My teenage child was recently diagnosed on the autism spectrum. I attended every appointment and as the psychologist asked questions I found that I could relate to pretty much all of it. It seemed to apply to me. I believe that I am autistic. This would explain my ongoing confusion and struggles within relationships and life in general. Being a middle aged female I can understand why it was never picked up by my parents and teachers.

My questions are – Is it worth getting an actual diagnosis for myself? (Bearing in mind that it cost about $1800 to get the diagnosis for my child) and Can you relate to this at all – Self diagnosis/diagnosis as an adult?
I am currently receiving support from my counsellor and a handful of friends, so I’m not really looking for that support – more like someone who has gone through this too. Thanks.

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  • I went to school with a lady who didn’t know she was on the spectrum until her son was diagnosed. She does lots of talks on autism. Lou Brown, look her up

  • It totally depends on what you want yourself. You have the support, so may not need the label.
    To diagnosis is only to be made by a Clinician or a Clinical Psychologist with expertise in the area. When it’s done by a single Clinicial, they should see the client over a length of time and do specific testing. It really shouldn’t be diagnosed with some questions.

  • It really depends what you think a diagnosis for yourself will achieve? If you think it will help you to have an actual diagnosis then go for it.

  • My mum has recently been diagnosed with adhd as an adult it has definitely helped her understand alot so personally I think getting a diagnosis is a good idea for like closure in a way

  • We have two teen daughters who have Autism and a few close relatives with Aspergers, over the years my hubby has said the same thing about himself, and other relatives and it does explain a lot for him, he hasn’t chosen to get officially diagnosed as he understands a fair bit about it due to our girls, if you have concerns around needing supports then I would see a psychiatrist or psychologist who may be able to diagnose ASD without costing so much. Good luck, there’s a lot more in our lives that we just say (when we’re being perfectionists) that it’s just our Autism we believe everyone can be a little ASD at times especially when it comes to trying to understand others. Much love from our ASD family to yours.

  • To be honest. Unless you need funding from the NDIS because it is impacting severely on your day to day life, the treatment isn’t any different with or without a diagnosis. A professional wouldn’t change their interventions based on an ASD diagnosis, rather they should be focusing on what you are wanting help with. Keep going with your councilling. I myself did a bit of research and being more self aware really did me wonders

  • I agree with BellaB. What would the diagnostic label add for you and would the help you currently receive change by that ? I would talk about this with your counselor as well.

  • My husband was diagnosed with adhd as an adult. It has helped him to better understand why he works the way he does, and has allowed him to access appropriate therapy support to work through it. Everyone is different, but it has been great for him

  • What would a diagnosis achieve for you? If you already have a counsellor and are getting support that way, what difference would a diagnosis make? Would it change anything? Those are probably the questions you need to think about before spending the money.

  • Unfortunately I can’t help you but wishing you all the best and I hope someone will provide you with good answers.

  • G’day mate, that must be tough to be feeling like you are just realising the why of your experiences at this late date. It might interest you to know that most women aren’t diagnosed with ASD until early adulthood because the social dysfunction is not as acute as it is for boys. My daughter was diagnosed last year at 8, but I had the advantage of several kids in the family with ASD as a reference point and a BIL who is a psychologist. Girls with ASD tend to be socially less adept than other girls, but very similar to neuro-typical boys of the same age. Unless the ASD is acute, they are likely to slip under the radar as just a little awkward socially.

    I doubt it is worth the expense to get the diagnosis unless your range of deficits lends itself to some kind of disability funding such as NDIS. However, reading up on female ASD and strategies for managing your gaps will definitely be helpful. I don’t mean to imply as a potential ASD woman you are in any way less than a neurotypical person. I am merely acknowledging the increased difficulty ASD people generally experience due to their trouble reading social cues. Don’t forget to focus on the positive in yourself: do you have unusual concentration? That’s an ASD gift. Unusual memory? ASD gift (usually a coping strategy you develop over time). Take stock of what it gives you, as well as areas where it might have cost you.

    A good therapist will help you to navigate therapeutic coping strategies – sitting in on your child’s sessions might be very enlightening. Welcome to the club, and embrace the unique individual ASD has made you. :) Best wishes to you and your child. I wish you nothing but the most fruitful path to your best life.

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