By - kushemon
Oh! I just googled the article itself and it's really good - give it a read!
I didn't get diagnosed as a child, despite lack of eye contact, selective mutism, stimming, not making friends, etc. No one even thought to check anything was wrong with me, except to see whether I was deaf (due to the mutism).
Then I grew up, learned to mask, moved to the UK, learned about autism and eventually sought a diagnosis. I was seen, for free, by a team of ASD-trained professionals. I got diagnosed as an adult woman, fluent in two languages, living independently, working in a highly specialised field after getting a PhD. I didn't get diagnosed as a child, when I struggled a lot more visibly, and (probably) showed a lot more of the classic signs of autism.
Ideally, formal diagnosis should be all about expert assessment, and we should all be able to get it and trust it, whatever the outcome. However in reality it is also about the privilege of having access to quality healthcare. I have been much more privileged in adulthood than I was as a child.
Lovely story. I had a therapist suggest I may have autism so I made an appointment with a psychologist. Then I was bounced around through three different psychologists because none of them said they were capable of diagnosing it. Finally (not finally) they sent me to an "autism screening group" which consisted of 30 people in a waiting room where two psychologists went one by one asking each of us why we thought we had autism. After an agonizing two hours they said it didn't seem like I had autism because I "appeared too normal" despite one of the things I said being I was constantly made fun of so for my 12-22 years I would spend hours looking at myself in the mirror walking, standing, holding my hands, making facial expressions, repeating things I said which offended people for reasons I didn't understand so I could watch my face as I said it, and how stressful it was to keep that oscar-quality acting up during day to day life. I told them they were ridiculous, this whole process was inhuman demeaning and ridiculous, and walked out while they were trying to apologize. This whole process took about three years.
Then I got another therapist who specializes in autism and within 10 minutes of talking to me she said "there is absolutely not doubt you have it". And my life has slowly gotten better since working with her.
Healthcare in America.
When I saw a psychologist for my diagnosis, after we’d finished the tests he initially said he didn’t think I qualified, which prompted an immediate meltdown (I know he’s a professional, but I was so embarrassed!). Once I got better control of myself, I asked him to explain why, point by point - and it was because of how well I’d been masking. He’d been doing things that were supposed to make an autistic child upset, but I was an adult and I’ve grown out of throwing books at people. We talked through it point by point and he changed his mind once he knew what was going on in mine.
>I was seen, for free,
God save the NHS
please God save it fr because if it gets privatized yall are gonna be fucked like us in the US
$2k for a zoom call where the "specialist" couldn't see or hear my son clearly, didn't believe our answers to questions like, "Did he look where you pointed?" And then told us not to worry bc "he'd probably grow out of it." God bless America, because we're pretty f***ed.
god bless us to death
Yeah sadly we also have to think about how there are still people who believe only men are autistic
I'm glad you found professionals who listened and actually cared enough to really help
The first person I went to got really hung up on the fact that they didn't diagnose me in school. Despite the fact that Aspbergers Syndrome didn't become a thing until I was already in highschool.
But what ultimately disqualified me in her eyes was the fact that I was married.
What does marriage have to do with it?
According to her it would be impossible to be married if I was autistic. So therefore I was not autistic. Despite her agreeing that my other symptoms lined up
And according to her and her website, one of her specialties was autism...
There's a belief that autistic people are incapable of relationships, especially as complex a relationship as marriage
Or only "dumb" people are autistic. I've heard "but you are a girl" often, but "you are too smart to have autism" also is such common one. Identifying myself as an autistic woman really brought an interesting mix of sexism and ableism to the light.
Which is very interesting because when people write Autistic characters they tend to right them being like ‘Sherlock Holmes very smart but socially inept and blunt to the point of being mean
Like how so many people identified with Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory and how he's clearly written with Autistic traits
Link to the article here: https://theswaddle.com/i-self-diagnosed-my-autism-because-nobody-else-would-heres-why-that-needs-to-change/
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I know a female Psychotherapist who is (in my opinion) a prime example of female Asperger autist. She is like a walking checklist of traits. She is of the opinion that her also obviously autistic daughter is in fact not autistic, but just too sensitive and „has to just grow up and get over it“. Autism is still such a niche topic in psychological research. Just because you‘re a professional doesn‘t mean you know everything.
EDIT: I know said daughter very well for ten years now. She is in her late twenties, and is currently having a mid life crisis because she still can‘t figure her life out, has no meaningful degree or education, can‘t find a job and when she does she can‘t hold it for longer than a year (that was a record), even interacting with people in her part time jobs burns her out so much she just lies on the couch for the rest of the day. It makes me so mad because she is a really intelligent, interesting and kind person, but she is so stuck in life. She‘s trying to get diagnosed now, I hope it helps her a little, though I doubt even then her family would „believe it“.
Sorry for the ranty edit, I talked to her today and I got really mad at her mother.
i’m also a psychotherapist, working with individuals with autism and other different abilities, and i also suspect i’m on the spectrum.
im amazing at what i do with my clients, but when it comes to interacting with families and coworkers, total fucking anxiety attack AND burnout due to constant masking. around my clients i do not have to mask ❤️
my own therapist believes i chose to work with this population because i feel most comfortable here rather than with neurotypical people, but brushed me off when i suggested my own diagnosis.
mind you i’m a 27 year old adult woman. shit is rough out here trying to find answers, EVEN THOUGH IM IN THE FEILD.
I'm just a 42-year-old engineer that was diagnosed as both as ADHD and on the autism spectrum in my mid 30s. I find it easier to communicate with others with similar diagnosis even though we don't initially know of each other's diagnosis.
I'm more succinctly describe that as we can spot each other in the wild. My n equals one anecdotal support of why you find it easier to talk to clients is simply that neuro divergents share communication traits and understand the nuances of the way we communicate without so much emphasis on the subtle social cues that we just don't comprehend.
My initial diagnosis of being on the spectrum came from a friend who has a long career in neurological study and was, at the time, finishing up her PhD. She said you are probably ADHD and that is confirmed by your reaction to the stimulant medication but my friend listen to me and let me get this out you are autistic. Then she laid out her argument and very well formed but concise points that she had observed over 10 years of friendship.
I'm probably ADHD babbling at this point but it seems that anyone who achieves highly is automatically disqualified in the social consciousness as being incapable of having any neurological issues. Arguments with my neurotypical spouse because she still holds me against a neurotypical standard so when I go into hyperfocus or when I experience auditory hypersensitivity or when I get socially exhausted and I shut down emotionally she's getting better but she still tries to communicate with me in a neurotypical way.
edit: apparently my recent phone update turned autocorrect back on. Apologies.
I know doctors who seriously thought that autism was a childhood-only disability. There is a legit lack of knowledge of autism in the medical field and it’s impacting a lot of undiagnosed autistic people.
My personal favourite are the "doctors" who expect you to fulfil a criteria designed for 5 year olds when you're a fully-grown established adult in their middle-ages.
Do you think that in the intervening years I may have learned some strategies to address a lot of these criteria?
What frustrates me is that I was so overanalyzed as a kid because I was having some **serious** disciplinary problems. I was like a poster child for childhood autism and they still diagnosed ADHD as a one size fits all answer to my problem just so they could medicate me.
It's frustrating when all the signs are there and an onslaught of professionals were too overeager to cram powerful stimulants into a seven year old instead of try to figure out what was actually wrong.
I've read that piece, and it's not cringe.
Yeah, same. People who don't have autism are too damn quick to assume. They don't know the SERIOUSLY FOR REAL struggle it can be for some of us to get diagnosed. Too many docs are NOT up to date, or even well educated in the first place. The environment for it is literally so bad that some people I know don't even go get diagnosed, because they can't handle the idea of having to FIGHT as many doctors and psychologist as many autistic people do.
