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Finding a Therapist as a Late Self-Diagnosed/Realized Autistic Adult

8 Interview Questions to Ask

Diagnosis and self-diagnosis are privileges in their own ways and situations - just like masking. A lot of people ask me about steps for seeking a professional diagnosis, but I want to talk about something I don't see asked quite as often but I think is really important: finding a therapist who respects and supports self-diagnosis.


For those who may not have access to a professional diagnosis, or simply choose not to seek one based on their personal pro-con list, but are looking for a therapist who validates and supports their experience, this post is for you.


After a life of invalidation, the last thing anyone needs is to seek out therapy only to be further invalidated or met with ineffective modalities of treatment... or even worse, the white-washing of Autism and complex trauma as Highly Sensitive Persons (HSP) or something "curable".


SIDE NOTE: This all applies to ADHD, but in the case of ADHD, what I usually seen white-washed as HSP are things that fit the effects of complex trauma - you know, the result of growing up undiagnosed ADHD if nothing else.


So, without further ado, how about a list of things to ask a therapist as a late diagnosed/realized autistic adult? I think I heard a yes...

 

1.Do you agree with the University of Washington Autism Center's assertion that self-diagnosis is valid?


2. Do you have experience with Autistic adults?


3. Do you have experience with (insert intersectionality i.e. female/AFAB/BIPOC) Autistics?

4. Do you believe Autism or ADHD can be cured?

5. Do you believe Autism or ADHD are caused by trauma?

6. Do you believe Autism or ADHD are caused by vaccines, food, or toxins?

7. Do you believe Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) works for autistics? (It usually doesn't)

8. Do you have experience with other modalities like Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Integrated Family Systems Therapy, etc? (These modalities tend to be more effective)

 

I have more that get even more specific going into questions about common co-morbidities, but I wanted to toss these out first and see if they're helpful.


As an aside, I'm going to try to remember to link each post in the Co-Regulators group from here on out in case anyone would like to discuss or talk about things in a members-only setting since comments here are public.


If you're not already in the group, just request to join (I just need to quickly approve it) and then you've got access!


As always, I hope this was helpful.


Stay regulated,

Shauna


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