Thursday, February 5, 2009

Part 2 - The danger of diagnosis

In my last post I talked about the value of self knowledge in the context of neuro-psychological testing.

I said, “There is no downside to testing.” Several readers took me to task for that, pointing out that there can be a downside . . . learning that you are officially “different” can be a crushing blow to the psyche.

I have thought about that point quite a bit. Frankly, although I acknowledge what people are saying, it does not make a lot of sense to me. Why would increased self knowledge be such a blow? ADD, Asperger’s or autism are neurological differences. They are (generally) stable conditions, not diseases that progress. If you learn you are on the spectrum, it’s not a death sentence. You’re not going to become senile or lose your wits.

So why is the knowledge of why you are different so hard to take?

I think we grow up with certain notions of what conditions like “autistic” mean. We think, I’m glad that doesn’t apply to me. Then, all of a sudden, we are told it does apply. Our self image takes a hit.

I can understand that, but I still believe that knowledge is power. We can’t change our lives for the better unless we understand what needs changing. Therefore, it is necessary to get beyond the shock of a diagnosis and move into understanding what it means, in terms of how we act, live and get along.

To me, critical comments like Samwick’s (on my main blog) illustrate the danger of labels, which is rather a different issue that what I originally meant to write about.

When I wrote my original post, I thought how much diagnosis meant to me by helping me understand exactly how my mind differed from other minds around me. For example, the simple insight that I miss nonverbal cues was life-changing. I seized upon the specific behavioral issues and set about constructing a better life. It worked. Words cannot express how much better my life is, thanks to the self-knowledge I’ve gained since learning about my Asperger’s.

For some other people, it does not work that way because they become sidetracked by preconceived notions about “having a diagnosis.” Instead of looking at their own specific issues, they look at broad statistics associated with the diagnosis. They see phrases like, 32% can’t live independently, or 66% never get married and have a family. They become trapped in generalities rather than focusing on specific issues to make their own lives better. They interpret those general statistics as a prediction for their own future, when it’s nothing of the sort.

More specifically, they see their future as inexorably tied to every unfavorable broad statistics associated with their diagnosis. IN that sense, some DO see an autism diagnosis as a sentence to some kind of living death. They get swallowed up by diagnosis, forgetting the fact that they’ve lived their lives before and life goes on after.
That is the danger of a label. Some people read what’s associated with a label, and make it self-fulfilling. They let go and become the label. That negative outcome can be reinforced by teachers and adults who say or think, He has a diagnosis of autism. We can’t expect too much of him. That is most assuredly not the way I have lived my life.

For knowledge to have power in this context, it must be you-specific knowledge. You should not care what 66% of people do in this context. You should care that you have specific and identified strengths and weaknesses. For example, testing might show that you can read subtle emotion in voices, but you can’t pick signals up from faces alone. That’s an example of knowledge you can act on to make your life better. The fact is, you ARE that way. It’s not new, and you’re not getting worse. You are already living your life in context. Understanding can only help.

Next, I’d like to address another important point . . . the risk of a wrong diagnosis. People say, What if I get an Asperger diagnosis when I really have ADD? Can’t that be harmful?

That actually goes back to my comments on the dangers of labels. To me, the label does not matter. What matters are the specific insights into your own behaviors and identification of your personal strengths and weaknesses. There is no hazard to learning those things. I agree that diagnostic errors can be harmful, but that too is another subject.

Don’t focus on the label. Focus on the behavioral insights. Ask yourself, does the result make sense? If it does, you are the way to improvement. If it doesn’t make sense, question the tester. Perhaps the results don’t mean what he thought. In the end, it is the specific behavioral insights that allow you to make a better life, not a broad brush label.

People are not labels. Our personalities are made of countless eccentricities and aberrations, and it’s those I seek to understand. The power is in the details. There is no power in a broad brush label.

Finally, there is another danger of diagnosis. That is with your medical record. What if you receive an autism diagnosis and it’s entered into your “official” record because you had the testing done by a professional who’s paid by a health insurer? It’s possible that you could be rated unfavorably for insurance, or even denied insurance later in life.

