Going in for a diagnosis next month-what do I do to prepare?

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Wolfpup
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16 Oct 2007, 12:20 pm

I’m not sure if I should stick this here, or in the member’s only place, but it is asperger’s related, so…

I’ve got an appointment I guess to get tested for AS next month with a psychologist I’ve never met.

Honestly I’m a bit freaked out right now. I’m made uncomfortable by these types of people in general, plus I’m really not sure what to expect, what types of things they’ll ask me or do. I’m probably going to embarrass myself, or they’ll think I don’t have it and embarrass me that way, or something (if I really don’t, that’s fine, but then I need something MORE plausible, and to date I haven’t found anything that seems to fit as well as AS, and can’t believe how I recognize a lot of stuff people talk about on here).

I’m not sure what if anything I should do to prepare, what I should expect, etc. I don’t even WANT to prepare or half to think about it until that morning, but if it would help, I guess I’ll try to get ready for it. Maybe have some notes or something, I don’t know.

How long does this even last?

Supposedly this guy has a couple of adults with AS, although I think mine is comparatively mild, and symptoms vary so much that I don’t know if he’d realize. Plus I can fake being normal for that long, I’m going to be hyper sensitive about everything (I felt like I was being analyzed or something when this woman who works with ASD people met me one time-she was pointing out all kinds of things I wasn’t aware I was doing, and I felt really self conscious).

Anyway…any ideas? I’m slightly panicked and now I’m rambling :D



richardbenson
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16 Oct 2007, 12:27 pm

uh, be yourself? :)
its pretty routine. the doctor looks at you, puts you through tests, and looks at your backround in every way possible


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Wolfpup
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16 Oct 2007, 12:41 pm

on’t intentionally NOT be myself, but…

What types of tests do they have you do? What do they ask about your background?

I’m also wondering if it’s good or bad to have my mom there. Doctors seem to think that’s weird, even though she knows more stuff about some stuff than I do…



richardbenson
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16 Oct 2007, 12:46 pm

they make you do physical tests, to make shure your bodys functioning properly, they make you do hand eye coordination tests, and general coordination tests, in my case i had to show them all my childreports, ISPs, and any other evidence i had of what was going on with me as a kid from schools, one of the doctors talked to me for an hour, mostley i told him how much i loved sportscards and rocks. he did try talking to me about his family but i wasnt too intrested and was silent through most of him talking. i also didnt have my mom with me, and was alone when i was diagnosed.


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16 Oct 2007, 12:56 pm

Hmm, well I'm generally coordinated enough, I don't think I'm unusual in that regard.

I don't have anything useful from childhood, and in fact wouldn't allow them to have access to any of that stuff if they asked. It wouldn't be useful to them. I was locked up twice as a young teenager after my parents divorce, and who knows what insane stuff they wrote in there. Certainly nothing useful.

This was all before AS was a diagnosis most places in the U.S. I was diagnosed with OCD though (which was pretty obvious).



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16 Oct 2007, 1:06 pm

There are different ways to diagnose AS, but remember they diagnose it based on behavior. That is the only way now they diagnose it. They won't scan your brain or anything like that. They will look at your past behavior and may ask one of your relatives to answer some quesitons about you.
Personally I wouldn't worry about it. You don't have to prepare or "try". Just be as honest with your answers as possible. Don't give them answers you think would make them conclude you have Aspergers. Pretend like Aspergers doesn't exist and forget anything you've learned on this site. Be yourself.



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16 Oct 2007, 1:11 pm

I dont know how US psycs go about things, but remember s/he will be used to working with people that are stressed & anxious, so I'm sure they'll go easy on you. I was diagnosed by Prof Simon Baron-Cohen from Cambridge University. One of my family had been interviewed previously about me, and I had already filled in 2 long questionaires before a 2.5 hour interview with the prof and a collegue...phew! GoodLuck


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Wolfpup
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16 Oct 2007, 1:34 pm

Thanks! I guess I'll try not to stress out about it too much.

You'd THINK they'd be used to people being stressed and anxious, but I've been around too many of these people who seem completely clueless about obvious stuff like that.

Also I hope this guy isn't too young. I think I'll be more nervous if he's not much different from me...



