Autism Co-Morbidity

What does co-morbid mean?

Clarifying a definition of comorbid.

In following discussions on my favorite autism forums I often see somebody’s post saying
” autism is comorbid with depression” or they will name any other diagnosis and say “autism is comorbid withthis or these other diagnoses. This is so confusing and shows me that the person making the statement does not understand what comorbid means.

Comorbid simply means that the other diagnosis is present in the same person … autism with diabetes, autism with bipolar, autism with anxiety, or autism with depression for example. Both diagnoses are present.
Diabetes comorbid with depression, anxiety comorbid with hairy nose syndrome (I made that one up to make a point)… can be comorbid in an individual. It simply means the diagnosis of each is sharing the body of the individual.

It (the term comorbid) does not apply to the diseases themselves, it applies to the person who is diagnosed with them.

It is not about interrelation of diseases or their actions upon each other, comorbid means they share presence in the same singular body/person.

There is no connection between autism and those diagnoses, they are simply present in the same person.
Autism does not cause these shared diagnoses, and it is not a feature which is always present with the other diagnosis .
Autism is sometimes present in people who have certain genetic or neurological syndromes, but the definition of comorbid only means that the different diagnosed syndromes or diseases, neurological conditions, mental illnesses, etc are found in the same person. Co morbid= shared within the same person .

In any one person’s body any diagnosed conditions will be comorbid. This does not mean that one is a symptom or caused by the other and the shared diagnoses are not common to everybody with autism or any other diagnosed condition.

I am aware of perseveration in my repeated explanations. I am not sure my explanations have been clear enough to help others who might be confused about comorbid’s definition to understand.
I have been very frustrated to see the continual discussion of ” comorbid diagnoses” where comorbid is misunderstood and used to mean something entirely different. I wish I had included this in my original glossary of commonly used terms surrounding talk about autism. There, I feel better now.

Autism and friendship

Social struggles are one of the hallmarks of autism

One of the most important diagnostic elements in obtaining an autism diagnosis is social struggles.

Difficulty with human relationships and struggles with communication are both things that need to be present in any person for diagnosis of autism.

DSM 5, description of autism, the diagnosis manual guidelines used in the USA, defines several different ways a person may struggle with relationships and communications.
To receive a diagnosis of autism, a number of specific struggles must be present.
Use your search feature to look up specific DSM V descriptions of all the ways an autistic person can struggle with social issues and communication.

In other words if one does not have social difficulties, one will not be diagnosed with autism.

This being so, I continually see threads of discussion on autism forums I attend, asking how to make friends, how to find a partner to love and share life with?

I have struggled with these too, when I was younger. It breaks my heart that so many of us feel this so deeply, and it is completely understandable. To want companionship and shared affection is human nature.

Being autistic myself, I have had a lifetime of social pains, disappointments, misunderstandings, crushed hopes, trampled dreams, and horrible memories of failed relationships. I suspect this is human and all people can probably relate to this in one way or another, not just those who are autistic.

On the other hand, I also have had a few lifetime friendships and have now been married for almost 40 years. Because I see so many people sharing their pain and struggles in relationships and friendships, wishing to do better and not knowing where to start, I have been giving a lot of thought to the few successful relationships I have had over time.
Maybe there are things within these successful experiences that could be used or adapted in other people’s situations to find friends or attract a mate.

What do all of my successful friendships over the years have in common? First and foremost, we have shared interests.
We share information, enjoyment, and activities surrounding a common passion ( special interests!).
We are peers from the same economic status, similar educations, and have somewhat similar outlooks on life, or we are willing to tolerate, support and respect each other’s differences.

We were local to each other at the times our relationships formed, so we had easy access to each other for interaction.
I met each of my good and true friends while following a common( shared by the other person) special interest.
That gave us something in common to talk about and to interact with , also gave us the opportunities for other activity planning around the common interest. This seems particularly significant to me.

