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.
I knew growing up that something was odd, but not what. Diagnosis did help, tremendously, providing context around so much of my life.
So yes, a lot of things started to make sense. Behavioural things, emotions, reactions, preferences.
I did do things differently. It made me far more aware of things that cause me problems, and how to avoid, mitigate or work through them. I changed my lifestyle a little, shifted my approach to work and became a much happier person.
One thing I didn't do is tell work colleagues. If their expectations and standards around communications and behaviour aren't being met, that's an opportunity to improve. That it takes me much more effort than them in some of those areas doesn't mean I shouldn't try. What I did do is let HR know, on a "You must not tell my boss" basis, so that if adverse reports came in I could highlight the underlying limitations that it would be lovely for them to help with. In the past I wish I'd had that; since diagnosis it interestingly hasn't been necessary.
I haven't become a god of communication, just much more conscious about how I do it, how people perceive me and how to fake the engagement they anticipate.
But.. you're planning ahead here. I approached my GP asking for an assessment for ADHD and it took 2-3 years to find out that it's Aspergers instead. The process takes time, it may deliver an outcome you're not expecting, so celebrate that you're making progress and focus on staying open to all possibilities.