Adults can be diagnosed with autism.
Yep. You read that correctly. Children are not the only ones getting diagnosed. There are countless adults getting diagnosed with autism as well. To be completely frank, I had no idea that adults can get diagnosed. I mean, I always knew I was autistic. For this reason, the assumption that only children get diagnosed stuck for decades.
This new finding came about as I was reading a book called, A Different Sort of Normal by Abigail Balfe. As I was reading her book, I have learned that Abigail did not get diagnosed until she became an adult (page 10). I cannot imagine being or feeling different from other children and not having a clue why.
Actually, I can.
I have always been different from my friends and classmates. Even though I had a diagnosis, I was still living in a world of confusion. Trying to gain an understanding of what I live with was a battle in itself. After all, I was a child trapped in a body that becomes hypersensitive (extremely reactive to stimuli) and hypo-sensitive (not reactive to stimuli).
Speaking of getting diagnosed in adulthood, someone recently reached out to me and told me that she wasn’t diagnosed until she was 50. She will remain anonymous. This has opened my eyes even more to the fact that children and adults get diagnosed.
In turn, this teaches me how fortunate I was to receive a diagnosis at such an early age. It was still extremely difficult growing up, but my challenges had a name. The only question I grew up with was, ” What will become of me in my adulthood?” I still ask myself that question to this day.
Meanwhile, I am very happy that adults are getting evaluated and receiving a diagnosis. Having a name for their differences must bring them solace, knowing that their experiences isn’t all in their heads.
To all the adults suspecting they have autism: I highly recommend getting an evaluation. It can bring you answers to the many unanswered questions you must have. Remember, you are not alone.