I was diagnosed about two and half years ago after a severe case of autistic burnout caught up with me at 43. My life to that point had been a constant dance of blame, denial and covering up my differences--hiding the bits of my autistic self so I could appear more normal. Getting a diagnosis as an adult woman began a tremendous journey toward my own acceptance of self, but it was a difficult journey. Professionals often didn't want to believe that I could be an adult on the spectrum, evading diagnosis for so long. Others seemed to doubt that women could be on the spectrum at all. Even my then-husband refused to believe the diagnosis that brought so much peace and understanding of myself. In the course of accepting myself, I learned that others may not be willing to do so, and that health demands you let them go. This is certainly painful, but better for all concerned in the long run.
Thank you so much, Amy. I think we have come a long way, and will continue to move forward, in getting the message of acceptance out, so that Autistics both young and old will not have to live in a world where they don't know that acceptance is a possibility and a right.