Tag Archives: adult diagnosis

Observations

I’ve been reading and re-reading the report from my assessment. It’s strangely exciting to know that a near-stranger took the time to write a nine-page report all about me! It’s also really interesting to see the way a professional describes me in terms of autism. I think the most interesting thing to me was the way she described my social communication. I was under the impression than I did a pretty decent job of passing for NT most of the time, but it seems I was wrong!

I was particularly surprised that she included “makes eye contact much less than might usually be expected”. I knew that my eye contact was a bit questionable, especially with new people. But I thought that I made about as much eye contact as most people, just that I found it a bit more uncomfortable and effortful. During the assessment I was very conscious of eye contact, and kept getting distracted wondering if I was making too much or too little, near the beginning. As the assessment went on I think I just gave up on trying and ended up making very little.

I also found it interesting that she described “limited non-verbal communication (facial expression, gesture)” and “little variation in tone or pitch when talking”. Again, I thought I probably passed as fairly NT, but I guess not! In the assessment I had my hands on my lap under the table, because I was nervous and trying not to pick my fingers (I do it less when I can’t see my hands), so I think I think that probably contributed to the lack of gesture.

I was less surprised by the ones about social interaction:

rarely or never asks conversation partner about their thoughts/feelings/experiences”
I guess this was about the bit where she mentioned quilting and I completely ignored it!

although happy to engage in a conversation, social overtures were restricted predominantly to personal demands or related to interests/topics”
My first thought when reading this was “what else are you supposed to have conversation about?” – which I think means that it’s definitely accurate!

At the end of the report, she gave a list of lots of resources to look into. She recommended a few ASD social groups – which is exciting but also very scary!

There is a lot to think about now, but it’s pretty much all good things. So although it’s quite overwhelming, it’s a good kind of overwhelming. That’s a pretty novel experience.

 

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Answers

It’s been a long two years since I began to realise there really might be one thing to explain it all.

It’s been a long year since the most intense period of anxiety and burnout of my life.

It’s been a long five months since I first took the leap and asked for a formal assessment.

It’s been a long few weeks since I poured out my evidence and counterevidence to a stranger, and went home to realise just how much evidence I provided.

And now I finally know for sure.

…fulfils the diagnostic criteria for an Autism Spectrum Disorder.

It’s really true. It’s really me. All of my fears and suspicions and theories were correct. All this time I doubted myself, or thought I would have been diagnosed younger, or that I didn’t have enough problems to fit, or that surely someone would have noticed.

But I was right. I have my answers at last.