Good afternoon all.
I just wondered what positive steps people took after they were diagnosed as adults. I am still awaiting my (hopefully) final appointment next week and am going through a rollercoaster of emotions such as: it won't change who I am, it won't make a difference to those that know me, will I grieve for the situations I found troublesome growing up etc etc.
I guess I am asking:
Did diagnosis help?
Did things start to make sense?
Did you do things differently as you were more aware?
and what are people's experience with telling work colleagues? I am of the mind not to at the moment, as I don't necessarily need anything to change there.
As is the case with many on this site, I had self-diagnosed long before I was officially diagnosed. That was the point at which everything started to make sense. I didn't start to do things differently at that point, however, though perhaps my attitude was slightly different because I had just been through a really bad work situation.
The reason I got an official diagnosis was because of (yet another) problem at work, and now my life has completely changed (i.e. fallen apart). I think that's more to do with what happened at work (and the fact that it wasn't the first time it had happened) than with my diagnosis, but there is also something to be said for it being official and written down in black and white.
I often think about how different my life would have been if I had been diagnosed in childhood or early adulthood. I don't think it would necessarily have been better, because of the attitudes people have toward those they consider less "able". I would not have benefitted at all from intervention in school (which would perhaps have been forced on me), because I never had any problem achieving high grades and earning university degrees (I have several). The nightmare really started when I was finally in the "adult world" and people around me did unexpected things (such as behaving as though they were still in primary school) and I had no idea how to react.
I put a lot of effort and many years of my life into getting an education and building my career. I wish someone had told me before I started how much more difficult it would be for me than it for someone else. I naively thought talent and hard work were the keys to success, but that is a total lie. There are so many talentless, lazy individuals who have done so much better than I have and are so much better-liked. It makes me so frustrated sometimes because nobody has ever given me a fair chance or the benefit of the doubt, and it can only be because I am socially different.
I wouldn't tell all work colleagues, but it is wise to let HR or one's manager know in some recorded way, because otherwise, if something does go wrong. it will be more difficult to prove that the employer knew or should have known about the disability. I know this from personal experience. Everything always seems to be going well until it isn't. and then it's too late. You might want to specifically request discretion, because some managers are prone to letting everyone else know, even though they are not supposed to do so without your express permission.
That's just my experience. I hope it helps to put things into perspective.
You put into words exactly what my son has tried to tell me on a number of occasions, "There are so many talentless, lazy individuals who have done so much better than I have and are so much better-liked. It makes me so frustrated sometimes because nobody has ever given me a fair chance or the benefit of the doubt, and it can only be because I am socially different." This is exactly how he feels.