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Wondering whether to get a formal diagnosis - will I meet the diagnostic threshold

Discussion in 'Help and Support' started by Richard Soup, Jan 13, 2020.

  1. Richard Soup

    Richard Soup New Member

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    I would be grateful for anybody’s opinion. I went for some counselling through work and the counsellor herself had an adult diagnosis of being on the autistic spectrum. She recognise so many characteristics and associated health issues in me, that she thought that I might be a neuro- diverse. And this became the predominant issue of the counselling sessions. For me it almost became a eureka moment:“Oh this might explain a lot about my past and my present”.


    I read stuff about getting a formal diagnosis and the one sticking point was whether I had any obsessive interest as a young child. I certainly have now with music production, including designing my own music software, which obsessive pursuit be get in the way of every day life. Both parents are now dead so I asked my brother and he can’t recall any significant obsessive interest I had as a child at all. All I can remember is reading a lot, but not to an obsessive degree.


    All my difficulties and symptoms can be potentially explained by other factors (mental health issues, extreme shyness, dyslexia as a bad spelling etc). so I wonder if getting a autistic diagnosis is something worth pursuing or not; because the factor of obsessive interest as a child seems to be key element of diagnosis. But it still seems tantalising, as amongst other things, if it were the case, it would allow my partner to understand me better and maybe allow her to be a bit more forgiving of my faults.
     
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  2. Sarah S

    Sarah S Well-Known Member

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    Warm wellcome to the forum :)

    As for youre question only you can make that desition BUT in my personal opinion i belive you have really anwerd youre own question with the above quoted statemnt and the anwer is yes it can indeed help youre partner as well as YOURE self to understand why you have this problems.

    And reg youre other diagnosis they are many Co morbid diagnosis to ASD (among others learning difficulties (incl Dyslexia ), mental health issues etc... This said tho NOT everyone gets all of this diagnosis as its highly individual.
     
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  3. Richard Soup

    Richard Soup New Member

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    I suppose my question really is. Is it essential to have had some sort of obsessive interest as a child (not just as an adult) in order to get a formal diagnosis
     
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  4. Alexej

    Alexej Active Member

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    firstly Welcome to the Forum.
    Please have a look around as there are a lot of threads asking about diagnosis.

    When people are talking about a spectrum you might find this article interesting/relevant.
    However, for me the answer to the question you asked is no.
     

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  5. paloftoon

    paloftoon Well-Known Member

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    It's worth it if you/your child are open to meeting other people and working with them in the community and if you and your child are open to treating others on the spectrum as valuable referrals for potential job and job programs aimed at hiring people on the spectrum particularly.
     
  6. Nervous Rex

    Nervous Rex High-functioning autistic V.I.P Member

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    Welcome! Whether you get a formal diagnosis or not is up to you. Here's what worked for me:

    I was informally diagnosed at age 48 and I decided to get a formal diagnosis just for my own peace of mind - to help me know that everything going on in my head isn't just "all in my head." If I do decide to tell someone that I'm autistic, I can tell them, "This isn't just me deciding this. I have a formal diagnosis from a specialist."

    A formal diagnosis is probably necessary if you need accommodations at work or social services.

    There are some benefits I got that don't depend on a formal diagnosis:
    1) I have been able to revisit and reframe a lot of memories of past conflict. It's helped me understand that a lot of clashes I had as a kid weren't because I was a "bad" kid, but because I didn't understand the social interactions (I mimicked the wrong people many times) or because I couldn't just sit perfectly still and do nothing but listen in class.
    2) It has helped me realize that trying to work and operate like everyone else at work was doing me more harm than good (it was stress caused by trying to do that which led me to the counselor who diagnosed me. I was reading the wrong owner's manual. It has given me the freedom to give up trying to function like everyone else and find what works for me.
    It has helped me be kinder to myself.

    Whether you decide to get a formal diagnosis or not, this forum can be very helpful. There are discussion threads for nearly every issue, struggle, and coping strategy that you can think of. I hope you find this forum as welcoming and helpful as I have.
     
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  7. christopher.k

    christopher.k roosterman

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    honestly, I think introspection and comparison from your behavior to others is far more useful than getting labeled
    although that label might get you into useful systems though I can't judge that really since im not in most of those anymore.
    edit I should disclaim that I was diagnosed as a toddler so my perspective is probably wildly different from yours.
     
