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Stepping Out 4

Been a little while since last we 'stepped out', but as of last week I see to have a stable service, albeit on the phone.

Over the phone is a little difficult. It makes interaction difficult. Even though social environments can be tricky for me (I tend to tire when I'm asked lots of questions, especially ones that are devoid of necessary context), the telephone is much more of an effort. I feel I have to speak even when I'd rather not because that's much more necessary. I have to acknowledge every spoken word much more. It's harder work.

That said they seem to have found someone who, despite the service's unfortunate propensity for endless endless questions and questionnaires, has a better understanding of my situation. Of course he doesn't personally have the power to solve these issues, at least he recognises that social isolation is a major problem and that without recourse to affordable (preferably free) public transport nothing he offers will be worth a damn. Unfortunately the travelcard scheme available requires specific conditions be met. He's willing to meet them - if he's allowed. The question is whether his service falls into the category of those that can sign off on that.

He's also discussing the issue of social anxiety. I've never been terribly impressed with that diagnosis because it always seems rather disposable and lightweight. It's another poorly regarded and flimsy mental health descriptor  - because no one takes it seriously it seems to me. They should because we are social creatures, we have to function in what passes for our society these days - so if you can't, you're a bit screwed!

More importantly, he is correctly linking this to neuro diversity - the test I had for aspergers a couple of years ago that went nowhere. I have warned him to expect little from the diagnostic team since their testing process is rubbish and they have been caught in a lie (saying simultaneously that a full developmental history is required for a full diagnosis, and then saying it wouldn't have mattered anyway - can't be both). I am under no illusion they will hold to their procedures and believe they have acted with integrity (I was promised a discussion with the Attention Deficit Disorder people that, when I followed up, was told no such promise was ever made). However if he can gather more evidence through these endless endless questions, it might lend some weight to my cause. I'm not getting my hopes up though.

Ultimately though he can only do so much. I have to go through all this because that is what the medical profession expects and if you don't play the game, they refuse to listen at all. It's far from perfect, but maybe at last something might shift.


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Thursday today (unless time has confused me again!), the day between yesterday's appointment with The Psychologist, and signing on tomorrow. A brief oasis for me to discuss said appointment as it was a test for 'neurodiverse tendencies'. I think that's the best way of putting it; it's all a bit vague really. When I first saw The Psychologist I mentioned that I was in the process of trying to get a diagnosis for Aspergers to which she replied she could do a test that, while not an official diagnosis, could count towards one - or something. Something official anyway, though bizarrely after the test was completed (took a couple of hours) she said she wasn't trained for Aspergers specifically.

The test itself was a kind of Krypton Factor lite (sans exercise course): a mix of recall, pattern recognition, problem solving, and questionnaire. I was asked to arrange coloured blocks into a prescribed pattern, to spot what was missing from a series of pictures, to guess fr…