What it’s like to receive an Asperger diagnosis as an adult

Today I want to write about something a bit different. So far, my method of writing about what it’s like to have Aspergers has been by interpreting situations that were confusing at the time in the light of what I now know about Aspergers. I’ve been analysing and interpreting my life, in the hopes of helping others with Aspergers understand their own lives, or the lives of those they know with Aspergers.

Today I want to write Aspergers from a different perspective. To write about what it’s like, as an adult in one’s thirties, to receive a diagnosis, to disclose it, and to thus suddenly have the label of ‘Asperger Syndrome’ and consequently ‘disabled’ attached to oneself.

It is a strange experience. A couple of weeks ago I gave a short presentation on ‘What it’s like to live with Aspergers’, as part of an autism awareness training thing that the NAS were doing. And when I was planning my presentation I realised that what the question really meant, for me, was simply ‘What is it like to be me?’ And then it was a question of differentiating which parts of me are different from ‘normal people’ and which parts are just parts of being human – which is quite an impossible task.

Some people are born with an obvious disability, and grow up knowing they’re disabled. Other people may have an accident at some point in their life, and then become disabled – with a clear differentiation of what life was like before and what it is like now. Neither of these apply to me. I’ve grown up being simply me. I’ve felt a bit weird, and found life confusing, and found other people hard to understand – but my understanding was simply that life is tough, and maybe tougher for some than for others. So I never understood these things in terms of me being disabled in any way. In my mind, disabled people were a category which didn’t include me.

I actually first read about Asperger Syndrome when I was about 19. It was just starting to get media attention as a form of autism. I read an article in the Times newspaper, and felt indignant. I knew it was describing me. I knew that some people didn’t like me being the way I am, and that they wanted me to be more sociable, just because they were sociable. I thought it was most egocentric of them to want everyone to be like them, and I was highly indignant that an even bigger ‘they’ had now decided (as I saw it) to define people who were different from them as having a ‘syndrome’.

So I dismissed the article with contempt and didn’t think about it any longer. At least not for several years. Then, as I worked in health care jobs and in schools, I came more in contact with the idea of autism and started to read about it. And I realised from what I read that I clearly had Asperger Syndrome. But it still didn’t mean anything to me – because although what I read described me perfectly, I didn’t actually have a diagnosis, and therefore the label didn’t apply to me. And it didn’t have to, because I didn’t need a diagnosis.

However, there came a point where I realised I actually did need a diagnosis. I’d gone back to college, and realised that it was very different from what it was like when I was 18. Partly because teaching styles are different, partly because rules are different, partly because of intense fluorescent lighting, and partly because I was doing a very different sort of degree from the one I did at 18. I found myself becoming unwell with sensory overload and stressed with confusion, but when I tried to ask lecturers to alter things a bit for me – such as to have one row of lighting turned off, and to put the powerpoints on the intranet ahead of time so I could read them beforehand, and to let me have regular appointments with them where I could ask questions to make sure I understand exactly what I was supposed to be doing – they were very unwilling, and saw me as being difficult and demanding. And so I got a diagnosis, got it approved by the NHS, and suddenly I was a disabled student, and I could get a needs assessment, and a disabled students allowance.

And in many ways it was great. The lecturers were more understanding of my needs, I was allowed to switch to part time attendance, they put powerpoints up ahead of time, I got a support worker who I could see every week to help me with organisation, and I got Irlen lenses and a laptop with software that makes the screen easier to read. All that was fantastic, and made a huge positive impact on my experience of college. I began to enjoy it, to understand what I was learning, to do consistently well in assignments and exams. I no longer felt constantly overloaded and exhausted. All that was wonderful.

But in other ways it was not quite so great. In smaller, less immediately noticeable ways, that sort of creep up on you. Although I’d known for ages that I’d had Aspergers, a diagnosis somehow makes it more real. Also, observing how the support I got made such a difference to me made me realise that actually, yes, I am kind of disabled. I didn’t know things could improve this much – and the improvement really highlights to me how bad things were before, even before I was studying. The amount I was struggling was not normal. And this makes me more aware of my weaknesses, my difficulties, my vulnerability. And that is a bit scary – especially when I think of the future, and how I will cope with old age, when I may not have the energy to maintain all my coping strategies.

Also, telling people I have Aspergers can be an odd experience. Quite a few people get a sympathetic look in their eyes – as if I’d told them I was dying or something! I do not want sympathy – I’m just trying to explain who I am and how my mind works, so people can understand me. The sympathy seems to create a ‘them and us’ feeling, which makes me a bit uncomfortable.

