How do I get a diagnosis as an adult?

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Krsoma
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12 Oct 2022, 6:30 pm

Hi, I'm so sorry in advance if this obnoxious, and asked often. I have noticed my 15 month old was somewhere on the spectrum since pretty young. I started researching, reading studies, and doing what you do when you have a child suspected to be on the spectrum. She was recently evaluated, and we are meeting next week for her results. Now, the thing is, the more I've read, the more I just, like something hit me. I started to realize I was thinking over and over as I'd read about certain areas of possible interest, the same thought. Maybe she will just be like me, and a little bit socially awkward. Maybe she's a late talker, like I was, age 2.5. Maybe she will just have a bit of sensory issues. Then I realized, that's what 'wrong' with me. Now, I'm not saying Autism is wrong, or even unwanted by me for my child. It's just, I've had such a hard time making it to here. I'm 32, ex foster kid, never felt to be...one? with society, have moderate to sometimes severe OCD, severe social anxiety, would say im ineffective at making friends, just never knew what was 'wrong' with me. I was diagnosed and medicated several times as a youth for both depression and as bipolar, but never identified as those things if that makes sense. Reading the info and coping skills those doctors would give me did not describe me. I do agree I have OCD, and it can often interfere with my day to day life. My question is, what do I do? I have insurance through my work. Does your work know what your insurance is used for medically? With they know if I seek out a psychiatrist using my insurance? I live in sw Florida and don't know how to even search for a doctor that could help me as an adult. I mainly want to know out of curiosity, and I feel when i find out what's going on with me, I may feel whole. Can someone give me advice, or tell me if you were diagnosed as an adult if this seems logical? I'm not sure if I'm just a nut. Thank you. This is also my first post so I also want to say sorry if I broke any type of post guidelines or anything.



Mountain Goat
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12 Oct 2022, 7:52 pm

I heard that some colleges may do diagnosing if they have students studying the subject? Not sure if this is true but if it is it could be offered free? Not sure?

Probably a good idea to be assessed because otherwize one could always have the question on ones mind. Peace of mind where one knows where one stands and whatever the results make logical sense allows one to move on, be one on or off the spectrum.



himmellaufen
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12 Oct 2022, 8:09 pm

not very hard, just type "autism diagnosis [your state] [your city]" in google and you'll find it. chances are the same places that offer diagnosis for children also diagnose adults, as ados has four modules, the first one is for little kids and the 4th one is for grown ups.

just phone them



bee33
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13 Oct 2022, 6:09 am

Yes you should be able to find it on google. I googled adult autism diagnosis. I'm not sure if people who usually only diagnose children would be as helpful.

However, although I did find a respected specialist at a large hospital center, when I called they said their first available appointment was about a year away. They referred me to two other options. I met with one for an initial assessment that cost $300, which was mainly to determine whether it was worthwhile to proceed. I talked to the psychologist for about 45 minutes. But I did not feel confident enough in the psychologist doing the assessment so decided not to go through with it. The additional cost of the complete assessment would have been $2400 and not covered by insurance. If it had been free I might have thought, "Why not? I'll give it a try."



rse92
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13 Oct 2022, 7:24 am

It is often not easy to find someone who will test adults. I could only find one psychologist near me who would do so, and that was a seven month wait and out of pocket. And I live in a metropolitan area of well over one million people. There were, there always are, plenty who will test children. I had to go 400 miles to Manhattan to get a diagnosis, out of pocket.



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13 Oct 2022, 11:29 am

Over the decades I had become increasingly suspicious there was some diagnosable difference between me and "normal" people. But I knew virtually nothing about Autism and did not suspect it; if someone had suggested it I would've thought they were rude or stupid. At the end of 2018/beginning of 2019, however, I learned that in 2018 my then 88-year old Dad had been visited by a kid suspected of being Autistic and Dad said the kid was doing the same "weird" things I used to do (in the 1950s!).

I was still ignorant about Autism but motivated by Dad's comment I read about it on the Internet. And it fit. So, I got my bride to read about it and she agreed—it sounded like me. Then I discovered and took the online AQ test (https://psychology-tools.com/test/autism-spectrum-quotient) and it indicated I had "significant Autistic traits". Then I got my bride to take the test on my behalf, answering the questions the way she thought I should, and her result agreed with my result. That's when I decided I wanted an Adult Autism Assessment, because I wanted to know! And I wanted to know because I was curious. (I later discovered an additional online test, the Aspie-Quiz—note that registering is optional!)

I was 64. I had successfully muddled my way through life. I had been happily and comfortably retired since 2011. But I wanted to know even though the only likely benefit of the knowledge would be satisfying my curiosity.

