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Just been diagnosed as autistic

4 replies

Brieandme · 16/05/2023 17:02

I'm posting on here as much as anything just because I feel like telling someone and won't be able to tell my partner until I see him in person (he's been away this week)

I had an assessment and have been diagnosed as autistic. This was a full assessment after a screening questionnaire and then phone consultation, and the assessor explained at the start that she had enough evidence from the first two to be very confident about a diagnosis.

If anyone is unsure about being assessed and what it would bring, something I found really helpful was that at each time we discussed something where there was difference, the assessor talked through some useful strategies to try in future. Strategies which were realistic - eg along the lines of 'X is happening because you're not using body language other people would understand to convey that you've had enough. That body language is subtle and hard to learn, so I'd suggest you use words instead. Phrases you could try include....'

I say this as someone who is very accustomed to masking, and in a profession that has literally trained me to talk to people. So Im used to reflecting and learning, but still found a lot new to learn from this.

Although after researching it enough I was quite confident that I was autistic, I still feel a bit weird having it confirmed. One area that I'd always doubted about were sensory issues - I definitely don't have these in the way a lot of people describe - but there are other aspects that I met very highly, and there only has to be a certain number of sub sections met to meet the overall diagnostic criteria.

Happy to answer questions about the process if I can be of help to anyone else, I know I read a lot on these boards before I took the plunge and started the process (I went private, which I know I was very lucky to be in a position to do - I wish I hadn't had to spend that money as it's still a lot, but I had no faith in the local NHS process where I live)

OP posts:

BoardLikeAMirror · 16/05/2023 17:41

Congratulations on your diagnosis - I hope you find a lot more things in your life make sense now - I did.


Brieandme · 16/05/2023 17:50

Thanks @BoardLikeAMirror
It's interesting because I thought at this stage in my life I had made sense of myself, my childhood etc. I was aware of difference, but I attributed it to different reasons. So now I'm making sense of things that I thought I'd already made sense of!

Ahead of the assessment id been sure that if I did receive a diagnosis that I'd sit on it for a while before deciding whether to tell work. Now I'm actually wondering whether I will be able to hide it. I don't mean hide autism, more that I feel a bit self conscious/hyper aware and if that will show in my behaviour in the office. Will see how I feel going in tomorrow.

OP posts:

Bananah · 16/05/2023 18:04

Congratulations, it must be a relief to know that there’s a reason for your difficulties. I’ve spent years just thinking I’m a shit person, then the GP said I’m probably autistic. Unfortunately I have to wait another couple of years for confirmation because waiting lists are insane.


Brieandme · 16/05/2023 18:20

Sorry to hear about the wait @Bananah I know I was lucky to go private. Had saved up money for the house - needs work but it's mainly cosmetic and partner kindly suggested we delay that a bit longer so I could do this. I didn't have faith I'd even be assessed in the area I lived in - I spent months ringing the number on the local NHS site for self referral just to get recorded messages to say they were struggling to respond to calls due to ongoing staffing issues. That was just to get someone to send me the required screening forms, so I didn't trust that I could even get on a waiting list. I really feel for people stuck in that system.

I understand about the self blame feeling. So much of what we talked about today was social skills and cues. Its no wonder we receive negative reactions at times. Even when I think I'm doing really well, I'm clearly not!

OP posts:
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