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.