So, am “professionally” diagnosed with Autism and I am self diagnosed with ARFID. After reading some very encouraging words on Autistic Kitten and other blogs about getting professionally diagnosed with Autism I took the advice given (going to my Dr. with a list of symptoms and advocating firmly for myself).
It did not start well. My Dr had to take out the DSM V as he had never heard of it. He fixated on the part that talks about “substantial weight loss” and “failure to meet energy needs” (I am very big, I can generally only eat high calorie foods).
But I did not give up, I changed tactics. Instead of trying to convince him I had ARFID I started talking about other related symptoms and what I hoped the diagnosis would lead to. I made it clear that I am suffering and that I need help,
At one point I described it as a sensory issue and something in his head clicked. (I should note now that I live in Québec, Canada a place where French is the predominant language) He told me something about me having “Particularité Sensorielle” and that there are occupational therapists (not nutritionists like I expected) who specialize in helping people with autism (mostly children unfortunately for me) cope with this exact kind of issue.
So, the result is I got a piece of paper saying that I need help from an occupational therapist for my food related sensory issues due to a “Particularité Sensorielle”. This is not exactly what I was going for but it is certainly a positive outcome.
Interesting note: there seems to be no exact English equivalent for “Particularité Sensorielle” (direct translation “Sensory Particularity”).
What I learnt and want to share with other kittens is the following:
I learnt not to give up, to try every strategy I can think of, that an unexpected outcome can still be positive and finally that language and standards for helping people with these kinds of problems can vary by region.