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.
With an autism diagnosis, I now have understanding. It is the reason why I struggled, why I would continually start something and give up, and why over the years I was labelled as being lazy. It is the reason I didn’t understand school and the reason why I couldn’t learn.
It also explains why, when I was asked why I wasn’t doing homework, my standard answer was, ‘I don’t know what I’m doing.’ Giving a name to my symptoms for the first time allows me to stand back and exonerate myself from any blame, shame, guilt or wrongdoing.
The consultation in January 2019 confirming I have ASD is now somewhat of a blur. For now, my autism diagnosis seems to have reinforced the whole disability thing and how I got to this place. I feel it has come too late in the day for me to be told something I should have been told as a child. It also feels good however, that I have never chosen to define myself by either condition.
Yes, I have mild cerebral palsy and I have autism, but if I can use what I know about both conditions to understand myself, and for others to understand me, I will have really achieved something.