I retired 7 years ago to a new community where I did not know anybody.
I tried to join a couple of interest groups but found that in both cases, the members and I had little in common. Both were groups whose basic life outlook differed from mine and whose socio-economic standing was far different from my own.
In spite of that common interest, no wonder I could not find anybody to relate to!

I joined a couple of facebook groups online which exchange discussion and information about one of my favorite activities.
A few local people from the facebook groups suggested getting together to do that activity together.

Some of the people I met were not very compatible, and i did not see them again, but a handful of them were. We found so many things we shared in common, not just the special interest, but our lives, our outlooks, even similar disabilities. Amazing!
I now have a small group of local people who share my passionate interest and who I can meet with when I choose, and with the person or people I choose… whether a large group or a smaller more personal group.
It has taken 5 years, but now I almost always have an activity to share and people I feel comfortable to share it with.
Having that common interest and basic social background seem to be the key. I can be as active as I want, they know me and accept me for who I am.
I have never experienced having a group of friends to do things with before. It worked for me. Maybe it will work for you too.

Because autistic people like lots of detail, I will talk about a few things that I have learned ( the hard way!) which don’t work.
I looked for others on the fringe of the group, the outsiders or the “odd ducks”. I get along best with others like me.
I did not attempt to chase a friendship in a family group or to follow the group leaders and social high status people of the group. I learned not to try to be a part of the “in” crowd , in other words.

I have seen some males do odd things in search of romance. They will inevitably pick the “hottest babe” in the group, set sights aggressively focusing interest on her alone, and be disappointed if she is not interested in return.
If they had looked around them they would have seen lots of average, woman on the street , sometimes chunky, funky, interestingly dressed , bold or timid women watching from the sidelines. Get real. Most of us are not fashion models, women or men! ( and I don’t mean to be exclusive of any group/groups/gender or non gendered people seeking companionship or love, I am just using as examples of experiences from my own long ago past) .
Don’t look twice at the #1 pick from the fantasy movies or books, but real life people of your own social status and physical type.
Find somebody who is real. Hormones are funny. Think with your head. Women do this too, and will sometimes chase a high social status man not at all compatible with her own status or physical type in the same way…. wondering all the time what they might be doing wrong.
Take a realistic look and try to discern fantasy from reality.

Funny, me the social failure giving relationship advice. I have to see the irony in all of this. If there ever was a social failure for most of her life, its me.
I did finally get some of it right, the results speak for themselves. I’ll never be a social butterfly, a politician or a diplomat. But I am not so lonely nor do I feel as defective and as much of a failure socially. The best news is that things can change. We can change the ways we go about things, learn new ways to react, interact, new ways to do things. This goes for social struggles too.

I learned about the acceptability of being squeaky clean and showing signs of good old soap and water. No need to mask and use makeup, fancy clothes you don’t feel good about, no extra adornment if you don’t like it. Just be good and clean… that is attractive! I learned the same about wearing clean clothing, and about basic manners, and am getting better at conversation now I am aware enough to practice good manners in conversations, learning social cues about when somebody is bored, when I am talking too much, not listening enough, etc.
I am sure it all takes conscious practice for something that might be instinctive to some. Harder work for us but maybe worth it. You will have to decide for yourself how far you want to go with socialization and “how to do it”.
I somehow missed a lot of the basics, having nobody to explain them to me all those years ago.
I wish somebody had sat down with me even as an adult and talked to me, talked to me about all my social weaknesses so that I would have been aware enough of them to have done something about practicing social skills and learning about them… but until I learned about my own autism at 65/66 and had discussions with so many others with similar struggles, social interactions were just one more thing I did not know that I did not understand!
I am trainable! ( that is one of my standby mottoes which has stood me in good stead).

I keep going back to this point in my blog, I recognize it.

” If you are raising an autistic child, please explain simply everything!”