With people who’ve known me for years, such as family, then a different sort of issue arises. They’ve always known me as a non-disabled person (weird, yes, but not disabled) and I haven’t changed, so the conclusion that some of them draw is that clearly ‘Asperger Syndrome’ doesn’t really exist, because I’ve gone all these years without the label. Some see it as a potential ‘excuse’ – my dad told me quite openly that he didn’t want me to have the label of ‘Asperger Syndrome’ because I would use it as an excuse not to tidy my house. This quite bewildered me; I replied to him ‘Dad, in all these years that I haven’t had a diagnosis, my house has always been untidy. So, even if I did use it as an excuse, how is my label of Asperger Syndrome going to change anything?’

Then there are the people who have known me a little, and to whom I’ve always seemed quite ‘normal’ (I’m fairly good at faking ‘normality’ when I don’t know people well) so they refuse to believe I could possibly have Asperger Syndrome, because in their mind people with Asperger Syndrome sit in a corner and rock, or have a certain air about them that I don’t have.

And there are the people who say ‘Oh, what you are describing is normal – I get that too. Everyone gets it.’ I’m not quite sure what to make of that one – I mean, of course my experiences won’t be totally alien to non-autistic people, because we are all human beings and so we share the human experience, so it’s surely a matter of degree, and the fact that I have to rely more on certain mental processes because the others don’t work so well. Or are they saying that I am describing normality and pretending it’s a disorder? In which case, surely they’d have to write to the people who write up the DSM, as they are the ones who define disorders, not me.

Of course, not everyone responds in these ways. Many respond in a positive, open way, and want to learn more about Aspergers to understand me. A few, who already had quite a bit of experience with people on the autistic spectrum, have told me that they’d guessed that I had Aspergers, or that it doesn’t surprise them in the slightest. Everyone responds differently – and that itself can be quite nerve-wracking, because it’s hard to predict how people will respond, or whether I should tell them.

So, although in many ways getting a diagnosis has been a very positive experience, there is also something quite exhausting and disspiriting to be landed with a diagnosis when you’re well into your adult life, when you’ve already developed a whole host of strategies and behaviours to fake ‘normality’, and when people have known you for quite a while without this label attached to you. Particularly as Asperger Syndrome simply wasn’t around as a diagnosis until relatively recently, so it seems to many people to be a newfangled meaningless thing. They see it rather as I saw it when I first heard of it – that people have decided to invent a disorder to explain away people who are different. Except many see it, as my dad sees it, that people have invented a disorder to ‘excuse’ certain behaviours which would otherwise be unacceptable. Which I find rather daft, since I’ve always turned myself inside out trying to figure out what appropriate behaviour is and to imitate it. I make mistakes – but I’ve always made mistakes. It’s not like I suddently started making them because my diagnosis has given me an excuse. I’m making them for the same reason I always did – because I genuinely find it difficult to always understand what to do.

I guess I’ve used this entry to have a bit of a moan! But I wrote it because I realised that I was having a lot of conflicting feelings about my diagnosis, and I wanted to explain them – because it dawned on me that the experience of having Asperger Syndrome isn’t just about the traits of Aspergers, such as taking things literally, having difficulty with multitasking, having sensory sensitivity, etc. It can also be about the whole experience of having a label, how that label influences your self-image, how others respond to that label, the effect of others’ responses on you. And I imagine people with different labels can also relate to what I have written here, particularly labels to ‘invisible disabilities’ – because having Asperger Syndrome doesn’t make me an alien species! I am human, and I write about the human condition, and in particular how it is experienced by me, a person on the autistic spectrum.

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42 Comments

  1. So glad that you are writing again.

    I have had the naysayers, and for the most part, when I start mentioning odd things about me that they can in no way relate to, I get the, “Oh, yeah. You do have that.” What seems to make them naysayers in the first place is my ability, which has been learned, to hold a conversation and ask the right questions and nod my head at the right times.

    As always, enjoyed your post.

    • Thank you. I hadn’t written for a while, because I was busy with college, and I have difficulty with multitasking, but now it’s the holidays, I can focus on my blog again. 🙂

      And yes, I think it is the same with me, that I have learnt the ability to do the right things in a conversation. They do not come automatically, but I can learn them, so I do.

