Autistics Share: Professionals Miss the Mark in Recognizing Autism in Women

As a late-diagnosed autistic woman (ASD/ASC, synonymous with Aspergers), and one whose traits were described by my clinical psychologist as ‘atypical’, I actually feel very lucky to have been diagnosed at all. Lucky that I had both a GP and assessor who ‘got it’. I believe there are many autistic women and girls who present as I do.

Reading many of these comments breaks my heart. And some of the comments from professionals beggar belief.

I urge others to share this far and wide.

Everyday Aspie

I recently asked 60-plus readers from across the globe, who believe they are autistic/Aspie or have been diagnosed with autism/Aspergers, this question:

“What has a professional told you when you were seeking out an autism and/or Aspergers diagnosis?”

Here are their responses:

  1. The first psychologist diagnosed me with Bipolar-II after speaking with me for only ten minutes. He based his entire diagnosis on anxiety, depression, and the fact that one night, out of 365, I couldn’t sleep and had restless non-stop thoughts. He didn’t say I met most of the criteria for the condition, but recommended medication anyhow. It wasn’t until about twenty years later that I figured out, after my child’s diagnosis, that I was likely autistic.
  1. I was told: “You write exceptionally well…and have two diplomas, how can you have Autism?. It’s just depression.” It took me six months of begging to get my doctor to agree to…

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An open letter to everyone who has ever known me.

[Trigger warning: mental illness] To everyone who has ever known me, Recently, I've discovered something about myself. And what I'd long wondered about, and convinced myself of, was officially confirmed for me. I am autistic. To some, it will come as no surprise at all. Others may not have seen this coming. And to others … Continue reading An open letter to everyone who has ever known me.

Sharing: What the Social Model Doesn’t Say

Couldn’t agree more with this post. There’s no getting away from the medical implications of disability, but the social model really doesn’t ignore these. True inclusivity is better for everyone.

Misandry Angie

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I’ve written before a little bit about the social model of disability. The social model is not an attractive, bubbly disabled cat walker showcasing the latest fashions, though they do exist. It’s a framework for thinking about disability that recognizes the capacity for human created obstacles to disable. This contrasts with the medical model, which conceives of disability as originating from flawed bodies.

When I refer to the social model around people who aren’t involved in a disability community, they often think it says a lot of things it really doesn’t. So today I want to address those common misconceptions.

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Sharing: If the world was built for me

This is just so, so perfect. True inclusivity would be better for everyone. Let’s join together and be hopeful.

Autism and expectations

If the world was built for me. There would be nothing wrong with me. I would be happy and safe and certain and successful.

If the world was built for me, when I met people there would be no expectation of physical contact or small talk. We may ignore each other, with a socially acceptable nod, or throw ourselves into a deep and meaningful conversation.

If the world was built for me, then we would all sit next to each other, not opposite. Things would be based on literal words, not guessed expressions and gestures.

If the world was built for me, there would be a compulsory day off for everyone after any social event. Just so we could all take the time to recharge and process things.

If the world was built for me, work would be about working and nothing else. There wouldn’t be the necessary interaction that…

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