Explain what to do in social situations, how and why we do it. Explain what can happen in every situation you can think of and talk about unexpected outcomes, handling awkwardness, apologies, explanations, manners, what to wear, what is appropriate, what is not in any situation. and WHY.
The more you explain, the more understanding cooperation you are likely to receive, and the better your young one will be prepared for the realities of being an autistic adult in a social world.

More tools we can use

Making our own accommodations and finding help

As an older adult, it is very difficult to find support that is available to children and minors. Most insurance does not support specialized autism therapies for adults. But there may be ways of gaining support using therapies and systems already in place.

I think it is very important to know yourself and know your own struggles, strengths and weaknesses. If you have had a neurological study done, you will have some information about what you do best at, and what is hardest for you. I had never given this a thought.

It is amazing to me that so many autistic people have no concept of themselves. They have been so busy trying to survive and mask, interact with their demanding worlds, that they do not understand what motivates them, their emotions, how they see the world, their own thoughts and feelings and beliefs are often shoved to the background as not being essential to whatever struggle is of the moment. The majority do not seem to have any understanding at all about how others might see them. ( I surely did not!).
Many autistic folk don’t see the areas of life they struggle the most with, and usually do not understand why that particular thing is so difficult. Mostly we do know the frustration of not performing as we (or others) think we ‘should’ and we deal with residual guilt and self doubt because of those hidden struggles.

I had been so busy working and taking care of every day struggles I had never really thought about inner things. I did not understand the way I got through my days. What skills I used, what I believed about myself. I did not have a definite understanding of “who I was” or “what I wanted” in anything but the most shallow and immediate way as it depended on responses to every day situations. I have since had time and motivation to think about all of that. I can’t tell you how much it helps to know and value yourself enough to work to really understand the “inner you”.

Things to think about:

What things do I love to do best, and what is it that I like most about them?

What skills do I have that I perform well and confidently?

What skills do I struggle with, hate to be called on to use, fills me with a sense of struggle or failure?

When do I feel the happiest, most satisfied, most at peace?

How do I deal with sorrow, fears, disappointment, emotional pain? Do I need to learn healthier ways to respond?
Do I need to learn to recognize my feelings and express my feelings or learn to react to my feelings in healthier ways ?

Do I struggle with physical things? If so, what causes the most trouble for me?

Do I have anxiety or depression?

Do I have troubling responses to sensory and or emotional overload?

What struggles bother me the most, and do I need or want to learn new ways to deal with them?

Once we see our strengths and weaknesses and truly understand our struggles, we can begin to find ways to ease the struggles.

Accommodations for sensory overload, for example can be found in doing things in new ways. ( replacing bright flickering lights in the home with soft light, using rheostat switches to adjust brightness or dimness, for example) The list is endless of things we can do to help ourselves every day . But first we have to recognize the struggle and the needs.

We may not be able to access “autism therapy” but we can find professional specialists to help us with our social, emotional and our physical struggles.

There are occupational and physical therapists to help us with our gait or our coordination and our sensory struggles.
There are specialists in communication struggles to help us with speech, language, and other communication needs.
There are behavioral therapists who do not need to know you are autistic in order to help you overcome difficult behaviors, fears, anxiety, trauma, emotional recognition and self expression.

You can learn new ways to do things without your teacher/therapist knowing every detail about autism. I have found that many therapists are interested and open to learning more . The ones who listen instead of just tell you what you are or do or feel are the ones who will probably be most successful to work with. You may have to interview or try several before you find one you feel you can trust and who will work to understand and help you, but the things you can learn with a therapist as a coach or teacher for your life struggles will be worth the extra effort.

Insurance often can and will cover a certain number of visits to these specialists. Autism may contribute to your struggles, but your struggles may be better covered in the medical system (at least in the USA) through addressing the individual struggles and finding ways to work within the system which is already in place. (therapy for ptsd, therapy for trouble with walking, therapy for depression, etc rather than addressing autism directly)

Support groups and group therapies can also be helpful for social issues, as well as any special support groups for single issues such as epilepsy, various syndromes often associated with autism, etc… and in some large cities there are even autism support or social groups.

