If you're like me, you've lived a somewhat normal life if there is such a thing up until this point, but for whatever reason, you're asking yourself the question, Wait, am I actually autistic? And if I am, what do I do with this information?
I'm taking the atypical aspi. If you've never heard that term before, that's kind of just a term that's being used in the autistic community. For people with autism spectrum disorder. I was diagnosed recently at age 31. After living, what other people would deem a very successful, maybe even easy life. Even though it didn't feel easy on the inside, it's felt very much like a struggle. Today, I'm here to share the pros and cons of going through with a diagnosis at this stage in my life, hopefully helping you answer some of the questions that you might have, if you're in the same place that I was, when I was considering whether or not to get a diagnosis, I'm going to go into more of the actual process of the diagnosis, and what that looks like in another video. But today, I'm just going to talk about the concerns and the questions that we ask ourselves as we consider Do I go through with the diagnosis. First of all, if you're at this point and watching this video, and you actually are autistic, you might have already taken some self tests on the internet, because there are a lot out there. And I'm going to share with you some of my favorite in the description below. My absolute favorite is called the Ask the quiz. It's a little bit longer, but I love the information. Again, if you haven't already done some of the self tests, I highly recommend you start there first, because they're actually a really great way to figure out. If it's likely that you're on the autism spectrum. Let's talk about why you would or wouldn't get a diagnosis. The first thing I did when I realized that I might be on the spectrum, is I just texted my social worker friend out of the blue like a good aspie with no introduction and no qualifications. I just thought I think I want to say what do I do he like a good social worker invited me out for drinks thanks, she let me just like, share my brain was asked me sometimes we get very one track minded and we just go and she listened to my thoughts, my concerns my question she has heard from some that it can be more harmful than beneficial to receive a diagnosis later in life. Because you've already established a way of living that has gotten you this far, you have to ask yourself, if you're willing to be able to turn your life upside down and look at it from a completely different angle. As an autistic person, I know that for many of us change is very hard. And so whenever you think about completely changing the perspective and the lens through which you see your life, that can be very daunting. But that being said, I want to share with you a quote that I found that sums up for me how I feel like it was to go through with the diagnosis. So this is from one of my favorite psychologist, authors. I've read a lot of them, Lindsey C. Gibson, she's not necessarily she doesn't really write about autism, but I really love her style. And she's just one of those people. When you read her, you're like, Oh my gosh, she understands me and she understands humanity, like her work is just truth that says when I see the faces of clients who are discovering their true feelings for the first time, their expressions reflect a sense of wonderment and peace. It wouldn't be too much to call it enlightenment. Not one of them would willingly go back to not knowing what each bit of truth they encounter within themselves, they experience a feeling of self reclamation. Despite any regrets, they may have an unmistakable sensation of wholeness comes over them. And they feel as if life is starting over from this new point. And I can honestly say that that has been the experience for me. Although it definitely hasn't been rosy and beautiful the whole way through it. It's definitely been challenging. And there's been plenty of awkward moments whenever I share the diagnosis with the people closest to me, but I really do feel like I've gotten this chance to start over and have more self compassion and self understanding. And just a healthier view of how to live my life. Let's talk about the three top concerns that I had before getting my diagnosis and some questions that you might be asking as well. Number one cost. If you're like me, you don't like spending money. I am a penny pincher, I love to say I went ahead and did it. So for me, I received my diagnosis in 2020, craziest year of our lives, right? So why not just go ahead and add a life changing diagnosis to that year, go ahead in 2020, I paid 16 $100 for my diagnosis. That was a very big sum for me and for my family. But we decided that it was an investment in myself and investment in my future. And that's what I hope to bring to you today is that you could consider this an investment in yourself. And honestly, I feel like an investment in the world because I think either subconsciously or consciously I think all of us want to know, our truest self. And I think that comes out in a lot of different ways. But I think whenever we can honor and really see our true selves for what they are, I think the world becomes a better place because we're able to give more of ourselves to the world in a more free caring and just creative way, if cost is an issue for you, there's one kind of rabbit hole that you can go down. Just don't let yourself make this the only option because I definitely spent way too much time trying to make this happen. I know us as babies can get fixated on things. But occasionally there are studies at universities or through different psychological practices, where they're, they're studying adult autism, and they need participants. So you might do a quick google google search to see if there's anything in your area where they