I’m autistic, but I didn’t know it until adulthood because I was never tested. Even then, I had to go to someone who normally diagnoses children, and I went through hours of testing – grueling batteries of tests – to receive a diagnosis. Furthermore, I was almost deliberately lazy at certain points in the testing, so I scored lower than I otherwise would have on the math for example. I actually spaced out and FORGOT WHAT PI WAS on the day when it actually mattered during the testing process. DUH!
It was a decade ago, when I was in my early 40s when I received confirmation that I was on the Autism Spectrum, and it was a process. This post, this post as well as this speech all detail some of that process.
There are a lot of undiagnosed autistic adults out there, wondering the same things I wondered, and enjoying varying degrees of success in life. Naturally those who have no difficulties navigating the social minefields of this world would be unlikely to bother with a diagnosis. People who have the greatest problems and therefore the greatest need for help are also less likely to obtain a diagnosis due to lack of insurance, transportation issues or myriad other reasons.
To be honest, there is little incentive for diagnosis, since services and supports for autistic adults are few and far between – largely dependent upon where in the world we happen to have been born or where we’re currently living.
Are you an autistic adult? Were you diagnosed late in life? How has the autism diagnosis helped you come to terms with your personal challenges? Please comment below!