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Advice For A Friend

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#1 Kadenza


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Posted 15 April 2016 - 10:37 PM


A family I am very close to has two children. The son has AS, and is doing very well in his second year studying drama at University. The daughter is 17, and is studying A levels at college. She spoke to me this evening to say that she thinks she is on the spectrum too, and asked what her next step should be. Her parents have said that it is up to her what she wants to do about her feelings, and they suggested she speak to me about it.

She wants to get a dx (if appropriate) in order to help her make sense of herself, and to give herself permission to be who she us, if you see what I mean. She's completed an on-line test that puts her on the spectrum.

I've said that I think the first step is to contact her G.P., and I've offered to go with her. I said she would probably need to think about how a diagnosis would help her - see above -, and also to jot down why she thinks she may be on the spectrum. To be prepared to discuss the extremes of her emotions and behaviour so that a G.P. Could see that this wasn't just to do with the pressure of AS Levels. I've told her that the G.P. may ask her to consider whether it could be learned behaviour from her older brother, so to think about that too.

Does that sound right? Is G.P. the first port of call, and is there anything else she should be considering at this stage?

#2 imperfect parent

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Posted 16 April 2016 - 02:28 PM

GP is a good starting point.


I went to a talk about adult diagnosis recently, and the SaLT was telling us that many are not diagnosed until university; he found it stunning that so many struggle on getting to uni, but when you think about it the independent living is a huge step, more so now than when I went due to much more self catering accommodation in halls. without such upheaval many would just struggle along as so many have done in the past.


It might be worth asking the college or a local university who they refer to.

#3 Mozzy


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Posted 16 April 2016 - 07:05 PM

This is something I get asked a lot when training. People sometimes come to me at the end and say "I think I'm on the spectrum" or they think their wife is etc.


One thing I always say is that they don't need permission to be who they are. That many people out there have quirks or traits or ways of doing things that are not the norm so they are not alone. 


And it is important to also think that label is there for life. Now it shouldn't happen but I have seen people get rejected from jobs before interview stage because of a diagnosis on paper. People have tested this theory out.


My boss at work uses a fab example. If she raises her voice and says "oh come on" to the photocopier and taps it with her foot everyone concludes she is having a "bad day" but if I do it, people conclude it is my autism. When people know you have a label it's what they go to first.


I've had a friend come round and see a smashed glass on the floor I have literally just dropped because it was wet when I took it out the dishwasher and slipped out my hand and they have said in that tone "what happened" expecting me to say "I got angry and threw it".


The first thing is to weigh up the pro's and con's of a diagnosis. And also to look at if it is wanted or needed.

If it is needed the answer is simple, go to the GP.

If it is wanted I always urge people to wait and make sure they really want that label forever.


I'm not saying don't get one, I am saying be sure as I have seen people go down that route and regret it. 

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