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Guest post: Getting an ASD diagnosis at 46

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  • VioletFenn
    VioletFenn Community member Posts: 124 Pioneering
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    Thanks for all the replies to this! *and a wave to @MrsLogic *!

    For all we do have to 'get on with life', I firmly believe that it helps to acknowledge the past and how the then-undiagnosed ASD must have affected it. Because that way we go into the future fully armed ;) 

    I'm hugely looking forward to working with Scope and getting to know more of you :) Vi xx
  • Ariel
    Ariel Community member Posts: 16 Courageous
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    Great post.

    I also received an adult ASD diagnosis, and I've often described it as my 'permission to stop fighting'.

    I went through my life being, to be honest, pretty successful. But some things I just could not get right. And I was struggling below the surface constantly, with things that seemed so basic to everyone else.

    All you can keep telling yourself, when you think it's 'just you', is: "People a little older than me all seem to have it together. If I just keep trying as hard as I can, it'll come." But, as you start getting older, you wonder when it will come. How long can you continue justifying your struggles with 'I just need more time and I'll be like everyone else'?

    My diagnosis made everything click into place. And it took a long time to realise how obvious it was, and how it affected almost every element of my life. It was like a screen had been lifted. I was suddenly so aware of my behaviour, and somehow I never had been before.

    I am very fortunate to have a GP that took me seriously the moment I walked into the office and told her about my concerns. She gave me the most wonderful gift, by agreeing to refer me without putting up a fight. Now, as a result, I can accept who I am and find what works for me, instead of fighting to try and be the person I thought I was.
  • joannarashelle
    joannarashelle Community member Posts: 135 Pioneering
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    @Ariel I've just read your post and your words helped me immensely, 'pemission to stop fighting'..

    Thankyou so much this will be my mantra, I feel like I've 'fought' all my life..

    Best wishes and thankyou for making me feel 'human' 

    Joanna xxx
  • tracybates
    tracybates Community member Posts: 3 Listener
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    what a refreshing article, I was diagnosed in my thirties, when I was at university, with ASD, though they categorised it as high functioning Asperges. 

    like Violet, getting that diagnosis finally made everything make sense to me. The high IQ, seeing the world differently from everyone else, not fitting in, all made sense to me. I have since come to see that despite my brain being wired differently from everyone else it is not a curse, it is a gift and I can use that gift to reach people who have similar gifts, to empathise with them, to understand them, to love them and to love myself...no longer "the weird kid" ..flawless, unique, special.



  • joannarashelle
    joannarashelle Community member Posts: 135 Pioneering
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  • DianaW
    DianaW Community member Posts: 30 Connected
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    But surely there's more to this diagnosis than just the combination of "high IQ, seeing the world differently from everyone else, not fitting in" ?

    One could say all that about me but no doctor has ever suggested that I could possibly have this condition, as opposed to having had very clever parents and having been put into the wrong year when I first went to primary school, which was socially disastrous. Add in a narcissistic and deeply controlling mother, a bipolar brother with an unacknowledged personality disorder and far too much experience of being bullied and what do you get? Not necessarily ASD, surely?
  • joannarashelle
    joannarashelle Community member Posts: 135 Pioneering
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    @DianaW
    Hello Diana how are you hope you're well
  • joannarashelle
    joannarashelle Community member Posts: 135 Pioneering
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    @DianaW

    Hello Diana how are you
  • HS2
    HS2 Community member Posts: 2 Listener
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  • HS2
    HS2 Community member Posts: 2 Listener
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    Hi

    Well I'm 49 and I got a diagnosis of Aspergers Syndrome last year.

    My wife read your blog. I think it opened her eyes quite a bit.

    I think when you know you don't quite fit in it leaves you asking why.

    The catalyst for me was when my daughter went for the assessment and got the diagnosis.

    After much thought I took the plunge. It was absolutely no surprise to me that I was diagnosed.

    Thank you for your excellent article. My wife had a lightbulb moment having read it
  • joannarashelle
    joannarashelle Community member Posts: 135 Pioneering
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    Hello @DianaW itw more to do with how our brains work than what has happened to us if that makes sense
  • tracybates
    tracybates Community member Posts: 3 Listener
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    DianaW said:
    But surely there's more to this diagnosis than just the combination of "high IQ, seeing the world differently from everyone else, not fitting in" ?

