Discouraged from getting a diagnosis?

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lvpin
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16 Jan 2024, 7:51 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
lvpin wrote:
but they also wonder why would you want a diagnosis if there isn’t any treatment/cure?.

Plenty of autistics feel this way also and that is their right. Speaking of rude others telling you that you should not feel that way is rude.


Sorry if I’m misunderstanding but are you saying I was being rude here? I wasn’t trying to be. I was complaining about other people discouraging me for that reason and not taking my reasons for wanting to know seriously. Sorry if any of my post came off as rude.



ASPartOfMe
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16 Jan 2024, 8:18 pm

lvpin wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
lvpin wrote:
but they also wonder why would you want a diagnosis if there isn’t any treatment/cure?.

Plenty of autistics feel this way also and that is their right. Speaking of rude others telling you that you should not feel that way is rude.


Sorry if I’m misunderstanding but are you saying I was being rude here? I wasn’t trying to be. I was complaining about other people discouraging me for that reason and not taking my reasons for wanting to know seriously. Sorry if any of my post came off as rude.

It was the people who were discouraging you and not taking your reasons seriously and calling you rude who were rude, not you.


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Eyeselation
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17 Jan 2024, 1:23 am

My ex-girlfriend—because only people that resemble her young nephew can be autistic. Not females that look like me.
Is that obscure enough to not offend anyone?



silverlinings1069
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17 Jan 2024, 7:54 am

What do you want? Will it help your peace of mind? If you feel it will help you, absolutely do the screening. I have been dealing with so many issues without any help or consideration as to what I might be going through that I have pushed for a diagnosis. No one wanted to admit I was autistic. But man they were okay treating me like an idiot. All of my diagnoses have been a relief for me. And, in spite of the naysayers, I’m here and AuADHD. Do what you need and want for you. Good luck!



PassingThrough
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19 Jan 2024, 4:38 pm

A psychologist I was seeing for anxiety said he thought I probably had autism (I raised the question), but that it wouldn't be worth pursuing a diagnosis at this point. One of his reasons was the possibility of a "false negative." It's a fair point, but I think somebody looking for a diagnosis can mitigate that by preparing well. Before scheduling an examination, you could take some time to recall the difficult experiences you've had from childhood that you believe are evidence of autism. Watching YouTube videos by autistic people has been helpful for jogging my memory and reflecting more clearly on my experiences.

If I suspected when I was a teenager that I had autism, my parents would have dismissed it and probably ridiculed me for thinking it. Thankfully that didn't happen, because their disparaging reaction probably would have been traumatic.

There's a certain mentality that blows off any conditions that don't appear visually profound. They dismiss the conditions as nonsensical coddling of people whose only problem is that they won't get their act together. That attitude isn't a matter of education; I know people with advanced degrees and prestigious careers who think that way. I used to try reasoning with those people, but have found that it's usually a lost cause. I'm careful about who I discuss these things with. I've told only my son (who has an autism diagnosis) and my wife about my self-diagnosis and my psychologist's belief that my self-diagnosis is probably correct. The only other people I'd share it with are people who have a clinical diagnosis or self-diagnosis, and any mental health providers I see.



Last edited by PassingThrough on 19 Jan 2024, 5:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Double Retired
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19 Jan 2024, 5:39 pm

PassingThrough,

I don't know what country you are in but I was diagnosed in the U.S. and I don't think "I think somebody looking for a diagnosis can mitigate that by preparing well. Before scheduling an examination, you could take some time to recall the difficult experiences you've had from childhood that you believe are evidence of autism." would have been useful or relevant during my assessment (perhaps during Therapy, but an assessment for diagnosis is not therapy). The psychologist had a routine assessment process, much of it involving questionnaires and supervised exercises. There was very little my memory was a factor. And preparing to respond in an Autistic way would probably have been counter-productive.

You cooperate and be honest with the assessor. You want an accurate diagnosis and that's their job.

Also, they might be looking for signs that some other diagnosis might fit better...there are other diagnoses that share some characteristics with Autism. Plus, some folk would be determined to have a "Broad Autism Phenotype"...in my words that would be "partly Autistic".

My preparation for the diagnosis was:
- Checking my insurance to see whether an assessment might be at least partially covered
- Finding someone to do the assessement (not all psychologists work with Autism)
- Collecting a bunch of records (report cards, and such) that I thought might interest the assessor

If I found the correct posts on WP I would say that getting an assessment might be of interest and you are likely old enough that an Autism diagnosis might not be a problem for you. I believe younger folk might have to worry about whether a diagnosis would work against them.


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PassingThrough
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19 Jan 2024, 6:06 pm

Double Retired, thanks for your helpful reply.

Double Retired wrote:
PassingThrough,There was very little my memory was a factor. And preparing to respond in an Autistic way would probably have been counter-productive.

You cooperate and be honest with the assessor. You want an accurate diagnosis and that's their job.

My point wasn't to sell your belief to the assessor, but to be sure you have enough information on hand to best represent the experiences you've had. I was thinking that if you provide a bunch of wishy-washy answers to the assessor, they might not have enough information to give the correct diagnosis. You mentioned collecting report cards and that kind of thing for the assessment, which I think is the same place I was coming from. But according to your experiences, the assessment doesn't work that way.

Quote:
Also, they might be looking for signs that some other diagnosis might fit better...there are other diagnoses that share some characteristics with Autism. Plus, some folk would be determined to have a "Broad Autism Phenotype"...in my words that would be "partly Autistic".

