Coming out of the attic: Diagnostic fail

So, this is where I am with my diagnostic process:

I went to see a neuropsychologist who has experience with adult diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. During the interview, I did my best to stay focused & answer the questions without getting to broad or tangential.  I explained why I believe this is an appropriate diagnosis, going through each criteria, and citing specific examples of each behavior.  Then I showed him the results of my pre-screening diagnostic tools.  After the interview, he said that it would not be beneficial to pursue this diagnostic process, as it is cost prohibitive.  He also said that he did not think it was ASD because I’m capable of empathy.  Not sure I agree about that, but I’m certainly in agreement that going into debt is counter-productive.  I guess I just have to accept that diagnosis is not in the cards for me.

so many more questions than answers: Do I belong in this community that I have found so much understanding and support among?  How do I contextually frame my childhood now that I’m back to square one?  Is it too late for me to get the fair shake in the educational system I didn’t get the first time?  Will my kids get a fair shake?  Will anyone ever take me seriously?  Do I have a destiny to fulfill, or am I fooling myself?  I hope some of the amazing women who have been communicating with me through WP have some good advice!

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5 thoughts on “Coming out of the attic: Diagnostic fail

  1. OK, that was maybe a bit short. But I also wanted to smack that neuropsychologist for his empathy remark (idiot). Does he have any experience with women on the spectrum? Does he even recognise empathy in men? I think you made the right decision to not go into debt over this, especially with someone who’s so dismissive. But I also think that you shouldn’t let his idiotic remark prevent you from continuing your self-diagnosis. Maybe along the way you will find something else that fits you better, who knows. But for now, for YOU, for your peace of mind, it’s autism that fits you and that it helping you create your narrative and connect the dots and make sense of things. Don’t let anyone stop you from doing that. You’re not back to square one (although I know exactly what you mean by saying that is how it feels), because you now have knowledge not only of autism and how it relates to your childhood and adulthood narrative, but also knowledge of the dismissive attitudes of professionals.

    You belong in this community up until the time that YOU decide it no longer fits your needs. Nobody else is allowed to make that decision on your behalf. You belong.

    • Thank you so much! Your kind words have helped me greatly! I just really need to belong somewhere, & this feels like home.
      I don’t want to be unfair to the psychologist. He was much more encouraging than the last one. I think he just doesn’t understand it from the inside, but he was empathetic, and said he felt sad for me because I don’t value myself enough. He did say I should consider more evaluation for personality disorders, and said he didn’t think I am Boderline, as I’ve been misdiagnosed in the past, or hystrionic, maybe dysthymia. So, it was somewhat validating. He said there was overlap. I just have to respectfully disagree with him. I believe the answer lies in pursuing my formal education, and continuing with this conversation which has blessed me with so much insight!
      Thanks again! I value all your comments.

  2. “He also said that he did not think it was ASD because I’m capable of empathy.”

    That’s the biggest pile of horseshit I’ve heard in a long time; I mean that the neuropsychologist is short-sighted for saying so. The director of an autism resource center here says repeatedly, “If you’ve met a child with autism, you’ve met a child with autism,” and I’m certain that bears true for adults on the spectrum as well. The research and understanding seems to grow by leaps and bounds every 5 years, especially recently.

    My son is getting his formal eval this month. The school evaluations suggest he’s somewhere between high-functioning and Asperger’s, but again, we’ll see. Autism seems to affect everyone differently and I’ve seen it for myself between him and his classmates, at the very least. My boy seems pretty capable of empathy, but he struggles to understand boundaries, personal space, and physical expression that is not aggressive (he tackles and head-butts when he gets frustrated or excited).

    • I’m amazed at how much professionals just don’t know, & hope to become a psychologist myself. Also planning to have my kids evaluated. Let me know how it goes, & good luck!

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