What to do about that? The only answer I know is to pay for testing on your own, and make your own decision where the results are released. I would have some concerns about having any diagnostic information in my medical record because the evidence indicates insurers sometimes try and use those records against us for their own advantage.

So the issue of “downsides to the diagnosis” is not as clear-cut as I originally portrayed. I apologize to those who felt my original post was misleading or incomplete.

27 comments:

piglet said...

excellent post john, i am thrilled with the way you make this so easy to understand. you speak in simple, direct terms.

you can't see me, but i am jumping up and down with excitement b/c you make a million great points in this post.

i'm having my husband read it b/c i think he's one to believe that it's a label and for the love of god, he hates to be labeled.

we were talking about it this morning as i read him quotes from your blog, and then you posted this so it's a great finish to our discussion. my hope is that if he has difficulty "hearing me", he'll at least understand your words of experience.

Samwick said...
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John Elder Robison said...

Samwick, don't you think it's necessary to understand our behavior in order to learn to adapt and change?

You say, finding out that they may very well have to use strategies for the rest of their life...that it's never going to be easy...that can hurt a lot.

If you didn't know about strategies before, and that aspect of your life was marked by failure, how easy can that be?

If using a strategy works, I have a hard time seeing the downside. I understand that a person might have been living their life in the abstract hope that "things would work out." And I see how the knowledge that things probably won't work out on their own could be hard.

But don't you think you can move past that to a better place than you'd have attained without the knowledge?

I know some people would just as soon not know. Maybe we should leave it at that. I think self knowledge has been of great value to me.

Samwick said...
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Samwick said...
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Thomas said...

The other danger of testing of children is that they don't often consent (or have the knowledge to consent) to this testing and then, even when they have not stigmatized themselves, they are saddled into a system of "mental health services" from which they cannot escape for the rest of their lives. This was the case with me -- once I was placed into "special" education, nobody wanted the liability of letting me out. This occurred in first grade but has continued placing barriers before me through the school system, in college education, employment, and housing, into my adult life. Children don't have the luxury of paying for testing by themselves and keeping it off their record. In fact, most insurers in their applications will ask whether you've ever sought treatment or testing for any condition from an outside source, and they ask you to sign and affirm your answer under penalty of perjury. And if you do have a pre-existing condition, they pay researchers to find it out once you seek assistance in living with it. I agree that having a neurological condition that can be adapted to is, in many ways, better than just being "weird," but most of the world doesn't see humanity in a rainbow-colored neurodiversity spectrum: they see the world as broken up into "normal" and "abnormal" and it's their stigma that we'll have to deal with for the rest of our lives.

piglet said...

Some comments do not deserve a response, especially if the motive doesn't come from a nice place. Is the use of "gag" really necessary? Are you twelve?

John, you go to great lengths to educate your readers, and personally I have benefited greatly from your blog, your book and I am certain any other books you write in the future.

So what if the discussions here go to a book? How is that even relevant comment?

All books come from conversation with other people, personal history, and many other human experiences. I'm not a big believer in original thought, we have all been inspired, moved, educated, and molded into who we are individually by outside influences, by books we've read, songs we've heard.

Thank goodness we are not robots.

Having a blog just allows for a wider girth of material and response. Anyone can write a book from their blog material. John has personal experience that's proved to be very valuable to many people on this particular topic, and even better he blogs and he interacts with his readers.

I don't know many writers that do that. John is doing the actual work involved in putting the data together to create a book. I would wonder if this is offensive to a person, perhaps they should not engage and interact on this blog?

I fail to understand why the comments are turning into a inquisition.

Specifically, this comment "Again, I can tell you don't get the downside." I have to challenge that with do you honestly believe that you know exactly what John "gets" and doesn't "get"?

Mind reader perhaps? Is it possible that your projection blinds your vision?