I went to a therapist for support during my futile attempt to find someone who could evaluate me. I told her I thought I was likely autistic, and she said, "Like Rainman?" My next, much younger, therapist was mortally embarrassed to hear that. The second therapist helped me go through the dsm5 to see how it fit, and agreed that I do fit the criteria. However, she's not licensed to diagnose autism.
my case manager at my psychiatrists office (so she works in the same office as my therapist and psychiatrist) who HAS AN AUTISTIC DAUGHTER was telling me i should watch rainman when i brought up that i thought i was autistic, bc it was a really good movie. i was too mortified i just played along bc i knew a mother or an 8-12ish year old daughter with autism who already works in the medical field is not going to listen to me correct her.
she also continually uses functioning labels, including when talking about her daughter. i really pray for her daughter, i hope she gets the support and validation that she needs going into her teen years, because i really fear that she doesnt have it.
Ugh, that's hard. And you're totally right that she wouldn't listen to you. I talked with an autism mom whose son needs a lot of supports. She kept telling me my son was "barely autistic." Lady, it doesn't work that way!
Bruh these people obviously dont know about biases when researching and diagnosing autism. Like mostly only amab people where actually researched in autism studies which means afab people are less likely to get diagnosed even when they do have autism so of course people are gonna be self diagnosed. Of course it needs to change because of that ffs
I agree - it depends on context. There are a lot of undiagnosed aspies in the world and - you’re right again - they are disproportionately women
And people of color, and LGBTQ+. The biases run deep
Yeesssss. I was watching a video where a black woman was talking about not getting diagnosed until she was 30. The whole time she was rocking. ROCKING(not the fun way). How could doctors miss that??
It's incredible, isn't it?
I agree with you, somewhat. You’re right about the male-female thing and incorrect diagnoses. I also agree that people can self-diagnose just fine (although I would be unable to be sure with myself if I hadn’t gotten an official diagnosis), but if you seek help of multiple professionals in order to prove your belief, yet they still disagree and tell you so, shouldn’t there be some concern?
I got shot down twice before getting diagnosed by a specialist neuropsych. Experts who know me well are 100% confident that my diagnosis is correct.
same experience here, although i’ve yet to be able to get the proper diagnoses/get it back. i was initially diagnosed with autism, but recently they “took the diagnosis back” and instead diagnosed me with undifferentiated schizophrenia due to other disorders i struggle with. i experience dissociation but i do not experience any form of hallucinations
That's fucking horrible. Dissociation is caused by trauma and being overwhelmed, more often than not. I dissociate, too. The autism is WHY I dissociate. Whenever I used to have to grocery shop during Christmas season, I used to literally be shut down for days afterward.
Dude. The first psychologist I visited told me I was just a "highly sensitive person" when I approached her about autism. (You know, the "personality trait" that many people believe is just coded female autism because it shares the exact same symptoms and characteristics. The one where the lead author misdiagnosed her own autistic nephews with it before they got their actual autistic diagnosis.)
There are really "professionals" out here telling people they can't be autistic because they make eye contact or have friends. Even professionals can and often do have an outdated concept of autism. The stereotypes are strong.
Unless those professionals were neuropsychiatrists or autism specialists, it's 100% believable that they don't know what autism looks like in an AFAB person the same way a dermatologist probably isn't going to know what pancreatic cancer looks like.
Edit: Not that autism is cancer. It's just difficult to detect in certain people who have been masking for as long as they can remember.
No way, I'm fucking laughing. My TEACHER has been calling me a highly sensitive person for the past 3 years. She didn't agree when she learned she'd have to answer questions, but she hasn't said a word about it since answering the questions. Like she noticed that I do have some of those traits and she's been rude to me for years because of them.
I mean, the "specialists" I saw told me I wasn't autistic because I don't have intellectual deficiency (I have a master's degree and I can talk about myself because I've been in therapy for years. To them it means I'm not autistic). My therapist (who's convinced I'm autistic) was a tiny bit mad when I told her that. They didn't even make me go through any test, just talked to me for an hour. And yes, I'm afab.
So if one goes to multiple doctors and every time that's the kind of answer they give, I'd say it's not really a valid argument, and I wouldn't take them seriously.
That makes me rage so much. I feel like so many people when they hear the word disabled, or mentally disabled, immediately associate it with a low IQ or someone who is academically unintelligent/ an underachiever because for some reason, most people can’t comprehend that you can have a mental disability or learning disability and still be intelligent.
Yep. I was in a writing workshop a few months back with specifically for disabled writers. One woman had an intellectual disability on top of autism, and was very verbal with a great imagination, and another was a non-speaking playwright who came with her carer and had 4 works to her name. Never judge on appearances.
A ridiculous amount of people when I have told them I’m dyspraxic (at least of the ones who have a vague understanding of what dyspraxia is) give me such strange looks because it’s as if in their head they’re thinking, ‘But you’re n o r m a l.’
And then on the other side, I have a brother with ASD who is extremely clever but just isn’t suited to the school process so he ended up with Es, Fs and Gs, and people are so surprised when they realise how creative and brilliant he is. Irritates me that we live in a world where if you’re not technical or academic, the world perceives you as useless and has limited avenues for you to survive let alone thrive.
Yes obviously sometimes you could have something else or nothing at all i just think talking about self diagnosis like that doesn't help autistic people who dont get a diagnosis just because of them being afab or something because there is bias
My son was evaluated for five whole minutes, then dismissed because "he makes eye contact so he's OBVIOUSLY not autistic." I'm not taking that evaluation seriously
That is freakin' criminal. Many autistic people I know have swung WAY to the opposite side of the field, because they were taught it's important to make eye contact. ...And so they learn to, but they *have no idea when to stop.*
Please keep working for your kid's diagnosis.
Honestly, I just gave up on a diagnosis. Having medicaid insurance often equates to substandard care.
We homeschool, and I also dove into being his therapist. We developed a sensory diet, and he has made tremendous progress in the last five years, learning more about emotions, communicating, and coping. And when I say progress I'm not talking about changing who he fundamentally is, but helping him develop tools and the capability to use them for interacting with the NT world.
In immersing myself in ways to help him, I've realized I'm likely autistic too. There's no one capable of diagnosing me in any affordable manner, so I'm just having to be ok with that lack of certainty.
I've learned to cope the hard way. It's not been easy by any means, but at least my son can reach adulthood without being clueless to how the world works and how to interact within it.
I have a friend who was diagnosed as a child in the 80s because his presentation is totally typical, yet he can outstare even neurotypical people all the time.
For real! I learned the death stare as a kid, and really prided myself that I could make anyone look away from my eyes lol.
did you read the article?
I did. Agreed with about half of it, sympathized with none of it. That’s about all for my answer.
Edit: Not before posting the comment you replied to, for clarification.
as a late diagnosed autistic woman, i faced a lot of doubt when trying to get diagnosed. i felt the same way as the woman in the article. i knew i was autistic and the diagnosis was just a formality so that others would take my struggles seriously. i think as a male in the autism community, you should have more of an open mind when considering her experience. it’s something most late-diagnosed women experience and i think it’s worth your sympathy and understanding
I agree. I can’t really look at this from the female perspective. Though, with all due respect, neither can you from mine. My world is in shambles due to receiving a diagnosis, not because the lack of it. But as far as you are concerned, my willingness to “open my mind” after a conversation with such woman is present.
you’re right. i don’t fully understand your world being fine and then turning to shambles because of your diagnosis. for me, my entire life has been misery and shambles because i was trying to fit in at all costs and i never understood what was wrong with me and why i didn’t fit in. i felt everyone’s expectations for me and i just couldn’t meet them. getting a diagnosis allowed me to accept myself and finally be comfortable with my differences. i understand where you’re coming from, but i think there may be a certain privilege in your experience, and i think you do have an obligation to take that possibility into consideration
I never said I wouldn’t, in fact, I remember writing I was willing. My argument about privilege shall remain unspoken. You were right, my apologies, I wish you a pleasant evening with your green company.
the way you respond by defending your own statements instead of trying to understand mine shows me that you are closed minded. maybe you should work on that
I was told by one psychologist that I was a bonafide sociopath. Hence the reason I needed an entire team, yes, team of individuals to adequately pinpoint, to the best of their abilities, my ASD.
