Once I suspected I was autistic, I began to research online resources with special interest in older adults with autism. I found some surprising statistics. The CDC estimates today from studies done in 2015 and published in 2018, that autism is present in 1 or 2 out 59 people. Of those people 3 out of 4 will be male. Autism was originally described to be only found in males, and it is believed by many that the diagnostic criteria may need to be changed to include traits of autistic women, which are being found to differ from those of males. Autism diagnostic criteria (DSM) as it stands today has been used only since 2013, with varying other tests being used before that date. First time Autism was on the list for diagnosis as its own diagnosis in the USA was 1980 when it was listed as “infantile autism”, removed from its previous category under forms of schizophrenia.
My biggest question : Weren’t there autistic people before it was officially recognized and sought as a diagnosis beginning with infants in 1980? What happened to all the adults ? Autism certainly didn’t just ‘appear’ .
3 thoughts on “Finding out”
If you’ve found very little about older people on the spectrum, that’s because there isn’t much. There are several books that supposedly deal with that topic, but they seem to be on the same pattern as most: what it’s like, how to manage it. But nothing along the lines of books written by younger autistics and describing what it’s like for them, or collections of writings by several people about their own experiences.
Shall I assume you’re 60 or older, since that’s what you’re interested in? I self-diagnosed in my 60s. Now I’m in my early 80s and trying to write a book from a very different perspective than what’s available. I’ll be interested in what you have to say here.
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Catana, I am 67 and discovered i was autistic at age 65, spend the next 2 years trying to learn about it to decide for sure. I am struggliing in Michigan USA to get diagnosed, and will be posting all about that as I go on, hoping to help others as old as I am who are just now understanding about their own autism and trying to work out all the implications. Seeing my past through the light of understanding I am autistic has made all the difference in my life. What a huge relief to finally have a way to understand the world and make sense of it all. It is incredibly freeing! thanks for your comment!
Finding out didn’t make a whole lot of difference in my life, but it did help me understand a lot that was mysterious or that I blamed myself for. And I’m still discovering things. It’s a long process when you’re so far from your childhood and youth, but fascinating.
I didn’t really have any reason to seek an official diagnosis, but if it’s important to you, I hope you can find someone qualified.
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