My 36 year old son has just received the diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder. There is some blame directed towards me for his not having been diagnosed earlier, though also relief as he has suffered from anxiety and depression for some time and this diagnosis seems to explain a lot to him.
The fact of the matter is that I was called to his school when he was in Grade 1 because of behavioural difficulties. The Child Guidance Officer had tested him and his IQ was very high, I was told his brain functioned, in some aspects, at the level of a 10 to 12 year old. He was 5 at the time. I was told he was “gifted” and the behavioural difficulties were due to boredom. After that the school were able to work with him more individually.
I have contacted a service which provides information about autism, and found the following:
- There is nothing that as a parent I could have done to change anything, and am not to blame;
- There has been much less awareness of the highly intelligent cohort of those who have autism;
- Similarly, women and girls who have autism have long been missed due to their ability to adapt and fit in, and not fitting the criteria which has been based on male presentation of autism.
I say this because in the past few years when I was extremely burnt out with physical and mental health issues, this was one of the areas I researched. I could relate to growing up and taking my cues from those around me. A blessing in some ways, being in a fundamentalist Christian cult made that easier. I was on the point of having a Skype session with a psychologist who herself has been diagnosed as an Aspie. But as with all these assessments, the costs are high and I didn’t go ahead.
Then this morning I came across the article on SBS website:
Madeleine Ryan (above)