Three doctors with the wildest assumptions about autism or three doctors who reasonably assessed you and all 3 decided to diagnose social anxiety instead?
It makes a difference
But SAD is frequently comorbid with ASD. If SAD explains everything, then it's SAD, but if it's just a part of the picture, then a SAD diagnosis means little.
Exactly, that's why you need a reasonable assessment, which makes all the difference imo.
I've already seen and heard about way too many health professionals doing horrible jobs in diagnosing both mental and non-mental conditions. Things like fibromyalgia taking decades of unnecessary pain to be diagnosed and doctors dismissing everything as attention seeking or other nonsensical excuses. And I'm each day less longing to ask neurotypicals for a neurodivergence diagnosis like "hey, do I bother you enough for you to call me this thing?". I'm graduating in Psychology and with both my formal learning and my experiences I say that people with the condition will always be more trustworthy to talk about it than anyone without the condition regardless of educational level. If you identify too much with the condition, people with the condition identify with your experiences, the condition explains and validates too much of your experiences, the tactics to manage the condition work for you, your tactics work for people with the condition, you have the same struggles as people with the condition and the same needs for accomodations, there is just no point in prohibiting you from fully being considered a "haver" of the condition. What are the downsides? Neurotypicals are not the ones to say you will "misrepresent" or "offend" people with a diagnosis given by a neurotypical; and accomodations, understanding and basic decency towards you and your struggles should never be a limited resource that can only go to a few people, so people with formal diagnosis don't have to be prioritised, because there are accomodations for everyone, it shouldn't cost anything for people to simply not be jerks with everyone.
Yeah, it is a bit of a run-on sentence or two, but you're totally right. Who cares if a doctor has diagnosed you, if you're having the exact same set of problems, and the therapies and accommodations are exactly what you need?
In some ways, relying on someone else to tell you what your mental/ emotional problems are is ludicrous. It helps that we HAVE labels, and people have recorded patterns so that we can recognize these things in ourselves, but if you've recognized all these things in yourself, read a few books, and realize it's totally you, why the *fuck* do you need someone else to tell you if it's true? Sure, some people might be borderline cases, but so many of us here are like "I could write a thesis about my autistic traits, but I got told I'm not autistic after being asked six questions about eye contact and other incredibly generic/ stereotyped autism traits, and not ALLOWED to explain myself any further." Ugh.
Jesus Christ, that ended up long
Opinion: /r/Cringetopia is a shithole of ignorant, emotionally stunted people.
As well as r/fakedisordercringe. You see lots of posts like this on there, and while people faking disorders to be “trendy” can be a real issue, they just assume that literally everyone is faking it.
Might as well rename it Disordercringe
Good bot but this really isn’t the time-
What was it?
It was a preview of the top posts of the subreddit I linked
Might as well rename it Ableismtopia
I mean, none of us can know with any certainty the neurodiversity of the author, but it seems a well written piece.
Personally, whilst I may someday seek a formal diagnosis, it was relating to those also on the spectrum that allowed me the self-realisation.
So many of my struggles throughout childhood made sense for the first time when I started looking into it. I am way more comfortable being myself with this knowledge and I feel no desire to be formally categorised. Those who could benefit from the (sometimes limited) support available might feel very different. To each, their own.
I tried to get a diagnosis and the doctor basically said that since I was a girl and well spoken I couldn’t have autism. Also, she immediately began to criticize the fact that autistic spectrum disorder has a broader diagnostic criteria than that of autism or Aspergers
So basically she is upset that you could have ASD and she can't be as strict as she was with the previous diagnosis models?
Yup. And then the resources for treatment she gave me were all ABA or ABA adjacent
I wonder how many of these people looking for a diagnosis are actually going to a psychologist who specialises in autism diagnosis?
Have a friend who didn't get one, which want surprising since she was a therapist who specialises in *mood disorders*. She doesn't have any qualifications in the field so of course he didn't get it. It's not nicknamed the "invisible disorder" for nothing
It's incredibly hard to find a specialist in the very soecific disorder or area if you don't live in the U.S. or western Europe, the majority of the world is far behind. And if you do find one, they will be absurdly expensive and only work in a faraway capital city.
Even in the US, trying to find a specialist for adult ASD is damn near impossible.
I live near a huge metropolitan and even the center of autism in this major city doesn’t have a single autistic person on their board of directors. Like...y’all have one job...Maybe employee the people you claim to help instead of the parents of children who are autistic.
That’s the first thing I check when I’m looking for adult resources. It sucks.
Live in the Netherlands. Long waiting list but available. And I assume most here are European or From the US
I live in the US and while our may be easier to find a specialist than other countries, they aren't that numerous and very likely are only experienced with children making still difficult to get a diagnosis as an adult. For me the closest adult specialist is 2 hours away. That's not even getting into the cost because adult autism assessments aren't usually covered by insurance, costing thousands out of pocket which many can't afford.
A 3.5 hour drive for me, one way, with multiple in person assessments required. (Midwest US)
I've noticed this on trans subreddits too but some people seem to be really bad at finding health information. I had to find someone who was actually willing to diagnose autistic adults rather than someone who was aimed at a treatment option. Neither of them are the easiest thing to research as a lot of it is word of mouth and it's area specific.
Terrible. I was going to make a guide to autism society here but two institutions went, one came in and I realised how long it would be useful.
I don't think it's the worst idea. Even blog posts that are like 'X has no autistic board members but Y gives across more eugenicist vibes'. It's your energy though so I can't tell you what to do with it.
I'm of the opinion that I'm getting tired of this sort of topic on a relatable meme subreddit. can we go back to the relatable memes?
I hate the way they looked at this article. I saw the cringetopia post and immediately downvoted it. I think they should've at least read the article
Edit: I read the article myself, it definitely isn't cringe. The writer sounds so much like myself at the beginning of the article. I am still waiting for my ASD evaluation results currently. Man I hate cringetopia
It's like if all the mean girls and bullies had a subreddit.
I got misdiagnosed many times.
I also got told I had a physcosis episode or something. I also got told I had Bipolar.
Nah, turns out I just had autism, and ADHD, and I was shit at emotions.
Now that interests me... I also got misdiagnosed with a psychosis episode, and also (likely, since I don't have official diagnoses yet) autism, ADHD, and I'm also shit at emotions (for different reasons)
Is it common to be misdiagnosed with psychosis episodes ? I wanna learn more about this
I mean, I got told it was a psycosis because
yeah so basically i went fuckin loopy, and nearly died 😬.. ha yeah. idk why they thought that was psycosis though. I just had a major sensory overload and ran off, nearly got hit by a lorry, and got the police called, taken to hospital~. Because i was too stressed to go to school and yeaaahhhh. Thats when I got told i had psychosis 🤷.
But i guess because also you have alot/strong emotions/ no emotions. Similar to how emotions present in autism.
tw// transphobia, suicide, etc
oh yeah, stressing when having to go to school is relatable, I missed like 30 hours of classes in one semester because of it last year lol 😔
I hope things went okay for you, and that they're better now
not going to school might have influenced the psychiatrist's (well, like, mine, but I don't wanna call her "my" psychiatrist. besides, I don't see her anymore) answer, but I don't think it's just that, because the parents (same thing here, "my" parents) told her a lot of bullshit, because they're transphobic, and they think that >!I think I'm trans because I'm psychotic.!< I'm not gonna rant about their transphobia for longer because it's off-topic, but it's not even the worst thing they've said, by far.
