I find myself at a strange place emotionally.
Years ago, my sister, Toadie, suggested that I might have autism. At the time, I completely dismissed her suggestion. Honestly, I didn’t even give the idea any real consideration. I’m not sure why, but at the time, the idea didn’t seem pausable. Perhaps because I was stuck in the mode of thinking about autism in context of childhood, male presentation. Perhaps because I was hung up on the idea that those with autism have some sort of speech delay or other vocal imapirment. Which I don’t have.
Well, I owe Toadie an apology. Because she was right. I had a neuropsych eval years ago and I never read the report. I just accepted the resulting diagnosis list that came from it. At the time, they either didn’t tell me or I wasn’t able to absorb all the information and thus didn’t receive the diagnosis at the time. But I was diagnosed Autistic then. I have had this diagnosis now for 8 years without knowing it.
I recently changed primary providers and with that came a digging up of old records as everything got trasferred over and reviewed with the initial visit. It was during this process that I discovered that I had this diagnosis. So, I went back and read that neuropsych eval report. And I am sitting here in complete agreement with his assessment. Everything he reported seeing for symptoms, I have seen in myself. Everything he lists as symptoms of autism, I agree fall under the diagnostic umbrella for the diagnosis.
Honestly, I have been beginning to wonder about this diagnosis for the past year or so. I have joined some face book support groups for ADHD and EDS. Within those groups, there have been a lot of people who are also autistic. I have been listening to them talking about their life experiences and finding that I have related to them more then any other group of people in my life.
So, I’m autistic.
I’ve got another label to add to the long list of labels that I already have. But this label comes with a lot of emotional stuff. This diagnosis has the same emotional charge that the EDS diagnosis had. With both these diagnoses, I have known all my life that I was different than other people. Doctors have told me for most of my life, that there was nothing different, but I always knew. So, when you get a diagnosis that finally explains all the stuff… that has power.
Having this diagnosis doesn’t change me nor do I intend to change my treatment plan in any way. But it is nice to have a little better understanding of myself and how all these symptoms fit together in my life. It provides me with comfort. It makes me feel less broken. Many of the challenges that I have faced in my life have been because I am neurodivergent living in a world designed for the neurotypical. I am different and that’s not the same as being broken.