How My Autism Diagnosis Helped My World Make Sense
I’ve been having a difficult week. An emotional roller-coaster, if you will. On one hand, I am extremely happy I finally have answers. On the other hand, I’m an emotional wreck. I wish I would have known this as a child, so I would understand why I struggled with so many things that seem to come easy for everyone else. Why I would get made fun of all the time as a child and teenager. But now I understand why. I know why I am the way I am. I’m just going to come out and say it: I am Autistic. I have autism spectrum disorder.
Being diagnosed with autism has helped me understand myself better. It helped me understand that my brain just works differently. It helped me understand why I have trouble making friends and maintaining friendships. It helped me understand why I struggled with my hair. It helped me understand why I would “freak out” when my routine was disrupted. It helped me understand why I would hand-flap as a child. It’s why I would make unusual facial expressions. It’s why I would wander off all the time as a child.
But my autism is also the reason I love to research things. If I am interested in a subject, I love researching it inside and out, to the point that it’s a little weird. Haha. The same thing with birthdays. A person can tell me their birthday, and I remember it. Which can be a little creepy if they forgot I told them. It’s why I am very empathetic.
I found out when I was in college that I did get tested… when I was 3. I was diagnosed with static encephalopathy with global developmental delay. My parents were told I would never be able to take care of myself. That I would need to be put in an institution. My parents didn’t believe the doctors, and I never went back.
I proved the doctors wrong! I graduated high school with pretty decent grades. I got my bachelor’s degree and graduated magna cum laude. Every time I feel down about myself, I am reminded that I was told I would never get anywhere. That I could never do anything. That I would never amount to anything. That I could never take care of myself. Every day, I prove them wrong!
I know I can do anything I can set my mind to. Yes, I have limitations, and I can’t pretend they don’t exist. But since I received my autism diagnosis, I now have a therapy plan. I will be able to work with my limitations and make my place in the world.
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