Forgetting / Rembering you have autism

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quaker
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10 Oct 2023, 5:45 am

Whilst many of us here have such similar stories, and lots of them painful, as to how we came to the awareness that we were in the autistic spectrum, the Journey of integrating this awareness, formally diagnosed or otherwise, is often very complex for some of us. It seems the more creative we have been with our unconsciously adaptive skills, the more complex has been the process of integrating.

It is with all the above in mind that I would like to ask the question to those diagnosed in later life, how has (is) the process of integration been for you and also our there times when you forget you have autism and have to keep reminding yourself.



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10 Oct 2023, 7:49 am

I think my lifelong adaptive skills were pretty good ( although I have had bad burnouts that I couldn't explain at the time ) so integration was fairly easy, it just needed tweaking.

I have been diagnosed for over 5 years and while it is not the forefront of my thoughts, I don't know how it's possible to forget I have autism.


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TwilightPrincess
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10 Oct 2023, 7:54 am

I’m not sure if I know entirely what you mean.

Post-diagnosis I tend to be more forgiving of myself. I used to push myself to the point of burnout more because I didn’t understand why I found things so difficult. My family used to say that I wasn’t trying hard enough with social stuff which didn’t help. Now I pay more attention to my needs, so I integrate less.

I’ve never forgotten that I had autism.


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10 Oct 2023, 7:59 am

TwilightPrincess wrote:
I’m not sure if I know entirely what you mean.


:lol: I wasn't sure either


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quaker
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10 Oct 2023, 9:40 am

Recidivist wrote:
I think my lifelong adaptive skills were pretty good ( although I have had bad burnouts that I couldn't explain at the time ) so integration was fairly easy, it just needed tweaking.

I have been diagnosed for over 5 years and while it is not the forefront of my thoughts, I don't know how it's possible to forget I have autism.


Living most of my life in the unknowing of being in the spectrum takes a lot of getting used to. I often still have unrealistic expectations of myself until I realise that I'm not my adapted self, that part of me that unconsciously overcompensated for having autism... thats how it works for me and many others I've met too. I know many people who forget their autism until they are rudely awakened to it because of over expending themselves.



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10 Oct 2023, 10:57 am

Yes, I was diagnosed late, and I still have trouble taking it on board. Granted, I've been pretty much constantly wary of interacting with people since I found out I'm supposed to be socially inept, but mixed with that is a strong feeling that it's the NTs who are the real social dummies. I think that feeling comes from my pre-DX era when I pitied and looked down on mainstream society as a deeply-flawed product.

I nearly always have at least a vague awareness that I have ASD, the main exception being when I'm asleep and dreaming. It's very rare that ASD has been a feature of my dreams.

There's also the spectrum nature of ASD that suggests to me that I might not have all the traits, and that the DX might have overestimated the degree of my autism. I can't even be 100% sure I have ASD at all, as the DX seemed fairly subjective and mostly based on how I chose to answer the questions. It would have been more convincing if I hadn't known a lot about ASD traits at the time. I still sometimes accuse myself of rigging the result in order to escape certain duties that my employer was trying to lay onto me and my colleagues. A lot of us were scared of those duties, felt their imposition to be a shameful attack on our working conditions, and would have willingly used all means at our disposal to resist the assault. So there's an outside chance that I'm fairly neurotypical.



Double Retired
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10 Oct 2023, 1:40 pm

quaker wrote:
It is with all the above in mind that I would like to ask the question to those diagnosed in later life, how has (is) the process of integration been for you and also our there times when you forget you have autism and have to keep reminding yourself.
I was diagnosed shortly before my 65th birthday. I was already happily married. I was comfortably retired.

My Autism is mostly a footnote. A bit of personal trivia.

Knowing about it makes me easier to understand...for me and for others. But doesn't really change much.

There is one arena where I would like it to change stuff: healthcare. I have long asked to receive information in a form that I can understand and use, though often that is not what I got. I have long asked for medical info in writing, and rarely got it.

Now that I know I am Autistic I can bring that to the attention of my healthcare providers. I can point to this and give copies of that. Unfortunately, this has seldom caused any improvements.


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