Wife & Mother
MA (Hons) Sociology, MSc Social Science/ Info Analysis
Autism hasn't a look to it, and we aren't all Sheldon Cooper
or Rainman or Temple Grandin. We are all unique individuals
I am Yvonne Moore and live in rural Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland, UK. I am a self-employed Mixed Media Artist, running a small business from home. I am also a Set Designer with our local theatre in Dumfries, and I create community art where possible. To date, I have created two huge mosaics that are on display in the region. I mainly work alone and like to sell my art online, in galleries, and in retail outlets, and exhibitions, in pop up shops, and craft fairs. I have a lifelong passion for horses and have been an equestrian in my life. I love nature itself, the natural environment, animal welfare, science, photography, and music (I played piano and was keyboard player and dual singer in a band when younger and on Gemini records). I have a husband and a family of 3 sons, one of whom received an Asperger's diagnosis in 2006, and twins, and a German pointer dog who loves walks in the woods. My autism or Asperger's diagnosis came about back in 1996 when I was a university student. I was referred by my tutors, and then by a GP to a psychologist team at the local hospital in Aberdeen, a city in the northeast of Scotland where I grew up.
I also received more than double the amount of credits required for an honours degree, which set me apart from other students as having a different approach to learning and was labelled a ‘genius’ by the academic teaching staff. Before my diagnosis, there were issues centred around anxiety, adapting to changes and connecting with other children or teens in school. Despite growing up having a best friend and appearing to be getting by, a lot of my issues were masked and yet questioned at other times due to my outward behaviour and sensory issues at times when I was perhaps not coping as well due to circumstances in my life or what we now know as autistic exhaustion. My issues came to the foreground in secondary school when, as Dr. Tony Attwood says, ‘the wheels fall off.’ I was isolated, suffering mental health issues, an identity crisis, and going through a family bereavement which meant I shut down and attracted the attention of specialists. I had to see a psychiatrist, and it was noted that I was suffering from trauma and grief, and my meltdowns were on account of having emotional management issues, so I had to embark on a therapy programme for a time, too. It was not a happy time for me in my school/teen years. I left at 16 unqualified and burnt out. I later went to work and college, and each time was a struggle. I didn’t know why, ie, peopling and time management caused such exhaustion, etc.
The diagnosis changed my life in that I could stop worrying that I was crazy or not as good as other people socially, that I could be kinder to myself, that I needed extra time due to my processing, and that I wasn’t defunct in any way, just different. The diagnosis also brought about denial, too, sadly, due to the way certain people reacted to me in university needing extra time, etc. and being labelled different rather than a temporary ailment. That had quite a negative effect on me, which caused me to go into denial. It wasn’t until I had my firstborn son and completed my Masters and saw a mirror image of myself, my developmental stages, etc that I knew I had to help him and so I faced my fears again and fully embraced the difference at last. I can be proud of all my achievements in life and that of my own children who are all gifted in music, art, photography, and science. And one even in maths, while the other two aren’t like me.
The team were diagnosing students appearing to have a hidden disability. I had always had a spiky academic profile in school, and I was placed in remedial classes for maths. I took longer than my peers to complete written tasks, and I struggled with essays but put it down to problems in my home life, etc. But I was an advanced reader, and I could write well given extra time. I had a talent in art, drama, music, recalling information, and knowledge in certain areas I was interested in.