I think the psychiatrist said she thought I was psychotic because my thoughts were "disorganised" ? she didn't explain it well, but it seemed to boil down to that. Except it's pretty damn certain I have ADHD, which would explain why my thoughts are disorganised, and I think her "diagnosis" is just bullshit. she was never even able to explain *how* my thoughts are "disorganised".
and then there's my ✨ suicide attempt ✨ (which wasn't *exactly* a suicide attempt but whatever), which might have biased her even more. again, I'm not gonna rant about it because it's technically off-topic.
also, sorry for taking so long to reply, I saw your comment immediately but I procrastinated lol
edit : also, sorry for such a long comment 😔
I've also missed tons of school. I had a teacher come to my house because how much I had missed.
Sounds like the Psychiatrist probably had to diagnose you with something to explain your trans™️. Otherwise your parents may have stopped you from seeing them. I'm lucky in the fact that at least my school counceler is bi. But I have a feeling if I lived with my Dad, he probably wouldn't have let me see any therapist, anything like that who supports lgbt.
Last time I told/mum witnessed a attempt she said I was attention seeking 💀👉👉 which is funnnn.
>I had a teacher come to my house because how much I had missed.
I hope that was the good kind of "they come to your house" and not the bad kind of "they come to your house" at least ? but any way that does show you missed a *lot* of classes, I hope your grades didn't dip too much
in hindsight, I think the psychiatrist just didn't care about me, and only wanted to find a diagnosis instead of trying to understand what I felt, but yeah, you're right when saying she couldn't say I was trans or the parents wouldn't have let me see her again, since they already did that with two people I had been seeing before her 🙃 (I don't really regret it though, honestly I've been really let down by half of the mental health system here in France. the other half is good though)
no offense, but your parents seem to suck a little bit, and I'll just say this : even if a suicide attempt were just attention seeking, maybe it'd be because the person is suffering so much they need someone to react ? attention seeking isn't inherently bad like it's often portrayed, and I wish people understood it
Here’s a little anecdote:
I was diagnosed when I was 3. I mask pretty well and don’t fit stereotypes. I have gone into many many doctors and told them I’m autistic, for them to say “no you’re not. I think you actually just have bipolar. I think you just have sensory processing disorder. You don’t seem autistic” etc etc. I was literally professionally diagnosed!
Most doctors don’t know SHIT about autism.
Yeah, my gender therapist also said hes 80% sure that im not autistic, because i feel empathy. Also he only sees me in 1 on 1 settings in a quiet, relaxing room. Ill be seeing a professional for diagnosis.
Autistics can have way too much empathy, and allistics will use this against autistics, they've used it against me, they would attack and hurt other creatures to affect me and laugh at me. Many autistics can't throw their food away because we feel bad for the food, we say thank you and sorry even for objects.
I got a diagnosis early, when my autism was unmistakable. I'm still autistic today, but I probably couldn't get a diagnosis today if I didn't already have one.
I just read the article (how can we be expected to give an opinion without reading it?) and it’s a lot more logical and sensible than the headline suggests.
I’m sure there are people out there who claim to be autistic but aren’t. However, I think they are pretty rare, and probably need help in some other way.
It’s really difficult to find professionals who understand autism, and especially difficult if you aren’t a young white boy to have your traits recognized as autistic, because that’s the image many people have of autism. This author had the financial means to at least try to pursue a diagnosis. I remember looking into it and learning it could cost $3,000. Imagine paying that and being told you’re not autistic because you mask too well.
Yeah I think the talking point of this article is more the lack of professionals able to accurately diagnose and the fact it has caused self diagnosis to be a lot of peoples' only option, than the fact they stubbornly diagnosed themselves
more than three psychiatrists literally told me i wasn't autistic, i was actually X, Y, Z instead.
and when one of them finally properly screened me for autism, i scored 180 points on a test where you need 65 points to classify as autistic.
the moment i understood what autism was, i knew that was what i am. it fit me.
psychiatry judges you on your behaviour. that method is very sexist and honestly ableist and racist and stupid. cause they only notice you if you act autistic the white-male way, and few of us do. gender plays into our behaviour. trauma. race. our lived experience has shaped us?? so a behaviouristic approach is not meaningful.
no one can know if you're autistic better than yourself, honestly. everyone was so busy telling me who i was, what i was feeling or thinking. they were all so wrong. but so confident.
i think self diagnosis is the only way to get properly diagnosed. only you know what life feels like for you, what hurts you and heals you. other people just look at your behaviour. it's superficial.
an official diagnosis cannot be required to be allowed to feel autistic. it can't work, cause not a lot of autists get diagnosed. the rest of us just suffer in silence. i was all alone for decades because they kept telling me there was no difference between me and them (because i was too good at acting like them. but it WAS acting). there is a HUGE difference between me and most other people. the way i experience being alive is very far away from what they experience. so i was suffering alone for so long.
self diagnose!!!! you are the only one with the information and competence to do it! official diagnosis should only be for accommodation and practical things. YOU decide your identity - YOU know who you are and what you experience in your body. if you feel autistic, guess what - you're autistic. i WISH i knew that when i started in the psychiatry 10 fucking years ago. it was true then, it's true now. it's true for me and for you and for everyone. you count. your lived experience is real. if something makes you feel seen, it is yours. you get to keep it, it's up to you. fuck the rules, the people who invented the rules were nazi doctors who thought women's skulls were too small to even BE autistic. no need to take them too seriously.
edit: and after you've self diagnosed, then throw the whole diagnosis away and consider using 'neurodiversity' instead. it's much less restrictive - i fit so nicely into it. and it's for anyone who needs it, no gatekeeping!
not all brains are wired the same, we don't need to be put into boxes - we need to be listened to and respected and loved and seen. we can just do that ourselves, we don't need psychiatry for that.
People take the words of doctors as gospel when they're people like anyone else. They're just as prone to mistakes and biases. They aren't medical robots who know all about the body universally.
I feel like when it comes to any disorder, you're only ever taken seriously if you've been diagnosed by "a professional" that no one will even look into.
yeah - and you can just ignore them! they don't have any authority over you, it just feels like that. their opinion is theirs, it doesn't have anything to do with you - they are just scared of losing what they think gives *them* validity. like self diagnosis is gonna water down their own autism or something lol. people are sooo busy taking everything personally when it has nothing to do with them. it's cause we're all so scared of being called out, i think. we are so alone and so afraid people will realise we aren't enough. it's a big fat lie. it's arbitrary rules. it has no real meaning. your life was always yours, your experience, perspective, thoughts. it was yours before the diagnosis, it is yours after. only thing that changed was that someone outside ''allowed you'' to feel your lived experience. YOU DON'T NEED PERMISSION!!!! i WISH i knew that before. i want everyone to know it. if you haven't gotten permission yet, please just take it - it was always yours.
don't be an asshole, speak your truth, uphold your boundaries, fuck the system, the rules are dumb and makes us enemies when we don't have to be. life is not a zero sum sport - the rules aren't even real, and they definitely aren't moral - you know better, you have all the authority over your own life
thank you. i promise i am not trying to force politics into this - but i can recommend anarchism. not for political reasons but to understand yourself as a neurodiverse person in this world.
understanding ideology and how much of the world is dogma and arbitrary social rules and expectations, and how that becomes systems that push us apart and often pit us against each other, at least implicitly... it was SO VALIDATING FOR ME as a person who NEVER thought it felt natural or intuitive with all the unspoken social rules lol.