My belief, with each personal experience, you are getting that person's experience and knowledge. We aren't machines that are meant to all march to the same beat like robots. Diversity is what keeps our race moving forward.

Just because you do not agree with what is written, does not make it wrong or inaccurate. Nor does it render it useless to other people. I personally enjoy what is referred to as "lecture mode" as it IS based on John's personal experience. All too often, the human ego gets involved and creates a situation in which the reader thinks the writer is writing specifically "for" them or "to" them.

Free your mind and get over yourself.

And John, please accept my apologies if I've overstepped my regular commenting manners.

Catana said...

I didn't know until I was in my late sixties that I have Asperger's, and I often wonder how different my life might have been if I'd known much earlier in life. But knowing as much as I do now about the spectrum, how it's viewed, the many "interventions" that are now in place, many of them less than useful, I'm rather glad that my childhood was free of both the good and bad that come with early diagnosis.

Thomas, if you come back to read the comments, could you contact me through either of my blogs?

Kanani said...

I think you're mixing a couple of issues here that are easier to address separately.

First, in terms of the "devastation," what's important to remember is that while a forest may catch fire, it will always grow back if given time. But this isn't a vista that someone who is in a haze can easily see. Hence, the importance of having a lot of support --other than one's parents.

Conformity is "marketed" in our society as a sure-fire way to success. These narrow boundaries of definition are not only untrue, but also unrealistic and impossible to stay within.

As you've said, an Aspergian wants all the same things --friendship, love, happiness, but often their attempts are not as fruitful as they would like. And I think the problem one might have (or at least I've observed) when they view their lack of success as a personal failure and when it is communicated to them by others that it is so. "What? You take the short bus?" "You're not trying hard enough," "Why don't you....." "I don't want to hear about it. " "Well, so-and-so does it that way!" "What are you, retarded?" "I don't think you belong here, why don't you just finish off your degree in Adult ed?" "No, my daughter is fine. She just doesn't try hard enough." "I don't know what's going to become of my son. Whatever." These are things I've heard kids say to one another as well as impressions left upon them by adults --sometimes their parents.

So the devastation comes if their perception is that "they'll never be like everyone else."

Now, this might not matter to every Aspergian. But I can tell you, it meant a lot to my teen. I think his growth will take a long time, and it will take the assistance of a lot of flexible adults who will help guide him.

INSURANCE AND TESTING:

First of all, if everyone goes and pays for their own testing and insurers never have to deal with it, then the stigma of mental health continues to be buried under the sand.

Also, testing is expensive. The testing we did at UCLA wasn't covered by the policy we held at the time. We paid $3,000 --cash. Was it worth it? Absolutely. Did the expenditure make me wince. Yes.

There are excellent groups like NAMI who fight on a daily basis not only in our communities through educational meetings with law enforcement and support groups, but also labor on behalf of mental health in front of congress. I just think joining an effort such as this is far more preferable than not making large corporate entities such as private insurance take care of a subscriber's needs.

The subscriber is, after all, paying out upwards of $600/ month for coverage. Mental health testing and treatment should be covered.

LABELS:
I think you could say, "I welcome a diagnosis, but I don't want to see it as a label."

What we need in this county is a massive uprising in support of mental health. I'm not only talking about Asperger's I'm also going to point out to you the high number of men and women who are coming out of this war with PTSD...and some, who are too ashamed because of the stigma to admit it. Did you know that The US Army was seeing 5 suicides/attempts per day last year? Did you know that last year they lost 128 to suicide, and that's not counting the 15 that are under investigation?

The reason I bring this seemingly unrelated issue up, John, is because you are just one piece of the very large mental health quilt. Without the bigger picture, we wouldn't have the IDEA, which by the way is continuously under assault by the politicians who refuse to fully fund it.

Always fun kicking around these thoughts, John. Keep them coming. It helps to vanquish the stigma.

Samwick said...
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Kanani said...

Piglet says: I'm not a big believer in original thought,

Then, you're screwed.

By the way, Samwick is 10. I'm 11.

