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Do you think you might be Neurodivergent?

There has been a lot of chatter about ADHD, Autism and so on lately, and this has led to some people feeling like they can’t ask for an assessment or support with this.

Many of the comments being made are patronising and ableist, and often come from a place of not really understanding the difficulties these can bring. Another reason which holds many people back from seeking an assessment is stories about NHS waiting times, or the costs involved with going private. Whilst NHS waiting times are still really long, possibly up to seven years, there are other
pathways you can take.

Whether or not you go for an assessment is a very personal choice, and there are many reasons for either one. The important question is, which would be better for you?
Many of us don’t start to question our neurodivergency, or otherness, until adulthood, and by this point many of us have already had a lifetime of feeling wrong, different, or just generally not doing as well as others seem to. Then comes the argument of why you would want or need a diagnosis now, when you have made it this far without one. Or, why do you need to know, you’re just you.

Many of us started this particular journey with self-diagnosis. There are so many resources available now which can help us understand what neurodivergence looks like, many of which we suddenly notice are very relatable. When I first discovered my Autism and ADHD, I found I didn’t know nearly as much about it as I thought, which is why it took me so long to notice it and do anything with that information. I did so many online quizzes, all of which said the same thing, before I felt brave enough to ask for an assessment.

If you think that you might be neurodivergent, find some online quizzes, do some reading, fill your Tikok and Instagram feeds with people who are living with it. Do a bit of your own research, then decide what you want to do with that. Is it enough for you to know, or would a diagnosis benefit you in some way.

There are many reasons why diagnosis could be of use to you. Firstly it could confirm what you have already discovered. It could help get rid of that imposter syndrome you’ve been fighting with. It might lead to areas of help and support that weren’t previously open to you. Whatever the reason, you have a right to find out if you want to.

Getting a private assessment does seem to be the quickest way to go about this, but can prove to be a bit pricey and all factors need to be considered. Firstly you have the price of the actual assessment, then there may be further charges for ongoing support and monitoring. If you are prescribed medication, this might also be costly if it needs to be done via the private company for a period of time. It is okay to ask all these questions before you go ahead and book anything, and you deserve to know what you are getting yourself into.

You could ask your GP for an NHS referral which, as I have already mentioned, could be a very long wait, and possibly no support in the meantime. You could be waiting for years to even hear anything about it. An alternative, which is the route I took, is to ask your GP for a referral to one of the companies which have a contract with the NHS to complete these assessments. You can go to the Right to Choose website, make your enquiries about each provider, then ask your GP to refer you to one of these. You have a legal right to do this and the waiting time could be a lot shorter; hopefully months rather than years. When you see your GP, you will no doubt be asked why you want a referral.

It is ok to ask for more than one assessment, such as for Autism and ADHD, as you may have both and each one requires a separate assessment. Have a list of the traits you have already noticed you have, explain that you have done some online tests which confirm it as a possibility, and tell them why an assessment is important to you. Not all GPs will ask for a lot of detail, but it is better to have it to hand. Have it all written down and take it with you to the appointment. I don’t know about you, but when I am put on the spot all the words seem to fall out of my head. Of course, now I understand why that is.

Once you get a diagnosis, don’t assume there will be ongoing support with it. Sadly, it is often the case that we need to find out own support, and this can be very hard to find. This is one of the reason I work with so many neurodivergent people, and I love that my experiences can help those in similar situations, or just working out how to live in a world built for Neurotypicals.

If you feel you could benefit from some support around this, or any other difficulty, please do get in touch. I won’t have all the answers, and will aim to support you to work out what you need and how to get it.

If you have any questions, please let me know. I'm here to help. 

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