Sunday, November 13, 2016

That Moment When Your Perception of Reality is Turned Upside Down

A few weeks ago I was at my shrink and talking about how frustrated I was about certain things related to Asperger's, and a strong suspicion that I have a non-verbal learning disability. In fact, I thought the two were intrinsically linked.

My shrink told me that they weren't, and that I haven't even been diagnosed with Asperger's, and--

Wait, WHAT?

I told him that I sure as hell wasn't neurotypical, and that I was diagnosed anyway back in 2003.

He shook his head, and said something like, "A therapist saying that he agrees with your assessment is not a diagnosis. You need neuropsychiatric testing for that. I'm just floored that you never had that done."

"Yeah, well, nobody knew anything back then. In 2003, they gave me an MRI and an EEG. That was it. There was nothing else they could do."

He said that even though people didn't know what Asperger's was until very recently, neuropsychiatric testing has been around since the '80s. That's right, the 1980s! And not one person suggested I have it done, unless you count the psychological evaluation I had at age 8 at my school (but I don't think that qualifies). So this means that my boneheaded shrink that I went to from 1992-1995 didn't know to refer me for it; my very good shrink from 1998-1999 didn't know to refer me for it; and none of the other shrinks I've had-- bad and good-- suggested I have it done. Nobody! Not in suburban Pennsylvania, and not even in New York City!

My therapist does believe I'm on the autism spectrum, but I need neuropsychiatric testing to get an official diagnosis. And this would also screen for the NVLD I've been suspicious of for the past year; I've been suspicious because I've been taking web development classes and I'm always the last to pick up everything. Sometimes instructors and peers think it's a lack of attention to detail (ha! People, if anything, tell me I'm too hung up on details!) or that I'm distracted or whatever, but... there's something else going on. I can't even explain it. And when I've described to my shrink about what it's like for me to learn new non-verbal material, and how I do much better one-on-one, he said that what I've described is very typical of people with NVLD.

Yeah, so I have to look into getting DIAGNOSED after 13 YEARS of being sure that I've had Asperger's. If I don't have it, I don't know what it means. This really would warp reality as I know it.