Adjusting to diagnosis and learning all the ways autism can affect us takes a lot of time. Please be patient with yourself and know you are not alone. It is a huge change to look at autism from the side of finally knowing. But knowing our diagnosis is autism, we can finally grow, understand, and take action for ourselves to make or lives better.
Take your time, explore, and realize that things will not change overnight, but gradually. 3 years in, and my life keeps getting better. The struggles are the same, but I am finding new ways to do things, and finding new understanding almost every day. 65 years of not knowing and adaptive changes I made in my life to survive will not be understood or un-done in a short while. It is an ongoing process. You are worthy of understanding, knowing, learning and you are worthy of the best life you can make for yourself .
Knowing will make all the difference!

Summary Report

of my autism diagnosis from 2019.

It finally came in the mail yesterday. I had waited in anticipation for months.

Earlier in the blog I have been telling the story of my struggle for diagnosis. Finally the last bit has fallen into place. It is finished. I have papers now that say a professional has diagnosed me as autistic at just short ( 3 days) of my 68th birthday.

Last visit with the psychologist was the last day of September. He promised at that time to have a written report finished and to me within a few weeks. I waited a couple of weeks before I inquired at the office.. I had not got a bill, I had not got a report from the doctor… I was told that my bill had been sent to insurance and to wait until we heard from them before asking again. I got a call from the Doctor saying he had had a relapse and that he would get the report to me before long, certainly before the end of the year. I felt terrible that he was under pressure to finish this when his health condition is so severe. I waited in growing distress about his health and about gaining the paperwork to finally make myself completely “official”. I did not want to pressure him or add to Dr’s struggles which must be overwhelming and so sad for him and all his loved ones… but I still was anxious about seeing the final report.
There was a fat envelope in my mailbox when we got home from grocery shopping yesterday. 5 pages summarizing both visits and the doctor’s observations, the way I presented myself at the interview and subsequent testing results, all there for me to see in black and white.

There were terms I was not familiar with, and I looked them all up, thought I would repeat them here so everybody can understand them. I knew about ‘flat effect’ but was surprised that he mentioned that I present with flat effect. I had no idea! Flat effect is lack of expressiveness in facial or body movements (reflecting emotions) and can also mean flat tone of voice or odd expression or inflection of voice when speaking.

He said I did poorly on information sub tests… I was amazed at how poorly I scored in visual processing, auditory processing, and he mentioned visual-spatial struggles, motor and sensory struggles.
He said I had ‘cognitive impairment” with these 2 categories. It means I have struggles to understand , something that has been with me all of my life.
I have been aware I had struggles, but the very low scores in both visual processing ( 25th percentile) and audio processing ( 34th percentile) was a bit of a shock… Those scores are very low! I was stunned for an hour or two, and my primary reaction now is to wonder how I have lived life and done as well as I have in spite of those handicaps.

The answer of course, is because I am very good with words. My vocabulary and verbal comprehension came out at 98th percentile… My ability to use and understand words is my real strength.

These things are all things I had understood before and at the time of my tests and diagnosis, but I would like to point out how extremely different my scores were on these tests, either I was quite good, or I was very very bad. One of the primary descriptions of autism’s effects is that it causes uneven neurological development. I’d say this report is a good example to illustrate that description.

I am of high average intelligence and there is absolutely no doubt I am autistic.
I was interested that the doctor said if Asperger’s diagnosis was still in use, that is the category I would fall into. But as DSM 5 does not offer that choice, I am autism level 1. I am autistic

I am so grateful to have my diagnosis through the generous work of the kind doctor; in spite of his failing health and his own personal troubles, he took the time to see my plight and to reach out to me to complete my report. I am to be his final diagnosis. He retired in July of 2019 due to his health, but he offered to work with me for a diagnosis after that. Now the work is complete. He has given me a gift I can never repay. Feeling blessed.

autism in elders

raising awareness

This is the first edition of my one page autism in elders awareness flyer. Everybody is welcome to reprint and distribute it if you see fit to do so.

