Hi everyone - sorry if its bad to bring a 3 month old thread back to the top.
First of all @j95, thanks for starting this thread. There really needs to be much more community awareness about autism spectrum disorder.
I was diagnosed with autism when I was 6 years old, although my parents had a suspicion for a few years before that. I had speech therapy and occupational therapy as a child, however I did find school quite difficult. Sometimes I have significant social anxiety, and it can be hard for me to get out of the house and interact with others.
Another part of my autism is that I am very noise-sensitive (I HATE close thunder for this reason!), and I don't go to the movies very often because of this (which really puts me in a quandary when I do catch up with a friend and their first suggestion is to see a movie!!!).
I am studying an allied health course at uni, and this puts me in close interaction to help others with various disabilities, including autism. I think it is great that I am able to empathise with some of these people, although some people are very much more affected than myself (I have high-functioning autism). Seeing some of these symptoms has left me feeling very grateful for what I have, as well as a burning passion to be able to help them in whatever way I can.
One thing that has cropped up a few times for me is that there needs to be much greater community awareness about adults with autism - it is great that so many programs are based on early intervention (children), however I think there is more to be done for adults with ASD, while still preserving the person's dignity and choice. It's a really fine balance, and having now seen it "from the other side" so to speak, I'm now more forgiving to people who pass off some of my symptoms as "me being difficult", or "not being able to work properly as a team", etc.
I hope that this has helped some of you understand me a bit more
@mrmusic Thank you so much for your post - I feel like I know so much more about autism and the needs in our community as a result. I have a couple of friends with High Functioning and they've mentioned similar concerns about the lack of knowledge around adults living with Autism. Is there anyone in the media or a public figure that is advocating this at all?
I so wish there was more stuff for adults, especially since it feels like people think that adults can handle things themselves because their adults when really, it's not like that at all.
Thanks for sharing your insights!
Just going through this thread, one thing that hasn’t been directly mentioned yet is that there is no known cure for ASD. Support services can only help with the symptoms, and making things easier to deal with. As others have also mentioned, autism (particularly high-functioning) can be an invisible disability, so it’s really important that people with autism are validated and valued.
Hey @TOM-RO, sorry to take such a long time to get back to you. I can't find any specific examples of advocacy for adults with ASD. In addition, many of the support services around for ASD are based around early intervention needs, so this can be very isolating for adults with autism. Part of the issue is that no two people with ASD are the same, so while there are perhaps some common features, such as sensory processing and communication issues, ASD manifests itself in so many different ways.
@N1ghtW1ng I just wanted to say that there is no reason to feel like a fraud simply because your diagnosis was Asperger's syndrome, as opposed to autism. You still have a voice to be heard.
On that note, I was told by my previous psychologist that Asperger's syndrome is not diagnosed anymore, and indeed the DSM 5 (which I have to know about as a music therapy student ) only lists 'Autism spectrum disorder'. So an interesting development. I'd be keen to know what people think of only having a diagnosis of 'autism spectrum disorder' available?
But oh boy am I just so tired. I keep getting real clappy hands, which is annoying because I don't want to make noise Why can't my hands remain still? Although last semester at uni I didn't bother hiding my fidgety things (including a very indiscrete purple stretchy caterpillar) so yay for not giving a damn about uni. Or anyone really, it's more just a personal annoyance.
@N1ghtW1ng Thanks for that, very interesting. Perhaps I was way off the mark, but it certainly wasn’t in the DSM 5 when I checked this morning... Someone doing psychology could probably clarify this. But I certainly was told that it wasn’t diagnosed anymore.
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