Noticed any professional 'ignorance' about Asperger's?

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Sola
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08 Jan 2009, 4:17 pm

I have been going to a psychiatrist for many years, and then when I heard of Asperger's I asked to be assessed, and so I was assessed by a psychologist in the same office, because I believe that I am totally Asperger's. The psychologist's assessment was (his words paraphrased) you're not 'like the character *Rainman* enough to be autistic'....he told me he knew 'personally' and 'well' the doctor who treated the actual autistic individual that they profiled Rainman after, and he went on about *that* because it was a famous case and he was proud to be associated with it.......but as for me....all he would say is.....I'm not like 'Rainman' even though he said I may have autistic traits......he said it is like 'I am on the borderline' where I go back and forth, somehow....I DO NOT AGREE with him, and I think he clearly would not diagnose anyone as autistic if they were in the Asperger's category. I really felt at a loss as to HOW to get across to him, that my situation is NOT so 'mild' and unworthy of being called 'Asperger's'. So I just decided that maybe someday someone more knowledgeable might provide old me with an adequate diagnosis. But, really, the only difference it makes is this......It helps me VALIDATE ALL the personal problems and difficulties that over the years caused me so much pain to have learned about Asperger's and to see myself in a totally 'differen't' light....because I think I am Asperger's.



millie
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08 Jan 2009, 4:22 pm

i was told by one parochial psychologist in my regional area (when i rang to see if he had any understanding of AS,) that it was "highly unlikely because i was a girl." i abused him verbally, then hit him with a list of specialists on ASD - and asked him if he had heard of them. we live an hour's drive from where Tony Attwood is based, and the psychologist didn't even know who he was.


He probably specialised in hypnotherapy for smokers......



gina-ghettoprincess
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08 Jan 2009, 4:27 pm

So his only knowledge of the condition is based on a movie character? I'm sorry, but that is appalling!!


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neshamaruach
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08 Jan 2009, 5:08 pm

There is so much professional ignorance out there, it is appalling. I've heard some bad stories, but yours tops them all.

You're not like "Rain Man" so you don't have AS? Wow. Now that's a therapist with some issues. His social skills seem like they could use some work, too. Whacking you over the head with his superior knowledge of knowing the guy who knew the guy who was actually Rain Man, seems a little inappropriate--socially speaking, that is. I guess he must have been missing those subtle signs of frustration making themselves plain all over your face.

The last therapist I saw before getting diagnosed with AS said I couldn't have Asperger's because I could make eye contact with her and have a conversation. So, yeah, well, I'm 50 and have been sitting in therapy offices once a week or so for most of the past 25 years, and I'm not a total moron, so I think I've got the therapist-client relationship thing down pat. How about all the other social situations I *can't* navigate? And the sensory processing issues? And the overload? And the inability to sequence tasks? And the inability to read nonverbal cues?

Oh, what's that? You don't know anything about Asperger's? What a surprise.

Anyway, 5 days later I went to an actual AS specialist and he gave me the correct diagnosis.


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garyww
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08 Jan 2009, 5:31 pm

That's ironic as the 'Rain Man' is based upon the life of Kim Peeks and Kim isn't autistic.


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Hovis
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08 Jan 2009, 5:40 pm

neshamaruach wrote:
His social skills seem like they could use some work, too. Whacking you over the head with his superior knowledge of knowing the guy who knew the guy who was actually Rain Man, seems a little inappropriate--socially speaking, that is. I guess he must have been missing those subtle signs of frustration making themselves plain all over your face.


I agree - trying to show off his 'star' connections to his patient is extremely unprofessional.



buryuntime
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08 Jan 2009, 5:58 pm

Yes! Went to a psychiatrist and she told my mother I couldn't have Asperger's because apparently people with Asperger's can't have eating disorders or social phobia.



