Is A Formal Diagnosis Of Autism Later In Life Worth It?

Autistic Women Seek a Formal Diagnosis of Autism in Late in Life
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Yes!

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I was content

to remain self-

diagnosed until

someone said that women couldn’t 

be autistic

Autistic Women Seek a Formal Diagnosis of Autism in Late in Life
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I can

dare to be

myself, now that

I know I'm

autistic

The Relief Is

Often Under-Rated

Autistic Women Seek a Formal Diagnosis of Autism in Late in Life
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I accessed

services that

were not available

to me without

an autism

diagnosis

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Being aware that

my brain operates differently from others has breathed new life into

my being.

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Since my

diagnosis,

I've become

kinder to

myself.

Autistic Women Seek a Formal Diagnosis of Autism in Late in Life
Autistic Women Seek a Formal Diagnosis of Autism in Late in Life
Autistic Women Seek a Formal Diagnosis of Autism in Late in Life

A confirmation of autism can

be invaluable in a woman's

life, at any age.

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Thanks to my

autism diagnosis, I don't feel so

isolated. That was

a long time

coming.

Autistic Women Seek a Formal Diagnosis of Autism in Late in Life
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My autism

diagnosis

finally allowed

me to stop

feeling ashamed

of who I am

Autistic Women Seek a Formal Diagnosis of Autism in Late in Life

Picture this: A woman drops onto a couch and arches forward, letting out a lung full of air with immense relief. She discovers that her brain is wired differently. She discovers that she perceives, receives, and processes external stimuli and information differently. She finally understands why childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, and continuing maturity have never changed her differences. So then begins a profound process of integrating her life from all perspectives. Autism doesn't disappear in puberty, adulthood, menopause, or at any other point in life. Many women experience a sense of relief when they are told they are on the autism spectrum because their enduring inquiry into themselves has, at last, a place. The social whys have a place; the sensory whys have a place; learning differences are better understood, pervasive employment struggles gain context and explanation. The list goes on. Autism is, after all, lifelong.

An Autism Diagnosis in Adulthood Can Be a Relief

Autism Comes With Us Into Adulthood

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I’m so thankful that

I sought an official autism diagnosis. I feel as though I am a much stronger person now because of it.

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Now I know why loud environments cause me physical pain. If I could have one wish, it’d be to control the volume wherever

I go

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Due to the misunderstanding

of autism in women,

I sought a formal diagnosis for fear

of not being 

believed

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My diagnosis in

mid-life introduced me to self-lenience for the very

first time

Autistic Women Seek a Formal Diagnosis of Autism in Late in Life
Autistic Women Seek a Formal Diagnosis of Autism in Late in Life
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 When I realised I was autistic

so late in life, it was imperative that I found a clinical psychologist who understood that I had built a life around masking and coping strategies. I was lucky to find a clinician who specialised in girls and women on the spectrum.

Autistic Women Seek a Formal Diagnosis of Autism in Late in Life
Autistic Women Seek a Formal Diagnosis of Autism in Late in Life

 I've always had trouble processing sounds and speech.

Autistic Women Talk About What It’s Like Being On The Spectrum
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Though I want to connect with friends, even minor social occasions leave

me over-stimulated, yet so tired, and

needing to recover

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My autism diagnosis uncovered why I’ve always had trouble processing sounds and speech. Though that won't change, it helps to know

the reason.

Autism is a Neurological Difference

Autism is a normal state of being for those who are autistic. No one can cause autism in another person. Autism is not an affliction or something to be feared, nor is it something to be cured. Being autistic does not automatically mean a lack of intellectual ability. Being autistic does not imply inferiority or superiority. Autism is a neurological difference, an intrinsic part of an individual, and although functioning levels can vary greatly, only autistic people are on the autism spectrum.

My self-

esteem and

sense of self

is much stronger

now

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I now understand

why I can't process

what someone is telling me when another

conversation

is near

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Only Autistic People Are

On The Autism Spectrum

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Life-long

stimming has

caused arthritis in

my hands, and I'm

only 41.

An autism

diagnosis set

me free from

trying to be

invisible

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Non-autistic

people seem to take executive function for granted. Some days I can't even negotiate

the steps to make

s cup of coffee

Autistic Women Talk About What It’s Like Being On The Spectrum
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 During a meltdown,

I suffered a vocal haemorrhage and couldn’t speak a

word for four

months.

