Talk

Advanced search

Am I autistic?

(52 Posts)
Pippatips Sun 22-Oct-17 13:00:29

Argh. Not sure where to start, but this has been on my mind for a while.

I've read about the traits linked with autism, and feel like I might have some of them.

I'm too scared to go for a diagnosis though, and have heard that the diagnosis process can take ages.

Namechangetempissue Sun 22-Oct-17 13:04:00

If you feel like the diagnosis would help you then I would start the process.
Don't feel it is something you HAVE to do though. You can just be you, with your own traits and quirks and live your life happily without a diagnosis on a piece of paper.

Pippatips Sun 22-Oct-17 13:05:17

Thanks Namechange.

Namechangetempissue Sun 22-Oct-17 13:06:12

flowers

lou1221 Sun 22-Oct-17 13:08:42

What would change for you if you do have a diagnosis? I'm assuming you're an adult, and have adapted how you process things and deal with different situations. If you feel having a diagnosis will help you, speak to your doctor. What does your family/friends say? xx

Giraffesarequitetall Sun 22-Oct-17 13:09:56

Why does having it labelled matter to you? I show several traits and always score highly in these online tests but I would see no point in getting a diagnosis as it would make no difference to my life.

In contrast an old friend got diagnosed in his 50s recently. I would say he has let the diagnosis take over his life and almost become his identity. He lived a normal life beforehand but uses the diagnosis to explain any negative that happened. It is strange and has become all consuming.

Unless you think it will really make a difference to you and enable you to access support you would otherwise be unable to, I really would think carefully.

Namechangetempissue Sun 22-Oct-17 13:10:14

www.autism.org.uk/about/diagnosis.aspx

Pippatips Sun 22-Oct-17 13:16:34

Thanks.

I'm just so confused. I don't even know who I am, and just feel so insecure. I'm also a massive people-pleaser, and have only started trying to learn how to be more assertive and to stand up for myself more. I've always really defined myself by how I think other people see me, so whenever I've felt that I've acted weirdly or done something wrong, I've always been really harsh on myself.

A close family member always used to use it as an insult ('you're autistic' etc.), which made me feel even more insecure and unsure.

I had a few counselling sessions a couple of years ago, and brought up the situation with the counsellor. I asked them whether they thought I might have autism, and they said that I was engaging well in our conversations and making good eye contact, so they didn't feel I had autism. I actually feel that making good eye contact is neither really here nor there WRT having autism, although I understand what they said.

I've recently started having counselling (with a different counsellor) - is it worth asking them if I might be autistic?

Pippatips Sun 22-Oct-17 13:17:59

I've tried a couple of online treats, and have always scored very low scores, but I don't know how true they are, as I've heard that everyone who has autism experiences it differently.

Birdsgottafly Sun 22-Oct-17 13:27:08

I've often wondered if it would be worth pursuing a diagnosis, I'm 50 next year.

I don't get social situations quite right. I never make friends, even though I'm (and I've been told) very self aware and change to suit the people/environment.

I'm very self confident, but can't 'promote' myself in social situations.

I don't have any friends at present, but that doesn't really bother me.

There's parts of me that are still a puzzle and different to other people. I wonder if seeking a diagnosis would solve that puzzle.

Pippatips Sun 22-Oct-17 13:28:59

Birds flowers I can relate to a lot of what you've said. I also see similarities between myself and my parents.

Pippatips Sun 22-Oct-17 13:37:57

I just don't know anymore. I'm so unhappy and down. I just feel like I was someone else.

Ktown Sun 22-Oct-17 13:39:48

Could you read the nice guidelines for diagnosis? You can google.
They are pretty good and also list potential causes such as genetics and reference sources.

Karak Sun 22-Oct-17 13:42:37

When you say low scores, do you mean the tests are suggesting you're not likely to be autistic? Ignore this if you mean the other way round!

I can read the symptoms for most conditions and find something of me in all of them (even when they're not things that present together). I think it's fairly common for that to happen and, as I understand it, it's fairly common for people to start to think they're autistic when they start thinking about it. For example lots of people hate small talk and find socialising difficult. That alone doesn't make you autistic. I don't think you'll find a lot of people who score under the threshold on the AP test (for example) who end up with a formal autism diagnosis.

That said women present differently to men and female autism is massively underdiagnosed/misunderstood. No harm in asking your counsellor for a second opinion but be prepared that, unless they're a specialist in this area, they probably won't know what they're talking about anyway.

Karak Sun 22-Oct-17 13:45:44

I mean AQ!

Branleuse Sun 22-Oct-17 13:50:35

A lot of autistic adults self identify rather than pursue a formal diagnosis, because its really hard to get even assessed for a proper diagnosis, especially as a woman as the tests are STILL based on male presentation, and if you do get dxd as an adult, there still isnt really any support out there.