Sally's World said...

This was a great blog, it was really thought provoking. It is an argument I have with myself everyday. On the whole I believe it is better to have all the answers. But I’ve been on both sides of it and understand how in some instances, for some families, having diagnosis can be detrimental.

There are times over the years where I have felt I was putting my eldest child through test after test, and questioned if it was for me or for him! But as a parent, I needed some answers. There was just a tiny part of me feeling guilty, just in case I was putting him through tests to absolve any subconscious guilt.

Now my youngest son is going through countless tests. We’ve met so many neuropsychologists, neurophysiologists, neurologists and metabolic teams we don’t know whether we are coming or going!

So we go for the testing, so many people say things like “its just labelling” or “its the labels that make them feel different”…but the truth is, our kids already know they are different, at least the diagnosis gives you something solid to explain. And then we can use this amazing thing called the internet to research until our hearts content get stories and experiences from other parents.

You’re right though, it is the generalisations that frighten us!

It is a very personal thing, we are going for all the testing, but we will then make conscious decisions about how we deal with the diagnosis and what advice we d and don’t take. What I do know is that whatever the outcome, we will deal with it, and we will treat our son like the individual he is.

kyra said...

i think it's okay that people disagree with what john says here. lively debate is important. i think john is a big boy and can take care of himself (i think he's 13).

(i am 9)

the thing is, feelings aren't FACTS and so therefore, when one learns things, gains self-knowledge, there is an associated process that involves moving in and out of those non-fact feelings and that can sometimes be painful. feelings of grief, anger, longing, fear, all of it can come up and that's entirely understandable.

so, the downside is real. AND holds within it the possibility for the upside, after one moves through the feelings.

that's the hope, yes?

i think your insights are wonderful, john. and your writing about your own experiences are priceless. but not everyone with aspergers is alike.

there's a danger that NTs will look at aspergians and think they know what the behavior means. but i think there's also a danger that aspergians will look at other aspergians and think THEY know.

mom2spiritedboy said...

Thank You for this post!!! I have been struggling for quite some time as to whether to push for an Asperger's diagnostic assessment for my son. On the one hand I do not believe he can be measured by labels alone and I do not want him mis-judged but on the other hand I have felt that it DOES matter - I just didn't know how to explain it to myself or to others. Your post here helps me more than you will ever know.

Michael said...

This issue of diagnosis is so interesting to me because the word implies disorder or disease, and I don’t believe that Asperger’s, in and of itself, is either of those things. Certainly the differences in the way Aspergian people relate to others or perceive their world can have serious negative consequences, and Aspergian people can and often do suffer serious isolation, depression, PTSD, psychosis, and other “diagnosable” problems in relation to the Asperger’s, but Asperger’s isn’t a disease.

I don’t have Asperger’s. However, I did have major academic and social problems in school growing up, but didn’t learn why until I was in my mid-20s, when I was working for a psychologist. He always treated me like I was stupid, which I was used to, having been treated like that all my life. One day we happened to get into a discussion/disagreement about how to solve a problem. He was pretty dismissive of my idea, but I pressed my point and did a demonstration. He looked amazed, and kept saying over and over, “You’re so smart! You’re so smart!”

This flabbergasted me. I replied that I didn’t do anything so smart, I just showed him something that I was aware of that he wasn’t understanding.

He then explained that I had come up with a “right-brain” solution to the problem, and because he is entirely “left-brain”, he had NO IDEA what I was talking about until I demonstrated it to him. He now realized that whenever we discussed anything I ALWAYS presented a right-brain argument, and up until that point he NEVER understood me. Now he realized that that I was a lot smarter that he had given me credit for.

John— I really relate to your story about your psychologist friend giving you the book about Asperger’s That little bit of information the psychologist gave me changed the way I viewed myself and changed my life. A lot of people don’t “fit in” academically or socially because our brains think differently, especially when our strengths aren’t valued in the conventional primary and secondary school setting, and our difficulties are magnified. But we can learn about ourselves, build on our strengths, and succeed.