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  8. Sarah S

    Sarah S Well-Known Member

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    Obsessive in intrests is only ONE of the main 3 criteria areas that are looked after to get a ASD diagnose so you cant go only by that . And also to get a diagnose you HAVE to be`n born with it (ie said criteria symtoms from start) & the co morbid diagnoses is NOT a criteria needed for diagnose either.

    What i suggest is try to read up on said diagnose as best you can (incl of course in here )

    Further more as i always say my self it takes one to know one so as this counselor of youres aparantly is diagnosed her self and see many of the ASD "tics " & or traits in you then i would say its defenetly worth adding that one in the diskussion whether its worth it or not.
     
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  9. Sarah S

    Sarah S Well-Known Member

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    The problem with comparing youre self to others as you suggest is that it dont work that way. all neuropsycological diagnosis are highly individual so you CANT / SHOULDENT compare youre self to either one other diagnosed person. + you also have to concider both gender, Level of said diagnose, and most defenetly also possible co morbid diagnosis as well.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
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  10. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Hi Richard, and welcome. The thing about obsessions when we were young is that things were different and they would not have been picked up on easily. The biggest factor is that we did not have computers to sit in front of to learn everything there is about any one subject. We had encyclopedias and the library IF our mom's took us there. And I think it's ridiculous that often the doctor thinks it has to be something weird. I was given the example of dinosaurs - but that's not weird, every one of my grandsons are interested in dinosaurs. How does anyone decide what's weird? I loved rocks (still do), but had no access to knowledge about rocks. There was no way of measuring degrees of interest back then. I had little jars filled with pebbles I'd collect. I had a drawer full of pretty rocks I'd find and always have one or two in my pocket. But again, rocks are not a weird interest - lots of people like rocks. The doctor asked about current interests. I told him that there have been times that I find a particular subject from the Bible interesting and will spend days (non stop, forgetting to eat or use the bathroom) and go back through history on that subject in general to see what was the norm, going into the history of the location and every single aspect about that one thing I can find. But his response was that it's not abnormal for someone my age to be interested in the Bible. Ugh! These doctors need to realize that the subject matter changes and doesn't matter since there is no subject that really falls into the 'weird' category, but it's the intensity (having access to information) that one gets involves into a subject.
    I was diagnosed, but not by having weird interests.
     
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  11. Kalinychta

    Kalinychta Well-Known Member

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    No, it isn’t. I’ve never had any intense, fixated interests. I was like you when I was a kid. I read constantly, which is something that a lot of autistic people do (some of us have huge imaginations and live in our heads).
     
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  12. Major Tom

    Major Tom Searching for ground control... V.I.P Member

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    Welcome to the forums. As far as I understand the diagnostic criteria (barely), you only need to fit a certain amount of the criteria. You don't have to have every symptom. That's why they call it a spectrum. Each person has different symptoms. The obsessions part of the spectrum is highly focused on though, I think too highly. I am no psych doctor though.
     
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  13. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Hi and welcome. I read a lot as a child. I particularly liked serieses, and there were certain serieses I read more than once. I was an advanced reader in primary school. I was also clumsy and a bit dyspraxic. I drew families of stick people continually with my felt tip pens, and loved naming each child. Sometimes there were triplets and twins and the families often had many children.

    I'm self diagnosed, so I don't know if I would get a diagnosis, but I feel the tests and research I did was enough for me to be sure I m on the spectrum. Particularly because I have done a lot of therapy, but was still left with a core of issues and difficulties around unstructured social interaction, that fitted with high autistic traits or Aspergers.

    Also, just a possibility, we may not always be the best judge of how obsessive we are, you may call it reading a lot, but maybe it was quite a lot more than the average child reads. Also, some obsessions may be brief, yet deep, I was fascinated by dandelions for a while, also primroses, not at the same time... and I rode my bike tirelessly. Oh and those little boats on the lake that cost threepence to hire, and had a turning mechanism to row! I hardly ever had threepence, but I loved those boats!

    :speedboat::runner::rowboat::runner::sailboat::runner::surfer::runner:
     
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  14. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝

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    You are neuro-diverse, so it IS all in your head...! :p
     
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  15. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    look up high functioning autism but look for it in men it’s slightly different in women.
     
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  16. Schism

    Schism Authentic Alien

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    Well. I went for an official a while ago. I posted my anxieties afterwards & someone here killed me on it. I've been a bloody mess ever since - a neurotic 'inbetweener' atm (reference to the Series deliberate). From birth? I have no-one to validate that as they're all dead so expecting a big No. Made my mental situation a whole load worse imo.
     
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  17. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝

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    What does that mean? [​IMG]