Diagnosis Story 17: A Sense of Identity

This week’s story comes from Catriona in Melbourne. She is a Joey Scout Leader who would like to become an advocate in the youth criminal justice system. “My perfect world is a place where Autism and all kinds of differences are accepted and understood.”

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Me and my friend Sharon (I’m on the left!)

Catriona’s Story:

I grew up at a time in the 1980s when difference of any kind was Continue reading

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Diagnosis Story 16: Something More or Something Missing

This week’s story comes from Tess in Tasmania. She discovered her own autism with the help of her daughter and is now an advocate for the neurodiversity movement. Her blog is called Neurodiversity Goddess, which contains content specifically relating to autistic females and their family and friends.

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“When my daughter was having her autism questionnaires completed, it painted a picture of the little girl that I also was.”

Tess’ Diagnosis Story:

I am a late diagnosed 42 year old woman from the far north west of Tasmania, Australia. Throughout my whole life I felt Continue reading

Diagnosis Story 15: I did not see this one coming

This week’s diagnosis story comes from Eitan in New York. He introduces himself here:

I’m a middle aged man and father of two that has done so many different things it feels like they could span a few lifetimes. I have a degree in math/computer science but I am currently self-employed as a voice teacher/vocal coach. I have found tremendous support within the autistic community online, but I’ve also read and heard many negative stories of adults seeking diagnosis, in large part due to inexperience from professionals with adult diagnosis, amongst other concerns, that it made me second guess whether official dx was worth pursuing. I have decided to move forward with it, because even though I’m considered successful professionally, and for better or worse, I am good at masking, I continue to struggle greatly with some common issues like anxiety, and most of all, executive functioning, the bane of my existence.

On the Spectrum.today

When the Other Shoe Dropped

Some time ago I suggested to my wife to start a blog on the challenges of Autism Spectrum Disorders, mostly from the perspective of parents of a child in the spectrum. That’s how I ended up getting this blog set up and my wife wrote a few brief entries. I figured I would throw in my “two cents” here and there at some point. As many of you know all too well, autism presents itself in rather unique ways in every individual case. Each autistic person has his/her own brand of autism, so to speak. And to this day, even professionals are trying to come to terms with this fact, making access to services and advocacy for some kids like our daughter much harder than it should. Unknown to me, things were going to become more personal, a lot more.

Raising my daughter brought forth…

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Diagnosis Story 14: Autism? Me?! Never!

This week’s story is another anonymous contribution:
“I hope you don’t mind, but I’d like to stay anonymous due to the fact that my workplace isn’t ready to find out. And I think they’d better never find out.”

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I enjoy nature, arts and literature. I also like butterflies (see my painting above). They are like some Aspies, very sensitive and unstable, but soft and pretty in disguise.

Anonymous Diagnosis Story: From Larva to Beautiful Butterfly

“I knew you were different when Continue reading

Diagnosis Story 13: Good luck, strange happenstance, and unexpectedly compassionate therapists

This week’s diagnosis story comes from Sara. Sara is a 27-year-old Autistic woman with a degree in Intercultural Communication who taught English in Japan from 2014-2017. She writes, “Seeking Sara,” where she explores life on the Spectrum. Sara lives in the United States where she enjoys some of her special interests like reading, writing, studying Japanese, and taking pictures of flowers.

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I wasn’t “less Autistic,” just coping with things better and going through a time when my traits weren’t as noticeable–even to myself. 

Seeking Sara

If you haven’t already, please read my blog post “13: Women and Girls” to better understand this post!

Welp, here it is!

Today is the day that I share my news with friends and family via Facebook. I was originally going to share my blog with everyone on Friday, but I’m too anxious to wait another day. *tries not to vomit*

One major reason I started this blog was to have a vehicle to come out to people about being diagnosed as Autistic. Masking my Autism has become so incredibly tiring and I’m really burnt out. I also feel like I’m hiding such a huge part of myself from the people I care about! (See: 6: Why I’m Writing This Blog for more on that.) I’ve been feeling pretty lonely and isolated lately and I want that to end.

So here we are. The story of how I got diagnosed.

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My Mum’s ‘Non-Diagnosis’ Story

Today is Mother’s Day in Australia.

So what better way to recognise the lives and contributions of mothers everywhere than by sharing the heart warming story of my own. She sought a formal autism assessment not long after I discovered I was on the Spectrum. But this was just one step along the journey from a disconnected childhood world “with a solitary occupant” to one that is “open and welcoming and actively seeks connection to others”.

So thanks Mum! I love seeing you grow in confidence to be seen. Despite the fact that I’ve been living a very independent life for over a decade, you’re still an invaluable ongoing support to me.

Thanks again for everything! 🙂

Peace,

Paul.

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A tender moment between mother and son. (Paul’s year 6 graduation)

Mum’s Non-Diagnosis Story:

Early in 2015, a few months after his 30th birthday, I received an email from my eldest son about coming over for Sunday lunch. He added, “PS: Continue reading

Diagnosis Story 12: Escaping the Cocoon

Today’s story is another anonymous contribution. The reason is again for fear of damage to professional reputation in a world that is still not ready to accept the strengths of autism.

It seemed that even in this day and age, disclosure so early on in my career might have unfortunate repercussions and I was advised to consider the impact this may have on my career … the irony for me was that the one thing that helped me perform above others in my field was the same thing I had been gently advised to keep hidden away.

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the more adept I became at camouflaging, the more I suffered with social hangovers

My Almost Diagnosis Story:

I call it my ‘Almost Diagnosis’ because Continue reading