I understand. I want the correct diagnosis, which is why I'd want to be prepared to answer any questions about my experiences. If the assessor thinks my answers point to something else, I'm fully open to that. The reason I'm interested in a clinical assessment is because I don't want to take myself down the wrong path. I want to know what psychological or development conditions I have, if any, and how to best address them.

Quote:
If I found the correct posts on WP I would say that getting an assessment might be of interest and you are likely old enough that an Autism diagnosis might not be a problem for you. I believe younger folk might have to worry about whether a diagnosis would work against them.

Thanks again. I recently started seeing a different psychologist to help me navigate elder care (long story), and I'm going to stop seeing the other psychologist and work with the new one for my personal concerns as well. I'm going to discuss with him my thoughts about autism at our next appointment.



PassingThrough
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27 Jan 2024, 12:55 pm

Update to my post above:

I spoke with the new psychologist about thinking I might have ASD, and he agreed with the previous psychologist that a formal assessment probably wouldn't be worth it at this point in my life. He made it clear that if I really wanted an assessment, he'd give me a referral. But his input was that he didn't see the need. At my age it wouldn't avail me of any supports, I've developed workarounds for the difficulties I have, and having a diagnosis of neurodivergence on my medical records could be a double-edged sword. Just as somebody who feels certain they have ASD can doubt a negative assessment, they could also have periodic doubts about a diagnosis (especially if that person has naysayers working on them). Definitions are still in flux, so today's negative assessment could be tomorrow's positive assessment or vice versa.

Unless a compelling need arises for a formal assessment, I'll leave it at a strong likelihood of my being neurodivergent because:

- my life experience with social limitations
- having studied movies, TV, and books for social skills
- I mask (which I recently learned about myself)
- blunted affect when I try not to mask
- sometimes inappropriate affect when I stretch myself too far socially
- very limited ability to take a hint or read a room
- my son having ASD (heredity)
- my previous psychologist thinking I probably have ASD
- sensory sensitivity (mostly with smell and sometimes light)
- my scores on online assessments (I understand that they aren't to be taken as a diagnosis)
- how closely I relate to the experiences of authors and content creators who were diagnosed in adulthood

I'm sure there's other evidence that I'm not thinking of right now. With all that in mind, I'm fine with concluding that I'm most probably neurodivergent (probably on the ASD spectrum) and moving on accordingly.



ASPartOfMe
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27 Jan 2024, 6:51 pm

Some autistics do need their suspicions validated by a professional to move forward in life otherwise they will be angst ridden wondering am I autistic or a fraud. For others self diagnosis is all they need. Both needs are valid.

It sucked when self diagnosers especially older ones autism were regularly called into question here and elsewhere by people who grew up in a time was professional diagnosis was regularly available to their demographic.

It sucks that so many clinicians assume just because there are so few services available for older adults that their diagnosis should not matter. I can personally attest that is not necessarily true.

There is another option if your clinician is up for it. I call it an unofficial diagnosis. ThoughtProcess has had a version of it. Find a qualified clinician have that person says in their professional opinion you are autistic. You save money because a diagnostic report need not be written. If you choose not take a battery of tests that saves more money. Nothing goes on your medical records so no worries about that.


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27 Jan 2024, 8:24 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
There is another option if your clinician is up for it. I call it an unofficial diagnosis. ThoughtProcess has had a version of it. Find a qualified clinician have that person says in their professional opinion you are autistic. You save money because a diagnostic report need not be written. If you choose not take a battery of tests that saves more money. Nothing goes on your medical records so no worries about that.


My wife arranged to have that done by one of her friends who just got his medical qualifications and was working in a mental institution. The place where folks recover from psychotic breaks.

I've since determined that I'm both transgender and a very high functioning on the autism spectrum.
Socialization was difficult because folks were confused by my gender. I fell in the "uncanny valley" between male and female. Add in some autism and no wonder I had issues.

Socializing is much easier when present in my proper gender. I gave a presentation last year and did a fine job of reading the room! As well as dozens of face to face interactions. But, I'm equally fine staying indoors by myself during the Pandemic or during weeks of nasty winter weather.



PassingThrough
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27 Jan 2024, 9:44 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
There is another option if your clinician is up for it. I call it an unofficial diagnosis. ThoughtProcess has had a version of it. Find a qualified clinician have that person says in their professional opinion you are autistic. You save money because a diagnostic report need not be written. If you choose not take a battery of tests that saves more money. Nothing goes on your medical records so no worries about that.

I said above that my previous psychologist thought I most probably had autism. He said he could give me a provisional diagnosis if I needed it for some reason, and in our discussions he sometimes made reference to "your autism." Does that cover the unofficial diagnosis you're mentioning?

Now that I discussed autism with new the psychologist, I'll be interested to see how it develops, if at all, in our future sessions. I'll leave it to him to bring up ASD again if he thinks it's relevant.



ASPartOfMe
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27 Jan 2024, 11:02 pm

PassingThrough wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
There is another option if your clinician is up for it. I call it an unofficial diagnosis. ThoughtProcess has had a version of it. Find a qualified clinician have that person says in their professional opinion you are autistic. You save money because a diagnostic report need not be written. If you choose not take a battery of tests that saves more money. Nothing goes on your medical records so no worries about that.

I said above that my previous psychologist thought I most probably had autism. He said he could give me a provisional diagnosis if I needed it for some reason, and in our discussions he sometimes made reference to "your autism." Does that cover the unofficial diagnosis you're mentioning?

That would cover it. I allowed you to go forward.


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“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman