Autism Assessment Nerves

I’ve been on the waiting list for an autism assessment for well over a year now, surely it can’t be much longer? Yes I know I could and probably should ring to get an idea of how much longer the wait will be, but well, me and phones don’t get along.

In the meantime I find myself wondering whether to bother or not, does the label matter? Surely the most important thing to come out of this is simply having a better understanding of myself, how I work, what makes me tick, and structuring my life around that? Even more importantly; accepting my quirks and limitations and forgiving myself for them, finding ways to bring the best out of myself. Do I need a diagnosis to do that? Probably not. I’m not sure a diagnosis would even help there, I’m sure it won’t provide me with a set of strategies perfectly tailored for me, I know there isn’t much support around.

Also it’s far from a given that I’ll even get a diagnosis. What if I can’t express myself properly on the day and can’t stop masking and show who I really am? I’m so used to doing my best to fit in with everyone else and not make a fuss of anything and hide my weaknesses – can I even switch that off? They may decide I don’t need a diagnosis, that my struggles aren’t enough. Are they enough?

I suppose I’ve been on the waiting list for so long now I will see it through. But it’s such a long time to wait with the possibility I may just be told, “Actually no, you’re not.” And I know me, I would find that humiliating, I’d think I’d made an utter fool of myself. Argh! I just want to get it out of the way now so I can stop sounding like a stuck record.

But I do worry about representing myself properly on the day, this is my biggest worry. I can’t respond accurately to questions when I’m put on the spot, it takes me a long time to work out how I really feel about things, what I really think, how I genuinely experience things… I have mental blocks, can’t remember, can’t access my real self until I’m alone later… instead I find myself automatically responding with what I think the answer should be or is supposed to be.

There’s usually a long process of untangling myself from how I think I’m supposed to respond to things, what is expected of me and how I would like to respond in an ideal world where I’m the me I wish I was. I’ve had decades worth of processing everything through that filter and suppressing my true reaction in order to produce the “correct” one. Of feeling so deeply ashamed about how I really feel about something, or how I’d actually react if I forgot myself, that I freeze and bury my initial reactions, lock them away and then behave instead in a way that is expected of me, the way I’m told people should, the acceptable way.

More often than not I don’t work out how I should have reacted until the moment has long passed. I have a limited repertoire of social responses, so I often just say nothing. The only thing teachers noticed about me at school is that I was “quiet”. Extremely quiet.

So what if during the assessment I can’t dig inside and find the “truth” in time? I can’t see how I can. But doesn’t that mean that whether I am genuinely autistic or not, the assessment might not actually reach the correct conclusion anyway? So why am I putting myself through this again?

Apologies for the ramble. Hope it makes sense!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14 thoughts on “Autism Assessment Nerves

  1. It’s all legitimate fear. However I think it might be worth it to get the diagnosis if it is in fact the case just so you can get the workplace accommodations you need to make your life easier. Just my thinking anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have an official ASD diagnosis, and even though being autistic in a neurotypicalcentric world has been very difficult for me, I realize that many autistic people have a much harder time than I do, and because of that I often feel like some sort of an impostor — like I’m trying to steal somebody’s thunder, so to speak.

    Unless your own symptoms are really, really hard for you to handle, I’m thinking there’s a good chance you could wind up with a similar problem.

    Having said that, I’m very happy that I have the diagnosis anyway, and I strongly encourage you to go through with the assessment. You’ve waited so long already.

    Hope that’s helpful! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hello lovely, it seems to me that your concerns over not being able to answer questions because you need thinking time will be indicative to the assessor that this is an Autistic trait. The fears you have are also typical of an Autistic female. If the assessor cannot recognise that then it’s more of a reflection on them than you. I would go ahead with it as you will always wonder the outcome. If its outcome is not what we expect and it does have a negative effect (it would me) then I would go the private route. I’m so happy I did that. It was totally not what we would usually do but we were desperate at the time as my mental health was very poor.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I hadn’t actually thought of that, that there is a second option if it doesn’t work out on the day, it really does boil down to the assessor, I’m praying it’s one who understands about women on the spectrum! X

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  4. I think you will find that any assessor knows this already and will be able to push your right buttons to show the real you. Trust that the people you are going to have the expertise they need. And you could also just print off this post and ask them to read it first!
    But in the end you will still be lovely you.
    xx

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Your concerns are valid and understandable! And having to wait soooo long for something like that would make anyone stress! Perhaps showing them your blog or some blog posts might be a good representation of your mind and how it works? Regardless of what happens, you’re amazing! And all your readers love you!

    Liked by 1 person

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