I’m 37 and was born in Swindon though I have lived in South Wales most of my life
In my opinion some of the biggest accomplishments are Learning to drive which took me over 2 years and also completing a BA Photographic Art course in uni while working full time
Something I wish neurotypicals (those with not autism others) knew about autism is that we are not stupid or thick, just that sometimes we may take a little time to understand certain things.
I haven’t really had to utilize any resources though I have done a mindfulness course which has helped with my anxiety and stress levels that link to my Aspergers.
Something I want to tell others who are on the spectrum is that its ok to be you. Embrace who you are and love all the quirks that you have!
I had always been treated differently by the other kids in school, I was bullied for being too quiet and preferring to play alone or to read or be super absorbed in arts and crafts. It wasn’t until I watched a program on BBC about aspergers a few years ago and started to see similarities with the people on the program that I started to suspect I was on the spectrum.
I had a sense of relief when I received my diagnosis, it felt like a weight had been lifted and that there were reasons for me being the way I am and that I didn’t have to worry so much about being different or that there was something wrong with me. I felt that I’d accepted myself and who I was once I had the diagnosis.
I still feel relief and it has helped me to realize why I do certain things, why I struggle with others and has helped me to really embrace who I am. I wouldn’t say that it has made me more confident though…I don’t always disclose my diagnosis to people as there is still part of me that worries about what others think and the stigma attached to being on the spectrum. I don’t want people to treat me any differently because of my diagnosis so have to choose carefully who I want to disclose to.
I think I wasn’t diagnosed as a child because there wasn’t the understanding around females on the spectrum back then. That and I think people (Ie teachers and people like that) were much more accepting of how children were behaviourally and personality wise. I think a lot of the time if a child had difficulties they were labelled as being slow, or gifted in certain subjects and it was just more accepted that children were all different. I don’t think teachers were trained on seeing any problems that affected children in that way (medically etc), not like they are now.
Barriers I faced on getting a diagnosis was knowing where to go and who to approach to get the ball rolling for a diagnosis. The daunting prospect of having to go through lots of different assessments and questions and answers before being diagnosed and being somewhat worried about what people will think about you going for a diagnosis