  2. I love this post! I can really relate to lots of what you have said though I am dyslexic not aspergers, though I have never actually been diagnosed. It wasn’t until I was almost finished uni that I thought I should look up what dyslexia was, though my Mum had mentioned it earlier that she thought I had it I hadn’t paid much attention or really known what it was. I cried when I started researching it all because I fitted so many of the things and had always just thought I was stupid. I have found peoples reactions when I tell them similar to yours, they don’t believe me, think its normal and that everyone has it, think its just an excuse and then there’s those who understand and are fantastic. A colleague of mine daughter is dyslexic and talking to her about the challenges that her daughter has faced has been so great because I have learnt about the little and weird things that I thought was just me going mad. Good on you for writing this, I am very tempted to write a similar one myself.

    • Thank you. I enjoyed your post too.

      I also cried when I first started researching Aspergers and realised how much it applied to me, and how things started to make more sense. And I definitely find that parents of children on the autistic spectrum understand better, because it affects them personally. People often have a difficulty understanding things that don’t affect them personally. I think everyone has empathy difficulties when something is too far from their own experience.

  3. Pingback: Dyslexia « Kelliefish13's Blog

  4. I could just about copy and paste this into my blog…you articulated it so much better than I did. I just got my dx at the age of 52, and am just now disclosing it to a few people at a time. You describe the kinds of reactions people have perfectly!

  5. My husband has Asperger’s syndrome and was diagnosed as an adult about 10 years ago (before I met him). When I learned he had Asperger’s, I “Googled” it, and what I read/drew from that was “highly intelligent,” focused, and skilled in his chosen field of employment. It attracted me to him more. Yet I still have trouble understanding just what is his HIM versus what is HIM with Asperger’s. One book that helped, oddly enough, was a children’s book, “All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome,” because his reaction was to say “How did the author know that about me? She must have been following me around.” That was his way of saying it struck home and that this was an allegory for some of the things he feels. We keep on growing as a couple (been together over 5 years), and I’m sure I will continue to learn about what Asperger’s is just as I will continue to learn about and appreciate the individual who is my husband, and vice versa — he has to continually learn what it’s like to live with a “neurotypical” who’s not so typical.

    • I honestly find it impossible to separate what is me from what is Aspergers, because Aspergers is part of me – it’s the way my brain works, so I’d be a different person without it. I wouldn’t be me.

      I haven’t yet read ‘All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome’, but I’m very curious to read it, so I will try to get myself a copy to read.

      I’m glad things are going positively for you and your husband. I think trying to understand each other is the most important thing.

      • Hi. I loved our post. My husband of 30 years was diagnosed 2 years ago (this month). I found your remarks very enlightening. I think he could have written it, but writing about feelings is something that is very difficult for him. When life is very difficult (less and less now that we (as a family) are beginning to accept the diagnosis I have learned to seperate the Aspergers from him. My mom put it best.. She said. You love your husband, but you don’t love the negative aspects of the Aspergers. We have purchased and read many different books on Aspergers and with each one I find that he relaxes more. I think he likes knowing that the difficulty he feels in relating to others has a reason.
        Thanks for posting. The other mountain we have as a family is helping our children (grown) understand more about the diagnosis and how it has affected his role as their father through the years.

  6. Having been diagnosed this year at 43, your blog mirrors my experience. I am also very thrown by people saying that they, too, behaved in some of the ways I describe. I take it that they’re saying that I am ‘normal’ and don’t have Aspergers – but I don’t know if they think this reassures me (it doesn’t – I know I’m different!) or if they’re dismissing me. The diagnosis was a huge relief to me – being anti-social and not ‘warm’ to people always had negative connotations and made me feel I’d failed; now I know that is is just who and what I am. I no longer judge myself so harshly. I’ve also now walked away from a job that caused me enormous difficulties. Before, I thought everyone struggled the same way – life is just tough – but now I’m away from it I know what it is to be happy, content and without extreme anxiety every day!

  7. That’s a really interesting post, particularly the section about disability, and the adjustments that you needed ppl to make. I’m not sure that requiring ppl to make adjustments actually means you are disabled – perhaps in some cases it means that the standard approach is just wrong.

    I’m not putting this well. For example, the majority of kitchens have cupboards at a particular height. My mother had a kitchen designed that had lower cupboards that she could actually reach. But being 4’10” isn’t a disability, and having to have cupboards at a different height is actually pretty sensible – even average height ppl don’t tend to be able to reach to the back of the high shelves in ordinary cupboards. So maybe it’s the mainstream way of doing things that’s wrong.