AUTISM in older adults???
Autistic Elders on Facebook. ​
Blog ​

LOSER! Thoughtless, rude, cold, uncaring, inept, inappropriate, failure, outsider, weirdo, clumsy, out-of-it, gullible, stupid. Have others given you these labels? Has it seemed impossible to do anything right? Have you been told it is all your fault? Do you think your life has been much harder than other people’s but not sure why?

Do you have trouble understanding what other people expect of you? Are people often angry with you and it is not clear how it happened or why?

Are you too open and trusting? Is it difficult to stop others from using or abusing you?

Are you bullied, and do you understand why?

Are you estranged from family members or do you have few or no close friends?

Have you had “people problems” at home, work, school, and other places?

Are you often frustrated, hurt, angry, sad, depressed, or anxious? Do you feel misunderstood and socially isolated? Do you have a sense of “otherness”?

Do you wonder why it is so hard for you to do so many things that seem to come easily to others?

Do you self medicate using cigarettes, booze, street drugs or other things to help you deal with life?

Do you have a very narrow range of interests, but the interests you have are intense and all consuming?

Do you have a lot of self blame, do you believe the negative labels you have been given?

What if You found out that it was not all your fault after all?

What if I told you that you might have an in-born neurological difference and that you have struggles that other people simply do not have because of your unusual neurology?


Today most scientists believe that autism is probably genetic, although causes have not been completely identified, there are several genes that have been identified as associated with autism. Autism is present at birth, it is not caught, does not develop, can not be cured.

Autism causes uneven neurological development and is present at birth.
All autistic struggles are based on neurological functioning and have to do with sensory processing. Our understanding of our whole world is based on information gathered and processed by our senses. Every person with autism has sensory processing struggles, but in every autistic person the struggles are different.

What happened to all of the people with autism before 1980? We are the Lost Generations. We grew up struggling and being blamed for our lack of success. Nobody knew! Autism affects approximately 2 percent of the population according to conservative estimates. Some studies suggest autism may affect up to 7 percent of the general population. There are millions of undiscovered and undiagnosed adults ( over 21) who are unknowingly autistic in the general population. Autistic struggles can be recognized and helped with diagnosis. Diagnosis can be life changing.

Diagnosis even at a very late age can bring healing of hurts, self understanding, and provide new ways to live a better life through accommodations once it is known that one is autistic.

Are you somebody who is struggling in life? Do you know somebody who might find the descriptions here familiar? Undiagnosed autistic people have gone through life not understanding that so many of their struggles are not their fault, that life really is more difficult for them, and that there are many ways to make life easier once we know about our autism.
Contact Autistic Elders at ​​ or check out the links at the beginning of these pages for more information.

Autism Trauma, PTSD,Anxiety

Trauma, anxiety, and PTSD are not diagnostic of autism, nor are they believed to be caused by autism.

But it still appears there is a connection for many autistic people. There seems to be a higher incidence of anxiety diagnosed among the autistic population than in the general population ( 16 percent as opposed to 5 percent) in one study i examined .

I have spent a good bit of time reading about autism and the fact that so many autistic people report having anxiety, having experienced traumatic incidents, been traumatized repeatedly through abuse, bullying, certain therapies, and in some cases repeatedly distressed due to autistic processing struggles. (sensitivity to sound, touch, etc)

The part about the trauma or distress being due to processing struggles is what I want to address here.

A few years ago until the present, there were studies and diagnostic explanations released which said in essence ” PTSD can have the same symptoms as autism, so don’t diagnose autism until you are sure it is not PTSD”. I read several articles all seeming to say that too many children were being diagnosed with autism instead of PTSD.
But today something interesting seems to be happening.

