It is time that I revealed something about myself that you did not know.
It is something that makes me different from many other people.
It is something that those who have known me personally for some time will understand as answering a lot of questions about my behaviour.
Are your ready?
I HAVE AUTISM.
Coming out of the closet may not be exactly true as I was only diagnosed this morning. Still, my wife and I have suspected it for some time. As you may know, two of our children have autism. There is a genetic component to autism.
Why bother getting diagnosed at my age? I have had a lot of questions about myself from childhood. Those who know me will admit that I am a bit quirky. Also, I have some very strong interests that I cannot embrace in moderation. As a child, it was anything to do with the army. As an adult, it is education (I am currently on my fifth university degree) and social media, including blogs. When I get into something, I really get into something.
At one point, I would have been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome but that diagnosis does not exist anymore (What Happened to Asperger’s Syndrome?). Now my diagnosis is high functioning autism.
How will this change my life? Not much, as I have always had autism even if my diagnosis only came today. It does give me a category to work with as I seek to navigate the differences between myself and others. This diagnosis also makes me feel closer to my children. I can’t wait to tell them and I hope they will understand.
Why do I share this personal information with you? I could just keep it to myself but I think it is important that it be made public. As much as autism awareness has grown over the past few years, there is still a stigma and there is still much ignorance. I have been trying to make a dent in this as a father of children with autism. Now I will do it as a person with autism as well.