Patreon members and YouTube channel members had access to this video on July 15, 2021. The video’s public release will be August 18, 2021.
Is an Adult Autism (or ADHD) Diagnosis Worth it
Hey humans Lyric here. I am a late discovered, multiply-NeuroDivergent adult, meaning I’m Autistic. I also have ADHD.
I am in my mid thirties. I am pale-skinned, with short green hair, was shaved sides, and glasses. I am sitting in an RV, wearing a black colored shirt, in front of a white microphone.
This week I am going to be answering a reader question and reader question this week is:
“Is getting an adult autism diagnosis worth it?”
If you would like to know my thoughts, please do stay tuned..
In the interests of honesty and transparency, I am going to say, before we get started, that there is not going to be a one size fits all answer to this question of “is it worth it to get an autism diagnosis?”
The answer to this question is going to be “yes” or “no”, depending widely on your own individual circumstances in your life.
For me, it was worthwhile to go ahead and get the autism diagnosis, but that is because of my specific circumstances, which I will share with you.
I’m also going to share with you some other circumstances that can help you to decide if getting an autism diagnosis might be worthwhile, or even helpful, to you.
First, I’d like to talk about my own situation.
At the time that I was thinking that potentially I might be Autistic, and was struggling with a lot of other co-occurring health problems that are very common with Autistic People, I was working a corporate job and had health insurance and was able to get many, though not all, of the expenses for my appointments, for doctor’s visits and certain things covered.
Having insurance, and being able to have some help with payment for what can be a very expensive assessment process, for people who do not have insurance, depending on what country you live, which can cost thousands of dollars if you are uninsured.
That is a big deciding factor for me. I was able to afford the assessment.
Another factor for me was that I needed accommodations in the workplace. I needed to for changes to be made, in order for me to be able to continue working in the job environment that I was in.
Without modifying and changing the way I was working, I was going to be unable to continue to work, which now is why I work for myself, because I can accommodate myself much better than anyone else can, and I can accommodate myself fully.
I’ve had employers that do accommodate me and employers that don’t accommodate me. The difference in the work I’m able to do when I am accommodated, versus when I am unaccommodating is night and day.
I can do very basic, remedial tasks, barely, that would normally be far below my ability and skill level, if I am unaccommodated.
Whereas, if I’m accommodated, I can do some impressive things.
Just give me the tools I need to succeed.
Ohhh! It’s not that complicated.
Some factors you I may want to take into consideration, when deciding if getting an autism assessment, or going through the diagnostic process, is worthwhile for you might include:
If you are going to be helped, potentially, by acquiring this diagnosis.
Are you looking for accommodations?
What benefit do you feel you will get from this?
Even if it is just having someone to confirm the information for you. Is it going to really be helpful for you, or could it be potentially more harmful for you to have this information?
For example, in my case, it was helpful and necessary, but I have met and spoken with parents who have been diagnosed Autistic and then had this come up in custody battles and family court and had this label used against them – having that on the record.
So there are circumstances where being labeled as Autistic could, potentially, not be helpful, and could be harmful, depending on your situation.
That is just because of the amount of discrimination and stigma associated with being Autistic, not because being Autistic is bad. It’s just that people’s misconceptions about Autistic People are very harmful, and depending on your individual given situation, being attached to that additional label can have other unforeseen consequences.
But, for me, this label has been life-changing, and has really set me free, and given me answers, and helped me, because in general, I tend to be someone who, with anything in life, will feel imposter syndrome. It doesn’t matter what it is, so I probably would be someone who would have imposter syndrome. If I hadn’t been diagnosed I wouldn’t believe in myself, I would doubt myself.
So it’s like, “Yes, you’re not wrong. You really are Autistic.”
I needed that. You might not need that.
I feel like I shouldn’t have needed that, but I did. That was something else that I got from the diagnosis, that I needed.
If you don’t need any of that, and it will not be helpful for you, especially if it could be harmful for you, my caution would be to maybe consider not going down the route of getting a diagnosis. Just really think a lot about your individual circumstance.
If you come to the decision that seeking out an autism diagnosis, or an ADHD diagnosis, or any other NeuroDivergent diagnosis is right for you, because there may be other NeuroTypes watching here.
“Hi, you’re welcome! You’re welcome to be here too! Welcome to the NeuroFamily, NeuroKin and NeuroSiblings. Hi! I’m glad you’re here.”
If you are thinking about going to get an adult assessment for being Deurodivergent, because many of these assessment processes are designed for children, whether it’s Autistic, ADHD, Dyslexia – a lot of these things are geared towards evaluating children.
School is often when we’re caught, for having learning differences or disabilities, because we struggle to learn the traditional ways in the traditional school systems.
Because the assessments and the processes are often really focused on young people and children, it is so incredibly important that you, as an adult going to get an assessment, vet people you are looking to work with and look for a doctor who specifically has experience diagnosing adults.
If you go to someone who only works on children, and is working just off the criteria for Autistic or ADHD, NeuroDivergent children, and doesn’t know what NeuroDivergent Adults look like, they do not understand NeuroDivergent Masking, and how NeuroDivergent People learn to cope with, and even can learn to hide, their NeuroDivergence as they age.
These people will not be able to understand you, and are not qualified to diagnose you, because they are only working with children, they don’t know adults.
That is the thing of caution to be careful, because there is also a lot of misdiagnosis out there being, being diagnosed with the wrong thing.
In psychology too, we see that. Psychology has a problem of being dominated by CIS white men, and a lot of criteria are written in that way, so that people who are assigned female at birth are often diagnosed more with certain groupings of diagnoses, and then people who are assigned male are often grouped in other diagnoses. It’s just a lot of misogyny.
I really hope that answers your question “Is an autism diagnosis worth it?”
That really depends on your individual circumstance, and what is going on in your personal life.
There’s been other videos I have done about autism diagnosis in the past, and self-diagnosis. I will try to remember to link those at the end of this video so that you can check those out.
Thank you so much for hanging out with me this week.
I do put out new videos each and every Wednesday. So be sure to subscribe and turn on notifications, so you do not miss those updates when they come out.
A huge shout out and thank you to the YouTube channel members, Patreon subscribers, and Facebook subscribers, who do the little monetary subscription to help support this channel and help me continue to put out great free content for everyone here on the interwebs.
I couldn’t do it without you. I am so incredibly grateful. Thank you.
I think Patreon now, they let you subscribe annually, and you can subscribe for less than $12 a year. It depends on what country you’re in. It’s it’s, it’s a dollar a month and you get a discount if you subscribe annually. If you want to subscribe on Patreon, that’s probably the most affordable way to subscribe.
I have that set up so everyone gets the same subscription level, regardless of what they pay. It’s pay what you want subscription and a dollar I think is as low as Patreon would, let me put it.
I put it as cheap as I possibly can on Patreon, so that’s probably the most affordable platform you can support me on, if you want to do so.
If not, no pressure. Sharing my videos is an equally helpful way for you to support me, and help me get the word out. That’s worth its weight in gold really.
Well share doesn’t weigh anything. Uh-Oh. Yeah that doesn’t work.
“A share is worth its weight in gold.”
“Well, a share doesn’t weigh anything, so shares worth nothing.”
Well, that’s not what I was trying to say.
A share is worth a lot to me.
You being here is worth a lot to me.
You giving me the question for today’s video, you know who you are.
That means a lot to me, so thank you so much.
I will talk to you all in the future. See you next week.
Help me get the word out!!! – If you like what I do, and would like more, please consider subscribing on Patreon. This blog is made possible by support from readers like YOU! (Sharing my content is also, equally helpful!)
With gratitude, – Lyric