Back in November I spoke about my autism/ASD diagnosis and the journey towards it. I hinted at the diagnosis being a relief after so many years of being different but I thought, since it is World Autism Awareness Week, that I would chat more in detail about why it was a relief.
When I was a kid, I didn’t know at first that I was different. I thought everyone was like me but it wasn’t until I started school and was bullied for being quiet that I realised how different I was. There were so many moments that I could think of that subtly set me out for the other kids such as preferring my own company, hating certain noises/lights, finding it hard to make friends with others and a few other things.
I had never heard of Aspergers before and it wasn’t until I heard about these signs that I connected not only myself to them but the few people I had hung out with at school! It’s amazing how you find like-minded people without knowing it!
Part of me wished that my ASD had been looked into more when I was a lot younger because it would have meant I could have gotten more help both in and out of school. Unfortunately autism wasn’t as looked into with girls since my assessor told me that it was more common in boys.
Primary school was a nightmare. I had one teacher who repeatedly kept me at break times for not talking in class or ‘working well in a group’. This always upset me because I always did my best in class and my grades/reports showed that but this teacher seemed to think I was being awkward on purpose. My secondary school teachers believed that I was too quiet as well and actually sent me on social occasions outside school to get me to talk but I don’t hold it against them for trying to help me socially. I’m glad that they did force me to be more social with other students.
Another thing secondary school introduced me to was acting which I still adore to this day!
Knowing that I was quirky for a reason and that I wasn’t just being awkward (yep, a small part of me had believed that teacher from years ago) was a major relief. I had this solid reason that I can now use if things get too much for me and finally get the support that I was so desperate for.
If you are reading this and believe you could be on the ASD spectrum, then you have to check out the National Autistic Society for all the information you could ever need about autism. I found this site super helpful after the assessment as I still had a bunch of questions about the condition and what I could do next.
What were your first feelings when you were diagnosed?