I was diagnosed with autism at the age of 46. Why would I do such a thing at my advanced age? My doctor didn’t suggest it. It was all my idea. In addition, it is not as if there are programs or treatments (not that I would want them).
Since I do get asked this question frequently, I thought I would share five reasons I’m glad I have an autism diagnosis.
1. My primary motivation was to be a better husband. My diagnosis gives some meaning to the differences between my wife and I. I hope to learn on how I can connect better with her.
2. The diagnosis also helps my wife. She can see that my lack of romance is not because I am uncaring but because I have trouble understanding it.
3. The diagnosis helps me to understand many things that were a part of my childhood. I used to think I was just weird. Now I understand it was that everyone else was weird.
4. I am more comfortable with silence. I used to try and fill silence with meaningless chit chat. It was very painful. Now I learn from my nonverbal children and am okay not saying anything.
5. I am now more confident and happy with myself. For many years I compared myself to others (mostly people without autism). I am fine with my brain wired a different way. My only goal is just to be the best possible me.
Each of these reasons make me thankful that I have my autism diagnosis.