Though my mom suspected that I was autistic when I was a baby, I got through school without going through special education. It was easy, and I think that if I had been in special ed, it would have been far too easy because they tend to dumb everything down for all special ed students regardless of their specialness. An aspie kid can be a genius at math, and they’d modify his math tests to be easier simply because he’s in special ed.
It wasn’t until after high school that I decided to seek a diagnosis. I’ve struggled with jobs and making money, and for a long time I wondered why. Then I decided to look into Asperger’s Syndrome like my mom had been suggesting that I do for years. It was very eye opening, and once I started talking to a lot of diagnosed aspies, I realized that I could really use some of the help they’re getting.
A few of my aspie friends had gotten diagnosed through psychologists at great expense. I spent $319 on an initial assessment with Dr. Loveland, a psychologist that some friends had spoken very highly of, and then I took the letter I got from her to the MHMRA, a local non-profit organization that helps people with mental issues who don’t have insurance. When calling got me nowhere but hung up on repeatedly, I went into one of the offices and got put into the system by a very nice lady whose name I don’t remember. She followed up on my case pretty diligently, if a bit slowly, starting in January and ending just a few days ago on April 11, when I finally talked a MHMRA psychologist. I was IQ tested (124 overall, 143 in the language section) and finally officially diagnosed.
So if you’re out there and you’re like me, with no income and no history of special ed, there is still hope of getting an affordable diagnosis. You just have to find the right channels.