late diagnosis..

Hi, I've recently - finally - got my Asperger diagnosis, preceded by an ADHD diagnosis. I'm in my 60s, and was misdiagnosed many years ago as bipolar, and had an even earlier label as a (gifted) child of being 'maladjusted'! I've since discovered that many autistic children were given this label, as child psychology was then in its infancy. Other than psychotic or schizophrenic, there were no diagnoses for children's mental health issues. My life has not been easy, and athough this diagnosis has been very welcome and has answered many questions, it's very hard for me to find anybody who can understand me and the difficulties I face. I've tried counselling a couple of times, but found that most professionals know nothing about autism other than basics like binary thinking and so find it hard to understand my (logical) take on everything. It would be great to hear back from anyone else who is in a similar situation, and to know that I'm not alone. 

  • Your experience of the counselling profession is unfortunately one I've found too. I was diagnosed a year ago, and then I was shocked to discover there are very few resources out there to support a late-diagnosed adult. I've had Counsellors just focus on talking about my feelings (even the diagnostic Psychiatrist said I was very insightful and was already fully aware of my feelings. Feelings wasn't the issue, but finding more effective strategies). Another Counsellor (by her own admission) didn't know what to do with me - so just sent me to a group workshop on breathing techniques for anxiety! Yet another kept referring to my "learning disability" - even after I pulled her up on it. And, the diagnostic Physiatrist seemed to focus on the belief that getting an active love life would solve all my problems (a very turn-of-the-twentieth century idea, akin to the common belief that a woman getting married and having sexual relations with a man would cure her of her 'hysteria').

    It's funny, as thus far I've never come across a medical / mental health professional with autism. Can you imagine if you attended a women's studies lecture that was presented by a man, or a racial awareness rally hosted by a caucasian person, or a trans-awareness advocate that was cis-gendered etc? At the present moment in history, we're being talked at by Neurotypicals who in my experience just have woefully little understanding as to what it's actually like to live with autism (in a neurodivergently-hostile world), whereby the focus of the 'treatment' is either to ignore us, or force us to adopt Neurotypical standards.

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