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Hello from the Northern wilderness

calicoandgreen

Mother I Homesteader I Aquascaper
Hello. My name is Cat and I'm 38 yo. I am currently self-diagnosed with ASD. I did my first online AQ test back in 2007 or 2008 so I've kinda known about this for a long time but I've been in denial a lot. Especially since everytime I tried to address the issue people would basically laugh at my face. So I've been treated as a heavily mentally sick person for almost two decades now with practically no effect.

Over the years I've been diagnosed with about 3/4 of the DSM-IV (now V) and I'm not even exaggerating. I currently live under the labels of Bi-Polar disorder + Schizoid personality disorder + social phobia + agoraphobia + unspecified anxiety disorder. And while they all fit with my 'symptoms' they only actually address the tip of the iceberg. But I had stopped caring about whether or not I was able to find a professional who would take me seriously after being rejected so often. Except I became a mom to a very bright daughter with a very ASD oriented personality almost 5 years ago and since we will start actively homeschooling her this Autumn it inevitably became quite an important topic in our home.

My partner is also a self-diagnosed autistic person (+ officially diagnosed ADHD). We both see our young selves in our daughter and we can't just not worry about her. We are thinking about telling our family doctor about all this for her sake (and maybe ours) but I feel absolutely terrified about the possibility of being rejected once again. Our doctor is absolutely amazing and has been a real blessing to us ever since she became my obstetrician when I was pregnant with my girl. But I don't know, I am extremely sensitive about rejection, about not being believed. And I often wonder about the benefits of getting a real diagnostic. So I came here because of this I guess, because I want what's best for my daughter. Because I hope she'll have a more peaceful and joyous life than my partner and I had till now.
.
And also, maybe I'll try to make some friends with similar interests (plants, animals, homesteading mostly) in the process. Anyway, nice to meet you!
 

Nitro

Admin/Immoral Turpitude
Staff member
Admin
V.I.P Member
welcome to af.png
 

Sherlock77

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I assume northern wilderness might mean Canada? Guilty as charged here in Alberta...

There are lots of people here from all different backgrounds and experiences, and there is lots of help here!
 

VictorR

Random Member
V.I.P Member
Welcome! I would definitely encourage you, since you seem to have an understanding doctor, to talk to them about seeking a diagnosis for your daughter, since there's a good chance there may be a 1-2 year waitlist, so one might as well get on a list.

For children, getting a diagnosis can open access to a variety of funding and/or access to support programming, and so I quite recommend it, though with the caveat that before signing up for any programs, to vet both the service provider and the program to ensure that it's right for your daughter.

Two books which I've recently read and recommend are Navigating Autism: 9 Mindsets for Helping Kids on the Spectrum and Uniquely Human.

You can find my reviews and other details on them in the resources section Resources
 

Richelle-H

Relaxed Relativity Inspector
V.I.P Member
Welcome Cat and I truly hope your levels of frustration find some relief.

While I have an actual diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome it was a late diagnosis far beyond being of any use in integrating me with the rest of society. I knew I was not like anyone around me. That could sometimes cause a bit of a misunderstanding, but I managed to get through more than half my life with very little friction until there was some that caused me to need a letter of confirmation on my diagnosis. It really did nothing for me on the whole except save my job at a critical juncture.

I have had my run-ins with the psychiatric professions. In my Early twenties I was placed in an open psychiatric ward and diagnosed with Schizophrenia. a very silly diagnosis on the whole as I saw it as just severe depression. They gave me anti-psychotics which only made things worse until I managed to get away from that awful environment. That was a one-off in my life and never again occurred and my last major bout of depression that matched what happened was in my early thirties and it has never-ever achieved that level again (this time I did not need help, I was able to deal with it on my own and without drugs, albeit the time it took was much longer than it might have otherwise been).

I hope you can work this out to the benefit of yourself and your daughter.
 
Last edited:

Luca

charm & chaos
V.I.P Member
Hi Cat! Awesome introduction :)

I have been “diagnosed” with a lot of mental health issues that weren’t accurate. But I know I have ASD (not a mental health issue) and ADHD, and PTSD with depression and anxiety. I think at this point in time those are the only ones that truly fit.
I’m sorry you’ve had the experience of being misdiagnosed, or feeling like diagnoses might not fit or the full extent isn’t known :( It can cause a lot of stress and anxiety, and make our autism diagnosis feel like it isn’t being validated.

I’m really happy you’re so supportive of your daughter! I think homeschooling can be really beneficial for autistic kids.