"if i'm x, then i have to be y". but i am almost never y. i didn't fit anywhere and i thought i was the problem. nope! we made a world with room for ONE KIND of person, and it's not me. and this world has sharp edges.
understanding what anarchism was, validated me because it was as if someone told me "the reason the rules feel unnatural and wrong are because THEY ARE! you really ARE supposed to go with your gut feeling, it DOESN'T make you a hypocrite". gave me a very healthy new perspective on myself in this life.
if something feels wrong, it's wrong. if it hurts you, it hurts you. your sense of justice does not make you hysterical. the fact that neurotypicals are able to ignore theirs maybe make their lives easier - it does NOT make it good. there are pros and cons on both sides, but i mean... i prefer mine. i don't WANT to ignore the injustice - i wanna fix it! it NEVER felt like a good solution whenever people would just advice me to pretend it's not there.
reading about anarchism made me feel more seen, valid. reaffirmed my perspective. not trying to spread propaganda, i don't care if you **become** an anarchist - but maybe it will make you or someone else feel more seen. valid. like they're allowed to just be themselves. that's all that matters for me.
cause i know deep in my bones how painful it can be to feel like you have to prove yourself to the universe to be allowed to even be here. heavy guilt and shame. so much energy spent on mediating myself to the universe. like your right to exist depends on the universes approval of you. so lonely. so ruthless. i know how brutal life feels like when you believe that lie. and it IS a lie! and we're all buying into it. we're coerced into it. punished for our honesty and vulnerability until we stop :-( and how cruel that we are forced to buy into it. participate. we don't like ourselves. we think we have to be a better version of ourselves. we're removed from our authentic selves by being SHAMED for it. that shame is so heavy, but looking at it is like looking into the sun. but!! if you look at the shame, you will see how dumb it is. no coherent logic. very clearly given to you by people who don't understand you. i know how it feels when you can MANAGE living that life, and i also know what it feels like to DROWN in that shame.
i don't want that for anyone else. you have to be on your own team!!! no one else will be, we are all too busy worrying about if we are good enough ourselves. it's your holy right to be fully, completely, unapologetically on your own team. you have nothing to prove, you are already so good.
i don't know what to call it, it's like we haven't invented the right words for this stuff, but like, owning yourself. fully accepting yourself. realising how much of what you think is wrong about yourself is actually just trauma from being so misunderstood and therefore abused/neglected. being seen as/expected to be NT when you are in fact ND.
owning all that. letting go of the guilt.
it's a whole process. i do NOT have all the answers. and it feels scary. like it's not allowed. it IS allowed. more than allowed - it is your RIGHT, and it was WRONG to take it from you in the first place.
it will upset some people. some people will be impressed. annoyed. all kinds of reactions. a lot of people won't notice. doesn't matter, that's THEIR interpretation of YOU - not important for you, you know the truth.
I agree with it all, it's an amazing view and amazing text. I'm print-screening it all, hope you don't mind.
no i don't mind at all, it makes me happy and proud.
the reason i write these long, weird comments is because i've lost most of my life to that shame. i only recently-ish learned all this stuff myself. and the only way i can make it NOT feel super bitter is if i use my knowledge/perspective to try and 'shield' others who, like me, think the guilt and shame is the only option. i elaborate on this point in [this comment](https://www.reddit.com/r/adhdwomen/comments/pqp6qk/how_are_people_who_have_both_adhd_and_autism/hdcyxsj/?context=3) if you're curious, but otherwise - thank you! i really mean it. that my words meant something to you, gives my life/trauma a little more meaning so i am genuinely grateful ❤️and! for what it's worth, i know i'm just a stranger online, but i am right about this stuff. it IS the truth i've found. it's not even my own truth, that's why i have a hard time articulating it. but it IS the truth, and i think it shines through. seems like people pick up on it.
You're 100% right. I know I am autistic, too, and am probably better educated about it than any doctor or psychologist I've ever spoken to, because I have a vested interest and have learned about it and immersed myself in the experiences of other autistic people.
I've started saying I'm diagnosed if I'm ever confronted about it. Because you're right, I know myself and what's going on *way better* than anyone else. I also educated myself very well about common mis-diagnosed issues, like ADHD, to rule out those things. I'm autistic. I don't need to sit with someone who's just monkey-trained to go through a battery of 50ish questions or something. Or worse, less questions than that. I'm better educated on this subject than 99% of non-specialists. I don't need a whole ass medical degree to learn very thoroughly about this one thing that I suffer with.
Self diagnosis is important when healthcare is a mess and won't diagnose you even though you have properly researched the criteria and understand it; it doesn't mean people can just make themselves labeled as whatever they feel like and completely ignore all psychiatrists
If we shouldn't be put in boxes then surely your message should be about that and not telling people to label themselves based on how they feel
Yes sometimes all we need is to be respected and loved and seen but as someone diagnosed with Autism and undiagnosed ADHD, I need more than that, I need solutions and applicable help; if it turns out I don't have ADHD then the help geared towards those with ADHD isn't necessarily going to work, it's a lot more about relevance than you might think
I will say this as often as I need to. Getting assessed made me more confident in self-diagnosis, not less. The assessments are based around allistic concerns not autistic ones. I was given 2 IQ tests, both verifiably racist instruments.
Autistic people understand who we are. And the fact that allistic people currently gatekeep our neurotype through the medical industrial complex disturbs me.
I'm a "certified" autistic therapist.
Self-diagnosis is valid. The assessment process is not at all based around our needs.
Or even our ability!
"Hello, person who may struggle with emotions, self-expression, and the ability to speak. Verbally tell me about your emotions and life experience in a highly authoritative environment, please."
Bingo. My testing environment was not accessible.
The chair caused me pain. It made me distracted and that effects my performance I'm sure.
I'm an abolitionist and taking about police is very intense for me. The police were brought up 3 times on the exam in ways that were not real, they were like propoganda for how cops behave and it was distressing. When she asked me about fears I mentioned police...
I have a memory issue and all the math questions were done without a calculator.
The lighting was Terrible.
I did this assessment during covid and I was so nervous to leave my home for the testing. I couldn't eat. I'm sure that effected my performance as well.
I’m a little concerned about the assertion that iq tests are verifiable racist… yes there are forms that may be harder for different cultures to discern what questions are asking but that goes for many things as a persons life can in general make it harder to gauge yourself in the manner the test is trying to evaluate and even if those outcomes are different per race I wouldn’t call it verifiably racist unless the bias is implicit and meant to make POC etc look bad
This isn’t to say culture fair iq tests aren’t important they definitely are we just shouldn’t be calling stuff racist just because they results aren’t equivalent among all races, while there may be a correlation based on race and score on certain tests but that doesn’t mean that the causation is coming from a negative prejudice based on race unless it is evident beyond a reasonable doubt
Edit: for the people downvoting me when the test is controlled for socioeconomic factor the gap disappears between races, POC are disproportionately in lower classes but that’s not the tests fault but a fault in the system outside of the test. Correlation does not equal causation
“By controlling for factors such as socio-economic status and birth weight (which systematically differ across races), we may indirectly be parsing out important channels through which genetics are operating. The fact that the raw differences in test performance across races are so small, however, makes this argument largely moot”
If factors are controlled the score gap goes down drastically due to socioeconomic differences and not race POC may be disproportionately be in those areas but thats not a fault of the test but of the system so the test isn’t racist and needs to be adjusted to all ranges of people not just people in high socioeconomic standing the proportion of the people different classes are disproportionate on race but the scores or different race aren’t very different for the same socioeconomic class therefore the issue is with communication of all people in classes not just POC otherwise the test scores wouldn’t be like they are when they are controlled for such factors
TLDR: the test is not racist the difference in scores is due to socioeconomic class differences and when those factors are controlled the differences in scores by race are too small too be relevant
the bias is implicit though. and it is meant to make POC look bad. this is life, not a courtroom
How is the bias implicit solely by a test having different outcome based on race or culture… that just means the test is better suited for certain cultures than others
This just means that new more. Accurate methods are needed not that the creation of said test was meant to demean or is implicit racism
If a white person tries to make a test to quantify the intelligence quotient but their methods are less effective for different cultures but they didn’t make it easily accessible to all cultures based on ignorance of the difference in factors that is not racist that is simply someone not knowing or unable to effectively communicate the information to all cultures which doesn’t necessarily come from a bad or racist place
Verifiable racist would be it used derogatory terms in said test, or if the creators of said test explicitly stated “we wanted to make poc look less intelligent” which unless I’m missing something not the case
There may be a correlation between tests and not effectively communicating to all cultures but that doesn’t mean that the causation is racism if nothing but said correlation exists, there is a jump in premise without sufficient evidence (this is philosophy not law btw)
Life is not a court room but there should be a burden of proof when asserting a negative connotation
So again how is it implicit racism… all I see is a correlation between race not that the creators intentionally were racist.
a test that tests intelligence that is biased towards white traits/privilege being more intelligent is racist. the “good intentions” of whoever made it doesn’t change the fact that the widespread use of those tests perpetuates racism and racial bias. those kinds of tests are the racism ingrained in our society that we should be trying to get rid of
NO, because some people use something to enact or justify racist beliefs does not make the things itself racist.. the people who use it and let their biases make them ignore the logical fact that it does not extend to all cultures are the ones that are racist.
