Autism & Adoption link? and other questions

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phiz246
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24 Jan 2024, 6:05 am

Hi I am terrified to actually post ... but I need input ... scared I will have to interact with others ... but here goes...

I am 62, adopted at birth ... I have managed to wing it thru life, I have two daughters 32 & 42 and 3 grandkiddies with one on the way .. I worked as a receptionist in mental health for over 16 years then changed jobs in January 2023 to work as a receptionist at a child development center, which is when I realized that I related to an awful lot of the problems the children were presenting with.

I am currently off work sick since May 2023 when I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome that now seems to be also fibromyalgia, still under investigation. My mental health took a nosedive and I was referred to a counselor who is now referring me to be tested for autism and further high intensity therapy (have had counselling many many times over the years and frequent (functioning) depression) I even remember my adoptive mum taking me to see a psychiatrist at a very young age but only when I took my own daughter there (it all came back to me as we entered) my oldest had frequent meltdowns for no reason, up to 6 a day, constant screaming, that would last over an hour each and stop also for no reason (yep hindsight is a wonderful thing) she has also managed to wing it and has a very good job, a wonderful husband and 2 very intelligent children (youngest also possibly on the scale, but cannot say anything to her).

Thinking I may be autistic has been a relief as it certainly explains an awful lot of my childhood, everything is falling into place and that was really helping ... but ... now feel worse about meeting new people (with the new me)and I am feeling so lonely and suffocated by it all and need to talk to someone about it all ... I have very few friends as I have pushed everyone away ... the only one I can talk about this to is very unwell and due to go into hospital for an operation, so I don't feel I can bother her with it.

The person in the mirror is not me ... I sit alone almost every day ... I try to fill my days with reading (whole book a day) crafting (well I get it all out and quite often just put it away again as it makes the house look messy) and basically scrolling thru facebook, but never posting and playing solitaire (can spend a whole day trying to score 650 or less which signifies I must go do something else). This now seems 'normal' if I am autistic? I think?

My life feels a total mess and I am sad that so much time has passed without understanding and help for this ... I am now just sitting and waiting for the therapy, the autism test and a further appointment with rheumatology ... it is all taking so long

there is so so much more ... but this is a start and I am hoping for some help from people on here who can resonate with me ...

thank you for reading x



phiz246
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24 Jan 2024, 11:51 am

seems I am unable to edit my own post ... I meant to ask if anyone else is adopted and if they think there may be a link with being autistic?

seems no one want to even comment on any of what I said anyway ... perhaps I did something wrong ... sorry



SharonB
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24 Jan 2024, 2:46 pm

Welcome to WP. Kudos to you for posting.

My Autistic mother was in foster care until she emancipated. I think one link could be that neurodiverse (ND) parents didn't/don't have sufficient awareness nor support. My likely Autistic grandmother wanted to work but was told to forget (1930s) and her mental health plummeted - my ND grandfather tried to care for the kids but ultimately they were placed outside the home. My own mother would have been happier working and although she tried to make it happen, the culture wasn't supportive (1970s) and she quit and fell into a state of poor mental health. I am fortunate that I hav ASD-friendly work and I have a supportive (non-Autistic) spouse to care for our children's physical well being (I do most of the emotional work).

My mom (late 70s) has cloistered herself away. I get it: so many decades of masking and lack of support. My mom completely internalized ableism. She burned out. :cry: I am fortunate the culture is shifting and I can unmask bit, unfurl myself from the internalized (and continued external) nonsense. I go to ASD support groups and have a therapist and am quite confident now that I can stay engaged in the World in a way that is beneficial to both of us.

Wishing you well as you re-discover yourself with this new perspective.



