I have long suspected that I am somewhere on the spectrum ever since I found out about autism when I was in high school. I am absolutely terrible with social cues. I say the wrong things at the wrong time. I don’t understand when people are being sarcastic or joking sometimes (yet I love to be sarcastic myself 🤔). I have a variety of hyperfixations. I have a lot of sensory issues (issues with bright lights to the point that I need sunglasses, sensitive hearing where I feel dizzy in noisy/crowded places like a high school cafeteria, certain fabrics and anything around my neck area, sensitive smell and taste (I suspect I have some kind of ARFID, tbh). I often need things explained to me explicitly and step by step, often with repetition required for me to get it fully. I have issues with eye contact, and have been known to rock back and forth. My family members have frequently berated me for random outbursts of singing, which I’ve read could be another form of stimming? I have routines that bother me when changed (I have officially diagnosed OCD since I was like 10, and suspect that it’s comorbid with my undiagnosed autism?).
I am a cisgender female, and autism wasn’t really that well known when I was growing up. I was held back a grade in kindergarten. I was above grade level in subjects like reading, but for the sake of my socialization, they held me back a grade. (I was told my kindergarten teacher barely got me above a whisper by the end of the year…) I think even if autism was more widely known back then, because I am female it may have been missed. I think that I learned certain social “scripts” (“Hi, how are you today?” “Good, how are you?”) that masked things a little bit, but after those parts of the conversation I think my…quirkiness…was made extremely apparent lol.
I have looked into trying to get diagnosed so that when I am able to work again, I can receive any necessary accommodations. But I am on state health insurance, and the autism specialists are $$$$$. If it wasn’t for the possible accommodations, I don’t think I’d care so much about a diagnosis. (My family and I are like 99.9% sure that I am autistic.) But as it is, I think it’s important. Are there any resources out there (not Autism Speaks…) that can help me with this? Any experiences anyone has had themselves? Thank you! ❤️ #AutismEmployment #AutismDiagnosis