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

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Danielismyname
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13 Nov 2007, 9:22 pm

Wolfpup wrote:
Where were the tests similar to the Aspie quiz and RDOS' thing? Why didn't he ask me questions related to it?


Addendum: if you base whether or not you have Asperger's on an online test (especially those that are general and measure personality more than a disorder), you'll be sorely disappointed. The people at Attwood's asked me nothing concerning AS, they just spoke of the troubles I face after they observed me for awhile; they're going to observe you and your mannerisms as you converse about stuff, i.e., do you make eye contact, do you do motor mannerisms, how your speech is, how is your facial expression and whatnot. They don't want to know what you think you have, they want to see what you have.

Those other and unrelated [to AS] questions are there for other reasons.



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13 Nov 2007, 9:29 pm

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The word ASPERGER'S was never even MENTIONED.!



A good doctor wouldn't have mentioned it while evaluating you for it as doing so would not only potentially bias your actions, but his own ability to evaluate the situation objectively.

*That's not to say that all doctors in all situations wouldn't (my diagnoser approached the issue by asking me if I wanted to take the diagnostic tools for aspergers), but with such an intense exam it would be unprofessional to.


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\First asked me to define words, which I did really horribly at.


Aspies are somewhat known for using the more "proper" defintions rather than the more "popular" ones. A bad example would be an aspie saying they had a very gay day when describing a day that was very fun

Quote:
Had me try to say what was similar about too words, which I did pretty badly at too I think. He'd ask me "anything else you can say about it"?



I know there is something about aspies recognizing patterns but I've never paid much attention to that kind of criteris so i don't remember if its that we're typically better at it or worse at it

Quote:
Did these block things which I guess I did okay on (at least I finished them), although I would have done better if I wasn't asleep. My brain wasn't fully clicking, and I sat on one of them probably a minute after I actually had it, because it sort of looked different to me.


I'm guessing he was testing you to see if you had average or above average intelligence as having that while having poor social skills would point you towards being an aspie, but having lower intelligence and poor social skills would point you more in the direction of being an autie.

Quote:
Then I told him there was probably stuff I was supposed to be saying to him, but I didn't know what. He asked me what and I just said I didn't know (couldn't think of anything, my mind went blank during all this).


That could be an aspie trait. Its sort of like desiring to be perfect



Quote:
Like a bunch I had trouble with were "how are you X compared to your friends". Well I don't HAVE any friends, so how do I answer? I can't answer that question.

I'd just compare myself to typical peers, coworkers, etc Friends would be the ones you dislike spending time with the least

Quote:
One was "Do you like dramatics?"


I'd take that to be asking something like, "Do you enjoy throwing a temper tantrum when you find out your favorite show is a rerun instead of the new episode you thought was going to be shown?"

Quote:
After he came in, and said this stuff, and seemed rushed, I ended up calling my mom from in the room, to ask her to explain the questions to me.


You should not have been allowed to do that. It will probably influence your results which could potentially lead to a wrong diagnosis. In fact the doctor not explaining the answers to you may have been done intentionally to keep another persons opinion from influencing your answer


Quote:
"Psst. That guy behind you right now? The one who's staring at you, and no one else can see him? Yeah, is he talking to you right now?"


Questions like that are to determine if you have a more severe diagnosis than aspergers


Quote:
Okay, obviously I'm being silly with the exact phrasing, but it was all stuff like that. One test had 6 choices (never, almost never...) and I answered 95% of them "never", and the rest, "rarely".


I was given a test like that when I was diagnosed with asperger's. I had previously taken the test online so I knew what my results would be, but seeing all of my answers on paper, I thought, "there's no way I have asperger's if these are my answers." Most of my checks were in the same column and few were in the frequently one


Quote:
I also screwed up when I was in with him by when he said something I mentioned that I had experienced psychic phenomenon before, rarely. Shouldn't have said that. (Everyone involved believes it too-this isn't some psychosis!)


