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khazen
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15 Apr 2012, 11:32 am

Hello! I am new to this forum as a grad student that is studying Autism Spectrum Disorders. I am interested in hearing back from those of you that have a diagnosed Autism Spectrum Disorder - when did you first find out? Who told you? What was your reaction and how did you deal with it or move through the acceptance process? Thanks in advance for your responses! :D



Crankbadger
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15 Apr 2012, 12:10 pm

First hint I got was when my brother told me he described me to his psychotherapist who told him I sound like I have aspergers. I didn't take it seriously but I when I looked it up, I had to rethink it because lots of people had alluded to or suggested I may be autistic. A couple of years later I went to a psychiatrist for an ADHD assessment and ended up getting diagnosed with high functioning autism. It was probably the best thing that ever happened to me as an adult. A huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. I had been trying to be normal my whole life and my inability to attain that goal destroyed my self esteem and had me deeply confused about why I was the way I was. When I got diagnosed, it all began to make sense. I overheard my mother talking about me on the phone and she said the same thing, she said "all the pieces of the puzzle have fallen into place". I was 21 when I got diagnosed so it came pretty late, I could have been saved a mad amount of suffering if I had known about it earlier but at the same time, I think all that struggling made me what I am today so I have no regrets. My self esteem never fully recovered but getting diagnosed definitely helped with it. I'm no longer ashamed to be myself. By being myself I mean isolating myself and learning/practicing science related things like electronics rather than socialising and doing the things that normal people are supposed to do. I'm a living argument against people who believe an autism diagnosis harms the person with autism. Its the other way around. Being pressured into conforming to and being something you are incapable of being is what psychologically harms people with autism. When they are diagnosed then the people around them are far more understanding and cease to pressure them to be something they are not.



League_Girl
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15 Apr 2012, 12:56 pm

I found out when I was 15 when i was reading about AS online and autism kept coming up. I asked my parents if I was autistic and they said I wasn't. i told them autism pops up when I look up Asperger's and they said it was because it's a form of it. Apparently to them, autism and AS were two different things and that AS was not autism. I also read my medical records from 6th grade and my psychiatrist wrote he would say I have an autistic spectrum disorder, mild. I didn't really think of it much back then. My parents never really said directly I was on it but I know they have admitted it because it was implied.



Max000
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15 Apr 2012, 3:39 pm

khazen wrote:
Hello! I am new to this forum as a grad student that is studying Autism Spectrum Disorders. I am interested in hearing back from those of you that have a diagnosed Autism Spectrum Disorder - when did you first find out? Who told you? What was your reaction and how did you deal with it or move through the acceptance process? Thanks in advance for your responses! :D


About one year ago, I was having employment issues. A friend of my roommate's, who happens to be a licensed social worker, talked to me. He suggested that I should seek mental health services, because he though I was suffering from major depression. He also recommended that I should apply for disability, because in his opinion I was seriously disabled. I agreed and he helped my set up an appointment with the County Mental Health. Then he gave me a letter to give to my psychiatrist, in which he stated that he thought I was "suffering from an undiagnosed case of Asperger's Syndrome."

That was the first time I even heard Asperger's, so I Googled it. Bingo, I knew what I had. I think my reaction was fine. I feel mostly relieved. Now I know what my problem is.