How to get diagnosed with Autism (formerly Asperger’s)

Diagnostic Syndrome Asperger Bilan

Welcome to Suivez le Zèbre, the first blog dedicated to neurodiversity in France. Here you will find information about Giftedness (High Learning Potential), hypersensitivity, autism spectrum disorders (including Asperger’s syndrome), DYS disorders and ADHD.

Do you think you or someone you know might be autistic?

Important

Since 2013, healthcare professionals no longer use the term Asperger syndrome. All people with autistic features are grouped together under the term AUTIST.

If you want to be sure before making a diagnosis, the Suivez le Zèbre team has created a test to find out if you have an Asperger’s profile.

Asperger’s, a neurodevelopmental disorder

The Asperger’s syndromeis a neurodevelopmental disorder , not a psychiatric illness. The aim of diagnosis is to find a balance in one’s life, so that autism is not seen as a handicap in everyday life. The diagnosis will enable the neuroatypical to better understand their behaviors and receive support to live more serenely.

Asperger’s syndrome is still little-known, and the general public still harbors many clichés, whether through TV series or Elon Munsk. Unfortunately, many healthcare professionals still regard Asperger’s syndrome as a treatable or even curable condition. In fact, we can work on brain function and re-educate certain functions, but we can’t control everything.

On the other hand, by working on the environment and promoting inclusion, autism can become a real strength, because it is an integral part of the person’s identity.

Our advice

Check with the various health experts to make sure they know all there is to know about autism. There are procedures validated by the French National Authority for Health. Trusting your healthcare professional is essential if you are to understand how he or she works, and feel supported beyond the stereotypes of autism.

Is autism a disability?

It’s not the autism itself that’s a handicap, but the behaviors or functions it can generate. In fact, there are as many forms of autism as there are people with autism,

A form of autism for every autistic person

Each autistic person will express him/herself in an individual way, despite common characteristics. However, in France, autism is recognized as a disability, including Asperger ‘s syndrome, which is no longer recognized by the French National Authority for Health.

Why be diagnosed with Asperger’s?

For a start, because getting to know yourself better is a chance to move forward and find the place that suits you best.

On the administrative side, a diagnosis of Asperger’s autism can be used to contact the MDPH (Departmental House for the Disabled) to obtain various certifications and allowances depending on the age and activity of the person recognized as having Asperger’s ASD. Being recognized as disabled means greater inclusion in the workplace. An autistic person with a recognized disability will have a better chance of finding a company.

This is no mean feat when you consider that 95% of autistic adults in France are unemployed.

Important

Asperger’s diagnosis can take a long time. If you have any doubts, talk to your doctor first. If he’s not well trained in the subject, you can turn to an association to help you find the right health professionals. This recommendation will give the organization you contact more details, and your application will be taken more seriously.

Diagnosis of Asperger’s autism, who to consult?

Association of Autism Resource Centres (ANCRA)

The ANCRAs are regional public centers providing assistance to people with ASD and training in the care of people with autism, including Asperger’s. These centers bring together a range of health specialists who can carry out diagnostic tests.

To contact them, just send an e-mail or make a phone call to your local ANCRA. If it offers diagnoses, you can fill out an information file. In fact, they often ask for a doctor’s referral.
If your application is accepted, you will then receive an initial appointment with a psychiatrist, followed by appointments with various experts to establish the diagnosis.

ANCRAs are very comprehensive and therefore their diagnosis is both reliable and better able to detect complex cases such as Asperger syndrome. The test is also covered by the ‘Caisse primaire d’assurance maladie’ (local sickness insurance fund)
On the other hand, the ANCRAs are often overwhelmed, and it can easily take 1 to 3 years to reach a diagnosis.

It’s a secure solution, but one that will require a great deal of patience.

Psychiatric centers

The medical and psychological consultation centres are public medical centers covering a wide range of medical activities. Many of them can diagnose Asperger’s and ASD in general. As we do not specialize in Asperger profiles, these centers can above all provide diagnoses for less complexcases whose behaviors stand out a great deal.

To remember

If you’re the parent of a child you suspect of having Asperger’s syndrome, there are also specific establishments for children: Medico-psycho-pedagogical Centre (CMPP) and centres for early medicosocial action, medicopsychological centres (MPCs).

The advantage of these CMPPs is that they are quick to diagnose and are covered by social security. It’s also possible to keep in touch with the various professionals involved to keep track of progress.

But the drawback is the reliability of the diagnosis. It is in these centers in particular that we are likely to come across professionals who can give outdated conclusions using methods that are not approved by the highest health authorities.

Private practitioners

A number of psychiatrists, neurologists and neuropsychologists can diagnose autism, and some even specialize specifically in detectingAsperger’s syndrome.
To do this, you need to get in touch with a professional who, after discussions and appointments, may decide to start a diagnosis by running a series of tests with a team of professionals he or she has brought together to produce an assessment.

Much faster than other methods, and with the added advantage of guaranteed support and follow-up.

You can contact your local Asperger’s association to find out about qualified professionals in your area.

Finally

Getting a diagnosis autistic disorderis not only a practical tool for obtaining help and advice, it’s also a great way to reassure yourself and develop personally. By putting words to your behaviors, it becomes easier to recognize which problems stem from your Asperger’s syndrome, and finding solutions becomes simpler.

It’s a complex process, but one that simplifies life in the end!

Karine, diagnosed with Asperger’s

To find out how your diagnosis will work, we’ve also prepared an article on the subject:

Need some reassurance? Suivez le Zèbre has created a test to find out if you have an Asperger’s profile. In exchange for a free coffee for our team (equivalent to 1 euro), we’ll guide you along the path to diagnosis.

You can also find more information, resources and tools on Gifted in Mel POINASbook. With a lot of humor, Mel tells the story of the discovery of her giftedness and the routines she put in place to finally find her place!

Le livre

Écrit par une HPI !
Un témoignage et des solutions concrètes pour découvrir, comprendre et apprendre à vivre en étant HPI.

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