    Did that make any sense? I apologise if it didn’t, and I don’t wish to detract from your feelings about your label in any way.

    Thank you for writing.

    • Yes, I know what you mean. The social model of disability – the idea that people are disabled by society’s lack of adjustments rather than by anything intrinsically wrong with them. It’s a complicated concept, disability in general, because it’s inevitably relative to what is considered the ‘norm’. For instance, if no one had legs, then having no legs wouldn’t be a disability.

      How I see it is more that if I am dependent for my health and wellbeing on other people making adjustments – and adjustments that they wouldn’t automatically make, and which I have to specially request, and which there is no guarantee that I will get once I leave college – then that does kind of compromise my independence a bit, and puts me in a bit of a vulnerable position.

      I imagine being 4’10” would be a bit different, because people can easily see if you can’t reach something and they would have no problem reaching it for you, whereas the differences of Asperger Syndrome are not visible in this way and so people don’t really understand and thus see no need to adjust. Of course, if it were a society where Asperger Syndrome were the norm, and easily understood and accepted as simply a way of being, then it wouldn’t be a disability. So it is dependent on society.

  8. About the idea that a diagnosis is an excuse… I don’t think “excuse” is really the right word, but if I’m totally honest with myself, I can see that now that I have the diagnosis, sometimes I feel like giving up trying to do some things that I’ve always struggled with. I’m having a hard time differentiating between things that I might be able to “get” if I work hard enough (but I’m over 40, for heaven’s sake, so how long is it going to take?!) and things that I’m never going to “get” no matter how hard I try.

    I feel like the diagnosis took away some of my sense of efficacy.

  9. Very interesting. My son was diagnosed at 9 1/2 which is quite late in Australia and meant he missed out on the free early intervention for kids 0-5. However, he (and I) were so relieved to get a diagnosis. As he saw it, it meant that that there was nothing wrong with him: he wasn’t stupid, naughty, weird (which is what some kids and teachers had told him), his his mind just worked differently to others and it explained things, like why kids his own age treat him differently. He now qualifies for an extra 8 hours of help per week at school – which has made a world of difference – and extra visits to the paediatrician and a psychologist which are subsidised by the government. The school has been a great support, tailoring teaching to suit him – for example, he is allowed to use a computer in class because he can write and get things like spelling and maths write on the computer, but not if he has to handwrite it, because he has huge handwriting problems.
    The diagnosis has really helped me to improve my parenting of him too, and support him with his struggles and achievements.
    Thanks for sharing your experiences. xo

  10. Thank you for writing in your blog! I love it! My oldest was diagnosed just last month, but I fought for years to get someone to believe me and to find the right doctor to come up with a dx(PDD-NOS, anxiety disorder and communication disorder). I couldn’t take the stress of all the problems that came with him attending public school so now he is homeschooled…now we are finding other groups to socialize with – for my sanity as much as his opportunity to learn how to deal with people. I don’t know how many times I have jumped up and down, screaming at people bc they would say “oh, he’s just a little boy!” I would say you haven’t spent enough time with him – it’s not obvious and he goes weeks with minimal issues and then BAM – it’s awful! It is an invisible disability! PLEASE keep blogging when you can – you give this NT mom insight into my son’s brain and that…is priceless!!!!

  11. I’ve been looking up AS for some time and believe that I have it. At first I was unsure about seeking a diagnosis because, at the time, there was no reason to have one. Now, however, I’m contemplating going back to school. The mere thought scares me because I didn’t do well in school because of over-stimulation. I feel like receiving a diagnosis will make things easier.

    How did you receive an adult diagnosis? There are few resources out there and I am left confused!

  12. Thank you for this very thoughtful and insightful post. I am in my 50s and only just discovering Asperger’s and it is dawning on me how much in common I have with other women with Asperger’s. Totally relate to the disability angle, too, as I also have an invisible physical illness which is classified as a disability.

  13. Yes I definitely know the feeling of being diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome as an adult. I just got diagnosed myself and I am 29. In a fashion its a great relief because it really nails my inability to get into meaningful relationships in prospective. I can look back and say it wasn’t my fault for this and that. Still with all the wrongs done to me by other people because they took me the wrong was is sad. It shows how many people do not give someone enough time, get to know them. Well now that I am coming to terms with it I am looking forward to wading through this personal challenge! ~D

  14. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    Me too, to what you’re saying!
    Same age finding out about this just now, trying to figure out what to do!
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart. 🙂

    Also like you, from your other article about how to get to sleep (It is four am and I have been up since 1 trying to get back to sleep), it is so funny, a few months ago (before the AS pieces started to come together in my awareness) I bought a dozen hypnotic tapes to try to deal with my issues. Now I know I enjoy them because of the theta waves (I am never relax or chill it seems, always wound up in my mind even when my body is exhausted).