Instead of saying children with PTSD seem to have the same symptoms/behaviors as autistic children, they are seeing that autistic children seem to be more prone to PTSD. That PTSD and autism can and do occur together in the same individual.
Things that can be experienced by neurotypical children and not be traumatizing can be devastating to a child with autism.
The difference is in the way the experience is processed. Examples were given of one child who had PTSD due to the sudden ringing of a loud automated bell that marked class periods in early grade school. Kids who are neurotypical would not be traumatized by the experience, but due to sensory processing difficulties, the autistic child was traumatized.

This only makes sense to me.
I can understand how this happens by looking to my own autistic early life upbringing.

Using my memory of my earliest childhood experiences I can see how my own inability to regulate sensory input or make sense of my experiences worked to give me tremendous anxiety.

I have said that before I knew about my autism I lived my life in fear. Fear has been the predominant emotion of my life. It overwhelms everything else persistently and continually.
Knowing and understanding about my autism has provided much understanding and is slowly causing the anxiety to ease as I understand more and more from my past experiences in light of the autism and how it affects me every day.

At the time I grew up it was perfectly OK to swat, spank, hit your child to train them in behaviors and make sure the parent was respected and obeyed.
My mother was autistic and a first time mother. ( we did not know or understand she was autistic until well after she died)
She kept me fed and bathed, took me for walks in a pram and later in a stroller, and most of my time was spent in a “play table” that locked me in a sitting position with a surrounding table from which I was fed, entertained, and kept safe from the dirty floor and the dangerous things around the house. My mother and father held my hands and ‘walked’ me around from time to time, and my mother says I was standing in this way by 9 months old. I began to resist the table/staying in the chair routine and actively fought her when she tried to place me into it. A few whacks on the seat at first got compliance but soon it didn’t matter to me, I did not want to sit there any longer!!!!!
When she finally let me out of the safety of that chair, she began swatting/hitting/spanking me on the hands or the backside if I touched anything or did any other thing she did not want me to.

Hitting as punishment stopped when i was 8 and my sister( much larger, stronger and not as intimidated as I ) was 6 and she turned on my mother and attacked her while being ‘punished’.

At this point, age 9 months, I believe I understood spoken words quite well, although my own speech was at the ” point and say” stage.
I don’t believe I understood why I was hit for most of my life until I was about 5 or 6 years of age. I simply did not process the action i was caught in with the punishment, frightening, sudden, and painful, that I received.
Even by age 5 just telling me to “stop it” did not tell me what was making my mother angry.. autism. My sister probably understood.
To my autistic understanding at 9 months old, punishment sudden, surprising, painful and fear causing, was surrounding me always, waiting to happen in unpredictable times and for unknown reasons. It suddenly came on me with no warning and no comprehension of why or that this punishment was in any way connected with whatever I was caught up in at the time.

Please don’t worry about that confused little girl, ( she is fine today!) the point is not to get sympathy or to complain, but to explain how it happened that I had anxiety for most of my life.
I was always worried that I would be punished for things I felt woefully inadequate to deal with. I simply had no understanding of how or why these awful sudden , yes traumatic things happened. I learned to be quiet and wary and to wait for instruction or indications of what I should or could do. Those situations seemed safer. At the same time I was punished if I ever showed frustration, anger or resistance to any parent or sibling. I learned to block my anger. I learned not to protest or to cry.
If I was given a toy to play with and told to go to a certain place to play, I played with that toy in that place. To venture any other thing was to invite danger. By the time I was 4 years old and I was reading complete sentences at a much higher level than for a normal 4 year old. I spent hours drawing and reading quietly. At age 5 I was having nightmares about my father blowing up the house, or my mother chasing me with a butcher knife wanting to kill me because I set the table wrong. My parents were to be feared and obeyed. They were never comforts or safe havens or somebody I could turn to for help or understanding. I did as I was told and was to otherwise not show I was there or ask for anything. I simply did not understand things in any meaningful context and there was nobody to know this or to explain to me all the things I did not understand.