I’m an animal lover too (particularly dogs and horses and somewhat cats, and birds and reptiles and fish, but I love pretty much all animals.) I’m a professional dog trainer and have six dogs at the moment! No other species of animals right now though. But I am open to it. Just can’t have birds because I have a crazy bird dog (Pointer.) Lol

I have a friend from this forum who is also a homesteader.

I spend a lot of time in the wilderness too. I’m in New England, US. By Northern Wilderness do you mean the North Woods? Or the White Mountains? Those are both places that I love to be in.

Sorry for rambling, btw! I often do this with new members that I have stuff in common with. It’s a compliment :)
Your profile picture reminds me a bit of Maria Franz! (From Heilung)

Anyways, to get back on track, being self-diagnosed is perfectly fine and you will find a lot of others here who are. I’m formally diagnosed but there are a lot who aren’t. We’re pretty friendly!
I hope you can get your questions answered and have a lot of fun in the process :)

Sorry for being so chatty!!
Welcome!
- Luca
 

Thinx

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Hi and welcome, I hope that you enjoy it here and find it useful and supportive. Women in particular have had trouble getting properly diagnosed, as you probably know, but also men who are not the stereotype for the diagnosis. Sometimes I think half the doctors in this field must be the stereotype for the diagnosis, they can be so definitely, literally and unable to interpret broadly the existing criteria, which clearly in any case are lacking insights from research of women's experience of autism.

There are some very different outcomes when people try to get properly diagnosed, but like you say, you already do have most of the diagnosis in the varied ones they've given, though it's long-winded and unnecessary for them to do this. Guess they all don't know what they don't know in their boundaried specialisms.

Maybe just explain what you see in your daughter that fits with the criteria, they'll probably also see traits in you and your partner if they refer her to someone who actually is a recently trained or up to date, competent specialist. Not a given that you'd get that though, as you know. Jessica Kingsley publishers catalogue is good for texts by women with Autism and clinicians about this. Good idea to home school her. Others here have done that.
 

SusanLR

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Welcome!
I was a late in life diagnosis. In my 50's.
When I was younger, I got many of the same diagnosis' you did plus I had panic attacks.
It was too late in life for me to change much, but it did give me understanding
of why I was as I was. That was helpful to me.

I still have depression although with therapy and experience I've learned to control
the panic attacks. I don't have the Bi-polar type though.

I'm an animal lover and plants are a hobby.
Nature and the outdoors are my peaceful places.
Hope you find being here helpful as I did. :) :palmtree:
 

calicoandgreen

Mother I Homesteader I Aquascaper
I assume northern wilderness might mean Canada? Guilty as charged here in Alberta...

There are lots of people here from all different backgrounds and experiences, and there is lots of help here!
You assume well Sherlock, you assume well! I'm from Québec ;) Nice to meet you!
 

calicoandgreen

Mother I Homesteader I Aquascaper
Welcome! I would definitely encourage you, since you seem to have an understanding doctor, to talk to them about seeking a diagnosis for your daughter, since there's a good chance there may be a 1-2 year waitlist, so one might as well get on a list.

For children, getting a diagnosis can open access to a variety of funding and/or access to support programming, and so I quite recommend it, though with the caveat that before signing up for any programs, to vet both the service provider and the program to ensure that it's right for your daughter.

Two books which I've recently read and recommend are Navigating Autism: 9 Mindsets for Helping Kids on the Spectrum and Uniquely Human.

You can find my reviews and other details on them in the resources section Resources
Thank you very much, I'll definitely have a look at your book reviews :)
 

calicoandgreen

Mother I Homesteader I Aquascaper
Welcome Cat and I truly hope your levels of frustration find some relief.

While I have an actual diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome it was a late diagnosis far beyond being of any use in integrating me with the rest of society. I knew I was not like anyone around me. That could sometimes cause a bit of a misunderstanding, but I managed to get through more than half my life with very little friction until there was some that caused me to need a letter of confirmation on my diagnosis. It really did nothing for me on the whole except save my job at a critical juncture.

I have had my run-ins with the psychiatric professions. In my Early twenties I was placed in an open psychiatric ward and diagnosed with Schizophrenia. a very silly diagnosis on the whole as I saw it as just severe depression. They gave me anti-psychotics which only made things worse until I managed to get away from that awful environment. That was a one-off in my life and never again occurred and my last major bout of depression that matched what happened was in my early thirties and it has never-ever achieved that level again (this time I did not need help, I was able to deal with it on my own and without drugs, albeit the time it took was much longer than it might have otherwise been).

