Going for an ASD evaluation. Do I talk about ABDL etc?

IDKaLittle

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Title says it all. I finally bit the bullet and reached out and now I’m in the intake process for an ASD evaluation. This clinic also specializes in SPD and other spectrum disorders such as Asperger’s. Do I talk about ABDL, or maybe just the diaper part? And about cross-dressing? I think they‘re both partly sensory-driven.

I think I know the answer already, I’m the one always spouting off about talk, talk, talk to your therapist, but that’s for Cog. This is different. Maybe I need to hear it from all ya’ all.

As I’m typing this I feel like I’d be ok talking about diapers but not the AB part - I don’t know if it’s relevant or not. Maybe it is? I feel like these things are more relevant to my sexual development, which I assume we won’t get into? But it’s also part of my psychological (and maybe neurological) development. I’ll have never met this person before, the one doing the eval. It’s gonna take a lot of courage to talk about it, but from a clinical perspective I feel like it’s important. But what parts? Where is that boundary?

Thoughts?

EDIT: follow-up question for those who know: could wearing and using diapers be considered a stimming behavior? I don’t think so?
 
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DiaperedElmo

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I definitely do think there is some link between ASD and regression. Whether that's actual regression to a toddler age, or just enjoying a diaper.

I wouldn't really go into details with the evaluator though. I'd probably just say something like, "I find myself regressing as a way to soothe", and that, "it's an emotional need". Something along those lines.
 
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DiaperedElmo

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IDKaLittle said:
EDIT: follow-up question for those who know: could wearing and using diapers be considered a stimming behavior? I don’t think so?
I wouldn't consider wearing a diaper to be stimming. Using a pacifier though? Absolutely.
 
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AJFan2020

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DiaperedElmo said:
I wouldn't consider wearing a diaper to be stimming. Using a pacifier though? Absolutely.
Thumb-sucking might also be a form of stimming, but I could be wrong about this.
 
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blaincorrous

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IDKaLittle said:
. Maybe I need to hear it from all ya’ all.
All ya’ all? Well, there’s [a crime against (a crime against language)]…😁

I’d be careful about including ABDL in an eval like that. You don’t want to get someone who thinks your ASD symptoms are an affectation or a secondary expression of you being little. Or worse: they may see you as seeking a diagnosis so you can be more accepted as little publicly and could start looking for reasons to deny that diagnosis out of fear of liability.

There are still a lot of mental health practitioners who are highly judgmental and focused on “curative” measures for ABDL rather than affirming. These professionals run the gamut from supportive, affirming, and non-judgemental to religious, dismissive, politically-opinionated. The more you add about things that might shock them or offend their sensibilities, the more you roll the dice of hitting one of their strong misguided opinions.

At a bare minimum, I wouldn’t open with that to get it off your chest. Talk to a therapist who isn’t evaluating you about how your ABDL side may interact with your ASD. I haven't been through this process, but I would make a suggestion it’s to focus on how you have to cope as an adult with varying degrees of success. If anyone else who has been through this process or has specific training pertaining to ASD wants to contradict me, by all means, I’ll listen.
 
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OldTerry

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I would take it very slowly.
Explain how you relax when upset or stressed is to imagine your back as a toddler etc mo worries or responsibility and that you sometimes suck a dummy
This might then draw your counsellor into exploring regression etc further
Then you could decide how much you wanted to reveal but if you do explain how much anxiety this may cause you
Developing trust and a good rapport is very important before you disclose everything
Good luck
 
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blissfullyquirky

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I wouldn't bring it up as part of an ASD evaluation. If you're autistic I'm sure there are many better examples of that than ABDL. It might be something to discuss after the diagnosis, but talking about it in the evaluation seems like a big distraction.

I think wearing a diaper is similar to using a weighted blanket. Wetting a diaper seems kind of stimmy, and it always calms and soothes me. It's not something I can just do on demand though, so it's a bit different than moving part of your body.
 
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IDKaLittle

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Thanks for the insight, all ya‘all 😜 Sorry couldn’t resist!
And the well wishes. I’m admittedly nervous.

I’m going to consider this very carefully and hopefully I can have a quick discussion with my regular therapist about this before the eval. My gut tells me that’s it’s not appropriate and I don’t plan on bringing it up unless maybe the discussion goes there or it seems relevant in the moment or to the eval. TBH it‘s about the LAST thing I want to talk about with a complete stranger!

I also really don’t know what to expect, I haven’t yet spoken with anyone but the receptionist. I guess I’m expecting a bunch of psych tests with long acronyms, maybe some physical tests like motor skills and cognitive assessments, and an interview or two. I’d love to hear from someone who’s gone through this, what your experience was like. It also just occurred to me that I need to stop smoking weed for awhile, just so I can be clear headed in this and to not skew the results.