BTW—I finished my Ph.D. last year at age 58. It’s never too late!

Stewart said...

I find the knowledge of Asperger's to be both helpful and stressful oddly in the same way.

The knowledge of this actually makes me desired to help my self and help others - but then again it also makes me wonders about other's motives and that maybe the feelings I have may not be real - but something my brain made up.

I had a very frustrated week at work this last week. I know I was getting frustrated but I should not be - but it dwell in and some csase got worst. I desired the best by fixing something that I thought was a major problem.

What made it worst is that my Dog had to get an operation and is better now - and also I had a personal issue that is hard to deal with.

Is it wrong to study up on Asperger's and find ways to improved yourself - or what is best method of coping with it.

I know I am not greatest writer, but I hope one day to write up something on Aspergers - especially related to fact that Asperger's do have a heart inside them - but it sometimes dificult to come out.

I don't believe Asperger's is a disorder but if you truelly one day understand it - it becomes a gift. I believe also Asperger's combine with "Wild at Heart" will one day becomes ones "Ultimate Gift".

Stewart said...

"BTW—I finished my Ph.D. last year at age 58. It’s never too late!"

very true, it is never too late - including Love.

Armageddon Thru To You said...

Armageddon Thru To You

If you've been wondering why it seems like the world around us is unraveling, it's because the last days as foretold in the bible are now upon us. Just as it was 2000 years ago, many were unable to discern the signs of Jesus Christ's first coming (Mat 16:3), as will many concerning his second coming, which will occur very soon. Yes many have proclaimed a similar sentiment many times in the past, but their errors have no bearing on today other than to lull you into spiritual apathy, and that too was prophesied to occur in the last days.


If you're not a believer in Jesus Christ because you're an atheist, consider that the underlying impetus for your disbelief is most likely borne of pride and here's why:

When we die, if you as an atheist were right, then there is no upside or downside for anyone regarding the afterlife. We will all simply cease to exist

However if we Christians were right about our belief in the afterlife, then we will be given eternal life and you as an atheist will receive eternal damnation

Given the choices, the position held by an atheist is a fools bet any way you look at it because the atheist has everything to lose and nothing to gain. It is tantamount to accepting a “heads I win, tails you lose” coin toss proposition from someone. And that someone by the way is Satan (see Ephesians 6:12).

The only way to explain the attitude held by an atheist is pride, pure and simple. The intellectually dishonest and/or tortured reasoning used by atheists to try and disprove the existence of God is nothing more than attempts to posture themselves as superior (a symptom of pride). And as anyone who has read their bible knows, this is precisely the character flaw that befell Lucifer, God's formerly most high angel. (Isaiah 14:12-15). Is it any wonder then why the bible is so replete with references to pride as the cause of mankind's downfall?

Pride permeates our lives and burdens us in ways that most of us seldom recognize. Ironically, pride is the one thing that can blind someone to things even the unsighted can see. And sadly pride will blind many with an otherwise good heart, to accepting the offer of eternal salvation that Christ bought and paid for with his life.


In any event, if you're an atheist, I wish you only the best for every day of the rest of your life because for you, this life is as close to heaven as you'll ever get, but for believers in Christ, this life is as close to hell as we'll ever get.





If you're not a believer and follower of Jesus Christ because you are of another faith, please take the time to very carefully compare your faith to Christianity and ask yourself, why is the bible the only religious book with both hundreds of proven prophecies already fulfilled as well as those being fulfilled today? No other religion can claim anything remotely close to this fact. Many Christians who are serious students of bible prophecy are already aware of the role and significance of bible prophecy in foretelling end time events. God gave us prophecy as evidence of his divine holiness to know the begining from the end (Isa 46:10). God also believed prophecy to be so important that to those willing to read the most prophetic book in the bible, the Book of Revelation, he promised a special blessing (see Rev 1:3), and this is the only book in the bible that God gives its reader a special blessing for reading. Something to think about.


