Once I began to suspect that I might be on the autistic spectrum there was immediately a tug-of-war between getting assessed and evaluated with a formal diagnosis before "coming Aut" but after discovering who I truly am and why I do what I do, feel what I feel, think how and what I think. There is just no way that I can carrying on living with the mask of normalcy or spend one more day not embracing who I am.
In the Aspie/Autistic community a self-diagnosis is considered to be a valid and legitimate diagnosis. Aspies tend to be extremely familiar with ourselves, we know ourselves better than anyone else. We can take the online questionnaires honestly, and are realistic about the lists of symptoms/characteristics/traits and self assessments.I have done an incredible amount of research (read: many sleepless nights filling in numerous questionnaires, studying the official diagnostic criteria, researching child and adult female characteristics, reading the blogs and joining support groups for women on the spectrum, speaking to my family at length about not only my 'quirks' but theirs too) and with every bit of information coming in I have found myself shaking my head in agreement, feeling an overwhelming sense of relief and belonging, I am confident that I have found my answer.
My self diagnosis has helped me learn a new language, one that describes all of the things I've found challenging throughout my life. I have finally found my unique strengths. For the first time in my life I understand that this is who I am.
I love to write and hope that through my writing I can build awareness and help others like me. I hope to share some coping strategies that I have found that helped me to navigate life in a neurotypical world and made it possible to live a fulfilling and happy life and even though it can be a difficult at times, it is a wonderful and valuable life.