A Mid-Forties Butch Aspie
Makes Her Way
(blog originally kept at WrongPlanet.net)
The Second Time Around - Part 2
A Better Experience -
The First Appointment
Composed on May 9, 2012
This other guy seems way more likely to be more fair and thorough than the last one.
My friend sat with my niece. My sister came in with me to help present info and to make sure nothing bad happened to me this time. The psychologist and someone who was just sitting in on this one appointment sat around the table with us. I was extremely nervous. I kept drinking from my water bottle and sweating it out. But all seemed to go well. My sister and girlfriend will now get to fill out questionnaires more appropriate to my situation. More Aspie oriented tests will be given to me. The right questions will apparently be asked. I think we confirmed already that I stim in multiple ways. I also inadvertently provided what was apparently a very nice, clear demonstration of perseveration, which my sister confirmed I do "all the time".
After the appointment, I spent time with my sister and my friend. They were both able to confirm for me that, although I was very nervous, I hadn't behaved in any way that was out of the ordinary for me. That's good. It means an accurate picture of me is being presented. That's the other reason I wanted them there.
The previous take-home questionnaire, according to this psychologist, shows that I don't need services, because I've adapted and can function too well to need them. That's fine. I'm not service-seeking, just answer seeking. I have had occasion, though, since this appointment, to think once again about how, when I used to work (in my late teens and early twenties), I couldn't seem to do anything but work. I couldn't seem to wrap my mind around or give my energy to anything else while handling that. And some of that was before my fibromyalgia diagnosis. Decades later, what will this mean for me now? I haven't worked in all this time, and I've already seen how I have to switch interests and activities in different time periods in order to handle what I do now. For example, as I mentioned in my appointment on Tuesday, once my last assessment and my complaint process were done, I had to stop posting on Wrong Planet and reading about Asperger's in order to go back to other things in my life that I needed to deal with. I really struggled to manage the assessment period before while also doing much of anything else, such as leading my drumming group. Now my head is back into the autism stuff, and I'm reading that book, Loving Someone with Asperger's Syndrome. (It's pretty good so far. I'll probably end up adding it to my resources page at my Website.) But I'm also trying to handle some other activities, and I'm not sure about keeping up with everything as I should. And that's not spending eight hours a day, five days a week (or even eight hours, two or three days a week or four hours a day, five days a week for part time). What would I do if I had to manage a job and my relationship, my drummers and practice at home, my checkbook and budget, my workout plans and workouts to deal with my fibromyalgia pain, my continuing self-exploration and education concerning Asperger's, and my contribution to household chores, as well as any down-time for other reading, computer stuff (including updating my Website), and maybe being able to relax with a bit of TV? That's not even mentioning SCA events and other irregular activities - or unexpected things that can come up. Would I have no non-work activity? No down-time? No chance to adjust when flexibility is needed? My life already seems hard to handle often enough. Right now, my checkbook is waiting for info from a pile of receipts to be entered, and so are my budget lists, because I've been busy handling other things. I've gotten behind and needed help from my girlfriend before, and she only helps with the checkbook. I do my budget in a way she can't work with, so I'm on my own. This will be the second or third time I've fallen behind and not kept up for all or part of a month. That's bad. Good thing I did so well before, so I have a cushion to work with if I go over my spending limit somewhere.
I'll have to see what comes of this new assessment process. In any case, it's already better than it was the last time. This psychologist says someone made a mistake when they sent me to the other guy. I should've been sent to him, instead. He was probably unavailable at the time, and I got scheduled with the other guy by someone who didn't know to have me wait for the right one. Well, I'll accept that explanation and move on. Good enough for me. I only care that things are made right this time. When things are made right, I stop caring that things went wrong before. It's just my way.
You know, I guess it makes sense that the other guy didn't understand Asperger's. Asperger wrote his paper in 1944, and it got translated in 1991. The other guy was, according to the new guy, retired sometime in the 1980s. (I guess he later came out of retirement to work for Easter Seals.) That's what the new guy explained to me. Also, the other guy is 83 years old. For his generation, certain attitudes went unquestioned. Hence the homophobia, I guess, though I hate to assume something like that about any individual just for their age. As for someone who retired in the 1980s not knowing what was written in German by an Austrian during the second World War, I guess that's pretty understandable.
It'll be a couple of weeks before I have another appointment. There should be a total of three, at least; probably not more, though. But they're an hour, not a half hour, and we're using some stuff that's okay from the last assessment, such as the IQ test, which I'm not disputing. So, I'm getting more time total, with part already done at the outset. That's a lot more reasonable. And he wants a lot more information from people I know, including people who knew me when I was little. The other guy wanted none of that. This new guy even wants school records, which makes a lot of sense. I hope they're still available. It's been a long time, and I don't know how long districts are required to keep them.
I intend to keep posting updates as this thing progresses, just as I did the first time.
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A Mid-Forties Butch Aspie Makes Her Way
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