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Another Step in My Autism Diagnosis Journey

Last Thursday, I received an email informing me that the provider I’d been referred to for assessment had set up an account for me on their portal, so I logged in and reviewed my case notes. I need to take an online self-assessment test and send them the results, plus I have two questionnaires to be filled in, one for me and one for another family member or person who knows me well.

Once I’ve uploaded all of those and they’ve been reviewed, they’ll schedule a video interview with me for the initial assessment. Depending of what the decide next, there may be additional video interviews or even an in-person assessment.

It has taken a few years to get to this point, from my initial request to my GP for a referral in mid-2019. Coronavirus slowed things down quite a bit, and I would have probably waited a few more years if not for the opportunity to get seen by a private provider being payed by the NHS to help with the backlog.

Doing the questionnaires has meant dredging up a lot of memories, not all of them good. But I’m working my way slowly through them because I really want to have a proper diagnosis that I can point to. Even if that doesn’t provide me with much in the way of support — and I’m being realistic about that, as I know those services are sparce and underfunded — if it means that people recognise that I’m not broken, I’m just wired up differently, that will be enough.

Growing up in an era where autism was poorly understood, if it was recognised at all, I’ve been left to muddle along as best I could. It’s only within the last decade that I even realised that I might be on the autism spectrum, and started putting the pieces together and working out why I’ve always felt different. But at least now I have a handle on what that difference is. Here’s hoping I can use that knowledge to achieve my full potential.

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