How it feels to be diagnosed with autism later in life

“He is wired differently to you and me, this child of mine. He doesn’t like loud noises, or dark spaces, or strangers touching his head”. These are the first lines from a poem a mother penned about her son 11-year-old son who has Asperger’s syndrome.

Sophie Billington goes on to explain how her son Tristan’s brain works differently: “He can see in an instant the pattern, the layout, the solution to a puzzle”, but that “the world judges” and “sees only the outbursts and over-reactions”. It seems the poem struck a chord – going viral after being posted on Facebook.

Although autism is predominantly diagnosed in childhood, increasing numbers of adults are finding out that they too have autism. This issue, of later life diagnosis, was brought to light recently after nature photographer and TV presenter, Chris Packham, went public with his experiences.

About 1% of the adult population has been diagnosed as on the autism spectrum – with more people diagnosed with autism than ever before. And yet, generally, the focus on who has autism is still mostly on infants, children and young adults.

This is despite the fact that autism can be defined as a lifelong neurodevelopmental disorder – characterised by differences in social communication and interaction with people and wider society – making it very much a label for people of all ages.

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  • Not good, a lot of people do not believe me and just think I made it up, even been told, everyone is a little Autistic and that I was just making it out, it was just me.

    My company that I work for, says they help people like me, but can not reply to email, and tell my union rep, that I am so strange, they are worried about me, not as worried to talk to me like a human being.

    I lost my key worker, when I very much needed her, no one else know what has been agreed with my manager, all forgoing, I got no one to talk about this to, just left, because my need is low.

    I had my diagnosis in 2013, I am 48 now, but lucky to have a job, just I hate that job, supervisor think they motivate other by keeping secrets, not telling me what is wanted, may be due to not knowing the job to tell me.

    Rules and laws are broke everyday, but no one cares, and I am seen as the problem, agreement with the trade union, terms and conditions forgotten or changed, to cover up for the mistakes by managers.

    Lies are told, but I am the problem.