NC4now Sun 22-Oct-17 13:50:40

Defining yourself as others see you doesn’t sound autistic, and you score low in the AQ tests if I’ve read that right.
What makes you think you have ASD?

Pippatips Sun 22-Oct-17 13:52:22

When you say low scores, do you mean the tests are suggesting you're not likely to be autistic?

Yep, Karak.

it's fairly common for people to start to think they're autistic when they start thinking about it.

That's such a good point, as well. That's probably why I think I might be autistic. I watched a documentary on autism the other day (I think Chris Packham was doing it?), and it just made me wonder if I might be autistic.

I think it's because my sister would tell me for years (and still does) that I was autistic, so it's just really got to me.

Marmos Sun 22-Oct-17 13:58:09

Honestly? Don't get a diagnosis unless you really need one to access something. It will make your life more difficult in practical ways like getting access to law, getting a job, and being listened to in general. At work, you may find a lot of assumptions being made about your competence and understanding, and particularly things like your intellectual work being stolen by others. I know many autistic people this happens to regularly. The thing is once you've got the label, everything is attributed to that label. Your independence, competence, and understanding is denied. All 'wrongs' are attributed to your autism. It means anyone can do anything to you and get away with it by claiming you don't understand what has happened. It paints a target on your back.

You may also find some insurance more difficult to buy in the future (pre-existing condition). I would never advise anyone who has escaped the label thus far to label themselves as autistic in any official records, or tell anyone they don't have to. It doesn't make your life easier. There are no services or treatments available anyway, so it's literally just a stick you hand others to beat you with.

A lot of people with autistic kids will come along now and say this isn't true. I pass no comment on their autistic kids. I am speaking about autistic adults.

blanklook Sun 22-Oct-17 13:58:46

Before anyone chimes in with the linear spectrum and we're all on it somewhere gross misunderstanding, this is much more representational of the autistic spectrum.
the-art-of-autism.com/understanding-the-spectrum-a-comic-strip-explanation/

If you have deficits in all three of the Triads of Impairment and most importantly if you feel it affects your life to a significant degree www.autism.org.uk/about/what-is/asd.aspx then ask for an autism assessment via your GP and take as much evidence of it as you can.

The way it's so very wrongly discussed on here as a 'label' that you just go and ask for and are then given just because you wanted it is far, far from the truth.
It's not a label, it's a medical diagnosis
The NHS route can be very time-consuming, the private route can be expensive, gold standard is the Lorna Wing Centre and there's a choice of private assessors who have varying charges.

giraffe mentioned someone dxd in their 50s who is now referencing all his life around his dx. Be aware that for adults, there is no post-dx support (it's scant if any for children, more likely to be for co-morbids) and lots of people who pursue a dx are then left to process it alone. Lots and lots of people think they are prepared for it and expect it, then find that emotionally it's thrown them into some odd places and it can take quite some time for them to process it. I believe there are online support groups but don't know of any to link to.

There must be one of these posts on the main boards about every week lately.

blanklook Sun 22-Oct-17 14:03:22

Are you in the UK Marmos?

Marmos Sun 22-Oct-17 14:03:51

Well, I was speaking about the label - the institutional tag of autism on your records in a given system. If you are autistic, you are whether you're diagnosed or not. A diagnosis doesn't give you a condition. If you have cancer you have cancer whether you know it or not, like.

So the label is the point of discussion.

honeylulu Sun 22-Oct-17 14:05:18

Hi OP my son(12) is currently in the process of being assessed for HF ASD and ADHD so I've done lots of reading over the last couple of years. It's occurred to me that I am probably also HF ASD, particularly now I'm aware of the different presentation in females. I also think i have always had ADD (without the H) as I had terrible trouble focusing at school or knuckling down to tasks that didn't fire my imagination (if they did i could hyper focus for hours though). I've definitely always struggled socially and felt a bit "other than". But I've got by through by masking and making a lot of effort (which a lot of the time I found mentally exhausting but I was desperate to be or at least seem normal) and I've managed to get a degree, professional qualification, decent job, marriage and a small circle of good friends.
Since realising though it's made me quite lazy, as if there's no point trying. I've allowed myself to become more introverted because now I've got an excuse. I'm not sure it's good for me.
I could push for a formal diagnosis but I'm not sure it would help at all now I've finished my education etc and worked out my own fairly successful coping strategies.

Pippatips Sun 22-Oct-17 14:06:04

Thanks everyone smile I'll have a look at the comic strip blanklook smile

TheSconeOfStone Sun 22-Oct-17 14:10:18

I've wondered whether I have ASD since my DD was diagnosed. It explains so much about my dad and lonely childhood and current anxiety. I'm a fully functioning adult with a social life so not sure whether I would gain anything from a diagnosis.

When the anxiety has been bad I have said to GPs that I suspect autism but I was completely dismissed because apparently 'we are all on the spectrum'. This is despite having a child diagnosed.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now