Could YOU Be Autistic & Not Know?


Everybody NeuroRebel here and this week, we’re going to talk about how you could be autistic and potentially not even know it. Trust me. I know about this one personally guys. All right. Let’s dive in.

[00:00:50] I’ve always been autistic, but I didn’t personally know I was autistic until I was 29 years old, almost 30, because my diagnosis was missed for a very large chunk of my life. Uh, there are a few reasons I was missed and there are a few reasons autistic people are typically missed. Uh, but you know, why I was personally missed is when the school noticed something was a bit different about me, the way they approached it scared my family and my family decided not to have testing because there is so much stigma around autism.

[00:01:31] There is an assumption that this label is going to be put on a child and that label is going to follow them for the rest of their lives but that doesn’t take into consideration that there are a million other labels that if you don’t know you are autistic, society is going to put on you or you will put on yourself.

[00:01:53] So for example, labels would be: lazy not trying hard enough, not good enough, unacceptable, overly sensitive, too sensitive, too much, talks too much, talks to a little, anxious, rebellious, stubborn. I could go on and I could go into some really worse, horrible, ugly names. Um, and these are things that other people had said about me.

[00:02:24] I can promise you that the words and labels that I gave myself, because we tend to be harder on ourselves than other people are on us. We’re much worse.

[00:02:36] Didn’t know I was autistic, but I knew I was different. I knew I struggled well to sit still in class. I knew that my curiosity was often punished by authority, figures and teachers, especially in school.

[00:02:54] Despite it being a cherished trait at home, I knew. Once I got into the workplace that I struggled with things that other people didn’t seem to struggle with. I knew I was struggling. I knew I was different, but I didn’t have the autism label to explain why I was different. So I labeled myself instead – failure.

[00:03:24] And when I was finally diagnosed autistic and the information sunk in and I accepted that. That didn’t mean that there was something wrong with me – it just meant that I had been working against myself instead of with my natural neurology and state of being for so many years. I just needed to do some changes and start, you know, start working with myself.

[00:03:47] It was time to have some self compassion and I needed that correct label. So that I could remove all of those other labels, because I had put so many labels and allowed society to put so many labels on me.

[00:04:07] So yeah, you can be autistic and not even know it. You’ll know something, but you won’t have words for it. You’ll realize there are certain people pull that you just naturally click with but they’re definitely the minority and you won’t know why. You won’t know why you often feel like an outsider or lonely in a room full of people if you don’t know you’re autistic. You know, you’ll know something, but you’ll feel like you’re missing something as well.

[00:04:51] Not knowing is extremely painful and that’s why, you know, this information learning you are autistic discovering your autistic is potentially life’s changing and life altering information that can mean the difference between an autistic person, success or failure. The truth is diagnosis right now – it shouldn’t be a privilege. It should be a human, right. But this is not something that all autistic people have access to.

[00:05:26] Even if someone becomes aware that they are autistic, they may not be able to access the diagnosis. And with adults, it’s hard for us to find service providers who understand autism and adults and autistic adults, and don’t just work with children.

[00:05:45] And that can be a problem because some of us, especially if we came from low income or other minority,  statuses, we may not have been caught. When we were younger, we may have been labeled as behavioral problems and given all of these other names labels instead of labeled autistic or neurodivergent correctly, older we get the less likely it is that we’re going to be diagnosed or be discovered as autism I’m sh I’m starting to actually change how I refer to myself from late diagnosed too late discovered, uh, in, in solidarity for those autistic people who are just as valid, that may not have access to the diagnosis.

[00:06:30] Uh, so I didn’t discover that I was autistic until I was almost 30. Uh, so yes, you could be autistic and not even know it.

[00:06:41] Guys, thank you so much for hanging out with me this week. I put out new videos every Wednesday. So don’t forget to subscribe and turn on notifications so you never miss an update. And if you found this video helpful, please give it a thumbs up and maybe even a share so that it can potentially help someone else.

[00:06:57] And if you want more, a subscribed on Patrion where all of the videos typically go out early, if they’re ready in advance.

[00:07:04] Anyway, guys, I will talk to you next week. Thank you so much for being here. Bye!


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6 thoughts on “Could YOU Be Autistic & Not Know?

  1. I rarely comment but always read and save your weekly posts. They are stored in a folder for future use, as I shape what I want to do with my retirement time. Organizing your and other materials into a simple free handout about autism and the spectrum is one such project. Definitely divided into two parts, for parents about children, and for adults. Thank you for all you are doing to educate by sharing your life.

  2. Husband experienced exactly the same, just feeling…odd and left out, like he wanted to play and talk but didn’t know how to take his turn or when he could speak. He received his diagnosis at 28 and it just felt like the puzzle just completed itself.
    Sadly it is also our experience that there is not any support available for people diagnosed as adults – many services are either aimed at children or towards people with a lot more complex support needs.

  3. This: That didn’t mean that there was something wrong with me – it just meant that I had been working against myself instead of with my natural neurology and state of being for so many years. I just needed to do some changes and start, you know, start working with myself.

    That hit me hard, and I agree. And losing those labels is hard, they become part of the self talk. It’s easier to be there for my spouse and our son than for myself. Thanks for your videos, and all you do!

  4. I wished adults could get this diagnosis in our country, but unfortunately that’s not possible. We are neurodivergent too! Trying to break the stigma surrounding mental health in our country, Romania. Thank you for your post! It feels good to know we’re not alone.

  5. Thanks for this; I think I commented on at least one of your other posts, and I also subscribe to your YouTube channel. Me: OCD, check. ADHD, check. ASD: curious. Here is my question/scenario, and I realize you are not an expert/professional/etc. Sometimes, occasionally, less than once a year, during my adult life, I will either say something, or perhaps do something, that would be considered a social faux pas. If it is something I said, then it is almost always in a social situation, and sometimes we may all have been drinking alcohol before, and I will blurt out something, during a conversation, which I will learn either instantly, or subsequently, was considered rude, insensitive, being a jerk or a**hole, etc. If it was something I did, same outcome. The things I have said in these situations were true facts (in my mind). Okay, so far, just another science geek, means well, but needs to read the room, or maybe learn a few more rules.

    But the feeling, the inner feeling, even now, sometimes over 30 yrs after the fact, if I pause to review just one of those times, I get an intense, well, I don’t know what to call it. It is like a combination of an extremely harsh inner critic voice, coupled with a very awkward dread, with discomfort, sort of like, if we were all in a lifeboat when that happened, all the other people would probably vote me off. This inner . . . queasiness is so uncomfortable, that when it does surface, I immediately manage to push it way, like suppression, or denial. Somehow, as I read some of your posts, I began to wonder, is this/was this/could this strange somatic feeling I tried to describe match up with what you (and other #actuallyautistic individuals) describe as “feeling different” or like not “fitting in?”

    I dunno, I just kind of assumed up until recently that part of being a member of the human species involved have these little awkward glitches (here and there), and likewise that this “remembering” them was something common to all folks. You know, just another data point on the plot of possible human behaviors. But now I am wondering if maybe these two things are actually quite rare out there, among the neurotypicals.

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