I never once denied that racists use iq test to justify beliefs and choose to ignore the documented short falls that would be obtuse, but that is the same line if saying since the nazis used to swastika as their symbol that now all Hindu and Buddhist uses of the swastika are now racist.. just because something is used for unjust means doesn’t mean the thing itself is unequivocally evil or good.
Everything develops iq tests are not different, they without a doubt have some credence in measuring G score but with many issues, many of the issues stem from communication and measuring differences between cultures, but that doesn’t mean you say fuck this it’s biased, no you see the flaws and work to correct them And make new tests that fix the flaws of the past and LEARN FROM IT
You don’t eliminate something just because it’s flawed when those flaws can be eliminated
maybe you don’t eliminate it entirely, but you should eliminate the flawed version. to not do so would be ignoring it’s harmful impact
I definitely agree and that it needs to be fixed but I see the reaction nowadays is to shut down something becuase it offends instead of viewing it objectively and trying to fix it
the thing about the iq test that i think is important is that a lot of people think it’s great and use it without awareness of it’s flaws. then the outcome of the test can change their perception of reality if they take it to be true at face value. to me, that is how the iq test perpetuates racial bias
Okay I definitely agree it can perpetuate racial bias but that’s a totally different thing from being inherently racist if that makes sense
The racism comes from people who are biased looking non objectively for confirmation bias to believe their own fucked up standards but that’s a issue of humanity being shitty not the test wanting to make people look bad
Iq tests do a good job of measuring problem solving anf abstract thinking given questions are communicated properly anf we need to find a way to make it so that it can communicate to more people effectively But it is the be all end all of what someone is capable of
I said what I meant. The impact of the tests are racist bc there is bias in question development and in sample testing.
It's a racist test.
I also think that there are better ways to assess for needs than intelligence testing. It's a weird eugenics project I did not like participating in. We salivate over intelligence as a culture and value people who are smart [a certain type of smart] over others. That's wrong.
Okay I definitely agree with the second part wholeheartedly but what I disagree with is calling something racist in itself when that was not the goal
I feel racist should be more for intentionally degrading bias not when outcomes aren’t equivalent if that makes sense
Like the issues with differentiating outcome was not necessarily meant to be unequivocally but that doesn’t mean it isn’t in outcome
But that’s when you go back and find ways to fix said biases instead of canceling the idea.. science and learning shouldn’t stop because of mistakes, mistakes are what teach us how to be better
If the outcome is racist what do you call it?
Well thing is I believe for something to be truly racist intent has to be there, ie the belief that one race is superior to another and unless that belief is evident in the creation then it’s disproportionate outcome due to flawed methods not because it was inherently racist and was made to belittle other people
This is completely different if the test was made by the KKK or something but it’s not (unless I’m missing something) so it’s hard to attribute it to racism instead of flawed metrics
Now people use iq tests as a confirmation bias to verify their racist beliefs but this is someone believing a flawed premise and not viewing it objectively not that the test itself is intentionally prejudice
We just disagree. There are so many systems that clearly have a racist impact. Someone doesn't have to be a klan dragon to do something racist.
Divining intent is not something I care to do. I'm autistic. I hate arguing about intent. I care most about impact. I do think it's possible to give individuals good faith. But I don't care about judging individuals as good / bad. That's not something I care about.
I'm not a mindreader. "I can't believe what you say because I see what you do." James Baldwin. If the tests continue to have racist results...and the impact is undeniably racist welp. Passes the test for me.
When talking about individuals? I appreciate it when people assume good faith in me and I do try to assume good faith in others [easier to do in certain circumstances]. Not always something I accomplish but I try. But mostly, I can't read your mind and no one can read mine either. If my actions / words align with anti-racist or other values, then sure. But when your words/actions do not align, over and over, sorry dude you gotta reevaluate. "This behavior is racist" is fine to say 🤷🏻♀️ they may not mean it to be and they can then yknow...check. unconscious bias is real and effects actions.
Okay I think we’re having a miscommunication which isn’t surprising giving we’re both autistic lmao
I think you misinterpreted my KKK reference as someone has to be in n that’s etc to be racist when it was more of an exaggeration of an example of other evidence that somethings intent was racist
I think the flawed outcome should lead to more refining due to disproportionate outcome but I think to attribute it as racist without other evidence of the author having said biases, now if A flawed test iq isn’t as effective among POC and it continues to be then it’s time to go back to the drawing board (how far back varies on situation)
But if the test shows those biases are shown in the test and the creator of the test has shown prejudice in other ways then it’s safer to call it racist than if there isn’t evidence the creator had the prejudice intent when creating it
If a flawed test continues to be taken I don’t think it proves it’s racist it just proves it’s flawed there needs to be more evidence to contribute it to racism if that makes sense
But I appreciate the good actual dialogue!! A lot of people jump to accusations nowadays so I really appreciate the respect and acknowledge that we can disagree without the other being evil!! We need more of that today
No I understood you. You require intent for something to be racist. My point is that we're influenced by unconscious bias so I don't require someone to be actively/outwardly prejudiced to label a behavior racist. Because my activism isn't abt individual goodness. It's abt changing systems.
I do not believe evil people exist. Again, not concerned with intent. Evil works do exist.
No that’s not what I was saying Is I don’t think unconscious bias would apply in this situation as it wouldn’t be a bias as there wasn’t the assumption that their race was superior in this situation as any racial differences among test scores was a statistical analysis of the results… and flawed systems enable flawed results to be taken from them, the system proposed
This situation isn’t just in race, it also happens with autistic people who tend to test 10-20 points lower than neurotypicals with the same score
This is in issue of communication on the test being readily accessible to all taking it giving equal opportunity of success to all taking it
The issue of iq tests is also impacted my social economic factors and not just race as children from better financial situations and given a iq test tend to average 10-16 points higher, the thing is that the issues prevail many areas beyond just simply race there is correlation to race related factors but that is not core issue and since it affects more than just POC it’s an inherently flawed system not irredeemable but flawed and need of fixing but it’s stems beyond just race but communication with humanity as a whole and it’s is a false equivalency to attribute it to solely racism as there is a hole in the reasoning to make that jump even though there is the correlation but there is other evidence to show that is the cause of the perpetuating issue. Which extends beyond just race.
Unconscious bias etc does exist but I don’t see how it’s applicable to this situation as it extend beyond race and therefore the test IS FLAWED but not due to racism but communication
I am all for changing systems like the iq test that needs to be fixed but I’m saying is you cannot in good faith attribute this solely to racism when there is contradictory evidence
I’m undiagnosed autistic, OP. I’ve had therapists tell me they “don’t see it” because I masked so well. Let me tell you why your posting this headline in “cringe” is toxic as FUCK:
Women in particular are massively under diagnosed for autism due to their ability to mask symptoms, but there’s a much more important fact about autism many don’t fully understand: we don’t know a lot about autism and autism presents VERY differently in women than it does men. It’s rarely studied so not much info is available to help professionals properly know how to diagnose.