16 Oct 2007, 1:56 pm

I am also nervous. My coordination has imporved and so has my moter skills and my eye cooordination. I have learned to be flexible. I hope they go back to my childhood, not where I am now. I don't even have my medical records and I doubt they still be in the records here in Portland because it was 20 years ago. My medical records are at my parents house and my reports from school like IEP and report cards. I was told to hold off on the test till my next session with my shrink.



edal
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16 Oct 2007, 3:16 pm

Like they say on all the best party invitations, just come as you are. It's not a job interview, your life is not on trial and you're not going to get shot if the defense lawyer isn't up to speed. Just answer the questions asked the best you can.

Ed Almos

P.S. I bet he's heard LOTS of things more embarassing that you can imagine.



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16 Oct 2007, 3:37 pm

do not prepare anything or else you will be tossing and turning and trying to make the diagnosis yourself and self-analyse your own behaviours. Just go and be yourself, go unprepared and let the specialist do his/her job. Do not prepare a thing as it would only alter the way you would behave or answer spontaneously.


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16 Oct 2007, 3:48 pm

crackedpleasures wrote:
do not prepare anything or else you will be tossing and turning and trying to make the diagnosis yourself and self-analyse your own behaviours. Just go and be yourself, go unprepared and let the specialist do his/her job. Do not prepare a thing as it would only alter the way you would behave or answer spontaneously.


I respectfully disagree. Especially if one has gained some level of "chameleon" skills in order to succeed and fit in, even a professional might not know what one's true tendencies are. I could see myself going into such an evaluation and forgetting all the important parts I meant to say, and getting turned away because I looked close enough to normal.

An important distinction between AS and non-AS whether or not such social skills come naturally or are something that has to be thought through methodically. A lot of us might look successful enough to a doctor in an hour-long appointment in his office, but that doesn't reflect how hard we might have worked to get to the point where we are now. If you happen in the luck of the draw to run across a professional whose idea of AS is very low functioning, he might write off your poor eye contact and speech patterns as within the realm of normalcy, when in fact you might need a lot of help and have suffered a lot because of your other symptoms.

I'd personally recommend making a concise list of symptoms you have, backed up with examples, and a basic timeline of how these things manifested themselves in your life. If you're like me, that is. I'd have to do that because I'm likely to freeze up in front of doctors and get all agreeable rather than sticking up for what I know I need. Maybe you're different and you'll be fine just coming "as you are." Good luck!


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16 Oct 2007, 3:56 pm

Wolfpup - I agree with gwenevyn. I have a terrible time trying to explain even the most basic parts of my behavior to someone so I'd go in with information written out so you can use it to help you along as you talk to the doctor. The first doctor I saw wasn't terribly helpful and didn't even bother looking at my notes. I have another appointment with her tomorrow and I've written more clear/concise stuff this time and if I have to read it to her verbatim to get my point across, so be it.

I've learned over the years what I'm "supposed" to say and do but that doesn't make it any easier. Good luck with your appointment and let us all know what happens.



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16 Oct 2007, 4:00 pm

Wolfpup,

I recommend you definantly take your Mum.

I know of psychologists/psychiatrists who won't diagnose adults unless they can talk to people who knew them in their childhood to clarify issues/behaviours.

Other than that, you don't really need to do anything to prepare.

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Helen



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16 Oct 2007, 4:08 pm

id also recommend not to be too worked up about the whole diagnosis thing.
as gwen said, different docs have different ideas about AS, different ways to go, and different aspies are different people anyway. in the end, its a label someone slaps on you or doesnt. it doesnt change who you are. if some doc said you werent AS, that wouldnt change an ounce of who you are, what comes easily to you and what causes you problems.

i, too, would try thinking about good examples for my typical behaviours, though. :)
funny, now that we are talking about psych docs: i have been to two of them in my life. one because as a child, i had immense fear of staying overnight anywhere except home. the guy was a pretty low-grade doc (but a high-grade idiot to balance it off). the second one was an allround doctor i had to see in preparation for my military service. he saw i was absolutely shaken by the whole procedure and made me talk about different things to calm me down a bit. didnt work, obviously. but when i said (i hadnt heard of aspergers by then) that basically, i behave a bit like a scatterbrained professor, he grinned and told me that i do all the diagnosing work for him. i dont know what he meant, or if he meant it the way i think about it now, but he wrote that i should only be granted access to duties in the army that are far removed from anything practical and with the possibility to harm people or myself (not even kitchen duty, because of all the knives - that, though, because of a self-inflicted scar on my arm). basically, i could have chosen between archiving and mapmaking duties. :) (in the end, i denied service and served my time in the personal administration of a psychiatric hospital - ironically enough, under a boss who handpicked me for that job because he saw that i could excel in the stuff i had to do there)