On the MIGDAS and other stories

My daughter has had her autism assessment, the only thing left is for her to fill in a form called the MIGDAS. Despite being only 16 the assessor wants her to do the adult version as she’s clever and shows good levels of self-awareness. But it’s 28 pages long and we’ve been away and her boyfriend came to stay, so here we are in August and it’s still not done. So no outcome yet.

We went on ‘holiday’ to London. So not a relaxing break by any stretch of the imagination. I sobbed my heart out in a cafe just off Leicester Square on the first day and nearly had an meltdown on Greenwich High Street on the last.

We went because my son had wanted to see a play at the Globe Theatre for his 18th birthday. But we all caught norovirus and had to cancel. Norovirus is infinitely better than London. What was going to be a one night stay in March turned into a 4-night stay in July. With hindsight I shouldn’t have been so delighted to be vomiting on my son’s birthday. Incidentally I have really quite bad emetophobia and am useless around vomiting people – so much so that it’s my husband’s job to look after the kids when they are sick, other illnesses I’m fine and will stay awake all night if need be, but that is too much. I could never work as a doctor, nurse, paramedic, etc. Even as a seriously depressed teenager with a penchant for drowning my sorrows with alcohol I would always not go too far because of my emetophobia. And yes, anecdotally, it seems to be quite common among autistic people.

The autism assessment went on for hours. My daughter had a one-to-one without me that lasted about an hour and on the previous day I had a one-to-one about her (but not with her) that lasted about 2.5 hours. I found it really hard, a lot of the questions were asking about how well does my daughter pick up my non-verbal cues. To which I’m like: I don’t know – I don’t even know what non-verbal cues I should be sending her that she’s not picking up. Lots of the questions assumed that the parent didn’t have any autistic traits themselves. Fortunately I was able to think of instances where my husband struggles in his interactions with her (and me to be honest) because of our communication difficulties.

And the boyfriend – in an autistic cliche, my daughter met him online (although they have a mutual real life friend).

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