The post 4 Ways to Face An Aspergers Autism Diagnosis appeared first on Thrive With Aspergers.]]> Pros and Cons of an Aspergers Diagnosis, via Philip Wylie
Cynthia Kim, an Aspergers woman, writes about the first time she thought she might be Aspergian.
She had just watched a segment on NPR about David Finch, author of the Journal of Best Practices.
I Googled “Asperger’s tests” and came upon the Aspie Quiz. My score was way above the cutoff for Asperger’s. I took it again, answering more conservatively. Still above the cutoff.
I sat there at my desk for long minutes. Could it be possible that I’ve been autistic all my life and not known it? That’s a stunning realization–one that would require me to reframe everything I thought I knew about myself and everything I’d assumed I knew about autism. (I Think I Might Be Autistic)
When I spoke with my Aspergian colleague, Philip Wylie, a couple of weeks ago, he shared that getting an Aspergers diagnosis was akin to experiencing a nuclear bomb detonating in his life: it was a somewhat traumatic experience!
Since everyone’s different, discovering you’re autistic can set set off a whole range of feelings, from joy and relief to grief and despair.
Everyone (parents, spouses, professionals, and autistic men and women) needs to have a balanced perspective on what it’s like to receive an autism diagnosis as an adult.
Because a balanced view of learning about autism will help you better cope with the myriad of emotions following the diagnosis.
In this article, I’m some ideas to help you or your loved ones best cope with the stress, both positive and negative, of being diagnosed later in life with autism.
Philip Wylie, who I interviewed for the podcast episode called a Very Late Adult Aspergers Diagnosis, graciously allowed me to share his notes about the pros and cons of getting an Aspergers diagnosis later in life.
Support can take many forms.
Here are my thoughts on some sources of support:
I’ve included a partial list of these bloggers:
As you read their blogs, notice other autistic bloggers they may mention. Reach out to bloggers by following their social media pages or commenting on the blogs.
You’ll get a lot of understanding, empathy, and support from them.
Talking with and getting to know other autistics will help you process your new knowledge.
Understanding these stages may help you to grieve the loss of who you thought you were, and to embrace the possibilities of who you are.
You may go through denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance, and not in a linear fashion. Pay attention to your thoughts and feelings after your diagnosis, and write about them or share them with a professional, or online, or with a friend.
For example, here in the United States, ASAN (Autistic Self Advocacy Network) represents autistics. Its motto is, “Nothing about us without us.” Check out their resource library for more materials.
Here’s what Cynthia Kim wrote, about moving forward after her Aspergers diagnosis:
Then there are days when being autistic recedes into the background, not because I’m less autistic, but because I’m more comfortably autistic. Little by little, I feel myself healing old wounds, integrating the shiny new realizations, and becoming more myself.
That’s the best change of all.
Photo credit: Luke Pamer on Unsplash
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