In my first post, I mentioned that I was 21 (almost 22) when I was put on the spectrum. I've been told that it's been hard to identify autism in females but how can someone go through their whole childhood and not a single professional notice some sort of sign?
To put things short - I am a smart ass. Not Sheldon Cooper smart ha but in primary school I definitely knew stuff. I've been told that in nursery, I already knew all my colours, letters and numbers up to 100. I mean, I can't really remember much as it's around twenty years ago. Anyway, as a toddler (I think), if something changed, like a family member getting a hair cut - I'd freak out, my Aunty had a brown jacket that I wasn't keen on - I freaked out, if something ripped and if it couldn't get put back together - yup you got it, I'd freak out. I'm sure I'd freak out over a lot more too. At this point, I don't think anyone in my family was on the spectrum so they didn't exactly know.
In high school, I think that I worked hard because I got pushed to exceed my best, whereas in college, you're not given that type of push. But one thing that stuck with me is that I'm not very good at working independent - I'd constantly ask for reassurance. I'm also a chatterbox and would easily go on a tangent or two.
I will do a future post based on meltdowns but I can't remember when it started, all I remember is that I was in Year 10 (age 15) and it was in my Childcare lessons, and I'd just burst out in tears for no apparent reason. I just thought I was depressed.
Then when I went to college, I eventually went to the college counselor every week or two, to talk about my meltdowns and my OCD (I constantly check things to make sure that everything is in place and not a danger risk), the feedback I was given was to listen to music to help calm myself and to try to stop the constant checking and to think “what’s the worst that could happen?” Yeah that was no help.
Still thinking I was just anxious and depressed, I was prescribed anti-depressants, and they didn't help me at all. Anyhoo, I got to University in 2017 - I stayed at the one in my town so that I didn't have to move out as I just didn't feel ready or comfortable. Now, I know that in University, it requires a hella lot of independent work, which I really struggled with - but like I said in my first blog post, I didn't know that I was struggling. But I managed to pass all three years and graduate!
When I was first diagnosed with autism, I went to CBT Therapy but it didn't really help. I also was recommended a place to go to in my town that helps autistic adults, I went twice and although there were other people, I just felt out of place. But most of all, I don't even understand my autism because I've kind of been left in the dark by the professionals. I get that the spectrum is huge and two people aren't the same but I don't even understand how my brain works. Why am I having meltdowns? Why am I struggling with simple tasks? If the professionals don't know then how am I supposed to know?