I hope you can work this out to the benefit of yourself and your daughter.
So sorry you had to go through all this too. I've somewhat managed to escape the psychiatric ward until now but I can't even recall the number of times I've been asked if I would consent to get hospitalized there by various specialists. I've been told by a psychiatrist I would eventually end up with full fledged schizophrenia at some point. So far nothing in sight haha But the amount of sheer terror over my mental health I felt over the years about the 'possibility' of ending up losing control over my mind is incommensurable. I just lost so many years of my life to all of this. I think I'm pretty ready to finally be taken seriously, at the very least by my own self. Thanks a lot for sharing a part of your story with me.
 

calicoandgreen

Mother I Homesteader I Aquascaper
Hi Cat! Awesome introduction :)

I have been “diagnosed” with a lot of mental health issues that weren’t accurate. But I know I have ASD (not a mental health issue) and ADHD, and PTSD with depression and anxiety. I think at this point in time those are the only ones that truly fit.
I’m sorry you’ve had the experience of being misdiagnosed, or feeling like diagnoses might not fit or the full extent isn’t known :( It can cause a lot of stress and anxiety, and make our autism diagnosis feel like it isn’t being validated.

I’m really happy you’re so supportive of your daughter! I think homeschooling can be really beneficial for autistic kids.

I’m an animal lover too (particularly dogs and horses and somewhat cats, and birds and reptiles and fish, but I love pretty much all animals.) I’m a professional dog trainer and have six dogs at the moment! No other species of animals right now though. But I am open to it. Just can’t have birds because I have a crazy bird dog (Pointer.) Lol

I have a friend from this forum who is also a homesteader.

I spend a lot of time in the wilderness too. I’m in New England, US. By Northern Wilderness do you mean the North Woods? Or the White Mountains? Those are both places that I love to be in.

Sorry for rambling, btw! I often do this with new members that I have stuff in common with. It’s a compliment :)
Your profile picture reminds me a bit of Maria Franz! (From Heilung)

Anyways, to get back on track, being self-diagnosed is perfectly fine and you will find a lot of others here who are. I’m formally diagnosed but there are a lot who aren’t. We’re pretty friendly!
I hope you can get your questions answered and have a lot of fun in the process :)

Sorry for being so chatty!!
Welcome!
- Luca
No need to apologize, I absolutely enjoyed reading you. I can get pretty chatty myself. I actually had to restraint myself so hard not to turn my introduction into a novel haha
I had made the decision to homeschool my children years before actually giving birth but yeah, now that we are pretty certain she is on the spectrum it became somewhat of a necessity considering how understaffed the schools are here and my partner and I very unpleasant experiences in said schools as children and teenagers.
I'm not that much knowledgeable about dogs. I'm very very very allergic to them so I didn't pursue much interest in them since I can't really be with them. But I like them a lot still. I'm very obsessed with cats though. I have 2 rescue ladies at home. I also have maaany aquariums with fish, snails and shrimps. I'm very much into crustaceans and I'm looking forward to welcome some terrestrial isopods colonies next Summer. I'm also into herps (all kinds) and insects (Butterflies are my favorite) and I'm an avid birdwatcher. So I guess we'll bump into each other on some animal related topics on here haha
I'm situated in Québec, Canada so not so far from you but still a bit far ;)
 

calicoandgreen

Mother I Homesteader I Aquascaper
Hi and welcome, I hope that you enjoy it here and find it useful and supportive. Women in particular have had trouble getting properly diagnosed, as you probably know, but also men who are not the stereotype for the diagnosis. Sometimes I think half the doctors in this field must be the stereotype for the diagnosis, they can be so definitely, literally and unable to interpret broadly the existing criteria, which clearly in any case are lacking insights from research of women's experience of autism.

There are some very different outcomes when people try to get properly diagnosed, but like you say, you already do have most of the diagnosis in the varied ones they've given, though it's long-winded and unnecessary for them to do this. Guess they all don't know what they don't know in their boundaried specialisms.

Maybe just explain what you see in your daughter that fits with the criteria, they'll probably also see traits in you and your partner if they refer her to someone who actually is a recently trained or up to date, competent specialist. Not a given that you'd get that though, as you know. Jessica Kingsley publishers catalogue is good for texts by women with Autism and clinicians about this. Good idea to home school her. Others here have done that.
Thank you very much, I'll definitely check Jessica Kingsley out. I really like your profile picture, what a beautiful cat <3
 

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