Jump to content
roxie_buttons

Worried about assessment outcome

Recommended Posts

roxie_buttons

Hi,

 

I've been lurking on the site for a while :blush: - I'm currently self-diagnosed but am going for my formal assessment in a week and I'm suddenly really worried.

 

I'm 30 years old, and came to the realization I might be an aspie earlier this year. I work in a school and some ASD assessment paperwork for a student came across my desk to file and I realised all but one or two of the characteristics fit me.  It was a real light-bulb moment to be honest.  I live in Kent and met with a support worker from the Kent Autistic Trust to find out more information.  They agreed it seemed very likely that I was on the spectrum, and supported me in deciding what to do next.  Asperclick was one of my first stops for more information - thank you for helping me to realise i'm not alone  :)

 

The NHS in my area currently has a three year waiting list for a referral for diagnosis (which is quite frankly ridiculous) so i'm going down the private route.  I'm not too bothered about it affecting my ability to access NHS support services in the future - they're pretty dire in my area anyway - but i would like the security of a diagnosis.  I have had difficulty keeping the same job for more than a year, for the last 9 years.  I don't get fired but i end up leaving because i can't cope with the social aspects of the workplace, and I become overwhelmed with stress and anxiety, so i take a few months off and then the cycle repeats.  My current job is a record at nearly two years (they have a very caring ethos which helps I think) but if i start to struggle again I would like to be able to say 'this is why' and have them understand there's an actual reason and i'm not just a useless employee with a history of not sticking it out!

 

My husband has been very supportive, and in total agreement with me about everything - and I recently told my parents about my suspicions.  While their reaction wasn't negative, it wasn't terribly supportive.  They didn't say very much at all in fact, when i was fully prepped to answer questions and defend my position etc.

 

Which brings me to the assessment.  I have been asked to bring a parent along to answer questions about my early development and I'm worried that (intentionally or not) my mum might sabotage me.  It might sound silly, but she can be very dismissive of differences/things that might be perceived as weaknesses, and she is very defensive when she feels criticized - especially when it's to do with my upbringing. :rolleyes:  I was an only child, and a bright one, and as I was shy like she was i don't think she noticed things that  would be automatically picked up as flags for a condition such as ASD.  I think she is quite likely to gloss over anything that might seem negative or atypical.  

 

I am also concerned (although I am going to ask when I contact the clinic tomorrow to confirm my appointment) that the Psychiatrist might not have much experience diagnosing women with ASD and as I don't struggle to communicate in a 1:1 'professional' scenario, (especially one i've anticipated and can prepare for, I struggle with social skills and sensory overload mostly) I am worried that he is going to take one look at me and basically say 'there's no way you're even remotely on the spectrum!'

 

I don't really know what the assessment involves - i am presuming as it's going to be 3-4 hours that it will be quite in depth, so i'm hoping i will be given the opportunity to explain my difficulties.  

 

All I'm looking for is some reassurance really - i know we're all different on here, and one person's assessment experience isn't going to be another's, but any words of wisdom would be welcome :unsure:

 

Sorry for the long back-story! 

 

Roxie xx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nesf

Try not to worry too much, psychiatrists see all sorts of people all the time with different backgrounds, many more women with suspected ASD are coming forward for diagnosis, so I'm sure you won't be the first case that they have come across. I think they are now much more aware of the different ways that ASD affects females than they used to be, and they will be able to tell if the parent they see is in denial. Your mum may bot recognise ASD symptoms, but the psychiatrist does, knows what to look for and how to elicit it. Try not to worry too much. I hope it goes well.

 

I had a year in a state school too, and it didn't work out. I recognise that cycle of working for year, being overwhelmed, recovering over the summer holidays, then starting again. That's why my signature is a phoenix, I feel that I keep burning up and arising from my own ashes. I now feel I cannot cope with working in a school, and do private individual tuition, it's still demanding but generally easier to cope with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
_MillieMoo

I really hope your assessment goes okay, which I'm sure it will (the thought is always worse than the outcome!)

Remember to be honest and don't feel embarrassed by admitting the things you do, traits you follow etc. 

Don't hold back, remember that despite the fact this may feel like something you're experiencing by yourselves, there are thousands of millions of us out there all in the same 'bubble'!

As long as you're yourself, you have nothing to worry about!  :)

Goodluck again, let us all know how you get on!  :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Monoamine

I worried about the same thing while I was in the process of obtaining an official diagnosis. I would worry that maybe I had read too much into myself and how I related with the symptoms and traits, then become confident and tell myself that even without the official diagnosis I had enough evidence, but then I would switch back into worrying again.

 

An official diagnosis is usually pretty accurate but it can be incorrect. I know someone who didn't get the satisfaction of receiving their diagnosis but is an aspie. and someone else who needed to go through the procedure a few times before obtaining it. At the end of the day, only you can know if you're autistic or not, but it may take some time to figure it out. One way to validate your feelings is by attending a meetup and talking to other aspies in person; it helped me out a lot pre-diagnosis. Also, the fact that the support worker agreed with you should carry some weight. But I really feel like after a certain period of time you will be able to relate enough to know you're on the spectrum if it's true; just remember you may not relate with everything that others experience.

