Is it ok to identify yourself as autistic if undiagnosed?

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MJS7101
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25 Mar 2022, 4:01 pm

I am sure this has been asked here before so sorry if it is a repeat. But anyways I have shown many signs of ASD throughout my life, and my family and I are quite confident that I have it, but I haven't been officially screened by a doctor. I did have a therapist who said I most likely have a minor degree of ASD but she didn't do a full official diagnosis.



HeroOfHyrule
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25 Mar 2022, 4:07 pm

There's a lot of people that "identify" as autistic after years of consideration, and confirmation of their experiences from professionals and family or friends. As long as you understand that "identifying" as autistic won't give you the same access to resources and accommodations that a diagnosis will, and that you will have to pursue a diagnosis to access those things, then I don't believe that there's an issue with it.


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MJS7101
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25 Mar 2022, 4:12 pm

HeroOfHyrule wrote:
There's a lot of people that "identify" as autistic after years of consideration, and confirmation of their experiences from professionals and family or friends. As long as you understand that "identifying" as autistic won't give you the same access to resources and accommodations that a diagnosis will, and that you will have to pursue a diagnosis to access those things, then I don't believe that there's an issue with it.


Yes I understand that of course, and I wouldn't try to access anything that I don't need or am not properly qualified to receive. I am actively looking into getting diagnosed now. Mainly I ask because sometimes I just want to tell people that I have autism so they might better understand how I function, but I also partially feel unjustified in saying that when I don't have an official diagnosis to back it up. Thanks for your input.



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25 Mar 2022, 4:16 pm

I don't really care if someone "self-diagnoses" themselves with autism. Many times, this determination is arrived after much research.

But....there is sort of a stigma attached to autism-----so I might be careful about disclosing your autism to people---in case it just so happens that you don't have it! And even if you happen to have it! People are really funny, I've learned.

I would just talk about the "symptom," rather than ascribing it to anything. Ascribe it to "eccentricity," "uniqueness," "thinking outside the box," things like that.



HeroOfHyrule
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25 Mar 2022, 4:25 pm

I feel the same way about telling people I have autism without a diagnosis, so I sort of do what Kraftie suggested and talk about the "symptoms" I have.

Like, if I need to explain why I can't handle a noisy place or touching something with a texture I don't like I mention that I have sensory processing issues, if I have a problem understanding and keeping up with a conversation I mention that I have a verbal processing issue, etc. All of those things can exist w/o having ASD and are all undeniable things I struggle with, so people seem to sometimes be more understanding + I feel more justified mentioning them.


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Joe90
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25 Mar 2022, 4:46 pm

MJS7101 wrote:
I am sure this has been asked here before so sorry if it is a repeat. But anyways I have shown many signs of ASD throughout my life, and my family and I are quite confident that I have it, but I haven't been officially screened by a doctor. I did have a therapist who said I most likely have a minor degree of ASD but she didn't do a full official diagnosis.


It's easier (and better) to identify oneself as something when diagnosed, but that doesn't mean you haven't got it. If you and your family really feel that you're autistic then you most probably are, but a medical diagnosis is always worth the trouble, although you don't have to get diagnosed.


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shortfatbalduglyman
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26 Mar 2022, 7:12 am

For the purpose of wrong planet , yes.

For some purposes, like insurance, no

Besides not all diagnoses , correct

When I tell someone that I am autistic, by far the most common answer "you're not autistic"

They act like they know everything and I know nothing

They act like they morally superior to me

There are so many of them and just one of me

They are Annoying ass holes

So now I don't really tell anyone that I am autistic.

Usually they don't care or believe me

They are certainly not going to read a book about autism



ExcelsiorMom
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26 Mar 2022, 10:31 am

Go to a medical professional for a diagnosis. It's preferable.


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26 Mar 2022, 1:07 pm

The answer is a resounding yes - diagnosis is a privilege afforded only to certain autistic people and therefore self-diagnosis is valid. There is a caveat - you must have done some research and investigation into whether you actually fit the profile of an autistic person. It seems as though you have already done this.

As other posters have identified, however, you should also know that unfortunately you will not be able to access certain services since most societies rely on a medicalised definition of autism.


