Never too late for answers

Hello everyone, I hope you’re all well and good!

I hope none of you have been affected by the bad weather we’ve been having in the UK.

Today I’m going to talk to you about the new diagnosis I’ve got and what it means to me and to thank those who were with me on my diagnosis journey.

So as of the 13th October 2023 I have been diagnosed with autism.

This is something that I have always wondered but I didn’t understand it enough to know. Working with individuals with different disabilities, including autism, made me notice traits that they had that I also had. What they would do just made sense to me. 

So I was originally going to look into getting assessed a few year back but then my Grandma passed away and I just wasn’t in the right mindset. However nearly a year on I decided it was time and I booked a doctors appointment and was ready to get assessed. 

Now at my doctors appointment I was told I couldn’t have the autism assessment done on the NHS because of my age. If I wanted to have it done I would need to apply for funding from ICB, the Integrated Care Board, but they would need some information about why I think I should have the assessment. 

So I took this information back to Sue from Lift Loud for Danny and she sent me a RAD test. She also wrote a letter to support me stating she also thought I had autism. I scored highly on the RAD test so I took this back to the doctors and they sent it off with my other forms. Twitter handle @liftloudfordan1

In the meantime I spoke to a local young lady called Chloe, who has autism and she said that she also thinks I have autism after seeing me in groups and other things. Also she let me know of different tags that I can put on my posts to get a response from the autism community. Chloe is an amazing advocate for women with autism, you should give her a follow! @Autistic Truth on twitter.

I also ended up coming across a podcast by a women who spoke about her late autism diagnosis and I found this really helpful. I found I could really relate to her and when she would say things I was like wow.. that’s just like me! I just want to say thank you for sharing as I related so much to each episode of her podcast, I would really recommend her podcast autistic at 40. twitter handle is @Autistic_at_40_Podcast.

After a couple of weeks I got my assessment date through and it was an online assessment. It was on a Sunday at tea time and I was stressing, I was panicking I was going to mess up and the more I panicked the worse I felt. I was so nervous I set multiple alarms on my Alexa.

So it was time for my assessment.. the lady doing my assessment said I could have my partner with me, so she came and sat with me. I was struggling to understand some of the questions so my partner and the lady would reword them so I could understand. The lady also added that she was going to refer me for and ADHD assessment as well as I also scored highly in those areas. Autism and ADHD often go hand in hand, this isn’t the case for everyone but it is common. Their meeting was going well until my monitor decided to turn black and I was stressing trying to turn everything off and on again so I could get back to the meeting. The meeting was only an hour long but it was nice to feel like I was being listened to for a change.

The next day I got an email for a face to face appointment. I went into a room, did a little talking and then I had to do some exercises. One of these exercises was I had to pick five things out of a bag of goodies and then using these five things I had to make a story. The assessor picked three to give me an example of what she meant, I then tried to use the three objects that she had used but she said I couldn’t. I called her a bitch and the apologised but in my head I’d already made a story and because I couldn’t use those objects id have to start from scratch. 

It had been a month before I got my final report and I finally have some answers as to why I am the way I am. I hope this will help my progression now because I can be open and honest with people about it and then we can adjust the way we do things.

I am so grateful to Skylight Psychiatry as they are the ones who did this for me and I couldn’t be more grateful for the time and help they gave me.

Also a big thank you to my partner because when filling out the questionnaire I asked her for help but she said no, I needed to do it myself to get a true representation.

Sorry it’s a long one, I hope you enjoyed! Feel free to ask any questions.

I wish you all good health, mental health and I hope you all have a cracking week!

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