I was diagnosed with Asperger’s. That’s right, with all the other stuff, I’m on the Autistic Spectrum (ooo shiny neon).
The people at the Maudsley are smart. They give you a pre-printed letter of diagnosis with your particular type of Autism ringed and ticked, and notes about further tests written on the bottom. This is to by-pass some of the shit bureaucracy that happens in the NHS. It allows the person newly diagnosed to have proof (which helps claim benefits, convince parents and partners etc), and confirms everything for them. Many people who get the news are confused, or just uncomprehending, so the letter covers everything and has details of relevant charities etc. on the bottom.
So, apart from sending you away with a diagnostic letter, the Maudsley people are doubly clever: once they’ve decided you’re of interest, they sign you up for all sorts of tests. Hell, they even took blood. Now, the tests are optional – you are not made to have them. I have odd genetics and they want my blood and DNA – they can have it. As a female over 30 getting diagnosed, I’m quite rare – women are less diagnosed than men, and usually when young. Or that is the current case, but it’s looking like that is changing rapidly. In addition to a genetic abnormality (EDS) I also have other weird shit (random extra hole in the head that wasn’t there 10 years ago, anyone?). I’ve taken part in consultations about treatments for Scoliosis and Chronic Pain before, and am fine with helping research.
I went to this second appointment scared that I was wasting their time – that my Mum’s wish and urging for me to get checked out, and my following it through, would be bit wacky. That I’d be taking the place of someone who really needs the attention, and, if younger, could really benefit from their help – who are struggling physically and mentally, struggling to learn and survive. But I’m glad I went. Some of the questions I was asked really got me thinking properly about my situation.
So, that was Thursday.