory;

• Mental Health: assessment of anxiety and depression relative to age-and gender-matched peers, other mental health concerns, and emotional status;

• Sensory: gathering information around sensory seeking and avoiding behaviours and specific sensory concerns (and may result in referral for an OT consultation).



Fenn
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07 Jul 2022, 4:34 pm

FYI
In DSM 4 you could ONLY have ADHD OR Autism.
One OR the other not both.
In DSM 5 you can get a dx for BOTH ADHD and Autism.
(jargon: dx is short for diagnosis)


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ADHD-I(diagnosed) ASD-HF(undiagnosed - maybe)
RDOS scores - Aspie score 131/200 - neurotypical score 69/200 - very likely Aspie