From the mouth of the Aspie! His thoughts on being diagnosed with autism at age 35.
Older Diagnosis, is it worth it???
I’ve read some articles and peoples’ opinions about if it’s worth getting a diagnosis at a later age versus younger age. I say hell yes! Sometimes I hate my diagnosis, I still think it helped me more than it hurt me.
Being diagnosed really helped me understand a lot of my life. It helped me not feel so bad about high school because it was a damn chore for me. I was either passing out due to stress or just skipping school in general. So it helped me not feel so guilty. I used to feel that I was lazy in high school and that I wouldn’t live up to what I thought I could. But now I know it was due to the autism and learning disabilities that comes with it. I eventually did home school and it was so much better! I actually learned and was able to understand and get assignments done (though I was one credit away from getting my diploma).
The diagnosis also helped me understand certain feelings and meltdowns. For a while, I got so annoyed and pissed off at myself when I would have a meltdown. I knew it didn’t do any good or help anything, and I thought I was just a brat. It also explained some of the things I feel. Every once in a while I have a feeling like I need to flex every muscle in my body–I’ve heard it’s sort of like restless legs, but restless everything. Now I know that I need to stim and that helps a lot.
The diagnoses helped me to understand why I had so many fears and stresses. Some days I get so stressed and worried about driving even if it’s only 15 minutes away. It’s dumb, but I stress. I worry that a deer will jump in front of my car, a tire will blow, I’ll get a ticket, etc. If I have someone with me it makes it much less stressful. I will usually always drive when my wife and I go somewhere, and I have no problems. I just need someone to be with me in the car.
I know I don’t think correctly and I don’t give myself enough credit. Part of autism is just that–not thinking correctly. I’m working on it and I’ll continue to work on it.