My autism diagnosis came at the start of the Covid pandemic. Of all the times I could have sought a diagnosis, trust me to manage to hit the most inconvenient time. Seriously though, a late diagnosis is difficult for most adults to come to terms with, but the pandemic has meant that resources have been redirected, and many people are left to fend for themselves, myself included.
A late diagnosis can come with many issues that usually need support to make sure that people aren’t left with long term issues. An example is how I have spent the last year second guessing my every feeling and emotion. Normally there would be support to help as I come to grips with having autism, but that hasn’t been the case lately. Especially for adult diagnoses.
And that is where I come to the title of this post. New diagnoses have always been encouraged to seek information for themselves, alongside additional support. It allows people to understand autism at their own pace, as well as find the most appropriate support for them. The problem is that despite the fact that adults have autism, most of the information is aimed at parents of autistic children or young people. The lack of information aimed at autistic adults has left me struggling to where I fit in and how autism impacts my life.
I have been lucky. I have friends who have lived with autism for some time and have a good understanding of how it impacts day to day life. They have been amazingly helpful (and patient) when it comes to answering my questions and helping me, but my experiences over the last year have made me aware of how important support is after receiving a diagnosis. It has also made me realise that some of the best support you can get is from people who have first-hand experiences. Reading the online advice I did left me very confused. Seeing people who were going through similar experiences was much more effective in helping me ease into the situation, as I knew that I wasn’t as strange as I thought.