Saturday, March 7, 2015

Am I autistic? Does it matter?

My counselor told me the other day that he thought I might have Asperger's.  Among other reasons, for  the fact that my most successful,  satisfying job is working for people who don't speak a lot of English,  with Co workers who generally speak no English,  with customers that my interaction is short,  limited and specific. Of course,  I corrected him and pointed out that since the DSM V,  it's all Autistic Disorder now and it's not called Asperger's anymore.

My first thought was about how to get an official diagnosis. Then I thought,  but why? It's not going to change anything. The treatments I'm receiving would be the same. Then I thought,  maybe it would excuse my awkward and sometimes unintentionally offensive behavior. Then I thought,  but is that a cop out? But then I thought,  instead of being a parent of a child with autism,  I would be a father with autism,  of a child with autism.

I already classified as not neurotypical,  because of the ADHD. And it's commonly thought that autism is a "spectrum" on which we all fall,  with more or less "autistic traits" and with a child with autism it's expected that I would have more autistic traits than is typical. I've always known I think about things differently from most other people. It does seem like a simple and probably accurate explanation. But I don't think I'd be comfortable just self-diagnosing myself as autistic.

Of course there's the valid point that this is all a question of labels and grouping,  which isn't necessarily a good thing. But I like boxes. If I think outside of The Box,  it's because I made a new box next door. That's a human thing though,  the need to identify and classify.

Ha,  the real result could be the new,  "It's a black thing,  you wouldn't understand," which is a concept I don't like. But I already know that someone really can't understand being a parent without actually being a parent,  or being the parent of a child with autism. I guess what's important is to know that you can't understand a situation you aren't personally experiencing,  but try to understand it anyway. Which is probably why anyone who does not have a child with autism would be reading this blog in the first place.

1 comment:

  1. Listen:

    Either you're autistic or you're not.

    You're welcome in the Autistic Community, either way. Either you're a neurobrother (if you're autistic) or if not, we'll gladly count you as a neurocousin.