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. 

Autistically Alex

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! 🙂



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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.

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

Diagnosis Story 11: University gave me roadblocks

Today’s story comes from 37 year-old Mark in the U.K. After a encountering many obstacles he finally found the ‘missing link’ and was able go back to university to prove that someone with ASD can be an asset to the nursing profession.

“My experience so far at university this time is very positive, very different to the times before. I feel like a lot of people are rooting for me”

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My special interests are retro Computing (building the hardware and discovering the applications and games from 1980s – early 2000s computers), as well as transport and city exploration (London underground map behind me!)

Mark’s Story – Background

I’ve got through occupation training and adult college qualifications okay, but
Continue reading

Diagnosis Story 10: I wasn’t prepared for being called disabled

Today’s story is from Saskia in Germany. She found her ‘brain family’ online before seeking an official diagnosis.

“When he finally gave me the diagnosis, I felt relieved, but when he started talking about disability, I started crying because I wasn’t prepared for being called disabled.”

One of my special interests is making my own cosmetics. My living room looks like a science lab!

Saskia’s Story:
Hi, my name is Saskia and I grew up in Cologne, Germany. I’m 24 now and I Continue reading

Diagnosis Story 9: I never thought we would see progress like this

Today’s story is from Brad in the U.K. He is in the process of seeking a formal diagnosis but is 99.999% sure due to how much good the self-realisation has already achieved.

“At age 11 I concluded that despite my best efforts, I was inferior to everyone around me and that I truly hated myself. That self loathing stayed with me for nearly 19 years.
… (after the self-realisation) …
I  cured myself of my self hatred and depression overnight. I never would have dreamed that possible unless it happened to me.”


Brad’s Diagnosis Story:

Continue reading

Diagnosis Story 8: I understand me better now

Today’s story is from Allan MacBain, a Scottish IT Specialist, with a serious special interest in Genealogy, who made the best of limited resources for adults in his region and managed to eventually receive an official ASD diagnosis in his 50s.

“through it all, I just thought I was nothing more than a geek, kinda weird, guy. Which most of the people I knew would agree on.”

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Arran Sunset, Scotland (pictures courtesy of Allan)

Allan’s Story – Background: Continue reading

Diagnosis Story 7: Stumbling into diagnosis

Today’s diagnosis story comes straight from the dark recesses of the internet. The Author has requested to remain anonymous due to the legitimate fear of damage to professional reputation working in the mental health field. Unfortunately, this is a story I’ve heard often. Anecdotally, it seems the types of jobs where it is LEAST safe to disclose are those of health professionals.

“It helped me realize I am not alone.”

Anonymous Diagnosis Story:

Continue reading

Diagnosis Story 6: I was right all along

Today’s story comes from Chris in Santa Fe. Chris is an artist who wasn’t officially diagnosed until age 44.

We’ve got 50 gazillion things telling us what’s wrong: you didn’t, you don’t etc…. For me that all goes away when I interact with 1 thing that feels right.

Here’s a picture of a cheeseburger I made a cat face on

Chris’ Diagnosis Story: Continue reading