1. Dear Anti-Self-DX’ers

    onetinybat:

    I am a self-diagnosed auttistic. I am not professionally diagnosed because:


    1. I am a woman.

    2. I am visually impaired.

    3. The therapist I spoke to was only familiar with male autistics and attributed my symptoms to personality type and my impairment. I was too nervous to explain further.

    4. There is no one in my state qualified to diagnose adults.

    5. I am in grad school and have neither the time, money, or means to travel out of states for a diagnosis.

    6. There is almost no research into the presentation of autism in visually impaired persons. There is one study which describes autistic symptoms as they manifest in non-verbal visually impaired individuals and relies on stereotypes, describing the person as withdrawn using others as tools, lacking empathy, no interest in others, etc. All other works focus on a need for more research.

    So, anti-self-dx’ers, please tell me how I should see a doctor and what a horrible, deserving of hate person I am, given the current literal impossibility of my obtaining of a diagnosis, and the likelihood that I may never obtain one, as, even if I could find a doctor, in my state, capable of diagnosing a female adult—given the differences in symptom presentation between men and women—my visual impairment would keep me from being diagnosed. [The first part is sarcasm, which I’ve learned to use.]

    Sincerely,
    A Visually Impaired Autistic Woman

     
  2. injolras:

    it doesn’t even make sense when people self diagnose themselves with a shit ton of severe disorders like they’re collecting Pokemon cards.

    It’s not exactly hard to reason that having repeated nightmares and flashbacks about a trauma in your past means you probably have PTSD. Also…autistic self-diagnosis isn’t willy-nilly like you seem to think it is.The vast majority of the times when an adult receives an autism diagnosis, the adult is pushing the evaluation because they’re pretty sure they’re autistic. Diagnosis of adults generally requires the adult to make their case for why they believe they’re autistic, so self diagnosis is a necessary part of many people’s professional diagnosis process.

    Additionally, there are potential drawbacks to professional diagnosis: having it used against you in court so you lose custody of children, being used as a reason to deny you hormone therapy if you’re trans, etc. You don’t need a professional diagnosis to exchange coping strategies with other autistic people—which is what online autistic spaces like #actuallyautistic are for.

    —metapianycist, an autistic with PTSD. No, I won’t show you my papers. Seeking out advice and coping strategies from fellow autistic people online is not contingent on having a neurotypical person say “yeah I think you’re autistic.” Autistic people are often very good at recognizing autistic traits in others.

     
  3. Anonymous said: I've had several professionals agree that I'm autistic but have not been officially diagnosed due to their opinions being that a paper diagnosis may hurt me more than it would help me because i'm considered 'high functioning'. Do you think it would be worth pursuing a paper diagnosis? Im not sure really the difference between being diagnosed and being undiagnosed besides being able to officially say "im autistic" and have everyone believe me.

    neurowonderful:

    Here is a good and concise post outlining some pros and cons to pursuing an official diagnosis and remaining self-diagnosed: http://neurowonderful.tumblr.com/post/89986388881/asd-paper-diagnosis-vs-self-diagnosis-pros-and-cons

    And here is a post I wrote on the topic: http://neurowonderful.tumblr.com/post/66162211987/i-am-self-diagnosed-with-aspergers-and-wondered-what

    I hope that this helps you think more about your situation and what you need. Always remember that you know yourself best, and that you don’t have anything to prove to anyone. If you have any more questions feel free to ask. Good luck!

     
  4. Anonymous said: Is rigid facial expression part of autism? I often get told that I have to smile, even when I actually smile.

    I have been told that my facial expressions are so subtle that it’s hard to notice changes in them, and the same happens to be true of my tones of voice. I think it’s called “restricted affect” when you don’t show emotions a whole lot in your facial expression or vocal tones, and it’s not uncommon for autistic people to have restricted affect like that. I’ve met a lot of autistic people who are more emotionally expressive in their facial expressions and vocal tones than NTs are, conversely. So I would say that for autistic people who experience it, it’s related to autism to have affect that is more emotionally expressive or less emotionally expressive than NTs.

    - metapianycist

     
  5. "Stop hating on autistics against self diagnosis! It’s just an opinion."

    allismyells:

    A racist, classist and ableist opinion that actively harms people.

    Try getting a better opinion. One that considers the needs and experiences of other people would be great.