But me not understanding my emotions, strumming with flappy/happy hands, and getting called rude or awkward my whole life because I don’t understand social cues CAN’T be autism because I can look my therapist in the eye for 2 minutes straight. /sarcasm
Edit: I saw “cringetopia” and thought Reddit was doing that thing where it suggests subreddits for you and I came ready to throw hands. Sorry, OP!
I'm starting to wonder if I have ASD, and I'm not sure whether a diagnosis is relevant for me. I don't think I need any accommodations or medications a diagnosis might help me get, so the question for me is whether strategies and techniques used by people with ASD would benefit me, and I can find those and try them out with or without a diagnosis.
Autism presents in different ways. There’s a Ted talk.
Cringe disorders subreddits are terrible. They often fake claim on things they don't understand (all systems with fictives are fake, you can't be functioning well, stuff like that).
Specifically referring to systems because I haven't read about other disorder un-cringe-posts.
"all systems with or without [arbitrary symptom] are fake because my singlet gut feeling doesn't like it"
Cringetopia is just bigotry 101
Neurotypicals need to stop acting like they have any right to dictate who is or isn't "truly" autistic.
Doctors kinda suck ass at diagnosing autism. I remember when I was a teen, they gave questionnaires to me and both my parents, in the report I got after, it said my questionnaire indicated autism, and my dad's indicated it, but my mom's didn't, and I didn't get diagnosed.
Maybe support should be given to people based on the problems they experience instead of constructing narrow categories and only giving support if people fit into them.
I left that sub because of the sheer amount of ableism
My mum: I think you're autistic
Me: *does research into autism*
Me: Yes, I think I might be autistic, can I get diagnosed?
My mum: You're just trying too hard to be quirky and special
Really bold, coming from a community of bullys. I don't appreciate these tiktoks that can be really over the top about stimming and autism when like, I'm just trying to get by and it's pretty crippling when people catch me steming
Adding my own story to the pile. I only found out what autism was... age 14ish? And it was because my more "obviously" autistic sister was getting one. I looked into the symptoms and had to fight my mother into even seeing a professional.
First professional we saw said it too hard to diagnose teenagers. Even though we went there for autism evaluations, we talked for an hour and was surprised when my mum came in and asked if she thought I was autistic. Second professional, though she was shit at therapy, easily diagnosed me in two sessions and no one has disagreed with that diagnosis since. It really depends on where you live and who you see.
My problem was literally every single doctor diagnosed me the same way over the course of years but I always thought the doctors were full of shit. It took a complete psychosis with hallucinations and delusions and the psych ward to convince me.
That’s how it should be if you ask my nutter bat shit crazy ass.
I figured it out as a teen (I'm female), after doing a checklist in HS psychology class. At 22, my therapist had me bring it up to my psychiatrist (who'd been seeing me since I was 6) and he basically said "I've known since you were a kid, but since you were already getting the treatment you needed, I figured it would be easier not to put the stigma on you." The next semester, I mentioned my new diagnosis to a professor who has a doctorate in special Ed, and she was like "no duh, you're a walking Aspergers stereotype."
Depends. I’ve heard that some professionals will refuse to take it seriously and won’t even assess the person. I’m professionally diagnosed but I know it must suck to be shut down without a valid reason. I think it’s a better idea to just get a new therapist and ask for an assessment rather than giving up and diagnosing yourself, but it’s ultimately the person’s choice. Therapists and psychiatrists get things wrong too.
> And most importantly, accept self-diagnosis. Considering the mountain of social stigma attached to the label of autism, it is worth taking an adult exploring their autism seriously.
I love this quote. It makes me feel so validated in my self-diagnosis and helps me explain it better to people who question it.
I accept that it is extremely difficult to obtain a diagnosis if you dont present classical male-associated symptoms and you aren't a child. I struggle with the idea of folks saying "well i think i have it but multiple doctors told me i don't so I'm just gonna say i have it."
Autism is incredibly nuanced and presents differently in each person who has it, which is why the process of diagnosis is so difficult.
My experience was basically having the DSM thrown at me. I got assessed, diagnosed with, and treated for:
GAD (crippling social anxiety)
acute panic attacks (meltdowns)
chronic depression (flat affect, poor executive function)
OCD (need for routine)
ADHD (hyperfixations and special interests)
Borderline personality disorder (pretty sure they were just guessing at this point, but i think my heavy use of cannabis and alcohol at that time in my life played into it - i was self medicating)
None of the treatments solved all of it, none of the medications worked for me, and by the time i started my relationship with my last doctor i was at a loss. Conversation went something like this: "either i have every single one of these diagnoses and need to be treated for all of it simultaneously or... I'm very curious and very nervous to explore the idea that it might just be autism"
She was amazing and open to the idea and ran a battery of tests to explore that possibility with me and it turned out that yeah, it was autism.
I guess my whole point in saying all of this is that yeah, it sucked not knowing for so long and having to try out all these different other possibilities before landing on the real answer but all of those above conditions are treatable and autism isn't.
So isn't it worth it to at least see if its something else and if treatment for those conditions can help?
Its a long and tedious process (this merry-go-round started when i was about 15 and i got my diagnosis at 27) and i agree that the current system is cumbersome but i can also see why they do it. They want to solve the problem so they go through all the stuff that can be treated before landing on the answer of "nope, this is just how you are". And it's certainly difficult if not impossible to go through that process of elimination on your own without medical professionals.
I might get downvoted for this but it's just my perspective from my own journey with it. There's got to be a better way to narrow it down but i can see why it is the way it is.
I "self-diagnosed" which was really just me telling my therapist that a previous therapist suspected I may be autistic but never did anything about it. Neither did the new therapist. So I got a new new therapist and she didn't do shit either. So I got a new new new therapist who specializes in neurodivergence and within 20 minutes she suggested that I may have ADHD and turns out I have SEVERE ADHD and I am also autistic! I didn't go around claiming a label until everything was official, but I also didn't pretend like I thought I was neurotypical because I was pretty sure that I am not, and I was right.
I commented on an askreddit thread years ago, the question was asking what it's like to be autistic and I answered it, mentioning that I was not officially diagnosed but that I highly suspected myself to be autistic.
Someone replied calling me a "self diagnosing piece of shit" and that has stayed with me ever since. It really hurt my feelings.
Joke's on you, shitstain, I'm autistic and I was right the whole time and had I not been a "self-diagnosing piece of shit" then I probably would have killed myself by now, absolutely fuck you and all your descendants and your cow.
It was way more easier for me to get diagnosed with anxiety, ADHD and misophonia than to diagnosed me with autism when i was younger. My special interest from 4 to 16 was theater and i wanted to be an actress for a long time. So yes, i am good at passing for neurotypical. But when i got diagnosed, it did make more sense for me to have just ASD. So self-diagnostic is valid. I knew for sure after having work with kids on the spectrum in summer 2018.
I’m not a mental health professional but I swear my boyfriend is autistic. He has a very logical outlook on every single thing, even emotions. He rocks when he sits, and has since he was a child. He can’t express empathy very well, though he does try. And in so many ways his brain is just wired...differently. He refuses to accept he’s on the spectrum because some professional said he was fine as a kid. I want to treat him how he wants to be treated, but at the same time, I feel like our relationship would be better if I knew how to be around someone like that and treated him accordingly. It’s almost like he wants me to act more like him and I don’t know how to do that.
You should've stopped after the 1st 6 words
Cool. I can’t have opinions. Leaving this toxic sub.
Medical diagnosis isn't isn't opinion
If you’re not white, a cisgender male, or a child, you most likely will not get an autism diagnosis. I, a white-passing female, got diagnosed professionally as a child, but only after six years of extreme testing and ruling out many other unrelated disorders, such as ADHD, hearing loss, and epilepsy. My grandmother went into my neurology appointment saying I had autism and the neurologist literally told her I couldn’t until he couldn’t find another reason for my behavior.
So, yes. If you do the proper research using the DSM description of ASD, a self-diagnosis will save you a lot of trauma.
