D day (diagnosis day) 

Oh. My. God. 

Oh. My. God. 

I have a sheet of paper, well actually a bunch of paper as a report, that says I am on the Autism spectrum. 

Oh. My. God. 

I can’t quite believe it. I didn’t expect it. I genuinely didn’t. 

Ok, so you’re thinking, what on earth is this about? This woman has been writing about probably being on the autistic spectrum, and then she’s surprised that she got an actual diagnosis? I’m thinking the same myself. 

The thing is, I thought I’d be borderline. PDD-NOS. I really did. I know what I feel inside and it’s definitely as described by many on the spectrum, and Tony Attwood’s book The complete guide to Asperger’s totally describes what I remember of my childhood. Although I thought I didn’t display it much on the outside. I know I’ve been told by a number of people that I do exhibit traits, but I wanted to believe it was mild, not very obvious to anyone but me. Turns out I was wrong. The ADOS is all observed and boy, did they observe. 3 people, as a multi-disciplinary team, viewed the video of me together and wrote the report together. 

And when I read what my family had said (my parents and sister), there was more, things that I hadn’t realised they’d noticed. 

I am in shock. 

I think that before this morning, I identified with the traits myself, I could see myself in every book I’ve read about Asperger’s and ASD. I don’t have any learning disabilities, in fact I’m extremely bright, but I was thinking, Ok, so I have a few social interaction difficulties and once I started to understand what executive functioning is I realised I’m pretty poor at it. However, overall, I function ok. Don’t I? I’m not disabled, I speak, I interact (or so I thought), I have a job (although I almost lost that 4 months ago). I can’t possibly qualify for an actual diagnosis of ASD. 

Seems I’ve been wrong about so much. How can I be so bright but so stupid all at the same time? How could I not know this was how the rest of the world perceives me? How utterly,  utterly unperceptive of me. Seriously, how stupid. 

I need time to absorb this. I need to spend time with myself, only me, and to find a way to come to terms with this. 

I had an identity crisis when the possibility of ASD came to light 4 months ago. I had started to feel less uncomfortable with it, but that was on my terms, when i could control whether I considered myself on the spectrum or not, as it suited me. Now, it’s out there. I am far enough on the spectrum to be diagnosed as such. It’s my information to disclose or not outside my family, but it is in writing now. I need to learn to be more comfortable with that. 

Please excuse me if I’m quiet for a while. I’m sure I’ll be back, but for now I need to absorb what I heard and read today. 

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Author: thiswomanisdifferent

Coming to terms with Asperger's syndrome at 56 years old.

9 thoughts on “D day (diagnosis day) ”

  1. You’re not alone, dear friend ❤️ I definitely had very similar thoughts and feelings during my journey. At least now, you can rest and breathe a sigh of relief (at least, I hope that’s true) ❤️ Four months from start to finish is a very short time frame, and a lot of significant information to process; how do you feel now? I admire your get-up-and-go 😊 Understandably, it may take a bit for everything to fully sink/settle in (I.e., “install itself”); this is a life-changer and a lot to absorb and make sense of! ❤️ I gently encourage you to have plenty of patience with yourself and give yourself the time you need to feel solid/comfortable/regrouped/what-have-you 😊

    Just remember that you’re never alone; a lot of us have had parallel experiences ❤️ Congratulations on getting this done – I’m really happy for you and I wish you the best of luck with your new beginning 😊

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    1. Thank you. I’m hanging on to the AOS idea as much as possible, it’s a brilliant way to explain myself to others as well. Thank you so much for writing your AOS post, you have no idea how much that has helped me get my head around my differences without focusing so much on the word “disorder”. Thank you. I’m feeling a bit better now a few days on. Everything happened so fast, and it started in such a traumatic way, with me almost losing my job and the sudden realisation that I fitted the Asd profile and then discovering that so many people around me had seen it, but I hadn’t. There wasn’t the realisation over some time that many adults seem to experience, it was caused by a traumatic event and that was in turn probably partially caused by my asd (a rather blunt and truthful statement to a senior manager who didn’t react well to being told she hadn’t been managing something very well, which resulted in a rather bad meltdown by me when she took me to her office and shouted very loudly at me and threw false allegations at me – most of us have a highly developed sense of justice and attempting to bully me with such outright lies was bound to push me over the edge). I was trying to cope with suspension from work (the bully managed to manipulate others to achieve that), the investigation process into the allegations that got me suspended, the fear of the disciplinary process and potential loss of my job, the overwhelming sense of injustice at my treatment for having told the truth and also at the same time my youngest daughter was leaving home to start university. To be honest, it was all so very much to cope with at the time. And only 4 and a bit months on here I am, after 56 years of feeling like I’m a bit different but not really understanding how different I am or why, with a piece of paper that says I’m on the autistic spectrum. If you’d told me on 31st August 2016, moments before I let the truth fall out of my mouth at the very worst person in the building to say it to, that on 17th January 2017 I’d be receiving that document, I would never, ever have believed you in that moment.

