Self-Diagnosis

While some are diagnosed at a young age and some at an old age, some don’t have the availability of being professionally diagnosed. Does this make their position on the autism spectrum invalid?

I was always different. When I was fourteen, my mom did research online and diagnosed me. Asperger Syndrome. I’ve never been to see a “professional”, so I guess that means that I’m not professionally diagnosed. I may or may not lose readers because of this fact. If you want to determine whether my words and experiences are true based on whether or not I’ve been professionally diagnosed, go ahead.
But before anyone passes judgment, consider this: I’m Caucasian and I always have been. Do I need a physician to tell me that I’m white? No. I already know without a doubt that I am. It’s as simple as that. I’m different and I always have been. As soon as my mom told me about Asperger Syndrome, I knew. As soon as I talked to people that had been diagnosed, I knew. We’ve experienced similar things, similar difficulties, and similar feelings. I know without a doubt that I have AS. Do I need a professional to tell me what I already know so that my words are valid as an aspie? No.

Those of you that have been reading my blog since the beginning know that I have AS. You’ve read the struggles, the pain, the joys, and the confusion that you or a loved one have experienced with AS, but they were my words and my experiences. I’ve not had the availability of a professional diagnosis. Money and distance have prevented one.

I do understand the suspicion of those that haven’t been professionally diagnosed. Not everyone is nice. Some people might desire to take advantage of unsuspecting aspies. But I’m surely not one of those people. If you’ve read much of my writing, you know that.

I hope that none of my readers will discount my blog after reading this. I also hope that you will give others that haven’t been able to get a diagnosis a chance. Don’t discount a person because of something that has been out of their reach.

Respectfully,
Allie.

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2 thoughts on “Self-Diagnosis

  1. Very well stated. You do not have to have a formal diagnosis to be on the spectrum. In all actually a diagnosis is only useful if you are in need of receiving services or just want to validate your own suspicions. That’s about it. I don’t understand why they make autism feel like some kind of exclusive club and you don’t get to enter unless you’re given a golden ticket. Autism isn’t about that. Weather we a diagnosis has been given or not we still have to deal with the complexities and diversities of our unique abilities.

  2. One of the biggest arguments against self-diagnosis is the potential inaccuracy due to the fact that the person self-diagnosing doesn’t have professional knowledge and experience. Having had a professional misdiagnose me with ADHD (and having known a startlingly large number of people who have had similar experiences), I don’t find that the professionals-are-more-accurate reasoning is well-substantiated (because self-diagnosis is not actually that inaccurate).
    Those arguments aside, I’ve never really seen the point in denying someone a sense of peace and comfort that comes with having a word to describe their struggles. Even if that person might *possibly* be mis-diagnosing themselves, is it really hurting anyone?
    I support self-diagnosis just because there are so many reasons why someone might not get a diagnosis (cost, professional bias against certain groups that don’t meet a stereotype, distance, real-world consequences of having the ‘autism’ word associated with them etc.), none of which actually make a person less autistic.

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