I am a self diagnosed autistic person. I require written confirmation of this diagnosis from a recognised diagnostician in order that accommodations can be made at my work place. Will a diagnostic assessment potentially take away my identity?
This diagram represents a concept of what autism is to an individual. X represents a commonality in autism.
Commonalities are behaviours, experiences, challenges and helpful strategies that exist for autistic people.
If you have a lot of knowledge and experience of autism then your concept of what autism is, will be populated with a wealth of commonalities.
The less experience you have of autism, the fewer commonalities will exist in your concept.
Either way, if you consider yourself self diagnosed, then you relate strongly to many of the commonalities that exist in your concept of autism.
This is a given, a statement of fact and a diagnostic assessment should not contest this.
The question asked in a diagnostic assessment is not,
“Is it right that I consider myself to be an autistic person?”
“Does this person satisfy the diagnostic criteria for ASD, as written in an internationally recognised diagnostic classification system?”.
The diagnostic criteria is relatively short and does not account for a great many of the commonalities that we know often occur for autistic people. However the manifestations of the criteria are extremely wide and varied and depend on a great many factors including support, cognition, environment, experience, gender and age. My experience has taught me, through the eyes of my patients, how to recognise behaviours as being attributable to an underlying autism.
It is only learning from autistic people that I have been able to use my knowledge and experience to interpret the diagnostic criteria with greater wisdom.
Question: Will a diagnostic assessment potentially take away your identity?
Answer: No, through assessment your identity should be recognised and accepted to be right and just, and should not be contested.