A Late Diagnosis, Questions Answered, and Self-Acceptance

by Sam Farmer 

I can relate to a late in life diagnosis .  I still struggle in the dating world with acceptance from others and  do feel some low self esteem because to the reactions  I get from ladies.  I have a much better experience in being valued and accepted in my volunteer work.    I still struggle with fitting in society box on what is normal to do.  I try to honor the people that supported me over the years by being the best person I can. – Greg

As an adult living with a late autism spectrum diagnosis, I have come to view my life up to now as embodying three phases: partially informedenlightened, and paying it forward.

I refer to the first stage of my life as “partially informed” because I was aware of my learning disability but not of my spectrum profile. Better one than none, though the missing puzzle piece did not help matters. While living for 40 years in a partially informed state of mind, the degree of self-unawareness, compromised self-esteem, and all of the unanswered questions as to why I faced the challenges and adversity that I did arguably left me in a fog. I had no idea that I was as unaware as I actually was. I did not understand the meaning of self-esteem, much less understand that my own was not far from hitting rock bottom.

Doing More by Doing Less: Reducing Autistic Burnout

by Erin Bulluss, Ph.D., and Abby Sesterka

Historically, in both the clinical setting and in terms of societal perceptions, autism has been conceptualized as a list of skills, behaviors, and observable traits that mark the differences between autistic and non-autistic people. This understanding has been presented for decades in a way that implies that we can simply add or subtract said attributes from any given human to create either an autistic or non-autistic person. In light of this, and in a world where the majority of people are non-autistic, it is unsurprising that many autistic folk have learned to perform non-autistic ways of being in the world. While researchers and clinicians have led the way in this endeavor with interventions that aim to make autistic people indistinguishable from their neurotypical peers,1 many autistic people under pressure to conform to societal norms have also developed their own ways to appear non-autistic via a process called ‘camouflaging’. read more