     
  6. metapianycist:

    mentalhealthkitten:

    transastaroth:

    gatochick:

    there is seriously nothing i hate more than people who “self diagnose” with autism or aspergers.  like, i spent a week and a half in inpatient at U of M hospital having all sorts of tests and interviews done before i was diagnosed.  unless you’ve got an official diagnosis, you’re nothing but a little bitch who finds unpleasant things unpleasant.  what a shocker!

    You’re revolting. Undiagnosed autistic people aren’t not autistic until diagnosed and in no way deserve misogynistic slurs thrown at them. Not everyone can afford to be diagnosed or can trust health care professionals etc etc so you’re basically just classist and gross. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with well researched self diagnosis. Hell, I was self diagnosed for like 5 years before I was able to get a professional diagnosis and guess what- I’m still autistic!

    Seriously, being against self-diagnosis is classist (as said above) and also ableist!! Certain disorders (including autism sometimes!) prevent people from getting out of their homes or calling people such as doctors.

    having an on-record autism diagnosis can also make it harder to adopt a child, keep custody of a child, get approval from doctors for hormones and surgery (even if you’ve had hormones before) if you’re trans, get approval for gender marker change if you’re trans…the list goes on. I only got professional dx because I needed it for SSI and because my health insurance* and happened to pay for it.

    * note for anyone in Massachusetts: my Masshealth paid for it. I needed notes from my therapist and a referral from my primary care doctor. *aggressively loves Masshealth and Massachusetts*

    *reblogs to the correct blog*

     
  7. metapianycist:

    Because of the recent wave of anti-self-dx posts in this tag, I’m sharing Musingsofanaspie’s page about self-diagnosis. I’m another formally diagnosed autistic person who is accepting of self-diagnosis.

    If not for initial self-diagnosis of many of my conditions (depression, OCD, and autism—all three of which I have official dx of now), I would not have thought to pursue official diagnosis in the first place.

    Without further ado, this is what Musingsofanaspie has to say (bolding is mine):

    Whether you choose to seek a diagnosis or not is a personal decision. As an adult, there’s a good chance you don’t need a diagnosis. You’ve done your research, come to the conclusion that you’re on the spectrum and that’s good enough for you.

    This is commonly known as self-diagnosis and when done correctly, it’s largely a well-respected approach in the ASD community. The primary reason? Getting an official diagnosis as an adult is difficult:

    • Asperger’s Syndrome and autism present differently in adults than in children. Finding someone trained and experienced in adult diagnosis can be challenging.
    • Many adults face numerous misdiagnoses before getting correctly diagnosed with Asperger’s or autism.
    • Women in particular are often misdiagnosed because they present differently than male aspies on whom the traditional model is based.
    • Diagnosis can be expensive and an adult evaluation isn’t covered by most health insurance.
    • Diagnosis can lead to bias, stigma and/or create practical limitations, like not being able to join the military or having your parental rights questioned.

    So how does self-diagnosis work? First, be prepared to do some work. Self-diagnosis isn’t as simple as taking the AQ and deciding you’re an aspie. Screening questionnaires can be a good place to start, but they’re just that: a first step.

    Here are some additional steps you can take to verify, challenge or test out your belief/suspicion that you’re on the spectrum:

    • Look at the DSM and/or ICD criteria for ASD (DSM-IV-TR criteria for Asperger’sandASD,DSM-V criteria for ASD,ICD-10 criteria for Asperger’s and ASD).
    • Be sure you understand what each of the criteria means. ASD criteria manifest differently in adults than in children, so look for examples of adult traits when considering whether the diagnostic criteria applies to you. It may also be helpful to think back to your childhood and try to determine whether you met the early signs of autism.
    • Read books on the subject, both nonfiction (like The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome) and personal narratives (like Pretending to Be Normal or The Journal of Best Practices).
    • Read about the experiences of Autistic adults (scroll to the bottom of the linked post for a list of Autistic bloggers). If possible, talk with one or more Autistic adults. Comparing experiences with diagnosed adults can be validating. Also, there are many Autistic adults online (Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, bloggers) who are happy to answer questions about specific aspects of autism and being autistic. Just keep in mind that Autistic adults are people too and we have a broad range of opinions as well as differing comfort levels when it comes to sharing our personal experiences.
    • Make a realistic assessment of your AS/autistic traits based on your reading.
    • Talk with one or more trusted persons in your life about your self-assessment. Do they see the same traits that you’re perceiving? Share a list of ASD traits (female ASD traits) with them. Do they see traits that you haven’t considered?
    • If you have access to childhood materials like report cards, school work, a baby book or old home movies/videos, review them in light of the childhood symptoms of AS/autism.
    • If possible (and if you feel comfortable) ask your parents about your childhood. If you don’t want to frame your questions in terms of autistic symptoms, you could simply ask things like “Did my teachers say I [did X or behaved like Y]?” or “Do you remember me doing [X, Y or Z] when I was a toddler?”

