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

Parents
  • I have never had any investment in the ND vs NT divide.

    My whole life, I wasn't autistic, until I was diagnosed. Up until that point, I thought a certain way, and I met very few people who thought about things the way I did. It was me vs everybody else. ND vs NT didn't exist for me until I exposed myself to the wonderful world of autism politics.

    I wanted to understand how I function so that I can interact with people better and be easier on myself, not so I can get angry about our differences. I've spent a lifetime doing that.

    Labels and names etc, by definition, categorise things. If we want a label, we become categorised. But we need categorisation so it is easier to research and understand things. Otherwise we have chaos.

    The difference is in the intention. If we choose to seek diagnosis, does it really matter who does it if the result is accurate? Although the assessment will be largely subjective anyway.

    Is it necessary for a person to be autistic to be able to see the signs of autism? I don't think so.

    Of course, they won't understand on an experiential level, but that doesn't mean they can't help us.

    Does a world class athletics coach need to be a world class athlete themselves? Of course not. They need to be able to assess the data in front of them and use that to bring out the skills of the athlete.

    The point of diagnosis is understanding, then we can move forward. I think too many people are dwelling on the past, too much guilt, too many grudges. The past can't be changed, people often can't be changed.

    But if we act like 'them', we become like 'them'.

    This is obvious to me but it seems like a common theme in many ND forums.

Reply
  • I have never had any investment in the ND vs NT divide.

    My whole life, I wasn't autistic, until I was diagnosed. Up until that point, I thought a certain way, and I met very few people who thought about things the way I did. It was me vs everybody else. ND vs NT didn't exist for me until I exposed myself to the wonderful world of autism politics.

    I wanted to understand how I function so that I can interact with people better and be easier on myself, not so I can get angry about our differences. I've spent a lifetime doing that.

    Labels and names etc, by definition, categorise things. If we want a label, we become categorised. But we need categorisation so it is easier to research and understand things. Otherwise we have chaos.

    The difference is in the intention. If we choose to seek diagnosis, does it really matter who does it if the result is accurate? Although the assessment will be largely subjective anyway.

    Is it necessary for a person to be autistic to be able to see the signs of autism? I don't think so.

    Of course, they won't understand on an experiential level, but that doesn't mean they can't help us.

    Does a world class athletics coach need to be a world class athlete themselves? Of course not. They need to be able to assess the data in front of them and use that to bring out the skills of the athlete.

    The point of diagnosis is understanding, then we can move forward. I think too many people are dwelling on the past, too much guilt, too many grudges. The past can't be changed, people often can't be changed.

    But if we act like 'them', we become like 'them'.

    This is obvious to me but it seems like a common theme in many ND forums.

Children
  • I'm with you on this, Exist.

    After spending only a short time in the online autistic community, I haven't witnessed any 'psychological' differences between the different neurotypes. This forum only represents a tiny slither of the wider autistic community—adults without any intellectual disabilities, and so it's hard to know for certain.

  • I can relate to some of this but to me it still matters.  I've always felt as though I was in a minority and to have this minority diagnosed with a "disorder" because it's not of the predominant neurotype feels wrong to me.

    And really i'd much rather have had the information to self identify at a much earlier stage rather than feeling dependent upon people with very little understanding.  The power imbalance did affect me.  And I didn't feel helped by them either.  

    That said, I'm not particularly fond of the term "neurotypical" either because, after all, who amongst us is typical?

    Overall though no, I don't want to create a divide but it felt to me as though I was somehow apart from others from the start.  I didn't realise that I was autistic, but, from the playground onwards, others had names for my difference.  Some of them weren't very pleasant ones either.  This continued into the workplace too.  I don't think I'm angry about being different, but I am angry about being misjudged and for this kind of misjudgement to feed into the diagnostic process.