Hi, I’m Jeff Owens, an Autistic person who is trying to make sense of the world and my place in it. I like to help other people …
My Late Autism Diagnosis in My 50’s
“See If You’re On The Spectrum!” read a link on social media. I was bored so I clicked on the link. It took me to an autism screening test called, The Autism Spectrum Quotient or AQ for short. The test consists of 50 questions. The average score people get is around 16. Eighty percent of those diagnosed with autism score 32 percent or higher. So I took the test. At the end it computes your score. Out came my result…43!
This test is flawed!!
My Reaction To My Test Results
My ReactionWhaaaat??? I was incredulous. “This test is flawed!!”, I said to myself. So I went searching for other online autism screening tests and took those like the RAADS-R. All of them came back the same. “You should get tested for autism”, they all said. So I started researching autism. The only thing I knew about it was from watching tv or movies. Autistic savants like in the movie Rain Man was what I thought autism was. Spoiler alert, I’m not a savant. After reading about the main characteristics of autism and the actual diagnosis criteria found in the DSM-V I knew the tests were correct.
Other DiagnosesIn this past year I have been diagnosed with Autism, ADHD, and General Anxiety Disorder (GAD). In addition, I deal with SDAM, aphantasia, insomnia, misophonia, and alexithymia.
But remember, you haven’t changed.
Family and Friends
I have had both family and friends tell me, “but remember, you haven’t changed”. But that’s not true. I have changed, and I’ve changed a lot! How I view my whole life history has changed. My understanding of who I am and my identity has changed. My family and friends whom I have disclosed my diagnosis to have changed as well. Now my “quirks” are more clearly understood. And I have finally found answers to the many questions I have had about myself my entire life.
Learning From Other AutisticsIn addition, I now have an entire community of other autistic people I can hang out with online who experience things like I do. And they have been teaching me how to take better care of myself. I also have found a whole new set of special interests for me to enjoy. My late Autism diagnosis in my 50's has launched a new chapter in my life.
Talk about change. What a year! 🥳
- ^Hammond, Claudia (2018-11-12). "Could you have this memory disorder?". BBC Retrieved 2022-10-26.
- ^Cherry, Kendra (2022-09-20). "What Is Aphantasia? When You Can't See Images in Your Mind". Verywell Mind Retrieved 20-10-26.
- ^Evans, Ryan (2021-11-1). "Understanding Misophonia: When Everyday Sounds Cause Distress". Healthline Retrieved 2022-10-26.
- ^Cherney, Kristeen (2021-09-09). "All About Alexithymia, or Difficulty Recognizing Feelings". Healthline Retrieved 2022-10-26.