Ahh, I know that. Its the only thing I've only countered my pediatric neurologist on. he claimed my "de ja vu" was just a feeling from a minor seizure. But I proved that wrong several times since then by writing down the dreams I believed would come true.
And once I had a dream that something bad would happen to my little sister and her friend involving a red car. I brushed off the dream as just being nonsense, but when I next speke to her about a month later I told her of the dream and she said, "It happened." Just a few days before some guy in a red convertible had pulled up beside her as she walked down the street with a friend. When they were giving him the directions he asked for they noticed he wasn't wearing any pants. She was about 13 years old at the time. I also dreamed of when her cat died. I woke up with an intense stomach ache and seeing his face in high weeds - he didn't come home that day, and neighbors later said they found him in a field with a large hole in his stomach. Actually come to think of it I'd say 90% of the dreams I've had come true have some connection to my little sister. Which is weird is we we were never that close and even when I lived next door I didn't see her on a regular basis.


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My mom said he gravitated with her towards why we're living together. She said she should have just phrased it that she's living with me :lol: She's worried he's just obsessed with that, and just wants to change that.


TO give him the benefit of the doubt, he could have just been interested in identifying areas of weakness in your life that are preventing you from being able to live independently



Apollyon
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13 Nov 2007, 9:31 pm

Danielismyname wrote:
Wolfpup wrote:
Where were the tests similar to the Aspie quiz and RDOS' thing? Why didn't he ask me questions related to it?


Addendum: if you base whether or not you have Asperger's on an online test (especially those that are general and measure personality more than a disorder), you'll be sorely disappointed. The people at Attwood's asked me nothing concerning AS, they just spoke of the troubles I face after they observed me for awhile; they're going to observe you and your mannerisms as you converse about stuff, i.e., do you make eye contact, do you do motor mannerisms, how your speech is, how is your facial expression and whatnot. They don't want to know what you think you have, they want to see what you have.

Those other and unrelated [to AS] questions are there for other reasons.


It was the same for me as well. I had my list (which, now that I think about it, was just venting), and we just talked about some of the grievances I brought up, and then they asked me what I'm interested in and about my hobbies. Things of that nature. Then I was asked questions like- how would I respond to this, what would I say if someone said that, how do I feel about etc. While they took notes.



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14 Nov 2007, 11:11 am

Danielismyname wrote:
Addendum: if you base whether or not you have Asperger's on an online test (especially those that are general and measure personality more than a disorder), you'll be sorely disappointed. The people at Attwood's asked me nothing concerning AS, they just spoke of the troubles I face after they observed me for awhile...


Apollyon wrote:
It was the same for me as well. I had my list (which, now that I think about it, was just venting), and we just talked about some of the grievances I brought up, and then they asked me what I'm interested in and about my hobbies. Things of that nature. Then I was asked questions like- how would I respond to this, what would I say if someone said that, how do I feel about etc. While they took notes.


The thing is, he didn't ask me anything like that. He didn't ask me what kinds of issues I have or anything. Anything I said that might be useful was just brought up by accident. He barely asked me anything. I doubt we spent more than 15-30 minutes talking aside from him doing those verbal tests and that sort of thing.

Triangular_Trees wrote:
Quote:
After he came in, and said this stuff, and seemed rushed, I ended up calling my mom from in the room, to ask her to explain the questions to me.


You should not have been allowed to do that. It will probably influence your results which could potentially lead to a wrong diagnosis. In fact the doctor not explaining the answers to you may have been done intentionally to keep another persons opinion from influencing your answer


I wasn't allowed to do it, I just did it, because I didn't understand what the questions meant. It was insane, I tell the person who gave me the tests that didn't understand those questions, and hours later he comes in, and just keeps saying these things like "go with your gut instinct". I tell him I HAVE no gut instinct if I don't understand the question, or can't relate it to my life, etc. They seemed totally oblivious to that. It was bizarre, which has been my experience every time I've dealt with this type of people. They're making me feel bad, for something that's not my fault. If I don't understand what something means, then I don't understand it :x

Quote:
Ahh, I know that. Its the only thing I've only countered my pediatric neurologist on. he claimed my "de ja vu" was just a feeling from a minor seizure. But I proved that wrong several times since then by writing down the dreams I believed would come true.
And once I had a dream that something bad would happen to my little sister and her friend involving a red car. I brushed off the dream as just being nonsense, but when I next speke to her about a month later I told her of the dream and she said, "It happened." Just a few days before some guy in a red convertible had pulled up beside her as she walked down the street with a friend. When they were giving him the directions he asked for they noticed he wasn't wearing any pants. She was about 13 years old at the time. I also dreamed of when her cat died. I woke up with an intense stomach ache and seeing his face in high weeds - he didn't come home that day, and neighbors later said they found him in a field with a large hole in his stomach. Actually come to think of it I'd say 90% of the dreams I've had come true have some connection to my little sister. Which is weird is we we were never that close and even when I lived next door I didn't see her on a regular basis.