Anyway that’s a tangent. I think I’m arguing with myself about this for a couple reasons:

1) anecdotal evidence from this forum and other stuff I read online about ABDL and autism indicates that diapers and autism seem to be related in that a lot of ABDLs are also autistic, or vice versa. It was mentioned and as a lot of us suspect, there may be a link, at least being studied? One would hope?

2) I have no reason to believe this except for #1, but diaper use might be a factor in the diagnostic criteria? It‘s not put that way specifically in the DSM (of course) but could fall under the following criteria:

Highly restricted, fixated interests that are abnormal in intensity or focus (e.g, strong attachment to or preoccupation with unusual objects, excessively circumscribed or perseverative interest).

Associated with another neurodevelopmental, mental, or behavioral disorder

Also as a sensory behavior. For me that’s what it feels like at the core of it. The AB and sexual is secondary.

I guess it wouldn’t surprise me to hear the evaluator say “Check. Yeah I see that often, it’s an ASD thing” or some such.
I also suppose I could talk about enjoying silky fabrics in clothes (sensory) without specifying cross dressing.

Or this is all in my head and it has zero impact. I’m gonna go with that for now. I agree it might feel like a distraction.

I read somewhere that bathroom habits and sensory behavior were discussed, and that’s when diapers came up.

I’m going to keep chewing on it. Sorry this is all over the place - I obviously have some anxiety about what‘s to come. Thank you all.
 

blaincorrous

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IDKaLittle said:
Thanks for the insight, all ya‘all 😜 Sorry couldn’t resist!
And the well wishes. I’m admittedly nervous.

I’m going to consider this very carefully and hopefully I can have a quick discussion with my regular therapist about this before the eval. My gut tells me that’s it’s not appropriate and I don’t plan on bringing it up unless maybe the discussion goes there or it seems relevant in the moment or to the eval. TBH it‘s about the LAST thing I want to talk about with a complete stranger!

I also really don’t know what to expect, I haven’t yet spoken with anyone but the receptionist. I guess I’m expecting a bunch of psych tests with long acronyms, maybe some physical tests like motor skills and cognitive assessments, and an interview or two. I’d love to hear from someone who’s gone through this, what your experience was like. It also just occurred to me that I need to stop smoking weed for awhile, just so I can be clear headed in this and to not skew the results.

Anyway that’s a tangent. I think I’m arguing with myself about this for a couple reasons:

1) anecdotal evidence from this forum and other stuff I read online about ABDL and autism indicates that diapers and autism seem to be related in that a lot of ABDLs are also autistic, or vice versa. It was mentioned and as a lot of us suspect, there may be a link, at least being studied? One would hope?

2) I have no reason to believe this except for #1, but diaper use might be a factor in the diagnostic criteria? It‘s not put that way specifically in the DSM (of course) but could fall under the following criteria:

Highly restricted, fixated interests that are abnormal in intensity or focus (e.g, strong attachment to or preoccupation with unusual objects, excessively circumscribed or perseverative interest).

Associated with another neurodevelopmental, mental, or behavioral disorder

Also as a sensory behavior. For me that’s what it feels like at the core of it. The AB and sexual is secondary.

I guess it wouldn’t surprise me to hear the evaluator say “Check. Yeah I see that often, it’s an ASD thing” or some such.
I also suppose I could talk about enjoying silky fabrics in clothes (sensory) without specifying cross dressing.

Or this is all in my head and it has zero impact. I’m gonna go with that for now. I agree it might feel like a distraction.

I read somewhere that bathroom habits and sensory behavior were discussed, and that’s when diapers came up.

I’m going to keep chewing on it. Sorry this is all over the place - I obviously have some anxiety about what‘s to come. Thank you all.
I haven’t been evaluated for anything except medium-high level ADHD, but I’ve found a lot of comfort in a weighted blanket and in compression clothes.

And what is a diaper when wet but “weighted clothes”?
 
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blissfullyquirky

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IDKaLittle said:
I have no reason to believe this except for #1, but diaper use might be a factor in the diagnostic criteria? It‘s not put that way specifically in the DSM (of course) but could fall under the following criteria:

Highly restricted, fixated interests that are abnormal in intensity or focus (e.g, strong attachment to or preoccupation with unusual objects, excessively circumscribed or perseverative interest).
I think you're correct. I had that same thought when I read that part of the criteria. Diapers are a very unusual object for most people to keep focusing on once they're out of them.
 
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