    As you do your research, keep in mind that not everyone has every symptom. Symptoms can change in severity and presentation over a lifetime, becoming either more or less noticeable with age. In fact, it’s not unusual to find that as you age, one trait (like sensory sensitivities) becomes more manageable while another (like executive dysfunction) increases in severity.

    By the time you’ve completed your research, you should have a good idea of whether Asperger’s syndrome or autism is a good fit for you. Many adults are content with this and choose to self-identify as aspie or autistic based on their self-discovery process. Others feel the need (or have a specific reason) to seek out a professional diagnosis, which can be a long and difficult journey.

    Even if you choose to pursue a professional diagnosis, you may want to work through the self-discovery process first. Often, getting diagnosed as an adult requires making a solid case for why you think an autism diagnosis fits you.

    Weighing Self- vs. Professional Diagnosis

    • Obtaining a diagnosis as an adult can be very difficult.
    • Not everyone needs or wants a professional diagnosis.
    • Self-diagnosis is widely accepted in the autism community when done with diligence.
    • Self-discovery is a good first step toward professional diagnosis if you choose to pursue it.
     
  8. cliffexcellent:

    autisticproblems:

    cliffexcellent:

    "Tumblr is a safe space for autistic people!"

    …unless you’re low functioning, anti self-diagnosis, or think you’d be better off without autism.

    Being anti self diagnosis doesn’t need safe spaces because the whole world is its safe space. Also. Tumblr as a whole isn’t a safe…

    I’m not saying they need to be prioritised, I’m saying no-one in their right mind can call it a safe space for autistic people when you will get mobbed just for having a different opinion.

    Being anti self-diagnosis doesn’t mean you’re not also autistic. It’s only a safe space if you fit within a very narrow definition of what autism is.

    Safe space means “place where people won’t attack me for who I am.” Not “place where no one questions my opinions.”

    Being against self diagnosis is a very popular opinion in the world. You don’t need a safe space for it. If you feel threatened by people telling you “I think your opinion of self-diagnosis is wrong because X, Y and Z,” that is not anyone’s responsibility to fix but your own.

    People have said much worse things to me for things about myself that I can’t change—they’ve said things to me much worse than “your opinion of X makes you an asshole.”

    Also: Being self-diagnosed also doesn’t mean you’re not also autistic. People saying “you are a jerk, please leave or stop saying that” are not saying “you’re not autistic.” You, however, are saying to people “you’re not autistic.” People who are anti-self-diagnosis are the only people here who are saying to anyone “you’re not autistic.”

    - metapianycist

     
  9. cliffexcellent:

    "Tumblr is a safe space for autistic people!"

    …unless you’re low functioning, anti self-diagnosis, or think you’d be better off without autism.

    Being anti self diagnosis doesn’t need safe spaces because the whole world is its safe space. Also. Tumblr as a whole isn’t a safe space for any autistic people right now, though it’s true that autistics who can’t pass as NT and write about that get more bullshit hurled at them.

    I’m not of the opinion that anti-self-dx people need to be prioritized in autistic spaces. ASAN and AANE (Aspergers Association of New England) both have statements on their websites about how professional diagnosis is not necessary in order to be “actually” autistic. I only got a professional diagnosis because I needed it for government aid and I am not likely to encounter doctors who will deny me transitional medical care because of it. (Yeah, doctors refusing to allow autistic trans people to medically transition because of their autism diagnosis happens, and that’s one major drawback to a professional diagnosis that needs to be more widely known.) If you don’t need a diagnosis to get services or government aid, you don’t need a paper autism diagnosis.

    One last thing: you are perfectly within your rights to believe that you would be better off if you weren’t autistic. You are perfectly within your rights to say that you would voluntarily be cured if you could. The problem happens when you want other autistic people not to talk about liking being autistic, or when you think it’s okay to force cures on autistic people.

     
  10. Anonymous said: could being a fussy eater (ill eat maybe 10% of the things in my familys pantry, probably less) be related to autism sensory stuff?

    if the fussiness is caused by hypersensitivity to texture and taste, yes. figuring that out is easier said than done, though, because I was older than 20 before I realized that that was why I have so much trouble with food.

    - metapianycist