Yeah, I've had dreams and things have have come true, and some other things like that. I wouldn't believe in psychic stuff (and largely think it's all phoney), except that I've experienced it myself. I shouldn't have mentioned it though because they'll think who knows what because of that.

fivecents wrote:
OMG, get a brain scan. It is biological to an extent. Yes, some do better than others to “learn”, but an NT picks up social cues subconsciously. If you have to work at it, um, AS? I don’t like those questions. Drugs, suicide. Sounds like a hack, not an AS expert. What else happened?


I think that was pretty much it. I don't know, maybe this really is how they do testing, but it made no sense to me. I don't see how you could possibly diagnose someone one way or the other without even asking questions about social stuff, or my life, or anything!

This guy supposedly has a couple of adult clients with AS (or at least one guy who's 50), but who knows how he was diagnosed, and as we know from this forum, the exact manifestation of it really varies-not everyone has all the symptoms, aside from the social stuff.

I've been pretty upset by all this. I feel like I did something wrong with it, only logically speaking *I* didn't. I don't have to know how to do it correctly. I *HATE* having to wait 3 or 4 weeks to find out results that are probably going to be completely bogus. I suspect either he's going to say I have something that's completely bogus (depression, schizo-typal, who knows what), or else he's going to act like I'm fine.

Well I'm *NOT* fine. I've been having social problems since the first time I ever encountered another child. I had social problems all through grade school. I haven't had a friend since Junior High :x I freak out from change. I have 90 bajillion symptoms that others on this forum have, aside from being "normally" coordinated and not having a flat voice or no facial expressions.

I needed help 20 years ago, and I still need help, and I don't know what my next move can be if this guy just comes up with something nonsensical. :(



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14 Nov 2007, 11:16 am

I remember once getting asked in a test "do you ever wonder how those mountains got there?"

"No", I replied,

"Ok" from Doctor

"I know how they got there." from me.

A big tick in a box for that one.


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Wolfpup
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14 Nov 2007, 11:57 am

fangfarrier wrote:
I remember once getting asked in a test "do you ever wonder how those mountains got there?"

"No", I replied,

"Ok" from Doctor

"I know how they got there." from me.

A big tick in a box for that one.


How did they interpret THAT? Probably something weird, as they do. I mean what kind of question IS that? What could it possibly tell you? I bet they're not expecting that "I know how they got there" is a valid, and should be the most NORMAL response!

Oh well, I'm babbling.



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14 Nov 2007, 12:56 pm

Wolfpup - it sounds like your experience was very similar to mine. Lots of and lots of questions that related to other disorders and not AS. I suppose, like some others here have suggested, that they may be trying to rule out other things before focusing on AS. I tend to be more on the negative side and say that they may not be as knowledgable about AS. Like you, I have the worst time trying to articulate what my feelings/problems are that relate to AS. If your doctor isn't knowledgable either, it's going to be hard for them to pose the right questions to get what they need out of you.

Danielismyname - You keep refering to your own diagnosis sessions as the end all be all of how this disorder is diagnosed. You were lucky enough to go to a center that is basically the BEST place you could go and see someone. I mean, who doesn't bring up Attwood's name when discussing AS? Most of us aren't fortunate enough to have a doctor who is a leading researcher in the field. Most of us are stuck with a general psychologist who only has a base knowledge of AS (and mostly childhood AS at that) so it's going to be harder for many of us to obtain a good diagnosis. I appreciate that your diagnosis was very cut and dry, but most of us here aren't that lucky.

Wolfpup - Have you received any other news? I hope it all works out for the best but if you don't get what you want with your doctor down there, there are some supposedly good doctors in Chicago. A trip for you for sure, but it might be worth it to make sure you talk to someone who is an "expert" as much as anyone can be.



arem
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14 Nov 2007, 5:39 pm

Wolfpup, you've not said what happened with your mother - perhaps they were more focused on the AS-ish issues with her, than when they spoke with you?