I checked my insurance and it included "Mental Health" and would therefore at least partially cover an Adult Autism Assessment. But I think adult assessments must not be too common—even though they were immediately eager to help me they didn't know what they were talking about. They gave me referrals to places that didn't do assessments. Then they said I could find someone but they incorrectly said the assessment had to be by a psychologist who did ABA stuff.

It cost me a few months and a number of phone calls but I finally determined all I needed was a psychologist licensed in my state who took patients my age, worked with Autism, and who would be willing to do an assessment on me. I did not need anything related to ABA.

I used https://www.findapsychologist.org to identify nearby psychologists who sounded like possibilities. Between it and the psychologists' web pages I could find one who was nearby, took patients my age, and worked with Autism. (I also found my state's relevant web page to confirm a psychologist was licensed.) But, like I said, it appears Adult Autism Assessments must not be too common—that was not a service listed for any of the candidate psychologists I'd identified. So, I had to use the phone.

The person who answered the phone at the first practice I called did not think they did Adult Autism Assessments but said she'd verify that. When she contacted me back she told me they would do my assessment.

The assessment was actually kind of fun, by the way!

Shortly before my 65th birthday I was diagnosed. Autism Spectrum Disorder, Level 1 (Mild) with a note that I also satisfied the criteria previously associated with Asperger's Syndrome. It doesn't really have much practical use for me at my age but I was still delighted to finally know...there really was champagne involved.

I was so pleased by the diagnosis I almost neglected submitting the bill to my insurance. When I finally did, though, they covered about half. Because of the confusion about what kind of provider I needed I had ultimately chosen a provider that was not in their network; I do not know what difference it would've made if I had stayed in-network. But, even if they hadn't reimbursed me at all, there would've been champagne!


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ASPartOfMe
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13 Oct 2022, 3:04 pm

Welcome to Wrong Planet.

You are not being obnoxious. This is what we are here for.

It is quite common for parents after their child has been diagnosed to research autism and discover what is being described pertains to them as much as to their child. This is because their is a heavy genetic component to autism.

Your child’s clinician may be a good resource. I have read many stories here about parents telling their child’s clinician about their suspicion about themselves and the clinician expressing surprise the parent did not know they were autistic.

Can Employers Check Your Medical Insurance?

Quote:
The link between employers and health insurance can leave employees feeling a little uneasy. After all, if an employer helps pay for health insurance, it stands to reason it has the right to know about how it's used. According to federal law, employers can't look at individuals' medical records but are allowed reports of aggregate health insurance use.

hipaa
The federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act provides vast privacy rights for patients. Only patients, appropriate medical personnel and insurance company officials as required can view medical records. Even patients' families don't have the right to medical records or information without patient consent. Accordingly, neither medical providers nor insurance companies can share information about an employee's health with an employer.

financial information
Employers are allowed to monitor health insurance utilization. That means an employer can see the amount of claims being charged against its health insurance plan. Insurance companies can share both aggregate charges for the entire workforce as well as claims per employee. In this way, an employer can know that an employee has been receiving a larger than normal amount of health care -- but not the details involved, including the names of providers and facilities.

reasons
Increased health insurance utilization can lead to higher premiums for an entire company. Employers monitor health insurance use to keep an eye on whether insurance plans meet employee needs and to see how insurance use will affect benefits costs. High insurance utilization may force employers to shop for new health plans to keep coverage affordable.
disclosures.

In some circumstances, employees choose to share medical information with employers. This is perfectly legal. For example, an accident leading to a disability may cause an employee to request special accommodations from an employer. Similarly, taking leave or short-term disability because of a complex or serious medical condition usually requires employees to share personal information with employers. Most obviously, it's hard to request a maternity leave without giving away some medical information. Additionally, HIPAA does not forbid employers from requesting pertinent medical information that may be necessary to leaves, administration of a benefits plan or reasonable accommodations.


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autisticelders
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14 Oct 2022, 6:14 am

many parents discover their own autism when a child is diagnosed. When you go to the discussion of the assessment, it is OK to ask the testing people for referral to possible others for your own diagnosis. There may be somebody right there in that group that would be willing . The hardest part of finding diagnosis is to locate a competent professional who has actual experience with autistic adults. Some childhood autism specialists may be willing to assess an adult too. PS your question was not out of line and was very appropriate!


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Krsoma
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15 Oct 2022, 3:57 am

I'm not sure how to reply to individual replies yet, but you guys gave me exactly the info I was looking for. When I realized not any psychologist does adult assessments, by calling around, I was curious if there was one large or solid foundation that has locations and help in my area. This seems to be as I thought. Thank you all for your responses.