It’s not as simple as this person thinks
I mean, it's three doctors. Maybe a fourth one would do it, but maybe this writer is just socially awkward in an undiagnosable fashion, you know?
I'd recommend broadening their scope to see if there is something they fall into instead.
yeah, i think self-diagnosis for things like autism and adhd are ok. its like if i were to say "every time i drink milk i get digestive issues. i think im lactose intolorant." and someone responding "no, you just want attention." like if avoiding dairy helps, do it.
That’s the logic of why gluten-free food and feeding grain-free food to animals became an absolute useless fad. People were led to believe gluten and grains were literal Satan and eschewed both until people realized gluten free products suck and dogs started dying. They clutched the same logic “it makes me feel better” which was false. They didn’t feel better because of their body responding to the new diet, they felt better because they were self-medicating a made up problem.
well i mean, for several years i would be vomiting for hours if i had gluten. i stopped eating it and i was fine. there are legitimate reasons to not eat those things, they just arent applicable to everyone.
That’s pretty obviously not what I’m talking about.
I think it really depends. Maybe they have done a lot of research, maybe did an actual test (something like the raads-r, not a random buzzfeed quiz) and then went to a doctor to talk about their suspicions, but the doctors just dismissed them without listening. In that case I can understand. But if a doctor took them seriously, listened to their concerns and then decided that their symptoms are not severe enough or that another disorder explains them better, they should at least think hard about why they still think they are autistic and consider that they might be wrong
I honestly don’t think self diagnosers are valid
Really? Can I ask why?
I think you have to be financially privileged to afford an assessment to begin with, and then the sterotypes and misinformation are so rampant that, adult females especially, are known to constantly be dismissed or misdiagnosed.
NTs are terrified of the autism diagnosis. If you are confident enough to share your self diagnosis despite the stigma and hatred people put on it, you must have some very convincing evidence and feel that you actually fit into the ASD community, neither if which would just ever happen if you were NT.
People act like the difference between “I believe I have autism” and “I have autism” is life and death. That your personal validity depends on removing the “believe I have” part. That’s absolutely fucking ridiculous. The amount of spite you get to just get people to qualify their self diagnosis instead of using absolute terms proves that it’s not about whether you can afford or find an assessment, it’s about the selfish desire to *possess* the label of autism. If the diagnosis is about your need to possess things then that’s a personal problem you can work with any therapist with well before you embark an a journey to deal with autism assessments.
I don't think it's selfish to want a clear label. I see so many people who are so clearly on the spectrum but are too afraid to say it because a doctor shrugged them off.
It is selfish, the very definition.
And despite what you see yourself unless you’re a qualified neuropsychologist or physiatrist you can’t give them that label either.
This isn’t about denying experience or symptoms, it’s about qualifying what has not been formally diagnosed versus what someone believes their diagnosis is. If people were honest the term would be less diluted, it would be easier to find resources for people, less people would be deluded, and TikTok wouldn’t be jammed full of fake autistics stimming to shitty music
I see disorder fakers running far too rampant is why
I imagine that number pales in comparison to the number of people, especially women, poor people, bipoc and LGBTQ+ people who are unable to access a diagnosis. It can be especially hard to see your own privilege.
I read the article, and I think it makes some good points. Obviously, some people just don't have the resources to get a formal diagnosis done. For them, I think that we should accept them as part of the community. It could be that they don't really have autism, but we should still give them help if they can't get it anywhere else.
That being said, the author of this article went to NINE psychologists and NONE of them diagnosed her as autistic. I can say with some certainty that she is not autistic. False negatives are real, especially in adults, but if not a single one of NINE PSYCHOLOGISTS does not diagnose someone as autistic, when that person specifically wants that diagnosis, it would be foolish to self-diagnose.
One of the points she makes is that psychologists often misinterpret signs of autism as signs of other conditions, such as bipolar disorder. However, she could be doing the exact same thing! What if she actually has one of many different conditions and is misdiagnosing *herself* as autistic?
Now, the fact that the author has never been diagnosed (and is most likely not autistic) doesn't mean that she can't be a part of the autistic community. Not everyone with sensory difficulties is autistic, but we can still help them avoid negative sensory inputs.
But let's not pretend that a single person can know better than nine psychologists who have studied the human brain for years. Listen to experts, people.
"Doctors told me I didn't have cancer, so I self diagnosed as having cancer". See how ridiculous that sounds? If psychologists don't think you have something, their eight years of medical schooling is probably a bit more reliable than your WebMD search. This isn't some cute thing to put on your blog, it's an actual disorder people like myself have struggled with. I don't find fakers cute, I find them extremely offensive.
Did you read the article in question? She's not a cute faker. Her experience mirrors many adults, especially women, who are unable to find professionals who are knowledgeable of how autism presents in women, and adults.
You think it's hard struggling with your diagnosis? It's also a struggle being autistic and not being able to access a diagnosis.
If only getting access to a diagnosis as an adult woman were as easy as a cancer diagnosis.
I did read it, and while I don't think she has malicious intent, what she's doing is still wrong. Numerous psychologists have said "No, you don't have autism". And yet she continues to claim she does because she connected with the story of an autistic person? That is fraudulent and offensive
Exactly this. You can suspect you’re autistic, and you may well be right, but doctors are qualified to diagnose. I completely understand and agree that it discriminates against people without the financial means to pursue an official diagnosis, so surely the access to healthcare is the issue here?
You guys are opening Pandora's box. If everyone can claim to have autism because they feel "different" then this is going to turn into r/fakedisordercringe
Edit: I'm referring too self diagnosis being equal too medical diagnosis. Not the article
I think that your comment is flawed because it doesn't take into account the experience and specific autistic traits of the author of the article. Did you read the article?
This isn't a defence of "oh I'm so quirky, I'm autistic!" This is an exploration of "I have X, Y, and Z specific and measurable autistic traits and I mask too efficiently at this point in my life to be considered autistic by an external source."
I hear you, though. The disorder faking folks out there are awful (albeit relatively few in comparison to people with actual neurodivergance)
Bad subreddit. Bad bad subreddit.
Please read the actual article before you make assumptions.
I wasn't talking about the article I was talking about the fact the we are normalizing self diagnoses being equal too medical diagnosis.
They should make medical diagnosis more accurate and, well, *good*.
And the article agrees that it needs to be better, but explains why it's necessary until things change.
The article is actually quite good and covers what changes need to be made, but I'm very sceptical about self diagnosis, especially when autism covers a lot of different things that could come from anywhere
It's hugely common for a person to think they're autistic when they're actually not, especially when it comes to younger people
What I don't mind is people saying "I do this, likely because I'm probably autistic"
What I don't like is any old person up and deciding they're autistic with little research and sheer confidence and then going "I do this because of my autism" when there's no confirmation you have it, because that's when false information begins to spread and even more people who aren't autistic think they are because of spread misconceptions
Don't get me wrong, I myself have known people and suspected they have undiagnosed autism, and suggest they use workarounds I've made for my own autism, and hey an undiagnosed autistic person is still autistic, but I encourage them to seek diagnosis because autism is followed with blanket definition after blanket definition and what it means to be autistic can become blurry if people are misdiagnosed and we're quite frankly already misunderstood as is
Only a psychiatric nurse practitioner or psychiatrist can make that diagnosis.
all the doctors said I didn’t have cancer, so I decided to self diagnose with cancer.
There needs to be better diagnostic criteria and processes. SO MANY women and people of color get ignored and disbelieved. It's systemic.
I'm of the view that if you've done your research, and honestly think you're autistic, it's OK to call yourself as such. If you decide to advocate for autistics, then you should note that. Of course you cannot get disability benefits without a diagnosis. As for workplace accommodations, you can technically get those with depression, anxiety, and other diagnoses. If you have to get the ASD diagnosis to get your accommodations met then it makes sense to keep pushing for an official diagnosis. But people have been saying for years the criteria need to be updated.