You and I are not the same (Autism and self-diagnosis)

Just a response from the other side of the diagnosis divide; I don’t want to self diagnose, as I’m acutely aware of confirmation bias and all the perfectly good reasons that is a bad idea. And I don’t want to take over the discussion, I don’t want to overpower anyone else’s voice. At the same time, though, I have real struggles in my own life, whether they’re related to an undiagnosed condition or not. What I’ve decided to do about all this is simply ignore the diagnosis until it becomes relevant. No matter what, there’s no magic cure, there’re simply strategies to manage whatever symptoms you might have, and those strategies are relevant whether you have a formal diagnosis or not. If a formal diagnosis becomes necessary in order to seek some treatment, for example my insurance may not pay for more than a few therapy sessions without an underlying condition, then and only then will I seek a diagnosis. The reality is that I’m probably not on the spectrum. That would be just fine too, but the important thing is to seek treatment for whatever ails you regardless. No piece of paper can change who you are, it may help explain better, it may help access services, it may help in other ways, but at the end of the day, for myself, it only matters that I know who I am, I know what my struggles are, and I know that I can improve them.

I also want to thank you for writing this, it really brings some things into focus regarding how to create and maintain communities and ensure that authentic voices can be heard.

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