Diagnosis during lockdown

I was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Condition on 14/Oct/2020 during a local lockdown in Nottingham.
My assessment took place via a video call and was not necessarily what I was expecting. However, the entire process has been full of unexpected moments.
The first bit of advice I can give is to have multiple headphones to hand. Technical difficulties can arise! It took half an hour to sort out an issue with my microphone. Had my husband not been there to fetch headphones and troubleshoot the problem I would have been significantly more stressed than I was. Thankfully there were not technical difficulties with the camera!
My next bit of advice is to have a bit of a list, or even several lists, ready. The night before I sat down with my husband and we listed what visual and auditory sensitivities I experience, my food aversions due to texture and taste, my communication style, and issues it causes me as well as my special interests. This helped me a great deal during the assessment as my mind kept going blank and I found it difficult to recall things. It may also be worth writing a list of reasons you or others believe you are autistic. When I was asked that question, I just shrugged and replied with “What life experience I believed to be normal are apparently not” and elaborating on that was rather difficult for me.
Another bit of advice is to, if you have them, have any stim toys or fidget toys around you. It can be stressful when talking about how certain things impact you or how you experience certain things. Having those to hand can help with the stress, as can a weighted blanket or vest if you have them. Also have a plan ready for after as you will likely feel very drained, I had to curl up for a while and just exist and not have to think about various aspects of my life as I just had done for the past two hours. Tagging onto this piece of advice as well, sit somewhere you find comfortable and dress in an outfit you find comfortable. I know it is easier said than done but try not to worry about how you prevent yourself physically with what you wear, how you sit or where you sit.
I cannot think of any other little bits of advice. Though if I ever do, I will edit this and add them.

2 responses to “Diagnosis during lockdown”

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