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Double Retired
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26 Mar 2022, 1:41 pm

When my bride and I concluded I was probably a "High Functioning Autistic" I knew I clearly had Autism traits but it was unclear to me if they were strong enough to qualify for a diagnosis and that we were not qualified to do a "proper" assessment. So I pursued a formal assessment from a Psychologist.

Without a formal assessment I could not have been sure.

Since I wasn't sure then if I did choose to tell someone then in the interest of accuracy I would've felt obligated to explain that I wasn't sure. But then there would be a risk they would neglect that I had said I wasn't certain and they might be unaware (as I was) that an Autism Spectrum Disorder might be mild. Confusion could unnecessarily complicate interactions with them—and it would be a shame for that to happen if it later turned out I did not actually qualify for the diagnosis.

But my concerns revolved around my symptoms being mild. In my case, there was room for doubt.

If you are certain then perhaps it would be reasonable for you to claim the diagnosis without qualification—except in official settings.

However, even if your symptoms are incredibly strong and there is no doubt whatsoever then there is something else to keep in mind. I was 64 and comfortably retired when I got my diagnosis. I was (and still am) reasonably sure negative reactions to the diagnosis cannot cause me severe harm.

I'd recommend you proceed carefully. I think your youth means you are in a more vulnerable position.

(But, if you need official diagnosis for some official reason, the you need an official diagnosis.)


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Last edited by Double Retired on 26 Mar 2022, 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

HiccupHaddock
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26 Mar 2022, 4:05 pm

I am not diagnosed but have told a few close friends and family that I think I'm probably on or near the spectrum.

I think it feels nice to be open to close friends and family. I think though it can be hard to explain to people, even close friends and family, because it autism is so complex and varied, it is not simple to explain (at least for me).

Another issue for me is that I feel rather on the borderline of being autistic and neurotypical, somewhere in the grey zone. So I tell people I think I am 'on or near the spectrum'. Actually some days and in some situations maybe I am more on the spectrum than others?

I think and really hope society is slowly becoming more aware of neurodiversity and more accepting.



naturalplastic
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26 Mar 2022, 6:32 pm

shortfatbalduglyman wrote:
For the purpose of wrong planet , yes.

For some purposes, like insurance, no



Thats a good answer.

For official purposes (like insurance, or help from local agencies in things like getting jobs) you need to get an official diagnosis.

But for hanging out in autistic support groups (either online or in real life) you dont need a doctor. Its okay to "self diagnos". The self diagnosed are welcome here, and are also welcome at the meetings of the city support group I used to go to.

In between...not so sure. I dont think that you should ask folks (like at your job) to accommodate you (for example) even in an informal way- because of your "autism"- unless you have been officially diagnosed.



rpcarnell
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27 Mar 2022, 12:46 am

I was diagnosed as Schizotypal, not autistic. A second psychologist suggested a second evaluation to make sure because many traces of schizotypals are not present, but, so far, it seems I am not autistic.

It'd be better if you got diagnosed.


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27 Mar 2022, 1:15 am

After my daughter was diagnosed I did some tests and thought I was (self diagnosed). But after some time I realised I'm a raving NT and shouldn't try and fit my square peg into a round hole.



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27 Mar 2022, 4:05 am

ExcelsiorMom wrote:
Go to a medical professional for a diagnosis. It's preferable.

At least here in the U.S.A., autism is usually diagnosed by psychotherapists with specific training in autism evaluations, not by "medical" professionals.


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27 Mar 2022, 7:48 am

I generally don't tell people about these things. I had my diagnosis 10 years ago and only my family doctor, close family members and one friend (who's also autistic) know about it. I don't expect people to know what autism is and the issues or what I might feel. They have no obligation to understand me. If I assume people are all uncaring idiots then I might be pleasantly surprised when I find someone who's smart or nice. :D

Of course you can call yourself aspie if you feel sure. Just saying it probably won't help very much in dealing with the general public, with or without a diagnosis. People here (Canada) generally don't talk about their health issues unless with their family. I have a couple friends who are very odd and I'm not sure what their issues are. I will not ask and they don't ask me either. It shouldn't matter to our friendship what labels we have.


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