 

Right now, just be honest though and be yourself. You might be very surprised by what is said in the diagnostic report: things that you wouldn't have originally thought they'd observe, or things they test for. As far as your mother goes, I agree with Nesf that they will know how much of her information should be used to make a final decision, as there are many parents that are in denial, and are trained to see that. My mother's input was only briefly mentioned in my diagnostic report, as the other tests that were performed painted a clearer picture for the psychologist.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
vcq14

Hi Roxie, I am in much the same boat as you. I've known for the last 12 years or so about my AS (self-diagnosed), but am finally going to take the plunge and get an official diagnosis (and I have no doubt of the outcome; I'm the prototype Aspie ;-)

 

Reading your post, I feel like you could be my doppelganger ("I was an only child, and a bright one, and as I was shy like she was i don't think she noticed things that  would be automatically picked up as flags for a condition such as ASD.  I think she is quite likely to gloss over anything that might seem negative or atypical."). As a child,  I started to read extremely early, read well above grade level, had a very advanced vocabulary, top test scores, etc...but my "perfect" NT mother obsessed with appearances did not want to admit that I could be "different" and would mock me when I stimmed or did not make eye contact; I could see her easily dismissing these questions as well. (Which is why I will do my assessment alone; I've heard enough anecdotal evidence of my early years to paint a fairly accurate portrait.)

 

I also agree with your statement of "might not have much experience diagnosing women with ASD"; women present differently than males and are much better at masking certain tell-tale traits of AS (great rundown here: http://www.specialneedsjungle.com/attwood_aspergers_girls/). There are several interesting books on the subject, and I agree that it's important to deal with someone used to diagnosing females as symptoms are different.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
roxie_buttons

Thank you all - this has really helped.  It's good to hear from people who are (somewhat) impartial  ;) that my worries are hopefully groundless.  The clinic i'm going to is quite reputable - we have actually used them as a school to assess a number of our children, and i doubt we would do so if their work was questionable.  I will keep my fingers crossed that my mother is in a co-operative mood and not feeling too combative!

 

BTW - vcq14, love your avatar  :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
collectingrocks

Hi Roxie and welcome

 

I used to live in Kent, so know it reasonably well.

 

Well done for having the courage of going for a diagnosis. As others have said, be yourself.

 

I think you are old enough to go without your mum. I wouldn't know if you could be yourself or not with your mum with you, but remember, who are you doing this for? Could your husband go with you or a close friend?

 

Perhaps it would be a good idea to write down things you wish to say/questions you want to ask...? I have absolutely no idea what to expect from these assessments.

 

I presume you have researched the topic and have a few ideas of your own...

 

Good luck with everything and please report back on how you get on

 

Sending a big hug <<<hug>>> x

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nesf

Before I was assessed I met up with a couple of people who were on the spectrum, and they agreed that I probably have AS. That was very helpful and validating. My mum was also in full agreement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dr-David-Banner

For me, this has always been a thought-provoking issue. Possibly the main aspect to consider is how would official diagnosis help me in real life? True, I admit that, to a degree, employers would have to take into account what is considered to be a "disability". This is true, of course, but I also figure the help we get is limited. I imagine if I went down the path of official diagnosis, more avenues would come than aspergers alone. I suspect I have a degree of prosopagnosia as well as some other weird problem with motor movements I never investigated too deeply. Even so, I don't class myself as disabled. I do have major problems connecting with other people but now the problem seems to me that other people are more defective than I am. I can't really accept I somehow need to change just to be like everyone else and fit in.
I think the whole area of autism is very deep and still not totally understood. Have you thought that if autism didn't exist in the way we experience it here, everybody would be the same? Nobody would ever grow up his or her own way, away from the crowd and with new perspectives. Is it not worth asking why some of us don't accept the status quo from early age and grow apart? Maybe not being like everybody else is a good thing? Maybe the way society tries to judge people as "stable" on the basis of being employable, being married, having friends is a flawed approach.
One thing I also suspect is there is now some unease how aspies have discovered each other online in a way that was impossible before. We are now a huge group on the social network and it's pretty clear most of us are under valued and under-employed. I get the feeling this explains why they changed aspergers syndrome to the broader autism classification.
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
roxie_buttons

So, my assessment was today - the Psychologist conducted the DISCO assessment and was very kind, although he would keep talking (anonymously) about the behaviour of other people he'd assessed which I found annoying!  I think he was trying to put me at ease, and demonstrate his experience as well as illustrating some of the characteristics he was asking me about.    

 

Unfortunately my mum did gloss over things when she was questioned a bit, and several times talked about how i'd never shown any of the behaviour other autistic children she knows display.  Luckily the assessor shut her down quite quickly, and seemed to get quite irritated and pointed out 'it's a Spectrum, everyone is different, no-one displays exactly the same behaviour as everyone else - it doesn't mean there isn't an issue'.  

 

I am completely exhausted, it lasted 3 hours, but I have Asperger's Syndrome officially, and a mild-moderate case - this level is because i have self-learnt coping and masking strategies over the years.  He said if I had not, then it would be moderate-severe case.  Even though my strategies exhaust me, he said the very fact that I had learnt them and applied them indicated a higher level of functioning.  

 

It is a bit of a relief to have it confirmed, and having the official report will be good in case i have difficulties at work in the future, so all in all i think it has been money well spent! If anyone in Kent is considering going down the Private Assessment route, i would highly recommend the clinic I attended - Psicon in Canterbury.  

 

So - thank you for your kind thoughts and support.  I shall probably go back to lurking for a bit now  :ph34r:

 

ttfn

 

Roxie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.