It’s always been held that autism is a condition for kids. But as you’ve probably already heard, even adults are now being diagnosed with autism. Jennifer Taylor is just an example of aÂ typical adult who has been diagnosed with the disorder.
She is a Chicago resident, has been married for almost three decades, and is currently working as a corporate communication professional. Jennifer had always felt something was missing &Â her daughters, who were studying psychology, would mention autism, anxiety, and ADHD to her. Her primary care physician added that sometimes neurological conditions go undiagnosed or get misdiagnosed.
After much deliberation, She went for her first appointment, where the psychologist inquired about the reasons for the testing. The psychologist presented a series of tests. In one of the tests, she was shown images of faces and asked to describe their emotions. The tests also included solving simple puzzles and writing tasks, which proved to be both exciting and mentally exhausting.
Results came out, with the psychiatrist looking at everything. Once again, she received the diagnosis of major depressive disorder and anxiety. However, it was also stated that she suffered from attention deficits, which showed signs of ADHD. These didn’t blow her away, But the psychiatrist noted one other thing that she didn’t expect – that she was Autistic.
Jennifer couldn’t read the facial expressions that the doctor had presented – a strong indication of her being on the spectrum.Â She also couldn’t understand the emotions behind a person’s tone of voice, which of course, makes it difficult for her to navigate social interactions and led to misunderstandings with others.
Jennifer past hurdles
Jeniffers has a lot of reasons to trust those results. For one, she says, from an early age, she had felt very different. She had been told that she was gifted and special. Before other children learned to read, Jeniffers had already mastered the skill at just 2 or 3 years old. She didn’t even attend kindergarten like most kids her age did, further setting her apart from her peers. Navigating social situations proved to be a bit challenging as most kids would call her weird and tease her.
Her diagnosis has been nothing but a relief for Jennifer. Now, she finally understands why life has been tough and exhausting. Masking her autism has caused her to constantly push herself beyond what is comfortable, resulting in burnout. Her husband has also adjusted his way of communicating with her, not relying solely on facial expressions and being more direct with his words.
Her advice to anyone who suspects that they are on the spectrum is to seek out a diagnosis. She explains that it’s important to go for testing in order to get a better understanding of oneself and receive any necessary support or accommodations. In her personal experience, she felt that something was off.
She encourages others to trust their gut instincts and not be afraid to pursue a diagnosis or quality Autism diagnosis and support.
Illinois Autism offers various services for individuals on the spectrum. We provide comprehensive evaluations by licensed professionals, as well as individualized treatment plans and therapies tailored to the specific needs of each client.