Hello again, my diagnosis journey started when I was around 13. My Mum and I went to my GP about my depression and anxiety. The GP then referred me to PCAMHS (primary child and adolescent mental heath service) where I got some counseling sessions and was diagnosed with high anxiety. From there I went to CAMHS (child adolescent mental heath service) where I had more counseling but it wasn’t working for me and I began to spiral. I was very lucky in that the waiting list for Oxfordshire assessments was so long that they sent some people to a private clinic, cutting the waiting time. After about a 18 month wait it was time for my autism assessment. It was February half-term in 2017 and I remember it so clearly. I spent a day a lady and we did different exercises and just chatted. Then it was time for the result. When they told me I was autistic I was shocked because I thought they were going to say I wasn’t. This shock and denial lasted about a year. It was a very hard thing to process. They told me I was autistic and then was left to fend for myself. My parents were offered sessions and my Mum and Dad went to one each. But I, the autistic one was left with nothing until CAMHS stepped in and offered me CBT (cognitive behavior therapy, which I will make a separate blog post about).
While this was all going on, we started The Curious Dog in the Night-time in my English class. For you that don’t know, this book is about a boy named Christopher who is trying to solve a mystery, but who also happens to be autistic. Now this posed a problem. We started this book just after my autism diagnosis and if anyone even mentioned autism I would burst into tears. Needless to say every single English lesson was torture and normally lead to sobbing afterwards as I had to sit and endure what everyone had to say about autism, non of them knowing I was autistic. Luckily there was a silver lining. I told my English teacher about being autistic and she was super nice and made it so I didn’t have to contribute if i didn’t want to.
The reason this was hard was because I knew nothing about autism which meant I suddenly didn’t know myself. I felt empty. This lasted about a year until I decided enough was enough and I started to research about autism myself as I had no one to help me. This better understanding and reading what other autistics had wrote let me accept my autism and move on. I now wish to help other and I believe nothing is better then reading what autistics think and their experiences.
For any one thinking about having a diagnosis I say go for it. Don’t think of it as a negative thing and see it as a way of understanding your self better. Having a diagnosis has really helped me and has made me feel more empowered. Well that’s all from me, see you later.