When I was diagnosed (14th of September 2020) I was given an assessment score of 168 out of a possible 240. The official diagnosis on my medical records is “high functioning autism”, that was the term used at the time.
Both Jeni and I, as well as other advocates have said that from our own perspectives there isn’t such a thing. Because more can be expected of you, and that’s just one of the reasons.
Why I’m talking about this today is because I was thinking back to that day. I was clearly shaken (physically shaking) and don’t remember much of the conversation. What I do know is that I was answering based on a sporadic memory, one with patchy recall. Plus any questions regarding sensory processing disorder I answered no to, but that wouldn’t be the case if I was assessed now. If I was assessed in an unmasked state. The other thing about the assessment was being told that being empathetic was a mark for being neurotypical, not autistic.
People can wait years for an answer, but the diagnosis system is flawed. I’m not the only person that’s pointed that out. It’s like looking through a keyhole rather than a doorway. Given that access to support and services depends, not only on getting a diagnosis but where you are on the diagnostic scale. I hope that more is done in the future to provide reliable autism testing. Personally I’m not going to get retested because I do have the answer I was looking for, but in reflection, my score of 168, can’t possibly be an accurate one. Because even I was unaware of my physical traits, sensory processing limits, and a huge chunk of my own memories.
All our best and love
Ross Fraser and Jeni Dern
Words – Ross A Fraser
Graphic Design App – Canva