Are you an adult who feels like something has always been a little different about the way you experience the world? Have you struggled to fit in or understand social cues throughout your life? If so, you may be one of the many individuals living with undiagnosed autism, specifically Asperger’s syndrome, and possibly ADHD. Although autism and ADHD are typically associated with childhood diagnoses, many individuals go undiagnosed until adulthood. This blog aims to shed light on the experiences of adults with undiagnosed autism and ADHD, providing a space for support, understanding, and valuable resources to navigate the unique challenges faced by those who grew up without a diagnosis.
Undiagnosed Autism | Asperger’s & ADHD as an Adult
It’s 2023, and as Lana reflects on the past year, she realizes that she had spent most of 2022 reflecting on her entire life. At times, she would stare at the mirror, not even sure who she was looking at.
The Diagnosis of ADHD
Early in the year, Lana was diagnosed with ADHD predominantly inattentive. This diagnosis helped shed some light on the many struggles she had faced throughout her life, particularly in school and work. For 38 years, Lana had tried to refocus on the things she loved, but she had pushed them aside due to her various obligations.
Finding Balance and Missing Pieces
Lana decided to get back into some form of health routine and tried to find a balance in her life. She wanted to be more present with her family, including her wife, daughter, and son. Lana realized that they deserved much better than just her physical presence. Together, they went on trips, visited beaches and parks, and even saw Lana’s parents in Texas. However, something was still missing for Lana.
The Autism Diagnosis
During a visit with a psychiatrist, Lana received an official diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in December. This revelation hit her like a wave hitting a child. She had been on the spectrum since her conception, yet she had no idea about it. The diagnosis explained the feelings of awkwardness, the constant sense of being different, the social and emotional struggles, relationship difficulties, rigidity, obsessive personal interests, and chronic low-grade anxiety that Lana had experienced throughout her life.
ASD as a Different Way of Thinking
For the uninitiated, ASD is considered a disability. But for Lana, it simply means that she thinks differently from most people. The year 2022 was a year of discovery and clarity for her. While she cannot predict the future, she has faith that God wanted her to be this way. Lana acknowledges that she wouldn’t be where she is today without the influence of autism and ADHD. She embraces her unique perspective and feels blessed for it.
Reflecting on the True Self
As it’s now 2023, Lana realizes that throughout her entire life, she had been the mirror, trying her best to reflect what she observed. However, this year, she wants to delve deeper and reflect on who she really is – Lana.
Frequently Asked Questions – Undiagnosed Autism | Asperger’s & ADHD as an adult #actuallyautistic
1. What is undiagnosed Autism?
Undiagnosed Autism refers to individuals who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) but have not received an official diagnosis.
2. How common is undiagnosed Autism in adults?
The exact prevalence of undiagnosed Autism in adults is uncertain, but it is believed to be quite common. Many individuals may go undiagnosed until adulthood, especially those with milder symptoms or those who have learned to mask their autistic traits.
3. What are the signs and symptoms of undiagnosed Autism in adults?
The signs and symptoms of undiagnosed Autism can vary from person to person, but common indicators include difficulties with social interactions, repetitive behaviors, sensory sensitivities, and intense interests in specific subjects. It’s important to note that symptoms may present differently in adults compared to children.
4. Why would someone seek a diagnosis in adulthood?
Seeking a diagnosis in adulthood can provide a better understanding of oneself and help explain certain challenges or differences being experienced. It may also facilitate access to appropriate support and accommodations.
5. How can an adult seek an Autism or ADHD diagnosis?
If an adult suspects they may have undiagnosed Autism or ADHD, they should consult with a qualified healthcare professional such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or neurologist experienced in diagnosing these conditions. The professional will typically conduct interviews, assessments, and evaluations to determine a diagnosis.
6. What is the difference between Asperger’s syndrome and Autism?
Asperger’s syndrome was previously recognized as a separate condition from Autism, but it is now categorized under the broader diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The term “Asperger’s” is no longer used in official diagnoses, but many individuals still identify with the term as it reflects their experience of having milder autism symptoms.
7. Can undiagnosed Autism or ADHD be treated in adults?
While Autism and ADHD cannot be cured, various therapies, interventions, and medications can help manage and alleviate some of the associated challenges. Treatment plans are personalized based on the individual’s specific needs and may involve behavioral therapies, social skills training, medication for ADHD symptoms, and support groups.
8. Can an adult with undiagnosed Autism live a fulfilling and successful life?
Absolutely! Many adults with undiagnosed Autism lead fulfilling and successful lives by embracing and understanding their unique strengths and challenges. A diagnosis, when obtained, can provide valuable insights and resources to better navigate personal and professional situations.
9. Are there online communities or support groups for adults with undiagnosed Autism?
Yes, there are numerous online communities and support groups specifically dedicated to adults with undiagnosed Autism or those who have received a diagnosis later in life. These communities provide a safe and understanding space to share experiences, seek advice, and connect with others who can relate to their journey.
10. How can I support an adult who suspects they may have undiagnosed Autism?
If you know someone who suspects they may have undiagnosed Autism, the best way to support them is by providing a non-judgmental and empathetic listening ear. Encourage them to seek professional evaluation and offer your assistance in finding appropriate resources. It’s important to respect their autonomy and decisions throughout the process.
I hope you find useful my article Undiagnosed Autism | Asperger’s & ADHD as an adult #actuallyautistic, I also recommend you to read my other posts in my blog at this link.
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