If we become concerned about you or anyone else while using one of our services, we will act in line with our safeguarding policy and procedures. This may involve sharing this information with relevant authorities to ensure we comply with our policies and legal obligations.

Assessment concerns

Options
Francesca22
Francesca22 Community member Posts: 16 Connected

I am a 60 year old woman and I have a GP appointment in 11 days to ask if I can be referred for an autistic assessment but really worried in case they don’t take me seriously. I’ve struggled with things all my life the majority of relationships have been a nightmare. I have had very few friends over the years, preferred to be on my own, found learning at school impossible (I think I have undiagnosed learning difficulties as well). I also have obsessions. What worries me is that I’ve learned to mask things over the years and can do some ‘small talk’ but only really if it’s one on one. Also my obsessions have mostly been with celebrities and tv shows but some objects as well. I am worried that the assessor will say that these things aren’t autistic traits in which case what do I do if he/she says it’s anxiety? I tried to get assessed in 2004, the GP back then wasn’t that helpful and only put me in touch with the practice counsellor who would only give an informal diagnosis she said I had ‘traits of dyspraxia overlapping with Asperger’s’. It has since been confirmed that I do have dyspraxia.

My only son aged 28 who lives with me is the same as me and probably worse. He really dislikes being around people and won’t even use a phone, his time is taken up with a few special interests. My brother has bipolar and another more distant family member has OCD.

I’m just so worried that assessor won’t take me seriously because I can do some small talk and have learnt to mask things over the years? Also my special interests seem to centre around tv shows and people as well as some objects. I think my fears are coming from a counsellor I saw years ago who didn’t really help me much and I am still undiagnosed and struggling.

Comments

  • Albus_Scope
    Albus_Scope Posts: 5,706 Disability Gamechanger
    Options

    Heya @Francesca22 I totally understand that worry. I went through the same in my 40s for autism and currently waiting for my ADHD assessment. I was petrified when I thought about talking to my GP about it, but they just asked a few questions, made me fill in a questionnaire, marked it that day and sent it off for a full assessment. Just be honest with your GP and dont be afraid to mention little things you're noticing. And most importantly best of luck! Will you let us know how you get on?

    Albus (he/him)

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.
    Want to give us feedback? Complete our feedback form now.
    Opinions expressed are solely my own.
    Neurodivergent.
  • Francesca22
    Francesca22 Community member Posts: 16 Connected
    Options

    Thank you, I will let you know how I get on. Unfortunately my GP has recently left the practice so will have to see someone new but hopefully they will be understanding.

  • WhatThe
    WhatThe Community member, Scope Member Posts: 1,287 Disability Gamechanger
    Options

    Hi Francesca, I was late-diagnosed (54) and it took two assessments to be given my diagnosis. My GP was sceptical about making the referral as I'd apparently "managed all this time" so I gave her information about girls/women on the autistic spectrum and explained what was relevant to me.

    The first assessor refused to give me the diagnosis. We spent 30 minutes shouting at each other. He believed himself to be an expert!

    Two years later, after badgering my GP because by then I had no doubts whatsoever, I got my diagnosis. This was despite the first assessor claiming there was no supporting evidence to send on when there was - all my school reports, medical history and a statement written by someone who knew me as a child.

    I got lots of useful information and a guide to the diagnostic process through the National Autistic Society (NAS). Dr Lorna Wing identified new criteria which applied to girls and women and were missing from standard autism questionnaires. These can be downloaded to give you a better idea of the questions asked as they vary a lot.

    You are right that this condition is often inherited.

  • Francesca22
    Francesca22 Community member Posts: 16 Connected
    Options

    Thank you, I will take some information with me on women and girls with autism. I don’t have anything like school reports but my mum will be able to provide a statement of what I was like as a child. Hopefully the GP will be nice and not try and dismiss me which I am worried about.

  • WhatThe
    WhatThe Community member, Scope Member Posts: 1,287 Disability Gamechanger
    edited June 22
    Options

    I understand that very well. As Albus mentioned, your GP will have their own issue questionnaire for you to fill in. It's worth mentioning your son's autistic traits at the same appointment.

    You can request your full medical notes from the surgery to see if there are any early indicators there and your mum's input will be the best possible evidence.

    It was a shocking and terrifying experience to encounter this condition as an older person and begin to make sense of my life undiagnosed. There's been no financial gain or tailored support since diagnosis but it is probably the best thing that's ever happened to me 😊

  • Francesca22
    Francesca22 Community member Posts: 16 Connected
    Options

    I will definitely tell the GP about my son’s autistic traits. He finds things more difficult than me especially with people. Myself, my mum and brother support him as much as possible. I tried several times to get help for him through the school when he was young but the headmaster at that time was horrible, it was difficult for both of us unfortunately. There could be something in my medical notes somewhere because when I was 11 (in the early 70’s) my class teacher apparently told my parents he thought I was autistic but don’t think my parents would even have known what the condition was back then.

  • WhatThe
    WhatThe Community member, Scope Member Posts: 1,287 Disability Gamechanger
    edited June 22
    Options

    Wow!!! In the 70's somebody spotted it 😮

  • Francesca22
    Francesca22 Community member Posts: 16 Connected
    Options

    Yes, this teacher must have been way ahead of his time. He was so nice as well. 🙂

Complete our feedback form and tell us how we can make the community better.
If we become concerned about you or anyone else while using one of our services, we will act in line with our safeguarding policy and procedures. This may involve sharing this information with relevant authorities to ensure we comply with our policies and legal obligations.

Find out how to let us know if you're concerned about another member's safety.