Saturday, 12 March 2011


I've been reading quite a bit of stuff about self-diagnosis, and criticism of people who have identified themselves as self-diagnosed with Aspergers. I think I'm giving myself a free pass on this one, as both my kids are officially diagnosed, and I'm very similar in so many ways to them. I think that part of the problem is that there are many people are out there who don't really know that much about autism, but because they've been hearing about it in the media for years, they believe themselves to be well-informed.

And of course the internet allows people to say anything at all to anybody at all. But social conventions are there for a reason. Take the brakes off, and you're going to have a crash. Some of the people who are spending a lot of time posting on the internet are not people I would want to talk to about these issues in real life. For me, getting on the internet is about sharing my experiences with people who understand me, and possibly clarifying some things for people who are interested, as well as getting more information on how to help myself and how to help my kids, without getting overwhelmed and trying to do it all at once!

Self-diagnosis is not a big deal. Diagnosis wasn't available when I was a kid, and really wouldn't add anything to my life right now. I already have coping strategies well-established, and I'm now consciously reviewing those. Official diagnosis for me wouldn't really add anything to my life or my understanding of who I am. That happened after my kids were diagnosed, as I gradually began to recognise my and their autistic traits more or less simultaneously. It was very freeing, and I am so much happier now than I ever have been. Being able to understand what's going on in my head, and why I react to certain situations the way I do, has been truly a revelation, and has empowered me.

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