ABSTRACT

This chapter reflects on how being diagnosed as autistic initially robbed the author of the sense of identity. It explores how an aspect of autism often pathologised that of repetitive focus on a single item can hold hidden meaning, and how this meaning was tied to the burgeoning sense of identity. It is interesting to consider where respect for difference could lead as the support to those for whom the experience of being autistic overlaps with one of being disabled. When neurological difference is automatically presumed to indicate deficit, it is easy for people to conclude that the challenges thrown up by this difference are best fixed by amending the perceived deficit. But were the burdens of autistic people shared out more evenly, perhaps the statistics would speak otherwise of our apparent deficits. The chapter also discusses the mental health problems of autistic adults. In the end, the coming out experiences of the author and others were addressed.