Since my diagnosis in recent years it has been like a light switch being flicked on and so many things make far more sense.
I feel that society’s general understanding of autism is very outdated. I myself had been under different psychiatrists for the best part of 2 decades for a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder. I continued to speak about the same symptoms (which have never changed) yet Autism or ADHD was never even considered till recent years. The countless combinations of medications and the failed treatments, why did it take so long to be even considered?
What has been the lasting affect of these strong mind altering medications had on me, physically and mentally? How many others are in the situation I was in and slip through the net?
I still have a diagnosis of Bipolar, but I am going through an assessment of ADHD which I (and other medical professionals) already feel that it has been a miss diagnosis of Bipolar as they do present very similar.
Now that I have a greater understanding of the neurodivergent condition I feel that if I would of been taught this in school then my condition would of been a lot easier to spot.
I want to keep documenting my understandings as I learn more in the hope of helping others in my situation and make what I know now more common knowledge in society.
I read or hear a lot about ‘spreading autism awareness’ but actually wonder how do people go about becoming aware? In my original research I really struggled to know what to look for or what was true as there is so much information – some was also very conflicting. The majority of information I come across was aimed at children but next to nothing on autistic adults or having a late diagnosis. Even now I continue to learn and have been corrected on some of what I had read or processed wrong – which is all part of learning, especially on such a huge topic like this. We learn through communication and I have found that speaking with other people with my condition has helped me the most.
One of my triggers is having to repeat myself over and over some of the more basic understandings to people. If people knew these already then it would be easier to digest mentally what they can be more aware of and in turn help myself and others.
Below are some of the bullet points which gave me greater insight into my condition and helped me process things I had struggled to put words to in the past.
Neurotypical; A person whose neurotype is typical of the majority of society.
Neurodivergent; A person whose neurotype is divergent of the majority of society – not mental illness. This includes Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Tourette’s.
Allistic; A person that is not Autistic.
Autism as a disability; A big part of what makes autism a disability is the structure of society and what is seen as ‘normal’.
Comorbidity; Something you are more likely to have or experience because you are autistic, not caused by autism. i.e. PTSD, depression, Bipolar, ADHD, Gastrointestinal issues.
Meltdown; An internal and / or external loss of control which comes from over stimulation, demands, stress, sensory overload, overwhelming emotions. This can result in crying, self harm, panic attacks, anger, bolting.
Overstimulation / Under-stimulation; Feeling overwhelmed by sensory / emotional overload.
Burnout; The result of built up stress, masking in an allistic world. This can look like or present as suicidal ideation, exhaustion, depression, heightened anxiety, loss of basic coping skills.
Stimming; Any type of repetition using any of the 5 senses to help regulate and express emotions, communicate, understand, distract or for fun. This can include – hand flapping, tapping, humming, listening to music / white noise, using fidget toys.
Echolalia; Repetition of sounds or words either vocally or inside the head in order to self comfort, communicate or process.
Aspergers; An outdated diagnosis that inaccurately labelled someone as ‘less autistic’
Puzzle Piece; Many autistic people strongly dislike the puzzle piece as a symbol for autism. Missing pieces, confused and puzzled parents, something incomplete – are all things we shouldn’t be attaching to any person with a disability or neurodiversity.
Special interests; Something to which an Autistic person has taken a strong liking to and will spend a considerable amount of time researching it, talking about, and otherwise engaging with.
it is estimated that around 1 in 7 people (more than 15% of people in the UK) are neurodivergent so I feel that as a society we need to be more understanding and aware which will help break the stigma around the neurodiverse condition.
Please feel free to comment any feedback below and let me if you have found this informative, what are your views?