By the time I went to school at age 4, I believe I was programmed to be anxious and fearful.
My early life experiences taught me to be hypervigilant, appeasement oriented, and to expect to endure pain, fear, and other emotions in a stoic manner. I had no other options available, no ability to reason or to see when or how I could be safe or how to manage or negotiate or communicate wants or needs.
Autism in me (and I believe others) needs explanations in as much detail as possible for everything that happens, for everything that is done, going to be done, or done in the past. I simply can not understand most things without either previous experience and understanding to build on, or explanations.
My autism ‘understanding’ as a small child led me to make many conclusions which were probably false and led to my anxiety. Add to this the bullying, emotional and physical abuse and not understanding why all of these things happened, I was lost and had to design my own ‘survival kit” of defensiveness, anxious watchfullnes-hypervigilance, avoidance, and self isolation. This pattern continued for most of my life, feeling inadequate to whatever might be ahead, not knowing how to cope, not having understanding or tools to deal adequately with almost every circumstance in my life. No wonder I have been anxious!!!!!

I need to know what is going to happen, when and how. I need to know why somebody is angry with me and what I did that caused them to become angry. I still need all of that explained.

Failure to gain those explanations meant I was at my own resources to understand my world. I got a lot of things wrong but I survived.

Now with my autism diagnosis at age 68 I am going back over all of the ways autism has affected me since even before I had words, well that is taking a long time. But now I have explanations and understanding of my autism to help me sort it all out and see how autism has worked in everything .

It makes all the difference to know and understand why after all this time.

Think of what happens when children are physically and sexually abused, when they are subjected continually to therapies that are traumatic and/or incomprehensible emotionally or mentally.
I can certainly understand how autism has played its part in my anxious and self protective, helpless view of the world. I can understand how experiences other autistic children and adults experience can be much more traumatic than they would if those same experiences were had by neurotypical individuals.
I think I am on the right track when I say I believe that PTSD and anxiety and autism can be co- existing conditions, and I think I understand why. What do you think?

What Next?

Now I know I am autistic, what next?

I started this blog almost exactly a year ago! So much has changed, so much has stayed the same.

Now I have my ” official diagnosis” I can move forward with my original plan.

I want to reach out to other undiagnosed older adults and help them find out about

autism and how it might have worked in their lives. Diagnosis can bring self understanding,
self forgiveness, new understanding of old hurts, emotional healing, repair of relationships, and learning of new ways to make life better.

For me, this means that I will not only have a blog, but will start workiing on a forum for discussion of autism and the lost generations of people age 55 and over.

I want to develop talks to explain how autism is hiding in these generations and how useful knowing about one’s autism can be to people when they learn of it.

Since December I have been working on developing a two sided single page information sheet to share with others. It has been very difficult to find the right words to explain autism and to create a short sort of self test to help people see if they too might be autistic. Along with this I need to include contact information and a place to go for more information. A lot of stuff to fit on one sheet of paper!

Here is a link to my newly created forum, as a page on Facebook. It is meant for information sharing about autism diagnosis among older people and not as a social page, for parenting, or other ( such as sales or self promotion) venue. Please join up and share – there are so many who might benefit if they were able to find out that they too have always been autistic, but did not know it!

Next I plan to approach local groups and perhaps radio or newspapers to propose a talk about undiscovered autism in the senior populations. I think of such groups as the senior citizens center, nursing homes, emergency room/medical facilities, the homeless shelters, shelter for victims of abuse, drug treatment group, mental illness support groups, etc.

I will print as many of my one page sheets as I can afford to and pass them out, leave them in public places such as grocery store bulletin boards, the library, and other places where people may gather (with permission).

The idea of talking to groups is terrifying to me, but in new understanding of my autism and working on personal growth, I feel bound to try this. Knowing how much I have been helped and how much relief of emotional pain, how much better my life has been since learning of my autism, it is something that seems very important. Important enough for me to try!

OK, here goes… wish me luck! ❤ It is going to be a new year of discovery and exploration. Learning how to be old and autistic at the same time, and hoping to find others along the way. I’ll keep you posted!