Autistic Women Talk About What It’s Like Being On The Spectrum
Autistic Women Talk About What It’s Like Being On The Spectrum
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After years of hiding

my reactions, and ultimately myself, 

Autism put a name

to my life and experiences

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Despite having exceptional hearing, autism sheds light on why I often don't hear my name being called even when the callers are in earshot

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 Noisy surroundings

that others bear and even enjoy cause me to flee or melt down. Now that the world is getting louder, I can't go to shopping centres anymore.

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Autistic Women Talk About What It’s Like Being On The Spectrum
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Because of my

impaired memory,

daily lists are my

saviour. I couldn't live my life with any

agency without

them.

Autistic Women Talk About What It’s Like Being On The Spectrum
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To maintain my well-being, I must spend many hours alone

each day without

any human

interaction. 

Autistic Women Talk About What It’s Like Being On The Spectrum
Autistic Women Talk About What It’s Like Being On The Spectrum
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 I feel redeemed to know why, despite always having done my best to engage with others, I struggle to reply

in a timely and ordered way

Autistic Women Talk About What It’s Like Being On The Spectrum
Autistic Women Talk About What It’s Like Being On The Spectrum
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My autism diagnosis opened my eyes as to why written communication

is a necessity

for me 

Autistic Women Talk About What It’s Like Being On The Spectrum
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I frankly used to think that the sickening fragrances in shopping centres were lethal. I was annoyed when my favourite hairspray had a change of packaging, and when the familiar store assistant was absent from check-out, it felt unfair. These reactions made sense upon my autism

diagnosis.

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I view life from the

social periphery - a spectator still, at 50. I’ve never known how to make friends.

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 My late autism diagnosis explained all aspects of my life, even down to why grocery shopping has never been anything

other than a living nightmare.

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 I do better socially

when my pets

are with me. I've

been that way

ever since I can

remember

Autistic Women Talk About What It’s Like Being On The Spectrum
Autistic Women Talk About What It’s Like Being On The Spectrum
Autistic Women Talk About What It’s Like Being On The Spectrum

A Formal Diagnosis of Autism in Adulthood Is Relevant

Regarding women and autism, the deprivation of a diagnosis, including the absence of an accurate diagnosis, is far from ideal. Autistic women have been particularly misunderstood due to their proficient masking abilities. Unlike many of their autistic male counterparts, autistic females are more adept at walking through life, hiding in plain sight. Masking may be one of the most significant reasons why autistic females have been overlooked and are, therefore, diagnosed later in life, if at all. Whether a formal diagnosis of autism in adulthood is worth it is a personal question. For some, the resounding answer is yes. For others, the answer may be more problematic. For instance, obtaining a formal diagnosis of autism in adulthood may not be straightforward. One may be hindered by financial barriers, geographical barriers, psychological barriers, opportunity, or struggle to find the right expert who is mindful of the camouflaging and compensatory strategies that autistic women have adopted during their lives to cope with various environs and social situations. For some, receiving a diagnosis of autism as an adult can be a distressing event, as a deep re-processing of one's life occurs. For others, a grieving period may follow. It can be difficult to confront the question, "If I had been diagnosed earlier, would my life be different?"  

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 I'm sure that my mental health wouldn't have suffered as much if I'd been diagnosed earlier

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Employers might

have adapted to me if

my autism diagnosis

had arisen sooner.

I’ve never been able

to secure a job.

Had I been

diagnosed as a child, I might not have been as susceptible to abuse in my

adult life

 

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It was autistic burnout that led me to seek a diagnosis in middle-age.

My diagnosis

saved

me

Autistic Women Talk About What It’s Like Being On The Spectrum
Autistic Women Talk About What It’s Like Being On The Spectrum
Autistic Women Talk About What It’s Like Being On The Spectrum
Autistic Women Talk About What It’s Like Being On The Spectrum

An Autism Diagnosis Is Never Unnecessary Or Too Late

My autism diagnosis allowed me to reduce misunderstandings at haome and at work 

difference

Grief

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Because of our

autism diagnosis,

we feel confident

that our future

is brighter

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An Autism Diagnosis in Adulthood Can Be a Relief
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 After my formal diagnosis I realised why I couldn't find a vocation to which I was suited. I set about developing my own business centred around my strengths.

