Autistic self diagnosis from those who know

ID: Background image of a woman sitting in front of a sunset. A faded purple box sits on top with the words: Autistic self diagnosis from those who know

‘Autistic self diagnosis from those who know’ is a post I’ve wanted to do for some time.

As someone who started the year 2021 as a self diagnosed autistic woman in her thirties and ended it diagnosed, I feel self diagnosis had a lot to do with it. 

Throughout 2021, I talked openly about what it was like and why people choose to self diagnose.

I also asked my Instagram followers:

Are you a self diagnosed autistic? And if so, why have you chosen to do this?

I was curious. As someone who was told by several members of the autistic community that self diagnosis was valid, I wanted to know how it helped other people. 

Autistic self diagnosis, for me, meant:

  • Learning more about myself
  • I stopped feeling broken or ‘disordered’
  • Feelings of reassurance
  • Me advocating for myself
  • Pursuing a formal diagnosis

It also meant me discovering the world of the autistic self diagnosis haters who quite happily (and anonymously) dish out the abuse and insults freely without thinking of the effects. Their small mindedness and judgement just spurred me on to give voices to those who are unable, for whatever reason, to get a formal autism diagnosis.

Through this post, I’m sharing quotes from those who know what it’s like to be self diagnosed. I have kept their names out of the images for their own peace of mind. 

Here are just some quotes from a handful of my lovely followers 

ID: Purple tile with a clothes peg in the corner of the image and the words: Self diagnosis gave me the opportunity to find people I could relate to and in turn, understand what I was going through. That helped a lot.

Many people responded with the answer above. That being on social media and finding other people who felt the same way really helped them through their process of discovery. I agree with them because it really helped me too. Although there are the 1% of people who don’t agree with self diagnosis, 99% of those I’ve spoken to feel SD is valid. That feeling of validation is so amazing for those who can’t get formal validation elsewhere.

ID: Purple image with a clothes peg in the corner and the following text: When self-diagnosed, I understood myself for the first time. This understanding led me to a formal diagnosis which saved my life.

Despite what the few people on social media seem to think, self diagnosis is NOT about accessing services and taking away from others (this wouldn’t be available anyway), it’s about knowing who you are. Knowing why you work the way you do and why, sometimes, you struggle. I constantly felt in a state of flux, not really knowing who I was or why I was having so much trouble fitting in or even coping with life. Autistic self diagnosis helped me to understand that actually, my brain works in a different way to other people’s and it’s not a bad thing.

ID: Purple background with a clothes peg in the top right corner and text that reads: Self-diagnosis helped me to introduce accommodations and changes to my lifestyle which were more positive.

Self diagnosis can be really empowering for someone who’s struggled their whole lives. By reading stories and experiences of others, people can take any tips or guidance and use this in their own lives to make things easier for them. I follow so many incredible neurodiverse content creators and I learn something new every day that I could implement to help me live my life as best I can.

ID: Purple image with a clothes peg image in the top right corner and text that reads: Self-diagnosis isn't about anyone else. It's about me and what I need to survive.

THIS is what the trolls and those with a chip on their shoulder fail to realise. Self diagnosis is NOT about anyone else. It’s not a way of ‘fitting in with a crowd’ or ‘attention-seeking’. Quite the opposite. Thanks to these opinions, many self diagnosed people are afraid to speak out about their lives and struggles. . When I got abuse online for it, I’d say ‘It’s not about you. It’s about me. I don’t need your authority (very Cartman from South Park, I’ve just realised!) and I don’t need your judgement. Now buzz off to another corner of the internet.’ (Spoiler alert: Apparently internet bullies don’t like being told to buzz off… LOL)

ID: Purple image with clothes peg image in the top right corner and text that reads: Self-diagnosis has meant that I understand more about how my mind works and that I don't need fixing.

I think this quote resonated with me A LOT. ‘I don’t need fixing’ is a strong message. For years, I felt broken. Mental health services told me I was, society told me too. Turns out, I’m not. And neither are you. We just think differently. 

Self diagnosis is for you and you alone.

Self diagnosed autistics, I want you to know that you matter. Your experiences are important and you should never stop learning about how you can help yourself. Being able to SD has helped me so much and I really hope it helps you too. It eventually led to me receiving a formal diagnosis, which I’m very lucky and grateful for. I know this isn’t the reality for many.

Comment below if you’re self diagnosed and the positive impact it’s had/is having on you.

2 thoughts on “Autistic self diagnosis from those who know”

  1. With adult autism assessments being so hard to come by, it seems inevitable that the only diagnosis some people will be able to access is self-diagnosis.

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