autisticelders
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24 Jan 2024, 2:57 pm

autism is usually genetic, so the circumstance of being adopted would have nothing to do with being autistic. We are born with autistic neurology, it is not something that "develops" because of circumstances in our living arrangements or other things. Some behaviors can seem autistic but when examined closely can be attributed to trauma, head injury, etc etc etc... I did not find out about being autistic until I was age 68, when I finally got diagnosis. I only began to suspect after I was retired. I spent several years trying to learn all I could about autism and was really quite sure about my own diagnosis before I decided I needed to have a "professional" diagnosis done. Do keep learning all you can about the nature of autism, look at how you were in childhood and compare to descriptions of autistic children. Not much info is available for adults, although more is accumulating. National health in the UK has a great autism web site and has some good basic info for autistic adults, and I recommend that site to others even here in the USA who want more info about autism. the longer we have gone without knowing about our autism, the more of our past and experiences we have to sort to be able to see how our lives happened with autism working in everything right there but that nobody knew it or understood. It is a completely different perspective and will send us through a roller coaster of emotions as we figure it all out.
Yes, "I want it now"... I was very anxious to figure it all out and get some answers!
Let me say you are not alone, and many others here will identify with your post. This is the perfect place to ask questions about autism, there are so many members with real life experiences, ideas, suggestions and insights. Best of all, by joining this group, I learned I was not the only one, there were others who actually understood. What a relief!


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MatchboxVagabond
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24 Jan 2024, 4:13 pm

autisticelders wrote:
autism is usually genetic, so the circumstance of being adopted would have nothing to do with being autistic. We are born with autistic neurology, it is not something that "develops" because of circumstances in our living arrangements or other things. Some behaviors can seem autistic but when examined closely can be attributed to trauma, head injury, etc etc etc... I did not find out about being autistic until I was age 68, when I finally got diagnosis. I only began to suspect after I was retired. I spent several years trying to learn all I could about autism and was really quite sure about my own diagnosis before I decided I needed to have a "professional" diagnosis done. Do keep learning all you can about the nature of autism, look at how you were in childhood and compare to descriptions of autistic children. Not much info is available for adults, although more is accumulating. National health in the UK has a great autism web site and has some good basic info for autistic adults, and I recommend that site to others even here in the USA who want more info about autism. the longer we have gone without knowing about our autism, the more of our past and experiences we have to sort to be able to see how our lives happened with autism working in everything right there but that nobody knew it or understood. It is a completely different perspective and will send us through a roller coaster of emotions as we figure it all out.
Yes, "I want it now"... I was very anxious to figure it all out and get some answers!
Let me say you are not alone, and many others here will identify with your post. This is the perfect place to ask questions about autism, there are so many members with real life experiences, ideas, suggestions and insights. Best of all, by joining this group, I learned I was not the only one, there were others who actually understood. What a relief!

This is true, although the information available for the newly diagnosed or the newly undiagnosed has improved greatly over the last few years. If I had had the information that I can access now via YouTube, TickTock or various fora, I probably would have pushed harder to get my schizophrenia spectrum disorders removed so that I could get the AS diagnosis that was probably the correct move ahead of the move to the DSM 5 criteria. Oh well. Now I'm a decade older, have fewer resources to verify this was there early enough and I get to deal with the new criteria.

That being said, most of it is community knowledge from various people's lived experiences and can vary a bit in terms of how useful or accurate it is.



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24 Jan 2024, 7:24 pm

Welcome to WP! I hope it helps you.

I'm not sure *I* can help you, however. I am one of the many WP folk who was relieved when they found out they were Autistic...because it explained so much of my past.

And there's probably no reason to rush finding someone to talk to about being Autistic. If you are Autistic then you are Autistic for your whole life. The only thing that changes when you find out you are Autistic is that you know more about yourself...other than that you are exactly the same person as before.

If it's hard to find someone to talk to about it than maybe find something different to do...like maybe help your friend that is getting surgery.


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ChicagoLiz
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20 Apr 2024, 2:05 pm

When I was finally diagnosed, I said to the tester: now I have a better understanding of why my adoptive parents were so abusive to me. They'd been told they'd be getting a 'blank slate' who would love them unconditionally and be grateful to be adopted, and instead they got an autistic kid who didn't act they way they believed I should have.

Her reaction: every parent gets a child who is their own person and must be parented uniquely with unconditional love and support. The onus was on them to step up to the responsibility they chose to take on.

She was right. And it helped me see that yes, autism was part of the issue -- unpacking how it affected me when I was younger is an ongoing process -- but I was and still am worthy of being loved and treated well.

We are both doubly outsiders: autistic adoptees. The autism comes from our genetics. How we were raised comes from the adoptive family. Both are real components of our identity, but each is its own strand.


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phiz246
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21 Apr 2024, 8:21 am

Thank you so much for your comments, they meant a lot.
I am starting therapy soon and will hopefully I will soon also feel the same as you.