might be looking for participants that would lend you possibly an evaluation, or at least more resources to be able to pursue one. And then lastly, you could put this out there on something like GoFundMe, like a crowdsourcing kind of donation basis. I know that would be kind of scary to put yourself out there like that. But I'm just saying it is an option. And I know a lot of medical needs have been funded through things like that. That being said, there's some thoughts on cost to finding a provider, this can be tricky, there should theoretically be a ton of medical providers for me to choose from, I still had to go an hour outside of my city to find a provider that specializes in adult autism. If you're watching this video, and for some reason, or like in a career change moment of your life, please consider becoming a professional that helps autistic adults because we need so many more. If you don't live in a major city, definitely do your research, even if you do live in a major city. If the provider, the psychologists that you're looking into if they have written a book, read their books, if they have reviews, read all the reviews, maybe try to get in contact with someone who has left a review and get even more feedback and honest review of what their experience was. And just ask questions. You can even have kind of like an initial intake appointment, where you ask all the questions that you have in your brain, and they should be able to help you feel better about the experience. And if they don't, they're probably not the best provider for you. You are your own self advocate. So I think Laura Zahn Stan Laura Zan, I'm going to spell it right in the description. Laura, I love your stuff. And you were one of the first people that helped me get a diagnosis. She has a podcast about how she wrote like 10 pages of all the reasons why she was autistic. And she just like handed it to her psychologist, I think they found it very useful in helping give her the diagnosis that she needed. So make sure that you're keeping track of all the reasons that that you have to support the diagnosis, and that will really help your provider. I had a wonderful experience. My psychologist name is Dr. Laura Sanders. She was based in Coppell, Texas, but then moved to Denver, Colorado, if you're in Colorado. Lucky for you, check out Dr. Laura Sanders, I will provide her information in the description box below. She's wonderful. And if you're not, like I said, search around, ask questions, read books, look through different resources and figure out how people that you relate to their stories of autism and their experiences, how they got the help that they needed. And then if you don't happen to have a good experience, I have heard some things like that it's not the end of the world, it's not the end of the story. Like I said, the providers that we do have, some of them are just under educated, a lot of us are under under educated about what autism is, especially when it comes to autism and females. If you have an experience, that's not great. I just want to tell you, that's not the end of the road. And you can immediately start looking into another option. Just further educate yourself, ask more questions, meet more people, it can be intimidating for us ask these you can do it online. There's so many great resources. Don't let that stop you. Alright, so finding a provider super important that you spend time finding one who knows what they're doing. Lastly, what do you do with the diagnosis? What if you get the diagnosis that you thought you were gonna get? What if you don't get the diagnosis that you thought you were gonna get? I struggled so much with both of those questions. Because as an aspie, I researched the heck out of autism. And I knew that I knew that I knew that I was autistic. It was just one of those things. I felt it in my soul that explains so much more videos about that later, I can't wait to share the journey with you. But I was worried that when I received my diagnosis, it wouldn't match up with what I felt. And that was really scary to me. But I want to tell you, first of all, whatever your diagnosis is, it starts and ends with you and your provider. So you don't have to share the information with anyone, I would say, sit on it, let it sink in, it's going to change your life, it's going to change how you view yourself and the world around you. And there's no need to do anything with it quickly unless you just want to so for me, I shared it with my husband, who had like he was super supportive the entire way and then gradually started sharing my diagnosis with other people as it felt more appropriate and as I started learning how to talk about it a little bit more. And then again, if you don't agree with your diagnosis, trust your gut, start saving up for the next round with a different provider. There is help out there for you and more people are becoming educated every day about how to help autistic women. And I have I have hope for you You will get the help that you need. This process has been life changing for me, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. I can't wait to share more and upcoming videos about what the diagnostic process is like how I got to that point, what my life experiences have been like so far that kind of led me to believe that I might be autistic, all these things are coming. And wherever you're at, I just want to let you know that you're not alone. This can be a really scary process, but it can also be really invigorating, and it can bring new life. So tell me in the comments, if you've gotten a diagnosis and how that's affected your life, if you haven't, what's holding you back and how can I help? What questions can I answer? Check out the description for a lot of resources. I'll probably post more than I thought I would. Yeah, I hope everybody has a great day. Thanks for watching.