Don't risk losing Christ's offer of eternal life by not accepting him as your savior and by thinking that the bible is nothing more than a compilation of unrelated and scattered stories about people who lived 2,000 plus years ago. If you take the time to study (not just read) the bible, you will literally be shocked to learn things you would have never imagined would be revealed in it. Did you know that like parables, God also uses particular months and days in the Jewish calendar, Jewish Feasts and customs, solar and lunar phases, celestial alignments, gematria (Hebrew numerology) early bible events and more as patterns and models to foretell future events?


Consider the following interesting facts about the bible that testify to its God-inspired authorship:

Did you know that in Gen 12:2, God said he would bless Israel?. How else can you explain the grossly disproportionate level of success achieved by Jewish people as a tiny minority in the world, especially after all they have gone through? And how can you explain the success achieved by the tiny nation of Israel, surrounded by enemies outnumbering them 100 to 1 and yet still they remain victorious in all their wars?


Did you know that as evidence to indicate that Israel is the epicenter of the world from God's point of view is the fact that languages to the west of Israel are written and read from left to right as if pointing to Israel, and languages from countries to the east of Israel are written and read from right to left, again as though pointing to Israel. Just a coincidence, you say? I think not.


Did you know that the six days of creation and seventh day of rest in Genesis is a model for the six thousand years of this age (ending very soon), that is to be followed by a 1,000 year millennial reign by Christ (see 2 Peter 3:8)? Adam was born sometime prior to 4000 B.C., therefore our 6000 years are almost up.


Did you kow that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is hidden in the meaning of the Hebrew names listed in the genealogy of the book of Genesis (Research it online)? To deny this was God-inspired, one has to instead believe that a group of Jewish rabbis conspired to hide the Christian Gospel right inside a genealogy of their venerated Torah, which is not a very plausible explanation.


Did you know that solar eclipses, which the bible describes as the sun being black as sackcloth, and lunar eclipses, which the bible refers to as blood red moons, have prophetic meaning? Research it online. God showed Adam (and us) his plan for man's redemption through the use of celestial alignments. (research Mazzaroth online)

Did you know that much of the symbolism in the book of revelation refers to planetary alignments that will occur when certain events occur as prophesied? These planetary alignments also explained the birth of Christ, just search out The Bethlehem Star movie on the Internet.

Did you know that the references in Eze 39:4-17 and Rev 19:17-21 in the battle of Gog/Magog and Armageddon respectively, in which birds of prey will eat the flesh of the dead in battle from two enormous wars is based on fact? The largest bird migration in the world consisting of bilions of birds (34 species of raptors and various carrion birds) from several continents converge and fly over Israel every spring and fall. Coincidence? I think not.

Did you know that Hebrew numerology, also known as Gematria, and the numbers with biblical and prophetic significance are hidden in the Star of David? Google the video called "Seal of Jesus Christ"

Did you know that the seven Churches mentioned at the beginning of the Book of Revelation describe the seven stages the Church will go through?

There are literally hundreds of hidden messages in the bible like these that testify to the fact that the bible was God inspired, and statistically speaking, are all exponentially beyond the likelihood of any coincidence. You can find them yourselves if you only take the time to look into it. Remember Proverbs 25:2 "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings".


And finally, if you are Catholic, or one who subscribes to the emergent Church or seeker-friendly Church movement, please compare the doctrine taught, advocated or accepted by your Church, with the actual bible, notwithstanding some new-age version of the bible. And remember that although the bible is often referred to as the living bible, the word "living" was never intended to imply in any way that the bible "evolves" over time to meet, or be consistent with, the standards of man. It's just the opposite.


Well, am I getting through to you? If not, the answer might be explained in the response given by Jesus Christ in his Olivet discourse when he was asked by his disciples why he spoke the way he did (in parables, etc.) in the book of Matthew 13:10-16. What Jesus said could have easily been paraphrased more clearly as "so that the damned won't get it". Why did Christ respond the way he did when asked why he spoke this way? Is there something about pride (the bible says there is) that closes one's heart to seeing or hearing the messages supernaturally hidden in bible parables, models, typologies, and similes, etc.? That should give you something to think about, but don't take too long. Time is now very short.