      However, I’m gradually coming to terms with the fact I’m not quite the person I thought I was. Thank you for you kind words, they are very much appreciated.

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      1. Omg you are amazing! I’m so sorry you had to endure that experience. How utterly traumatizing! I can’t even imagine. Yes, you hit the nail on the head – that situation combined our straightforward way of communicating, with the sensitivity to the unexpected reaction, with the sensory assault by the hollering at you by the irrational boss, and then a profound effect on your strong sense of justice, all into one single situation (!!). None of that indicates that anything is wrong with you, my dear, it’s the clash between our extra-active neurology and the semi-brutality of the rest of the world. We’re different, but not less. It’s a sad situation when the different operating systems collide in a confrontational manner. Ugh 😔

        I’m so touched that the AOS analogy helps you! ❤️ I truly do feel that way, although it’s taken me some time to wrap my head around it, too 😊 I took my first Asperger’s quiz on March 23 or 24, and even though it was just one test, my score was so well into Asperger’s/autism territory that I knew I had found my code-key to my life lol. So I proceeded to take more quizzes and they kept coming up the same way. So then I looked up the official criteria and realized that I exceeded the requirements. So once I researched and found a good specialist, I got my formal diagnosis, which fortunately was very easy. The piece of paper came in on November 4. Life was never the same again ❤️

        Yep, there are a few blogs I can recommend specifically from people who have been diagnosed in 2016. If you’re interested, I can either link to them here or I can write a post on my blog, or just message me on Twitter or through my Facebook page (of my blog’s name) and I can message the links to you that way – just let me know if you’d like them 😊 Reading them might give you even more solidarity or comfort – I know that it did for me ❤️

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  2. I didn’t know I had learning difficulties either til a year ago. I have an IQ in the 140s, half completed a PhD, got top marks in my Honours year at uni and can read Homi Bhabha’s work and vaguely understand it! Me?! Learning difficulties? Pfft.

    Until I became an apprentice truck mechanic…. I now know I have depth perception problems, am a visual learner for technical/mechanical knowledge, need to find patterns through repetition, am dyslexic with mechanical books, I need to understand how something works before I can work on it and I have eye-hand coordination issues. I cannot use both hands similtaneously when I cannot see at least one hand. I get into a mess if my left hand has a ring spanner on a nut and my right hand is using a rattle gun on the bolt, and in a place I cannot see what at least one hand is doing.

    I’d have never known Ll this if I had not undergone a HUGE career change.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh goodness yes. While I worked for myself at home, 30 years or so, working around the children and home responsibilities, my interaction with others was brief and intermittent, and increasingly by phone and computer. I worked at my own pace and developed my own routines and procedures. 2 years ago I decided I no longer wanted the uncertainty of self employment and got myself a job. I work in an office, in a very tightly coordinated and supportive team and so that we can all pick up each other’s work to help out when volume is high (its very deadline driven) we need to stick to procedures and not go off on our own methods,

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  3. Oops, hit send by accident haha. Anyway, we need to always all be working to same way or the teamwork thing can fall apart. I found that incredibly hard at the beginning but didn’t know why. Now I do and I can see my differences all over the place, even something as small as sitting next to the radio is an issue to me, I can’t cope with the extra sensory input when I try to concentrate. I can’t task switch easily, which is essential on some days. But I’m learning work arounds, and although I hate the fact that I need certain concessions (I am allowed to never sit at the desk next to the radio for example and I don’t have to answer the phone if it would I interrupt me too much (there are others who can answer, we take it in turns to answer), I have a fantastically support group of lovely people to help me. My immediate team members know about the ASD, but no one else apart from a few senior managers, and I am finding things less difficult because of the support they provide. You are right though, how could any of us know, because we only knew our own thoughts. Thank you for your reply.

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