    Thanks for all your insights, it is like you are writing for me.

  15. I am so glad you have written this blog post, as it explains precisely how I feel but couldn’t find the words to say. I was diagnosed at 24, approximately 6 months after finishing university which drove me to a nervous breakdown; I just wish I had a diagnosis before then so I could have accessed some support.

    Please keep writing your blog, I am finding it so interesting to hear about somebody who is in a similar situation to me, as I struggle to communicate and have actually used posts from this blog to help people understand my viewpoint on the world.

    Laura 🙂

  16. *nods solemnly* I received my official diagnosis last March, after having tried for several years. We – my parents and I, as well as my sister who is now an SLP – have known that I’m an Aspie since I was in my mid-twenties, at the latest. I think early twenties, actually. I’m now in my mid-thirties.

    There are a number of places here in Canada (the ILRCs, some of the Autism Societies, etc.) that say you don’t need a formal diagnosis to be helped. (Not that a formal diagnosis helped with the Autism Society of Newfoundland and Labrador, but that’s a different story.) However, if you intend to get *any* supports – like an OT (Occupational Therapist), a Retirement Disability Savings Plan, a Disability Tax Credit, or a lot of other things, you need that piece of paper that says, yes, you have a disability.

    The last three years I spent living in Toronto (my hometown all my life, before I moved to St. John’s in Aug. 2010), I was seeing a wonderful psychologist. He was great… but he didn’t have any training in dealing with ASD. And he didn’t understand why I felt the need for a diagnosis. We discussed it a number of times.

    The thing is, I *knew* I was an Aspie. I had a breakdown in the spring of 2007 because my sister sent me some information on ASD, and it hit too close to home. (We suspect now that it was partly because of relief: a sense that, “Hey, there are other people like me out there – I’m *not alone in this*.”) But I didn’t have a lot of information on what being an Aspie *meant*, and I only had one friend who was ASD and so understood.

    Before I moved to St. John’s, my mother went and worked with the ASNL to try to get help and information for me (pretty much unsuccessfully, but like I said above, that’s a different story). My sister (who was staying with our parents at the time for her last course needed for Canadian certification as an SLP) found out that the friend of a friend was an Aspie, and arranged for us to meet. Now *that* was great. We’ve become good friends, in a large part because we *understand* each other so well. (Admittedly, it helps that our symptoms are remarkably similar in most ways. But even so.) He recommended _All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome_ to us (it’s by Kathy Hoopman, if anyone reads this who hasn’t read it) – and everyone I’ve shown it to since, who doesn’t have a copy, has wanted one. He was also the one that told me how he got *his* diagnosis, which enabled me to go the same route. The whole thing also encouraged both my father and myself to do some more research on books on ASD, and we found a few that helped.

    So, when I got my official diagnosis, I was more relieved than anything else. I could *get help* now!

    And then, of course, we ran into the roadblocks of: well, she has an IQ of more than 70 (“Idiots – that doesn’t mean I can cope with everyday life successfully!”); well, her primary diagnosis isn’t a mental issue (as per said sister mentioned above, “And ASD *isn’t* a mental issue?!”); etc. Trying to find an OT isn’t easy, and still hasn’t been done.

    On the other hand, I now have an RDSP, and I get the Disability Tax Credit (or my parents can get it in my name, to help them out, because I live with them), so it’s definitely helped with some things. And I can now say with authority that I have Asperger’s / ASD, because I’ve got that little piece of paper to back me up.

    (Doctors rule our world, unfortunately.)

    Anyway, that, in a (rather *large*) nutshell, is why I felt relieved to get my diagnosis. I’ve known that I have a disability for a while (and was surprised to discover that, in Canada at least, clinical depression counts as a disability. Which means that I’ve had official record of having a disability since I was a teen. It just wasn’t of the severity that can impact my day-to-day living the way Asperger’s is), so that knowledge wasn’t really a surprise… and to be honest, I can’t remember what I felt when I did realize it.

    (Oh, and I get what you mean about untidiness. *sighs* Part of the reason I’m living with my parents is because at the moment I *can’t* live alone – I turn my living space into a fire hazard.)

