Autism Diagnosis For Brian

Hello.

My name is Brian. I am 57 years old and I live in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, United Kingdom.

The reason I am starting this GoFundMe page is to pay for a privately funded Autism assessment and diagnosis at 'The Retreat' which is an organization based in the city of York in the United Kingdom. Here's the link to their website:

https://theretreatyork.org.uk/

'The Retreat' helps adults who suffer with many different forms of mental health issues and are very well known for assessing and diagnosing adults who think they may be on the autistic spectrum. I am one of those people.

The reason I need help from this charity is that the waiting time for getting an assessment and diagnosis for autism with the NHS (National Health Service) here in the UK can be as long as 18 months or even longer.

About me:

I always new when growing up that I was 'different' from my peers, however it wasn't until I watched a YouTube video of a talk by Dr. Temple Grandin at Google that things started to 'make sense'  - I was 55 years old when I first saw the video.

Here's a link to that video:


Whilst watching this video the things she said starting 'Ticking the boxes' in my head - That's  me! I thought. The feeling of relief was enormous, so much so I almost burst into tears. After all these years of knowing that something was 'wrong' and not being able to put my finger on 'it', here it was! Ms Grandin opened a door for me and gave me the chance to get to the bottom of what was 'troubling me', or rather, truth be told, the people around me.

Since I was a young kid I had always found it hard to both make and keep friends. In school I never did my homework - I didn't need to - what the teachers told me stayed with me and I just didn't see the point of having to write it down so that they could see that I had understood what they were saying.

I was bullied at school because people hate a 'skinny geeky kid' who always answered the questions correctly and eloquently in class. This pattern of other peoples behavior stayed with me until I went to secondary school at the age of 12, where I learned to keep my thoughts to myself and not to mix with the other students as that is a far safer option.

I passed all my exams with A's and B's so things turned out OK for me with regards to that, however things started to become really difficult when I left school and ventured out into the world. Job interviews were very difficult for me. Meeting strangers and answering the questions they asked was really difficult.

I could go on telling you, dear reader, about the trials and tribulations of my life up until now, but that would take a long time and a lot of it is hard to write down for various reasons. That said, I have had an interesting life and I don't regret a minute of it.

So let me tell you how autism affects me in daily life:

1. I find it hard to understand what others are thinking or feeling - I can't read people
2. I get very anxious in new social situations - this makes me appear weird.
3. I find it hard to make friends and prefer to be on my own - it's the safer option
4. I might appear to be  blunt, rude or not interested in others without meaning to,
I also find it hard to say how I feel - this also makes me appear odd.
5. I can take things very literally - this has got me into trouble more than a few times.
6. Sudden change. I like having the same routine every day and I can get very anxious if my routine is changed suddenly.
7. I have difficulty in understanding social "rules", such as not talking over people.
8. Most people with autism avoid eye contact, I am quite the opposite and have been told that I have a tendency to stare.
9. I can get too close to other people, or get very upset if someone touches or gets too close to me - I'm just seem and feel socially awkward.
10. I notice small details, patterns, smells or sounds that others do not.
11. I tend to have very keen interests in certain subjects or activities - meteorites is my latest 'thing'.
12. I like to plan things carefully before doing them and any change to my plans upsets me - see 6.


So let me tell you how I think an official autism diagnosis will help me:

1. It will help me to understand why I find some things harder to do than other people.
2. It will help me to explain to others why I act the way I do when someone tries, or does, reject me socially.
3.It will help me get the personal support that I need to have a normal life.
4. It will help me out financially, as getting a job where others don't reject me is difficult - I really want a good job where I can be an asset and not a perceived hindrance.
5. It will help me to understand me - does that make sense?

How my GoFundMe donations will be spent:

1. Initial assessment at The Retreat, York - £250.
2. Diagnosis spread over multiple sessions - £1500.
3. Transport to and from York - £250.

So, here is the end of my GoFundMe page. I could write more but I don't want to bore you to death - yes, many, many people have told me to shut-up in the past.

Thank you so much for getting this far down the page, I really appreciate it!

Please donate whatever amount you can, as soon as you can, as I need to put my past where it belongs, behind me and move forward.

Thank you so much. My best wishes to you and yours!

Brian.
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