Diagnosis makes a Difference

3 years from official autism diagnosis

and about 6 years since I began to suspect that I might be autistic.

I have spent so many hours online reading about autism in studies, reports, articles, and interacting with the autistic communities online. I have learned so much, been able to forgive myself and others, and to have new and much better understanding of my past and my self, both strengths and weaknesses. I have been able to learn new ways to compensate and to make my own life better, easing struggles and finding new and better ways to live.


I had a test of my new diagnosis and self insights as I interacted in a “real life” group of people I had only previously interacted with online.
There were 6 of us including me. We shared activities, communication and meals together for a week.
I kept being amazed at my better understanding of the social aspects of our interactions and at my ability to “read” intent in the others and to better understand what was happening as I observed the others interacting.

10 years ago I can’t imagine this interaction and sharing having the same outcome.

I have grown so much in so many ways with the insights that knowing about my autism and my strengths and weaknesses has given me. Don’t get me wrong, I am still socially awkward and I can remember several times in the interactions that I was quite socially inept or accidentally inappropriate. But I don’t think I annoyed or enraged anybody the way I would unknowingly have provoked those responses 10 years ago.

Part of the outcome of the week’s play with others of similar interests is a feeling of enjoyment and triumph.
Serial fun without shame or regret is not something I have been familiar with up until now. Without the self understanding that diagnosis brought me so late in life, I doubt that this gathering would have been half as successful.

Here’s to older adults finding diagnosis, insight and self understanding.

My entire life and world has been changed for the better because I was able to learn about my autism.

I wish this for every autistic older person struggling with so many things in life and wondering why, why, why life seems so easy for others and is so very hard for themselves. Diagnosis can be life changing.

4 thoughts on “Diagnosis makes a Difference

  1. Hi, I am interested in getting a formal diagnosis myself. I am 66 and only have become aware of autism traits two years ago. Are there online resources available?

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    1. there are multiple sources of info online, and searches such as “autism self test” can turn up a lot of links to self tests that can be performed. There are books, blogs, and social media pages in numbers these days but most concentrate on children. I do admin/moderate a Facebook page “autism for older adults” which tries to accomplish information sharing for older adults seeking diagnosis, wanting to learn about autism or are newly diagnosed and trying to “sort it all out” It is a public page. People must have a facebook account for at least a year in order to join, to help control spam and trolls.
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    2. If you decide, after you do a self-test online, that you want a formal diagnosis, look for a neuropsychologist in your area. It’s rather expensive and takes a whole day, but you get a definitive diagnosis by a professional. Not everyone wants or needs a formal diagnosis, but it gave me a sense of relief to know for sure.

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