Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Aspergers & Diagnosis

There's a lot of vitriol out there over self-diagnosis of Asperger's and 'high functioning' (which seems to mean 'get along well enough to not be diagnosed as young children'- example in the comments here) Aspies. For the record, I'm *not* self-diagnosed. Two different doctors (in different states, at different facilities) came up with it. The second, who is my current therapist, did an evaluation of me five years ago and when I moved back to Texas and started seeing her regularly for therapy, mentioned that she'd been learning about it since she last evaluated me and went 'hey, I should have put this in the report.' So even good doctors CAN miss it-ey're focusing on 'oh, this person has been diagnosed with major depression and ADD, can we fit everything else into those' rather than looking at those separately. I think almost everyone has *some* aspie traits. I mean, it's like the descriptions of ADD or depression- of course everyone has times when they're distracted easily, or feeling down. It's the persistence and frequency and presence of multiple symptoms that make a disability- not just occasional moments. I don't think anyone really disputes that. But attacking someone as 'not autistic enough' when they try and speak for autism is a kind of low blow- even if you don't agree with them and don't feel that what they say is typical.

The way I see it, an actual doctor's diagnosis is important- I might even say essential- particularly if you're going to be getting accomodations at work or at school- and especially if you're 'high functioning'. Especially if you're using a psychiatric service dog.

At the same time... I think th