2ukenkerl
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08 Jan 2009, 6:02 pm

Sola wrote:
I have been going to a psychiatrist for many years, and then when I heard of Asperger's I asked to be assessed, and so I was assessed by a psychologist in the same office, because I believe that I am totally Asperger's. The psychologist's assessment was (his words paraphrased) you're not 'like the character *Rainman* enough to be autistic'....he told me he knew 'personally' and 'well' the doctor who treated the actual autistic individual that they profiled Rainman after, and he went on about *that* because it was a famous case and he was proud to be associated with it


Note that it matters, but rainman was NOT profiled after any particular autistic person, and the person that dustin hoffman and others said he used to help get things down was NOT autistic! Either he was misled, and can't due basic research, or he is a big liar.

Sola wrote:
.......but as for me....all he would say is.....I'm not like 'Rainman' even though he said I may have autistic traits......he said it is like 'I am on the borderline' where I go back and forth, somehow....I DO NOT AGREE with him, and I think he clearly would not diagnose anyone as autistic if they were in the Asperger's category. I really felt at a loss as to HOW to get across to him, that my situation is NOT so 'mild' and unworthy of being called 'Asperger's'. So I just decided that maybe someday someone more knowledgeable might provide old me with an adequate diagnosis. But, really, the only difference it makes is this......It helps me VALIDATE ALL the personal problems and difficulties that over the years caused me so much pain to have learned about Asperger's and to see myself in a totally 'differen't' light....because I think I am Asperger's.



neshamaruach
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08 Jan 2009, 6:10 pm

garyww wrote:
That's ironic as the 'Rain Man' is based upon the life of Kim Peeks and Kim isn't autistic.


Wow, that's right. Kim Peek is amazing, and has an interesting neurological system of his own, but he isn't autistic.

???

I think Sola should get her money back *and* a coupon for a free assessment from the AS specialist of her choice. :wink:


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pandd
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08 Jan 2009, 6:33 pm

There might well be a positive causal correlation between ASD and eating disorders, people certainly can have both, and there is current research underway to investigate whether or not people with ASDs have a heightened risk of developing an eating disorder (as some eating disorder researchers currently suspect this is the case).

Social anxiety symptoms are more common in the AS population than NT so far as I can recall.



garyww
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08 Jan 2009, 6:36 pm

Give me a coke and a candy bar and I'll be in the study for sure.


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08 Jan 2009, 6:37 pm

When I asked my therapist about AS she asked me if I ever laughed hysterically as her litmus test. I told her I did sometimes. She said people with AS don't have a "range of emotions." She seemed to imply that people on the spectrum aren't capable of intense emotion/laughter... I told her that I did have emotions, but that I didn't always express them very well. She said I had social anxiety and that I just needed to get out more. She stated that she'd worked with 'those kids' and that while it was a spectrum, I wasn't like 'those kids.' Does anyone here with an official diagnosis ever laugh hysterically. . .ever?



pensieve
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08 Jan 2009, 6:42 pm

I gave my psychologist a list of possible AS symptoms I had, because I'm not good at speaking and I forget things easily, but she was really skeptic about doing the assessment and kept relating the symptoms back to anxiety.
The next session however she was convinced I had AS when we were only about 15 minutes in.

Eschatar wrote:
Does anyone here with an official diagnosis ever laugh hysterically. . .ever?

Yes, when I was younger and I hurt myself I would laugh hysterically instead of cry. It frightened my parents. My psych said it was because I was trying to decrease the pain by laughing.



Last edited by pensieve on 08 Jan 2009, 6:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

DW_a_mom
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08 Jan 2009, 6:42 pm

The reality is that professionals don't "live" AS like those on the spectrum and their parents (like me :) ) do. Naturally their ability to know all the nuances is going to be limited. Still, comparing to Rain Man is WAY beyond on the level of ignorance; it's like no new information has entered the professionals mind for 20 years. Once society stopped institutionalizing autistics (the more extreme ones) at very vulnerable ages and started actually working with them in a loving way, the long term prognosis and the concept of what "autistic" looks like changed a lot. A LOT.


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pandd
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08 Jan 2009, 7:06 pm

Eschatar wrote:
Does anyone here with an official diagnosis ever laugh hysterically. . .ever?

Yes, absolutely.



garyww
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08 Jan 2009, 7:13 pm

I do laugh a lot about a huge number of things, sometimes off key with serious issues, but I haven't laughed hysterically about anything that I can remember,


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