I grew up only knowing about a bad leg and foot, so having an autism diagnosis is the biggest thing that’s happened to me. Since I found out about cerebral palsy, it has taken me an additional 9 years of research to understand all my presenting neurological symptoms and to find out those were Autism.
But with my Autism diagnosis brings understanding. It is the reason why I struggled, why I would continually start something and not finish it, and why over the years I was labelled for being lazy. It is also the reason I didn’t understand, or get school.
It also explains when I was asked why I wasn’t doing my homework, my answer was that I didn’t know how to do it and why I struggled to learn. Giving a name to my symptoms for the first time allows me to stand back on myself and change how I do things in the best way I can.
It’s just over a week since my diagnosis and that’s become somewhat of a blur. I am happy with the diagnosis, but it seems to have reinforced the whole disability thing and how I got to this place. It’s all a little bit too late to be told about something I should have been told as a child.
It’s good that I have never chosen to define myself by either condition. Yes, I have cerebral palsy and I have autism. if I can use what I know about both of those conditions to understand myself, I am happy with that.