Autism & Self Diagnosis


Everybody, NeuroRebel here. And I am back. I’ve been on a bit of a break. There’s been a lot going on in the world. So thank you guys for hanging with me while I took a bit of a pause and took care of myself and some things – because that’s always important that we do take time for self care. So recently on all major social media channels, I made the ask of you guys, “what autism topics do you want to hear about or do you feel are lacking?” And over and over again, one of the most requested topics was autism and diagnosis.

[00:01:12] And self-diagnosis. So this week we’re going to talk about that. I want to highlight why so many autistic people feel that self-diagnosis is valid and it is, was also the very first step for many autistic people before they seek out an official diagnosis. If they do decide to seek out an official diagnosis, um, as an autistic adult who was late diagnosed at the age of 29, I feel it is important that I really mentioned and highlight that being diagnosed period is a huge privilege especially for. An adult person, because as we are growing older, it becomes less likely. And autism diagnosis will be granted for a variety of reasons. Um, some of those being that some professionals say, Oh, well, if you’ve made it this far in life, you don’t need this diagnosis.

[00:02:05] Or they only diagnose children, believe it or not. And some people may who, or even professionals may not know what an autistic person and autistic adult really looks like because there is this focus on children. We also have a huge disparity. In communities of color and people of color and people in low income areas where sometimes autistic behavior may be labeled as behavioral problems or behavioral issues and autistic people, children specifically may not be caught because they are being punished instead of being labeled autistic, they are labeled things like rebellious or disrespectful or inattentive.

[00:02:49] Or that they can’t sit still, you know, these behaviors are labeled, but they are thought of as behavioral problems instead of neurological differences and processing differences. And so, so being diagnosed late or being missed can lead to you, going through life, knowing you’re different but not knowing exactly why or really, you know, when you are autistic and you don’t know it, you know, that you have shortcomings, other people don’t have, or you struggle with things other people don’t struggle with, you know, you’re different, you just don’t have a word for it.

[00:03:23] So this label is really helpful for identity.

[00:03:27] It can also be really helpful if you are needing accommodations in school or in the workplace because without having that diagnostic label, unfortunately, sometimes when you ask for help, people will deny you. And with an official autism diagnosis, it is classed as a disability. Therefore your rights and protections are now guaranteed under the law.

[00:03:51] All right, guys. Thank you so much for hanging out with me today. If you enjoyed this video, be sure to hit the subscribe, turn on your notifications button because next video will be a followup on this video talking about my experience going through the diagnostic process and what that is like. So you can know what to expect.

[00:04:08] If you, uh, are looking into getting an autism. Diagnosis. Thank you guys so much for hanging out. I’ll talk to you next week. Bye .


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4 thoughts on “Autism & Self Diagnosis

  1. Color me as one who views self-diagnosis as valid. I think we know ourselves better than anyone, as a general rule. I self-diagnosed at 12 years old after watching a late-night news story about Asperger’s. I remember lying awake and thinking “wow, that’s me!” My parents denied it for two years, but I eventually did get an official diagnosis. I felt like I was corrorborated.

    Yes, I am glad I was professionally diagnosed after that time, despite what it cost me in terms of career aspriration. I couldn’t have hacked grad school without the necessary accommodations.

  2. Late diagnosis at 29? Mine didn’t come until I was 60, by two different branches of the health system within a few months of each other. Even so, it’s not “official” as in both cases it was decided that at my age there were absolutely no advantage to having official diagnosis, but the “stigma” attached to the label could be detrimental when dealing with bureaucracy in the future.

    I didn’t like the conclusion that I was autistic and spent much effort to try and prove to myself that I wasn’t. After a year of denial, I finally accepted that I was indeed autistic, and now 10 years later, wear the badge with honour.

  3. I diagnosed myself at age 57. Every now and then I think I’d like an “official” diagnosis but it won’t make a difference one way or another. I have no doubt whatsoever that I’m an Aspie.

    I often wonder how and if my life would be any different if I’d known earlier. Having that knowledge and insight into myself would have been nice. I’m just glad that I know now. It has explained so much that confused me throughout my life.

  4. Sometimes professionals try to talk people out of being diagnosed. I know a vet with Asbergers who was continually asked ‘Do you want this on your official medical record ?’ as she pushed for a diagnosis. Me, I was kinda diagnosed as autistic, was told ‘almost certainly on the Spectrum ‘ after taking 2 paper tests. Reading stuff actually autistic people said was ….well I suddenly understood a lot of m y past. At 47. I still wasn’t sure it was a valid diagnosis (I’ve been misdiagnosed a lot in my life) till a British Gas man arrived to service my boiler. He has a daughter with Asbergers. And commented he saw the signs in me as soon as I opened the door.

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