Monday, 24 March 2014

Pre diagnostic diagnosis?

Today was my pre diagnostic assessment with a case worker and support worker. I'd rearranged it from home to their offices, as I really couldn't see I would be able to focus on an interview with two small children round and about. This way the children were safely occupied at home with Tim, and I could give the interview the attention I deserved.

I arrived early.

I never arrive early.

Except for job interviews. And actually, I can do early for trains and so on. I suppose it's usually child oriented stuff I'm not early for.

Anyway. I was nervous. I'm sort of still nervous in an unwinding gradually kind of way. I didn't really know what I was going for, who I was meeting, what they would be like, what their expertise was, or anything, and this despite having rung up to query the whole thing with the team secretary.

I now know that they are a newish team, operating since last August. They've varied expertise, and two psychologists on board. This interview is about information gathering, and explaining the process, which can take 3 months or thereabouts from here, depending on access to the psychologists, and how many follow up sessions are needed. Sometimes people have to do the whole DISCO, other people go at it other ways.

We gathered lots of information. Memories from earliest childhood, right the way through my life. And at the end of the interview, the case worker looked at her pile of notes and said "well, you've got masses of traits. If you want to proceed to diagnosis, I'll put that through."

She then proceeded to refer to my diagnosis as a certainty. And I felt a massive sense of relief. I can begin to understand myself. My suspicions are completely validated.

I'm not a broken or incompetent normal person. I'm autistic, and actually, I've done pretty well to do all the things I've done through my life, passing as normal. I'm not going to go into great detail here as to the difficulties I've had, or explain or justify my desire for this diagnosis.

I'm just going to say I feel a lot better about myself now.

I'm Jax, and I'm autistic. How are you?

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Getting started

Somehow yesterday I ended up reading a series of posts on Musings of an Aspie, about executive function. It's an excellent series of posts, I recommend them. Part 3 was the one that really called out to me just now. This in particular. Initiation is the flip side of inhibition. It’s the “getting started” phase of an activity. People who struggle with initiation are often labeled lazy or unmotivated. They commonly get asked variations of “if you know what you have to do, why don’t you just do it?”

I am really massively good at not starting things. Actually, it's utterly ironic that I pondered the big picture/small details question on the phone assessment at all - I drown in small details.

The house needs decluttering. We need less stuff and more storage. A good way to go about this, two birds with one stone, would be to sell some stuff, and spend the money from it on shelving. (I have a mental picture of shelves around the alcove where the TV unit currently stands. Room for the DVDs and the computer monitor, but also for the probably hundreds of unloved books currently languishing without homes. And for the unpurchased montessori resources for the montessori corner I envisage against the wall.)

Great. So why haven't I done it?

Well, what's the best way to sell things? Could it be ebay? What about gumtree? Maybe a facebook group. And then I found the perfect facebook group, local to just our town, so I wouldn't have to worry about postage (packaging. Couriers. Receipts. Claiming for things lost.) but they won't let me in. And instead of just finding another group (there are many) I applied several times, and asked local friends to assist, and wasted another week.

Small details. Drowning. And nothing actually done, despite the flurry of activity around the ideas.

Initiation is my biggest issue. I don't know where to start if I don't know where I'm going to stop. If I can't hold the whole plan or system, if something is unknown, I waver and procrastinate, and tweet, and read something, and maybe do a completely different article, or read a book....(or write a post on initiation) and there you go.

Or you don't.

The other stopping point is fear of failing. And yet not doing is the ultimate failure isn't it? Not actually trying? While things undone stack up around me (metaphorically speaking, it's hard to stack unwritten blogposts after all) I beat myself up - what if I do it wrong? What if I don't understand what I'm supposed to do? What if the brand/company/my readers don't like it?


I need some techniques to defeat all of this. To get me past the scary blank white page, to work out how to banish the *but if you'd sold it on xyz you could have got this much* that I will find echoing round my brain if/when I do finally sell something. (There is no out of sight out of mind with obsessional thought patterns.)

Anyone any ideas? Tried and tested tips? (And please, don't waste my time by telling me to pull myself together, snap out of it, get my finger out or any of those platitudes. I can and do say them to myself. They don't work.)