........and probably will hardly manage to again, as I may have forgotten my password ready. After a zillion things going wrong.....including the fact that all my brilliant ideas for a handle were already taken. Great minds.
I have not been diagnosed and won't be, I don't live in the UK and no doubt more ties to my lovely home country will be cut still further in the next year.
It was just seen as craziness when I was a kid, in the 1960's. It could be a spectrum thing but it could be something else. The red flags for the A word for me are that I regressed at 18 months and no longer spoke using grammatically correct sentences. Tantrums and obsessions during childhood, being scapegoated at high school and repeatedly being criticised from student years onwards for not engaging in enough eye contact.
But it is on the other side of the boot too as I teach at a high school for children who wish to specialise in the arts, and many are now getting diagnoses of dyspraxia, dyslexia as well as the odd autism I do feel the need to know how to work with these kids.
I would love to hear from older people who are only now recognising the hidden thing after all these years. Or from other teachers also confronting similar things.
The most important thing is my art incidentally.
The most important thing to me, for peace of mind and the ability to lose myself in it, is reading. The only things that come close are art (although just for fun, not to your degree) and, weirdly, filing and cataloguing things. I can lose all sense and track of time during these activities.
I was diagnosed (Asperger's / High-Functioning Autism) in January, aged 44, and although I'm aware that I'm still at the early stages of learning about autism, it certainly has answered a LOT of questions and made a LOT of things suddenly make sense.
There have been a few bumps since diagnosis. Being informed that it's considered a disability for one. Learning that once you walk out of that assessment room, you're essentially on your own for another. The difficulty in finding good quality information and research papers too. Another was hearing my prolific reading described as 'reading behaviour'!!! Overall though I consider my diagnosis to be a positive thing as at least I do now have answers, and know what it is I'm dealing with moving forward.
I hope you'll find this forum as useful as I have, it's a very mixed bunch but I find myself recognising many of my traits in most people I've met on here. It's a nice feeling, and a change from any other social situation I've found myself in.
When this thing came up a few years ago a counsellor told me it would never have hurt so much if there hadn't been any truth to it and yes, he said he thought he could see autistic traits in me.
But as diagnosis goes, I am not sure how that would benefit. The awareness of autism is massive now and maybe there is less stigma. But from the art poiint of view: I would want my work judged by the craftsmanship, not forany special disability. I would feel so patronized if that was the case.
We don't nudge Gates by his autism but for his acumen in business. Van Gogh was crazy but it is his genius we are interested in. We are interested in Jung's contribution to psychiatry, not the fact some experts say he suffered from childhood schizophrenia as a child. And so on.
All the same I would not wish any child to have come up against a host of misconceptions as I did, nor to have been bullied and scapegoated so much.
Speaking only for myself, I wanted the official assessment and diagnosis because I'd reached a point in my life where I simply needed answers. From that perspective alone, it's worked for me. Would I recommend a formal diagnosis over self-diagnosis for others? No, not based on the experiences of others I've read on here and of my own experiences post-diagnosis.
I do have the answers I wanted / needed, as I said, but for those of us higher on the spectrum there seems little benefit other than that. There are no support services in most areas, information is very difficult to search for on your own with no guidance, and despite the higher profile autism itself has, Asperger's or higher functioning autism isn't understood by most.
There does still appear to be a stigma associated with any autism diagnosis for this reason, people hear the 'a' word and make assumptions based on stereotypes of full-blown / lower-spectrum autism. Hence, I haven't disclosed my diagnosis to anyone other than my partner and adult daughter.
I can understand your reasons for not pursuing a diagnosis too, I can't see that it would confer any benefit to your art. It is worth learning more about Asperger's on your own though, for your own answers and peace of mind. The more I learn about it, the more I feel I'm finally learning that it's okay to be myself in many ways. It's given me more confidence in myself despite the frustrations of trying to sift the wheat from the chaff with regards to finding good quality, reliable information.
If you change your mind about a formal assessment and diagnosis in the future you can always pursue it at that time. Whenever, and if ever, it feels right for you.
Ah! I see : ) Don't worry about it, I came on here not even having a clue how chat forums worked and I think my first thread title was something like 'How do you speak to people on here?" which is cringey now : / We live and learn!