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14 Nov 2007, 7:06 pm

sonny1471, nope, haven't heard anything else yet. I guess if this goes nowhere in a month I will have to look into doctors elsewhere :(

arem, I double checked with my mom, and she said he didn't ask anything that seemed related to Asperger's. She said he seemed obsessed with that I live at home, and obsessed with that my brother was diagnosed with Schizotypl personality disorder.

Except then she told me that actually the lead of the people diagnosing him FIRST was sure my brother had autism! They changed it because he couldn't/wouldn't do the tests for them.

I had NO idea about that. I'm thinking good grief, maybe my brother was on the ASD? That REALLY makes me think I'm on the right track here (besides that I've never found anything else that fits me).

I was REALLY stupid to say about the psychic stuff I've experienced, because I looked up schizotypal, and "magical thinking" or belief in powers like that is supposed to be a symptom. WOOOONDERFUL! I just blurt stuff out because I'm trying to fumble with what I'm supposed to say, and that was semi-related to what he asked :(

The ONLY part of schizotypal I match is the "no close friends". And I sure WANT some (well, in moderation :D ). Well, that and I suppose I have "odd behaviors".

Most of the time I was in there with him I was playing with my Palm, flipping it around and pulling out the stylus and stuff. I kind of do it subconsciously when I'm freaked out to have something to focus on. He'll probably take that and the psychic stuff as schizotypal.



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14 Nov 2007, 7:29 pm

sonny1471 wrote:
Danielismyname - You keep refering to your own diagnosis sessions as the end all be all of how this disorder is diagnosed.


Of course I am going to, what other experience do I have? I was diagnosed with AS long before I went to Attwood's (I just didn't know it was written down), my current psychiatrist [who I've been seeing for a couple of years] noted the characteristics I exhibit and wrote it down. Lacking eye contact, doing motor mannerisms (twirling my hands), using overly formal speech and lacking the desire to interact socially for whatever reason, these traits aren't hard to pick up in a person.

Those at Attwood's aren't the be all end all of autism either, just FYI and all.



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14 Nov 2007, 7:33 pm

Wolfpup wrote:
The thing is, he didn't ask me anything like that. He didn't ask me what kinds of issues I have or anything. Anything I said that might be useful was just brought up by accident. He barely asked me anything. I doubt we spent more than 15-30 minutes talking aside from him doing those verbal tests and that sort of thing.


I think though, this was brought up (for me, anyways) maybe because I wanted to discuss the issues. It worked out well as far as I was concerned, because I wanted to vent about some things anyways, as I recognized that they weren't "normal". Once that was out of the way, we just talked about my interests and things that annoy me. Which was nice for me, because it didn't feel like I was being interrogated. Just having a nice talk with someone. I did notice a lot of seemingly irrelevant random questions in between- that could be to catch me off guard and give answers that weren't inhibited. They were overall very positive experiences. Much better that prior experiences with doctors who I had complete brain lock-down around, clammed up, or who wouldn't let me finish what I was trying to say, shoved a prescription for Zoloft at me and were out the door.



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14 Jan 2008, 7:00 pm

ARGHHHHHHHHHHH!! !! !! !! !!

I just back from the results meeting with this psychologist.

:thumbdown: :thumbdown: :thumbdown:

Random things:
Supposedly I can't have Asperger's because I do well on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (computer version 4). I'm going to start another thread asking about that test, just to see if it really does show if someone has AS or not.

Every test came back (except for the one my mom filled out) that I *DON'T* have depression, or severe anxiety, or a thought disorder, but they all come back that I have severe social anxiety...but he thinks I do! He thinks I'm depressed! He thinks I don't enjoy doing anything, can't get enjoyment out of things I do!

I told him I *DO* very much enjoy things in my life. Then he said something about "but you don't go out and do things with people" and I'm like...what things? With who? Where would I meet these people? I'm depressed because doing whatever it is that people do out there bores me? Because I don't know how the hell to interact in a social situation? THAT makes me depressed?

