Autism diagnosis and Self Forgiveness

Late diagnosis of autism can be life changing

I read comments all the time from autism specialists and diagnosing doctors, comments made in discussions about autism especially among those who are not autistic. “what difference would it make?” “They have already lived their lives, they have already adjusted, they have made it this far” Even regarding oldest adults in nursing homes or in group living facilities of all sorts.

I want to point out that knowing about ourselves and understanding why we have had so many struggles, why things have hurt emotionally for so long, why our painful pasts were part of our every day lives and our wounds did not heal…. well, yes, that would be helpful to understand. Knowing the answer to all those painful “why” questions of the past can make a huge difference in finding a new self identity and finding one’s way forward in the future.

Finding my autism diagnosis was the most healing thing that could have happened.
Knowing autism was behind so many events of the past, painful struggles, embarrassing incidents, Social mishaps, missteps, mistaken ideas, bad decisions…( all the things that were blamed on my stupidity, my willfulness, my inept and thoughtless mind, my deliberate cruelty, my uncaring replies and defensive demeanor and so much more) were suddenly explained by that one word. Autism!

Autism explained my growing up family’s unhealthy behavior patterns, my missed diagnosis explained my own behavior, knowing about my autism suddenly showed me that everything I ever failed at was not actually “all my fault” as I had been blamed and trained to believe all my life. Autism was hidden deep within our family, with my mother, myself and maybe a couple of siblings as well all being autistic. Nobody had a clue!

Suddenly I could find ways to understand the painful past, to forgive everybody involved in those sad and painful struggles, and to finally find my way to better ways to live, find my way to better understanding of the past, find my way to adjustments I could make for myself to live a better life going forward.
No matter how old we are, knowing our diagnosis can make a world of difference in mental as well as physical health, in helping make life easier and less troublesome in a group home or a nursing home, or any other settings where autism sensitivities and sensory processing struggles come into every day life for the autistic individual as well as those providing care.
I have barely scratched the surface mentioning the multiple ways that diagnosis of autism can be beneficial for older adults. Add to that the lessened burden on mental health workers, social services programs of all sorts and to medical facilities and professionals.
Better choices in life from a position of self understanding gives the individual more autonomy, and the key to better mental and physical health along with a better outlook on life in general.
More studies need to be done with older adults. How do we live, how can we become more independent, how can we do self accommodation, how does knowing our diagnosis help us adjust to make our lives easier and better? How can we locate older adults with “hidden” autism?
As the Baby Boom generation ages there will be more autistic individuals entering care systems, more help needed on so many different facets/pages of ageing.

Diagnosis can be life changing. Diagnosis at even late stages of life can help lessen the coming burden for society as so many undiagnosed autistic individuals suddenly find new ways to live due to the insights that we gain in knowing we are autistic. What a relief.

5 thoughts on “Autism diagnosis and Self Forgiveness

  1. Unfortunately, I can’t afford to get a diagnosis, so I’ll never know whether or not autism explains the life I’ve led. Both of my parents were confined to mental institutions are different points in their lives, so obvious issues with both of them. I’ve avoided that fate, but can’t help but wonder if autism would explain how I’ve ended up completely alone at 66. I’m glad you’ve got a diagnosis. It seems to have given you a lot of clarity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. of course one does not need an “official” diagnosis to understand autism may be acting in one’s life. Examining everything in the past and present from the perspective of being autistic may be enough to clarify so many events of the past and struggles of today.
      Those of us who lived a long time before we even suspected our autism have plenty of past experiences to sift through. Even without formal diagnosis, many people find self identifying useful for moving forward with self understanding and a better and healthier perspective on the past. It sound like you have a heavy load to carry emotionally, Do you best self care as you work toward better self understanding. I hope you find useful information and insights and that you can use as you begin to “sort it all out”.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Your reply that you are completely alone at 66 resonates with me. Yes, autism could definitely be the bedrock cause of that. While autism itself is not a mental illness, but a physical, neurological difference in how the brain is wired, it leads to such suffering, and can lead to โ€œco-morbiditiesโ€ such as anxiety, depression and more. I was diagnosed with social anxiety and depression for many years before being diagnosed in my 50โ€™s with ASD. Please continue to search for connections in online forumsโ€ฆ itโ€™s normal not to have many, or any friends with autism, but support groups can take off the edge of loneliness, if you feel it.

      Liked by 1 person

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