    • I am so happy for you. My son is 22 and he has been to a psychologist, she tested him and sent us an assessment in the mail not a diagnosis.Where or to who can we go to get a diagnosis for him in NL. We all know he has aspergers, we just don’t know where to go.We need help, he has to move foreward with his life but without a diagnosis he can’t.

  17. For the first time in 29 years I don’t feel so different and so misunderstood, but at the same time this realization is confusing me, it’s kind of refreshing to know I’m not the only one out there

  18. Hi and thankyou for this insightfull piece of writing. I too have only recently been diagnosed with ASD (recieved the report from my psychologists yesterday) and i have very conflicting feelings about it which suprised me as id expected it to be a purely positive thing. I actually feel quite depressed today and i found reading about my difficulties in the report to be very hard and upsetting even though i knew them all already. I think reading them confirmed the all the things about myself i’ve always hoped would dissapear one day, and now i have to accept that they almost cirtainly wont. And accepting that i might never meet someone i can tolerate is tough, i dont want to live my entire life single. I also have to accept that i may never work even though i have so much potential as most work places are a sensory nightmare for me and only bring anxiety followed by depression and long bouts of total isolation and personal neglect. I totally get the messy house thing and i actually ruled out Aspergers many years ago as i thought all aspies were obsessive tidyers, how wrong i was. Anyway thanks for the post and sorry for boring you all with my self pity lol bye

  19. This article has saved my head at the moment. THANK YOU. I am 45 this coming week and was just diagnosed last week, along with one if my sons. I have realised it runs down my and my hubby’s family lines. They also suspect I am ADHD as well. I feel elated and I feel paralysed. You have described everything I have encountered with people in my search for what was “up” with me all these years. I am beginning a long journey……reevaluating, recategorising…..going over my life and those of my sons’. One is ADHD. All of us are severe Irlens. So, thank you and bless you. xx

  20. Do you think you could make a post about what the diagnostic process was actually like? As in, which questions did they ask, did you have to do any tests, did you have to bring anything with you, how long did it take, etc.

  21. I just found your blog and its as if I wrote it, I’m late 30’s and just recently discovered I have aspergers.
    It’s been a relief and a curse at the same time.
    My expierience with telling people has not been a positive one at all. For me it’s pushed everyone away – family, friend (yes thats a single). I got a definate sense of “oh, your a nutcase, that explains a lot” and then talking down to me like I’m some sort of idiot..my opinions are now dismissed.
    Thank you for writing this blog, it’s very well written and is the first time I’ve felt someone understands.

    • Joe, you’re not alone and you’re not a nutcase! You’re unique, that’s all! Just because we don’t fit in the accepted, traditional view of the world and how it functions (which frankly is pretty dysfunctional) doesn’t make us nutcases or disabled or… YOu’re not an idiot. I bet you are gifted in many, many ways. So please know that you’re not alone and that you’re definitely not an idiot or a nutcase. Don’t let the “turkeys” get you down! ; )

  22. Please can you help? I’d be very grateful if you could share with me how you got diagnosis of Aspergers. What process did you go through? Did you go through the NHS or privately? (I live in the UK too.) I think I may have Apergers as well and I’m in my 40s! And I feel very shy / vulnerable talking about this online, so maybe we could connect via email? I’d be very grateful. I don’t know much about how blogger works – I know I have to enter my name an email address to leave a comment, but I don’t know if you can see it too? So much of what you’ve written resonates very strongly with me, but I have been told time and again by various NHS people that no, I couldn’t possibly have Aspergers. So many things point to it though, and although I know in some ways getting a formal diagnosis can be a “bit of a blow” (for want of a better term), it can also be a relief… Thanks so much for sharing your experience and for your inspiration! : ) And for what it’s worth, I don’t think you or anyone else with Apsergers is “disabled”. We might be different, but we’re not “disabled” – we just have different (new) brains that make us different from the “accepted” / “normal” way of being in the world. Maybe there are some things we’re not so good at (which other people are good at), but there are other things that we are really good at (that other people aren’t). That’s it. So thanks again for all your posts – you are so not alone and you are so not disabled!

  23. Perfect explanation of life bf/after diagnosis as an adult (I was dignosed in my late 30’s after my daughter was diagnosed). Very true about “coming out of the autism closet” to my clients in terms of the wide range of sympathetic, empathetic, and confused responses we tend to get. Look forward to reading more. Thanks!

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