I will warn you that getting a diagnosis is often difficult. Waiting times for autism diagnosis on the NHS are long – usually a year and sometimes more. It can also be difficult to get referred for diagnosis by your GP, especially if you're a so-called "high functioning" or "low-support needs" autistic person. Sadly, many GPs have a poor understanding of autism. For example, my GP thought I couldn't be autistic because I'm a woman with an English Literature degree and a long-term partner. That just didn't fit her stereotypical idea of autism. She was dead wrong of course.
My advice is to first do some research to see if you think you have autism. Here's a good blog post that contains lots of information about self diagnosis: https://ndsa.uk/content/diagnosis-lived-experience/. There's also a section on that website where you can ask other autistic people about their opinions and advice too, if you like.
If you decide it's likely that you're autistic and you want to get an official diagnosis, I'd advise you to gather as much evidence as you can that points towards that possibility. Print it out and take it with you to the doctor's appointment. It may be helpful to write down exactly what you want to say in case you get nervous or upset.
I'd encourage you to seek help for your anxiety while you're looking into the possibility of an autism diagnosis. You can ask your GP to refer you, but depending on your circumstances and where you live you may also be able to refer yourself. The NHS website has some information about this: https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/nhs...alth-services/
I received therapy for social anxiety while waiting for my autism diagnosis. I told my therapist about my possible autism and she tailored her approach accordingly. For example, we realised that I suffer from sensory overload, so we developed ways to minimise that.
I really hope things improve for you. Having been there, I really feel for you. Please ask for help and keep asking until you get what you need. I promise it will get better.
annakennedy online is a charity which promotes the awareness of ASD. Just wanted to give them a shoutout!
Hope that helps
When getting the diagnosis its important to look for certain things. For example, things need to be present since childhood/birth. My parents thought I was deaf because I didn't respond to them. They will need to take a developmental history so it's probably a good idea to warn your parents in advance and do a bit of research on traits present from birth to try and job their memories or they might completely miss it out and you won't get a diagnosis.
Be aware that there are a tonne of other conditions to look at and just because it's not autism (it could be), doesn't mean that it doesn't just just as much /even more (sometimes I feel like I live in blissful ignorance)
Check out PDA, it sounds a lot what you might have due to the high levels of social anxiety and the fact that your difficulties are presenting in adolescents .
Now get ready for a tonne of info to look at.
To meet diagnostic criteria for ASD according to DSM-5, a child must have persistent deficits in each of three areas of social communication and interaction (see A.1. through A.3. below) plus at least two of four types of restricted, repetitive behaviors (see B.1. through B.4. below).
A. Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts, as manifested by the following, currently or by history (examples are illustrative, not exhaustive; see text):
1.Deficits in social-emotional reciprocity, ranging, for example, from abnormal social approach and failure of normal back-and-forth conversation; to reduced sharing of interests, emotions, or affect; to failure to initiate or respond to social interactions. One of the examples of this what they use in assessments is if they say "cliff hangers " like " I went to the park the other day" they said that if someone says that then you are supposed to ask them about it, an autistic person won't (depending on severity)
2.Deficits in nonverbal communicative behaviors used for social interaction, ranging, for example, from poorly integrated verbal and nonverbal communication; to abnormalities in eye contact and body language or deficits in understanding and use of gestures; to a total lack of facial expressions and nonverbal communication.
3.Deficits in developing, maintaining, and understand relationships, ranging, for example, from difficulties adjusting behavior to suit various social contexts; to difficulties in sharing imaginative play or in making friends; to absence of interest in peers. PDA= you really want to make friends but can't Autism= can't so you just don't because what is the point
Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities, as manifested by at least two of the following, currently or by history (examples are illustrative, not exhaustive; see text):
1. Stereotyped or repetitive motor movements, use of objects, or speech (e.g., simple motor stereotypes, lining up toys or flipping objects, echolalia, idiosyncratic phrases).
2.Insistence on sameness, inflexible adherence to routines, or ritualized patterns of verbal or nonverbal behavior (e.g., extreme distress at small changes, difficulties with transitions, rigid thinking patterns, greeting rituals, need to take same route or eat same food every day).
3.Highly restricted, fixated interests that are abnormal in intensity or focus (e.g., strong attachment to or preoccupation with unusual objects, excessively circumscribed or perseverative interests).
4.Hyper- or hyporeactivity to sensory input or unusual interest in sensory aspects of the environment (e.g. apparent indifference to pain/temperature, adverse response to specific sounds or textures, excessive smelling or touching of objects, visual fascination with lights or movement).
Symptoms cause clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of current functioning.
These disturbances are not better explained by intellectual disability (intellectual developmental disorder) or global developmental delay. Intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder frequently co-occur; to make comorbid diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability, social communication should be below that expected for general developmental level.