And because I don't agree with this thing that I'm depressed, that means I'm oppositional defiant and am just disagreeing for the sake of it or whatever-what the hell? I BLOODY WELL KNOW if I'm depressed! I KNOW if I can enjoy things! I conceded I might have some depression or whatever, but it's got to be minor, and doesn't really affect me-my OCD isn't a huge issue to me anymore either. Neither is why I spent almost $1000 to try to get help.

-Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF)-I did normally on everything except shifting attention and working memory. He claims that this is due to anxiety (or maybe he said stress), and NOT anything biological because I did well on that Wisconsin test. He said I get thoughts or whatever stuck in my head-like an OCD thing, but THAT'S NOT IT and I tried telling him that. I just am slow to change between things (and then I said probably everyone is, and he said to an extent, but I'm worse)-but anyway I said it's not from stuff being stuck in my head and I don't see how it could be stress/anxiety by itself because it's true regardless of whether it's something I REALLY want to be doing or something I dislike-I have the same issues either way.

I'll have to look through other results better, but basically they found I have really pathetic results on the Vineland-II stuff

He also didn't understand the decision making problems. Thought it was I was scared of...I don't remember what, but I have trouble deciding between things that are too equally "good".

He also couldn't accept that I *DID NOT UNDERSTAND* questions on some of these forms. He said they were written at a 4th grade level so...I forget what all he said, but on some of them I could not understand what they meant, and on others I could not relate them to my life to answer correctly because they question does not fit in with my life (ie question about how a friend reacts to something when I have no friend, that sort of thing).

So anyway the diagnostic impressions are:

-Depression Disorder Not Otherwise Specified with atypical features (might be related to:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atypical_depression) I do *NOT* meet these "choose two" criteria
-Social Phobia-yeah, quite possibly, I already know that.
-OCD-yeah, duh
-Personality Disorder Not Otherwise Specified-I seriously doubt I have a personality disorder as I've run through everything I can find and they don't fit-this is a dumping ground for all of them, and I don't think I have any (although I match some from OCJPD)
Then it has to rule out avoidant personality disorder and OCPD

So basically I (or my insurance) just spent $1000 to find out I'm scared of social situations and have OCD (duh) and that I'm depressed and don't enjoy things, even though I do, and even though the tests came back that I'm not.

Then I was stupid enough to answer truthfully (I would have really had to psych myself up ahead of time to lie or I automatically tell the truth) that I had talked about suicide, and he said that's the #1 indicator of depression. I tried to explain that there are other reasons you could feel that's the only possibility-ie I don't want to be homeless and would probably choose suicide over that. That doesn't mean I'm depressed (and I told him I don't WANT to kill myself-he phrased it like I did). I should have been prepared to lie about all that because I know these people can't think rationally whenever suicide is brought up.

What a complete waste. His recommendations are medication-which I want to avoid if at all possible, both because of side effects, and because I've tried stuff in the past and it had no (or the reverse) effect on me. Also consoling-which at this point I have no real interest in-I don't want to talk about how I'm depressed or whatever, because I'm not.

He also mentioned vague things about OCD CBT which I might be interested in, except OCD isn't my primary issue (as far as I know) and he mentioned something vague about I could do a social skills group...but didn't seem to actually know where one would be or how that would work. Those last two are really the only possibly useful things, but I already knew that.

So basically...does that Wisconsin Card Sorting Test actually accurately rule out Asperger's?

I'm going to try to talk or have my mom call this person who got the ball rolling on this who thinks I have AS and see what he thinks about all this.



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14 Jan 2008, 7:13 pm

That psych sounds like an idiot.

When going for a diagnosis, make sure to get someone who specializes in ASDs. Even then, there's no guarantee.


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14 Jan 2008, 7:36 pm

There are no generally agreed-upon tests for Asperger's. Now, some people have their own pet diagnostic tools, but none are in general use. My psychiatrist just diagnosed me with Asperger's based on my verbal history. However, he also said that I don't come across as someone on the spectrum, which is correct, but I have had many years to practice.


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15 Jan 2008, 9:31 am

I just remembered that he said another indication I'm depressed/have anxiety is that I was going to the bathroom a lot and I was supposedly doing that because I was there. I told him I *ALWAYS* drink a lot of water ALL THE TIME regardless of where I am, and he just ignored me (and I don't think I use the bathroom all that much...)