As I write this, it’s July 2014. A few months back, I watched a documentary on Autism, presented by Uta Frith, who’s a leading authority. I identified with her comments that she thought she had autistic traits, although didn’t consider herself autistic.
I’m not sure what started me looking into it more. I’ve always been intrigued by psychology, and I’ve always been keen to learn more about things that interest me. I found online tests, and was curious to see if some of my habits and behaviours counted as autistic traits. I didn’t expect to find out I was autistic.
At the moment, I’m self-diagnosed. I’ve done all kinds of online tests, most of which seem quite highly regarded and developed by credible researchers (I’m a doctoral researcher, and I do like to see a test related to a peer-reviewed journal paper). I consistently score well above the threshold for Asperger’s. I know the DSM-V has boshed Asperger’s on the head, but it’s widely used and it seems particularly pertinent to me as I didn’t have learning delays in early childhood.
It’s all very new. It’s also not something I want to mention to people who know me yet, so this is an anonymous blog at the moment. Part of this is because I’m about to start job hunting, and have some concerns about disclosure, although I realise it might be beneficial. What I can tell you is that I’m in my early 40s, married, no kids, in full-time postgraduate education [UPDATE 2016: I’m now a postdoctoral researcher], and living in the UK.
Also, I see my discovery generally as a positive thing: it explains lots – achievements as well as mistakes. I might be differently-wired, but that doesn’t mean I’m badly wired.
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