the first year of my life as officially diagnosed Autistic
Today, exactly one year ago I was given a diagnosis of autism by a wonderful doctor
who came out of retirement to finish the process he had begun before he retired due to ill health.
Subsequent test results compiled and explained 3 months later were so helpful in understanding my lifetime struggles and gave such great insights to my worst problems, allowing me to arrange my life to accommodate the things that were most difficult for me and to make my life easier, less stressful, and more comfortable. I will be forever grateful to the kind doctor who gave of himself amidst his own personal struggles and very serious ill health to reach out and help me at this late stage in my life.
What good does it do to have diagnosis as an adult of any age?
WE are already “out in the world”, have places in society and are in situations in life not knowing. Why does it matter now?
Diagnosis can explain why we struggled all our lives, it can give us insights into the struggles we had socially, at work, in the family, help us understand how our neurology worked against us time and time again in situations that we may not have understood or that might have been helped by knowing our limitations, our strengths, our neurological processing needs, and that above all, our pains, hardships, struggles, and limitations were not “all our fault”. We were not to blame for our inability to keep a job, to find a mate or a friend, to interact with others, to care for ourselves or others, the list goes on. So many people struggling on the edge of society might find new ways to do things and new ways of understanding if they knew they had a neurological reason or reasons for their struggles and that they are not bad, wrong, stupid, thoughtless, or many of the other labels we have been saddled with in our struggles. By using the tools of analysis, we can discover what accommodations, helpful therapies, special schooling, housing, care arrangements, etc may work best for us and help us to be productive, healthy and to find peace as we sort out how autism had its way in our painful social histories and how we can proceed with healthy understanding as we sort our pasts and move forward. I Know how much it has helped to know and understand my own autism. I deeply wish to help others struggling with self blame, self doubt, self hatred, fear, anxiety, anger, frustration, desperation and defeatedness to be able to say to themselves also. Aha, that was autism! And to use the knowledge of self diagnosis to grow and thrive instead of merely to survive.