For those who were diagnosed later in life, what are your stories? What made you or others suspect you were on the spectrum? What was the diagnosis process like if you received an official assessment?
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I'm glad it was helpful for you in making positive changes! How long was the process, in your case?My evaluation process was very stressful. Going into my appointment, I was so nervous I felt like I was going to pass out. It was like I was living my entire life in just 4 hours. I had to do a lot of different types of tests, which was a lot to take in at the time.
I was afraid at first to make any mistakes, but later on decided to let it go. I felt like there was no right or wrong answers to each question. Even though I was afraid, I’m happy I went because I wanted to see if I could get any answers.
I was diagnosed with high functioning autism, which I wasn’t surprised because I did a lot of research before I scheduled an evaluation. I checked all the boxes when it came to each symptom of autism. This diagnosis has helped me understand myself better and how I can make positive improvements.
Were you diagnosed with Tourette's as well or was that just something you've suspected because of tics? I've always thought I have Tourette's too and still think I might, because I'm not clear if tics can be part of Autism itself or if its because TS is a comorbid.I was born in the 60s. No one knew anything about autism back then and my parents refused to admit that they had a child with mental problems because of the stigma attached to that.
I'm not just a little bit aspergic, I'm ASD2. There was no hiding my differences so instead I played on them and discovered ways of turning them in to advantages. When I was 14 I told a doctor that I thought I was mad. He said:
"There's two types of madness, neurosis and psychosis. Neurotics build castles in the sky, psychotics live in them."
That was it, that was the extent of my knowledge about mental issues and probably more than most people knew. I just had to fumble my way through life and figure out things for myself. By the time I was in my 20s I figured out that I was probably autistic but I had no idea what that was or what it meant.
Sometimes I wondered if I was a psychopath, I'm high functioning and have all the same abilities, or perhaps a sociopath with a dash of Tourette's. My mouth often gets the better of me.
I didn't get a diagnosis until I was 55 years old, and I only did that because I knew it would get me a disability pension. I didn't really start to learn anything about autism until I joined this forum.
It has been a bit of a long journey but I am more content with who I am now than I ever have been.
In my case it was my ex-wife who realized I was probably on the spectrum. Unfortunately, she didn't stick around to find out. I feel pretty confident in my place, too, and am still debating whether an actual diagnosis is worth it or if it could be used against me by employers in the future. Thanks for your response.My wife & I married over 20 years ago; there were some struggles, and by year 10 it reached the point that we both agreed to counseling. The first round was with a pastor who is also a child therapist. After a couple years my wife decided to discontinue as she felt they always took my side; not long afterwards she found a local Christian counselor and we started all over again. Perhaps 6 months into it, out of the blue, the gentleman said, "I believe you may be on the spectrum." I took this well. As long as I could remember, I was looking for a "missing piece" and this seemed to be it. Meanwhile, to call my wife "devastated" would be overstating things, but a formal diagnosis quickly went on my short list of things-to-do. Being someone who rarely makes any decision quickly, I put it off, and put it off, and...
My wife did a lot of legwork, eventually getting me an appointment with a therapist who specializes in those on the spectrum. When filling out paperwork ahead of our first meeting, it stated the process could take 9 months worth of sessions. I made it clear, in writing and in person, that I had no interest in such a drawn-out affair. The first meeting was more than cordial, however. I was made to feel instantly comfortable. My therapist (counselor? Same difference?) told me, I believe within that first session, that any further testing would be superfluous and that I was on the spectrum. While I had gone into this with no desire to start down a path of regular meetings...I now very much look forward to that hour, and wish they were longer. On top of that, I started meeting regularly with that pastor from those years ago. He, too, has experience with Autism; I find it helpful to get 2 perspectives. (One secular, one Christian; one male, one female.) I began this part of my journey in the fall. Just over a week ago I started watching YouTube videos and reading various articles. In the same way that I will obsess at researching which toothbrush to buy, or how to rebuild the carburetor on my old car, I am now researching about that missing piece that I've finally found.
Will I ever take a "formal" test? I'm really not concerned about it right now. I'm confident of my place now.
My aunt discovered she might be on the spectrum years after my cousin was diagnosed with Aspergers. It's interesting how these traits disperse in families.I'd been going to meetings of "Adult Children from Dysfunctional Families," etc. for 15 years when my sister got distressed that mother was dying without ever having said "I love you." I did another search on her symptoms, and happened across a list of 13 characteristics of Aspies. Nobody had ever suggested anything inherited at all, but suddenly both her life and mine made sense.
I'm glad the diagnosis helped you and that the process was comfortable. For me, just realizing the potential that I could be on the spectrum allows me to give myself more grace when I do odd things at work or at social events.When I first suspected I was Autistic, I'd been working in disability services for about 2-3 years. I was a caseworker for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. I read that Gary Numan (the guy who did the song "Cars") had Asperger's and was curious what his life was like. I also wanted to learn more about ASD since I helped serve such individuals, but never received much training on working with them. Pretty soon I realized all this information described me.
I had a few humiliating encounters with therapists as I started to seek support and potentially a diagnosis. About 7 years later (within this past year), I finally got diagnosed. It was affordable, easy, and through a reputable place. They listened instead of condescending or belittling me. The self-awareness has helped me personally, and also in my job at an adult day program for disabled people. We share many of the same issues and get along really well.
Not tics, but because of the way I tend to blurt out the truth if people ask me something I wasn't expecting. It's amazing how often people don't really want to hear the truth.Were you diagnosed with Tourette's as well or was that just something you've suspected because of tics?