Do you ever think it's odd that diagnosis is essentially just us being classified, usually by neurotypical people?

Hi again,

I always find myself looking back on my diagnostic procedure and feeling quite traumatised. It was so embarrassing, what person in their mid-teens or in adulthood wants to mime brushing their teeth and read picture books and tell a story with a paperclip and answer all kinds of personal questions? I just found it really infantilising. I've reflected on it a lot recently, and particularly as I've read more and more material that says autism isn't a disease and we don't need fixing or curing [I still don't know where I am on this, I'm still on my journey] but it just seems really weird that we go to some kind of professional who is usually neurotypical to be labelled after answering their questions and doing their tests. I mean, I don't know how else diagnosis could happen, unless only autistics were allowed to diagnose autism which is just silly and would never happen, but... What do other people think?

I'm also tired of neurotypical people not listening to us. I'm sorry to say this - as I said before I don't do conflict - but I've been lurking on this site for quite a while and I've even seen examples of it on this site, autistic people saying that they're uncomfortable with things neurotypical users [parents etc] have said and the neurotypical person then responding by getting offended and talking over them and using emotional blackmail against the autistic person rather than listening and bettering themselves. I'm not going into specific occasions but I kind of just want to say that if a member of a minority group that you aren't a part of expresses they're not happy with something you've said then you should listen to them rather than getting defensive and making them look like the bad guys. You're the one with the privilege, even if you are close to someone who is autistic, you still aren't autistic yourself so you have allistic privilege. Rant over.

Hope you're all having a good week,

Scarlett Slight smile

  • I have always wanted to know,  since my assessment earlier this year, how a "neurotypical person" would fare in an ADOS assessment. I think it's more about how the situations are dealt with and how the tasks are carried out did get me wondering. Sorry this doesn't really answer to your post.

    I put myself forward for assessment and I didn't really mind the tasks they had me do. Yes it was a bit "infantilising" but I approached it with an open mind. If that's what is used as a standard tool it must be useful. I don't know if my assessor was on the spectrum or not, but they were very experienced and I trusted their judgement.  Fir me it was about getting this information so I coukd be kinder to myself rather than any classification. 

  • No, this is really interesting to hear, thank you. I think because I was only 15 and I already had mental health issues and was very insecure, I was maybe less able to approach it with an open mind than adults who have chosen to pursue diagnosis so they can understand themselves better are. I didn't feel in control, the whole thing was very difficult and overwhelming for me and it didn't help with my self esteem at all. I'm glad your assessor was at least experienced. I'm not saying I'm necessarily against the way autism is assessed, I'm not saying that at all, and I know a lot of people who have been through diagnosis don't see it as as big a deal as I did, it's just a bit strange when you think about it, or at least it is to me when I think about it. Absolutely, it would be fascinating to know how an NT person would react and answer in an ADOS. I really hope your diagnosis has helped you to be kinder to yourself as you hoped it would.

  • I totally agree. Maybe we should start classifying them. Well actually I do classify them in my own mind.

  • I totally agree that being 'diagnosed as having a disorder' by people that do not share your neurotype is beyond ridiculous.

    I remember being in a *massive crisis* in my late teens and being asked by CAMHS if I got upset if my parents re-arranged the household furniture. I felt so incredulous that thought there was no way that these people could possibly help me... (I kind of get the point of the question now but ... )

    (I would love to give you a rant about privilege and what it means to me but it's slightly of topic.)

  • These may seem like academic disputes. Ultimately, many people with conditions like autism find that the term neurodiversity (and its contrast, neurotypical) is a useful and positive way of self-defining their identity and their community. There's certainly a need to reduce the stigm.


  • i dont think i could mime brushing my teeth without thinking it looks like some kind of sucking on something else type of act lol

  • The people who often have a problem with what those of us Autistic have to say are "ableists" and instead of caring about the autistic person's well being, they're more concerned about having the relationship they expected. So if we tell them a son or daughter may be uncomfortable with hugs because of their sense of touch, ableist parents would have a go at us because the truth we share doesn't fit their expectations. 

    The reason I don't see Autism as problematic as others is because just about everything labelled "autism trait" is done by non-autistic people as well, most so called traits when treat separately are actually ordinary human behaviours.  

    On some YouTube videos involving ABA I see parents torturing their children, when I spell out how traumatizing and distressing it can be to bombard an autistic person oversensitive to light and sound with bright lights and loud noises, they get so angry with me when I point out it's just plain insensitive and abusive to force someone into such distressing situations that can be avoided.

  • Perhaps I should begin to diagnose neurotypicals ...

  • I do agree with what you're saying. It's odd that all these neurotypicals with their messed up societies, crime, corruption and so on label us as defective.

    However, the truth of the matter is, of course, we have little choice but to get diagnosed because to survive in their world in which we often get fired from jobs or can't get employed, we need a diagnosis so we can claim benefits and have access to the support we need.