An Autism Diagnosis in Adulthood Can Be a Relief

My autism diagnosis

gave me the confidence to control my surroundings more effectively. My

concentration has

improved

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Autism manifests differently in girls

and women; therefore my diagnosis gave me peace of mind

An Autism Diagnosis in Adulthood Can Be a Relief
An Autism Diagnosis in Adulthood Can Be a Relief
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My autism diagnosis empowered me to live my best life.

Camouflaging may be one of the  most significant reasons why  autistic females have been overlooked

Camouflaging may be one of the

most significant reasons why

autistic females have been overlooked

An Autism Diagnosis in Adulthood Can Be a Relief
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Since my diagnosis, I have read many stories about autistic women and was astonished at how intimately I related to them. I have also been happily involved in Facebook groups for autistic women.

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I am grateful to

have finally learned

to give myself

space when

I'm feeling

overwhelmed

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My

diagnosis

validated my

difference. I even know why I'm so sensitive to

light

An Autism Diagnosis in Adulthood Can Be a Relief
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A confirmation of

autism has helped me

to fully appreciate how much I have had to

tolerate throughout

my life due to my

difference

An Autism Diagnosis in Adulthood Can Be a Relief
An Autism Diagnosis in Adulthood Can Be a Relief
Quotes About Autism By Late Diagnosed Autistic Women
Quotes By Formally Diagnosed Autistic Women

The Newly Diagnosed Autistic Woman Finds Clarity

A confirmation of autism can be invaluable in a woman's life at any age. Frequently, the older a woman is, the more invaluable the knowledge can be. Such validation can help her be less self-critical, relieve one from the burden of struggling in the dark, and provide her with wanted connections to networks of other autistic women, where she finds a sense of belonging. With clarity around why she is who she is, she can foresee and look back to make sense of her past. The long-awaited knowledge can offer self-leniency, self-compassion, and self-understanding like never before. Good news like that is never unnecessary or too late.

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My autism diagnosis helped me to realise that I wasn't unintelligent. People used to belittle me for the miniature I noticed. Now I realise they don't see the detail that I do. I revel in my detail-orientated mind now that I

understand it.

My Autism Diagnosis in Adulthood Changed My Life For the Better
My Autism Diagnosis in Adulthood Changed My Life For the Better
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When we received our

autism diagnoses in

adulthood, people apologised. They couldn’t understand why we saw it as good news, yet it put our entire lives into perspective, and all we

wanted to do was

tell the world!

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When I revealed my

late autism diagnosis to friends, they didn’t understand the significance. They thought I was attention-seeking. Their negative reaction was disappointing because, at long last, I was able to see that I was perfect as I am.

That alone changed my

whole perception

of myself! 

My Autism Diagnosis in Adulthood Changed My Life For the Better

Valuable Benefits Can Come From an Official Diagnosis 

The Benefits of an Official Autism Diagnosis in Adulthood

Be

Seen

A Diagnosis

Can:

Should I Pursue an Autism Diagnosis Late in Life?

Autistic women are invisible. Regardless of one’s “stage of life,” an autism confirmation means coming into view for the first time, into your own view, and the view of others. This kind of clarity encourages the opportunity for you and others to understand.  

Prove that your challenges and needs are real

Legitimise your diagnosis going forward

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Enable easier access to services

Provide self-understanding, leading to self-compassion

Reduce misunderstandings at home and work

Being Seen is

Always Relevant

Allow adjustments to be made to the home and work environments

Help aid daily decision-making and the execution of strategies for future situations

The Benefits of an Official Autism Diagnosis in Adulthood

Shed light on past chapters of mental health, no matter how minuscule

Finally, grant the gift of the "correct" diagnosis

Reduce anxiety, grow self-esteem and hope, and enrichen one's life

Allow for a change in employment or life direction/contribution

Encourage a better understanding among those closest to you 

Improve relationships in general

Re-position an individual to purpose plan for the rest of their life

Autistic Women Everywhere Sharing Our Lived Experience of Autism Worldwide

A Formal Diagnosis of Autism Has Helped Give Us Purpose to Share Our Stories!

Are You Autistic?

Book a Formal Adult Autism Assessment

Book a Formal

Assessment

to Know For Sure

Clinical Psychology Practice - Diagnostic Assessment - Autism Understanding, The Junction NSW

Assessment

Clinical Psychology Practice

 

Diagnostic Assessment - Autism Understanding, The Junction NSW

An autism

diagnosis set

me free from

trying to be

invisible