On Monday I had my Autism assessment by video link with two of the Adult Autism Team here in Chester. I now have a pretty definite (albeit provisional) diagnosis of Autism dependent on the final report being produced.
To be honest this does not come as a surprise but to actually see it written on an email is quite weird.
I am 48 and have wondered for a while about certain aspects of my life - this now explains a number of them !
The diagnosis process started last year when I was having some Step 4 sessions with a Psychologist from the Mental Health Team here in Chester for a number of other issues. I felt a bit silly asking her about it initially but after a few discussions we did the first assessment which was 50 questions about all different parts of my life. I scored pretty highly in that and then was referred on to the Adult Autism team. I did think everything would be on hold for now so was surprised to get a phone call on Friday to say the assessment would be this week.
People have asked me why bother at my age and what difference would a diagnosis make to my life ? I will be really honest with you - it is life changing ! There are areas of my life where I really struggle and feel uncomfortable and now I get it, I realise now I am an expert in masking and have learned some pretty good coping strategies ! I had already started to be kinder to myself and be better with my self care so already it has been life changing and that was before this week's assessment.
I will be doing some videos over the next couple of weeks talking more about my diagnosis so will share them on here as I hope by being more open and honest it will help people learn more and feel more confident with their own diagnosis or more comfortable working with people with Autism.
Since I started on this journey and told people about it I have so many people say to me 'ooh you don't look autistic' so to those people - I am and I am proud of it. So I ask you all to think about your beliefs and understanding of Autism as how do people think Autistic people look ??
This is also a useful video that I found - I had seen it before but today it made me cry !