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Autism Assessment Informant Question

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Francesca22
Francesca22 Community member Posts: 16 Connected

Hi, I am about the take the first step of going to the GP for an autism assessment referral. I am 60 and I understand you have to have an informant that attends the assessment? The problem is I am 60 and my mum is in her 80’s with poor health so she couldn’t really attend. I don’t have anyone else that could be an informant. Does that mean I wouldn’t be able to be assessed? I really need a diagnosis as it would help, my life has been a car crash when it comes to friendships (social or romantic), obsessions, work and other things. Any advice would be great.

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  • AKR
    AKR Community member Posts: 19 Connected
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    I went through the NHS Autism assessment process, and was diagnosed in mid-2022 aged 49. I don't think an informant is essential, although it would normally be helpful. In other words, if you don't have an informant it shouldn't mean you cannot get assessed/ask your G.P. to refer you for an assessment. I didn't have anyone during my assessments who knew me as a child. I was referred by an advanced mental health practitioner whilst I was in a psychiatric unit. My assessment was in three parts - 1. an initial screening via zoom which was circa 90 minutes, this takes place to determine whether you appear to have autistic traits; 2. a second zoom interview with an autism clinician - circa 60 minutes; 3. the final assessment - face to face interview with two autism clinicians - circa 90 minutes. The entire process from referral to diagnosis was circa 22 months. I would advise you get to your G.P. asap and book a double appointment so you can talk to him/her properly about it and get the ball rolling. I would also advise that in advance of your G.P. appointment you prepare a reference note for yourself setting out why you believe you have autism and this should highlight several examples throughout a) childhood b) adolescence c) adulthood which may suggest you have autism. My diagnosis was based on the DSM V criteria so looking at that may help you in preparing your note and when discussing with your G.P. You can access the DSM V on the internet. Hope this helps.

  • Francesca22
    Francesca22 Community member Posts: 16 Connected
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    Thank you for so much information that’s very helpful. I have my GP appointment in 2 weeks time and will make notes of what I want to say.

  • Jimm_Scope
    Jimm_Scope Posts: 3,489 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi, I have not gone through an Autism assessment but I went through an ADHD assessment. Nobody had to attend the assessment with me, but one of my parents and my partner had to fill in an extensive questionnaire about my behaviours and history of behaviour.

    I know it's not exactly the same, but thought it would be worth mentioning as they can be quite similar assessments!

    They/Them, however they are no wrong pronouns with me so whatever you feel most comfortable with
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  • Francesca22
    Francesca22 Community member Posts: 16 Connected
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    Thank you, that’s very helpful. I am a bit nervous about this as I tried to get an assessment back in 2004 but didn’t really get anywhere. I just hope they don’t say it’s simply social anxiety, depression or something like that as I know diagnosis in women can be more difficult. I’ve always found interacting with others and relationships extremely challenging plus there’s a lot more. I’ve learnt to mask things over the years as well.

  • Jimm_Scope
    Jimm_Scope Posts: 3,489 Disability Gamechanger
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    I actually had an autism assessment so young I can't even remember it. It came back as not having autism, but when ADHD was discussed they simply asked how I was doing in school. The answer was that I was doing great, so ADHD was completely ruled out.

    Took another 20 years until I was finally diangosed with ADHD. Our understanding of Autism and ADHD has come a long, long way since 20-30 years ago.

    They/Them, however they are no wrong pronouns with me so whatever you feel most comfortable with
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    Opinions are my own, such as mashed potato being bad.
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