Masking and alexithymia - behind the glass wall of autism

Firstly, I hope that no one minds me joining here. 

I have, after a long wait, just received my diagnostic report and although it has been noted that although, I demonstrate a failure to maintain eye to eye gaze, facial expression, body postures, and gestures to regulate social interaction, nor demonstrate a lack of social reciprocity and have a weak integration of social, emotional and communication behaviours. I am not autistic.

My need for routine was attributed to being a busy working parent (so you'd need a regime to get through that, right). My low self worth and anxiety have caused me to struggle and not maintain relationships or sustain friendships attributed to some challenging life experiences. It seems a case that things have been interpreted that the challenges I faced/face are down to difficult life experiences, not that autism and an ability to articulate wants or needs has led such experiences to be gone through.

I found the assessment process a real challenge.  Questions rattled through, misconstrued, no probing of impact. My responses reiterated back to me (often incorrectly) and then scribbled down. Each misinterpretation chiselled away at my hope to be understood at last.

I sat through the assessment like "a mute behind a glass wall". Was the assessor unable to hear my words or was I just unable to articulate sufficiently well to be heard.

Can anyone else relate to this?

Thank you if you have taken time to read this post.  I hope it has not caused offence. I wish you all well.

  • You are very welcome here!

    I also found the assessment process very stressful because I am not the most articulate under pressure and I struggle to get to my point across. Luckily I had a specialist who understood I was masking and she really understood how autism presents in females. I think you are entitled to a second opinion but, regardless of disgnosis, you can obviously identify and struggle with a lot of autistic traits, and that is valid.

  • Definitely. My partner & I have spent decades not being listened to, having our words interpreted incorrectly, and being treated like we don't know what we're talking about by some people.

    I'm not sure of your gender, but females don't get diagnosed as often as males. I'm female & chose not to be "formally" diagnosed as my GP said I wouldn't get any support as I can function ok and work part time. I did think about going ahead just to confirm it, but after hearing about what was involved it frankly put me off and I was worried about misdiagnosis. I know what I am, and if I do need support as I get older I'll just have to get referred when I need it & hope for the best.

    I'm sorry to hear what you went through and hope you'll be able to come to terms with it. You are what you've always been - a diagnosis won't change that. Have you read any books about self diagnosis? I found "Am I Autistic?" by Lydia Andal helpful . And this forum is supportive when you need it. You won't be shunned for not having a formal diagnosis. Take care.