If it sometimes seems like there are powers at work behind the powers we know, remember what it says in Ephesians 6:12 "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." If you study the bible, it will become clearer.


And by the way, if you are a scoffer, this too was prophesied to occur in the last days. See 2 Peter 3:3.


Thank you and God Bless you!
Armageddon.thru.to.you (at) gmail.com

Samwick said...
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Kim Stagliano said...

I can tell you that if you have an autism diagnosis you likely will not get private insurance. We tried - my girls were denied. Not sure about Asperger's though.

Kim

Kanani said...

i think it's okay that people disagree with what john says here. lively debate is important. i think john is a big boy and can take care of himself (i think he's 13).

Agreed!
Though frankly, I thought John was
12-1/2!

Kanani said...

Kim,
What you'll be able to get is a high deductible PPO insurance for major medical. For years we had our son on his own separate insurance policy --and he had the dx of Autism because back then they didn't acknowledge Asperger's.

But hopefully with your girls, you've been able to get Regional Center Services, as well as State Mental Health and Medicaid.

Kim Stagliano said...

Thanks, Kanani. We were unable to get deductible or catastrophic insurance. The girls got onto Medicaid because they are in DDS. Our ped wouldn't see Bella on Friday. He doesn't take Medicaid. He turned her away. Sick. Health care is a fiasco. I just want accessbility and portability. That's it. I'll keep my medical freedoms, thank you very much. Just give me access to insurance we can keep! Thanks for your help.

And CT has Charter Oak now. State sponsored group. So if Mark grows his own business, we'll hop onto that. Although few private docs take it yet. It will only cost $1000 a month, not the $1500 we faced with COBRA.

Yikes!

Thomas Thomas said...

How important is it for me to change? By all appearances I am/have Aspergers. When I first read about it I had an Aha moment - 'so that is why I am the way I am...'

I think knowing will help me to make some changes in my life, and I want to, but it seems that it is all put on me to be the one to change.

I am reluctant to (whether I get a diagnosis or not, but getting one allows me to say I am rather than I think I am) say to people that I am Autistic (and saying Autistic when it is Aspergers is confusing to people - You are not Autistic). First, I don't need the attention. Second, I feel that the onus is put on me to change (I have a tendency to be accommodating to the extreme) and conform, but there seems there should be a time to stand up and defend myself. Unfortunately I can't seem to very often defend myself beyond my own mind (and a couple of sympathetic ears).

Too often I have been the victim of others (especially in Business), and maybe by knowing I can learn to do things that way others expect. It seems that in the modern business world the way my mind works is considered too slow paced. Maybe that is why I long to be independent of working for others...

Strange Behaviour said...

Samwick- you clearly "love the sound of your own voice". Why don't YOU go write a book and start lecturing? I would never deign to call you a jackass, but I find your posts appear as though they were written by one.

So again, I implore you to offer your blatherous words to a book that nobody will buy or a lecture circuit that nobody will attend.

BTW- This has nothing to do with the fact that I disagree with your views. It is moreso because in reading your posts I feel cheated out of 15 or so minutes of my life. Like being stuck in a hospital bed with the tv stuck on the infomercial channel.

Samwick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Livinia Redlips said...

My medical insurance covered all the fees for the evaluation of my son.

He was diagnosed with Aspergers at 10 years old, I knew *something* was different about him, but I didn't see it as a disadvantage - just different. I had looked into Asperger's and concluded it was likely what he had. I decided to test him when his school suggested he might have ADD.

I chose not to tell him his diagnosis. I did not feel he needed any other reason to feel different from his peers. I also didn't want him to have an 'excuse' to use to try and get out of homework, etc.

I may tell him in the next few years, but I'm not sure.

I'd appreciate feedback from any of you if you've been in similiar situations.