    One could say all that about me but no doctor has ever suggested that I could possibly have this condition, as opposed to having had very clever parents and having been put into the wrong year when I first went to primary school, which was socially disastrous. Add in a narcissistic and deeply controlling mother, a bipolar brother with an unacknowledged personality disorder and far too much experience of being bullied and what do you get? Not necessarily ASD, surely?
    Hi Diana, I agree there is much more to the diagnosis than just the combination of "high IQ, seeing the world differently from everyone else, not fitting in"  these things in isolation are not always indicators of ASD . Autism has a very broad spectrum, everyone is different and there are far more factors involved in my diagnosis than I have listed. Diagnosis or statementing, is not given lightly, it is the result of testing and analysis. 
    so rather than it being a negative label for me my Diagnosis made sense.

  • DianaW
    DianaW Community member Posts: 30 Connected
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    I appreciate that, for you, this diagnosis was helpful. For me, the mere hint of its being somehow a possibility is an alarming one because it seems to echo all the familial abuse that I encountered over the decades, some very recently.

    Are there other major indications of ASD which one should know about, to reinforce either its inapplicability to me or the reverse?
  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,665 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi @DianaW there is quite a bit of info on ASD here but of course no one can offer diagnosis over the internet.  If you are concerned, you should seek professional support and information, your GP would be a great start.

    I think the stories shared here shows that an ASD diagnosis doesn't stop you leading a happy life, it means that you can get the support that you may need.  
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • joannarashelle
    joannarashelle Community member Posts: 135 Pioneering
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    Hello @DianaW

    Totally get why you may be feeling alarmed, try and remember it's how we with Autism/Aspergers perceive things differently to others that can cause our anxiety and often bewilderment. 
    It's not what has happened to us though goodness only knows I know first hand about abuse in all it's forms
  • joannarashelle
    joannarashelle Community member Posts: 135 Pioneering
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    @DianaW
    But I found if we know we have autistic traits we can protect ourselves more adequately from how life's events and stimuli can affect us so dramatically
  • DianaW
    DianaW Community member Posts: 30 Connected
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    I wasn't at all concerned until I read this thread, Sam!

    It's left me feeling distinctly unsettled but I don't think that I should be bothering my GP with what I really don't believe to be a relevant possibility.

    Surely self-knowledge is always useful in that way, no matter whether someone has autistic traits or not, joannarashelle?
  • joannarashelle
    joannarashelle Community member Posts: 135 Pioneering
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    Best to be equipped in all ways we can be
  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,665 Disability Gamechanger
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    Oh wow! So did you think you may have austistic traits before reading this or after? What is it that is worrying you @DianaW
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • Ariel
    Ariel Community member Posts: 16 Courageous
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    @DianaW

    High IQ, seeing the world differently and not fitting in does simplify it significantly.

    A lot of autistic people are subject to a lot of negative treatment growing up, and so it can be difficult to separate cause and effect, but the professionals know what they're looking for. I found that the things that helped me to determine that my traits were not just the result of my past were specifically how autistic people 'see the world differently'. The sensory issues, for example. The black and white thinking. The rigidity and inflexibility over, frankly, quite ridiculous things.

    Social aspects, meltdowns/shutdowns and even special interests, could perhaps have been explained away as the impact of my childhood, but other things couldn't so easily. And it's the combination of these many factors that led me to my diagnosis, though importantly not all autistic people display exactly the same combination - diagnosis comes from showing enough of them in combination, AND that they must have been present throughout your life, AND that they must be causing some level of difficulty/negative impact.

    Additionally, I do think that it is worth taking a lot of time to think over your life before convincing yourself either way, if you are now wondering. If you have seen yourself as 'normal' all your life, it takes a long time to recognise how many of your behaviours are not. Interestingly, people are not likely to have pointed them out to you (though, if you're anything like me, it will explain all of those failed social interactions once you realise!). Even my husband came up with a whole list of 'weird' things I did, during my diagnosis, which he had never before pointed out as unusual! And even though I'd gone through a period of self-diagnosis before visiting my GP, looking for every possible confirmation that I was autistic, I was still discovering all of my autistic traits and behaviours months after I was diagnosed.
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