“You Don’t Seem Autistic”: unpacking diagnostic criteria
Martha Rose Saunders

Spot on article! ditto everything for me. I am older mama in US w young Autistic Aspie teen and after he was diagnosed at 6 and the self realization hit me (I felt like an idiot as I’d read about 40 books as parent with newly diagnosed kiddo with ASD checklists for my kid before it suddenly occurred to me that I ticked every single box myself…ignorance was not bliss — realization was world altering — my entire life perspectives were reframed and continue to be) I discussed my kids new diagnosis with his/my Psych and had the nerve to say to him — you know I think I might actually have more severe Autism than my kid…(which as far as checklists go — I kind of do..massive sensory issues, face blindness, total social communication dysfunction, hyperfocused interests, need for sameness ocd issues, extreme learning disabilities I’ve masked all my life, lack of executive functioning skills (cleverly masked) poor motor coordination, full blown meltdowns, lack of impulse control, hyperlexia, verbal monologues, general anxiety ADHD, splinter skills/gifted areas — read at age 5. etc etc but I’m (much) older and have many, many quirky coping mechanisms which I developed for years having no idea why I was developing them other than knowing something was different/wrong with me — I’m aware that I began masking as early as age 9), Always felt like I have imposter syndrome etc..but married, groomed, have kids, pseudo friends-ish…was employed in a weirdly perfect job for enough of a time for people to think I was employable at a high level (weird niche marketing in an industry that’s dead due to internet, and no my only successful jobs have been self-enterpreneurial) anyway at the time son’s/my Psych looked at me like I had 3 heads when I suggested my self diagnoses..he decided it was PTSD/abandonment issues combined with General & Social Anxiety Disorder, Depression and Agoraphobia… I was outraged as I’d had this enormous relief at my self diagnosis and had immediately bonded with the Aspie identity…so we just danced around the diagnosis while focusing on my kids issues which present differently than mine (He’s hot, I’m cold, faux smells make me retch, he adores them, he’s brilliant and has an epic memory, I can barely divide or punctuate and can’t remember anything,) Our “symptoms” opposites but yet my son and I have an understanding and bond because of our ASD. 10 years later as he’s still my kids Psych he’s finally to come around..he said, you know we’ve talked about you being 
on the spectrum etc.. etc. …I think I might’ve glared at him, we’ve finally come to a good place. For other people Autism is for kids..once they hit 16 they might as well be invisible and for women over 25 (or double that) forget it (if they’re verbal)— just hypochondriacs in everyone’s eyes..

So I advocate for my kid and for acceptance not just awareness.
By the way could you move to the US so we could be friends? I’ve played Marina. & Diamonds Heartbreaker & Primadonna every day for about 6 months straight!
- Bridget