Francesca Baird Blogging about Autism: Psychiatric Assessment


My Journey Towards an Autism Diagnosis

The following is a short extract from my book ‘Label Me: My Journey Towards an Autism Diagnosis’:

Meanwhile, I was contending with my initial psychiatric assessment. This included the usual checklist of questions. For example, “Have you ever thought about killing yourself?” Well who hasn’t? But that doesn’t mean I would actually do it. I will rate this two out of ten. “Do you see things that are not there?” No, I will rate this one out of five. “Do you spend excessive amounts of money?” Well it depends… is there a value that constitutes excessive and what is the timescale for spending this money? I will give this two out of five. I hate rating scale questionnaires as a tool for diagnosis ‒ surely an individual’s answer will depend on the context in which the question is understood and thus the answer is open to interpretation. Yet there must be a reason why health practitioners use this method to assist with their diagnostic assessment? Excuse my negativity towards these types of questionnaires but I get frustrated with everything that is not black and white. I do nonetheless think there is some value in what I am saying. Everyone is unique. Given the complexity of the brain, a “one size fits all” approach is surely not the best mechanism for understanding an individual’s challenges and determining the level of support required? Perhaps this explains why rating scales are often used in conjunction with other methods for diagnosis, as they do not provide enough information on their own.

In any case, the answers I provided were clearly sufficient to allow the psychiatrist to reach his verdict…

Francesca Baird - blogging about Autism and straight talking
Francesca Baird" Autism and Anxiety

This section: Label Me: Francesca Baird blogging about autism

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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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