I started to write this.
Then I changed my mind and decided I didn’t want to write it.
Then I changed my mind and decided that I did want to write it.
I just don’t feel very comfortable about it, I don’t think.
We always knew that the smaller child definitely showed signs of autism, extremely high functioning autism but autism nonetheless.
This was confirmed at a parent/teacher thing the other week.
Okay that’s fine, my wife has several things going on - so I presumed it came from her side of the family.
Except said teacher mentioned that she thought it would be a good idea for my eldest to be referred for diagnostics too.
That means I probably have a hand in things.
Which is not something I thought I had a hand in.
I always thought I was pretty neuro-typical.
Really good problem solving skills, can spot patterns, picks things up quickly, learns quickly, has the ability to look like he knows what he’s doing, resists change and when things actually change gets very upset about it, likes to plan things out, doesn’t like getting his hands icky, doesn’t particularly like people or very loud environm…..oh. Right. Yeah.
Throughout my career, I’ve had managers try to use me as a template, for engineers with similar skills, similar outlooks, similar abilities. They haven’t really existed.
I always put it down to a combination of my upbringing, my career, jobs I’ve had where I’ve had to figure things out or they just didn’t get fixed. That’s why I was so good at my job. I’m also quite an effective communicator. I can explain things at pretty much any level my audience requires, but I do get mad anxiety when I need to present something or speak to a group of people about something.
I have massive self doubt, the thought of a technical test for recruitment terrifies me, even though I’ve seen multiple examples of people getting paid over £600 per day that aren’t as good as me.
I have a short attention span, an even shorter amount of patience and I expect others to have the same sort of thought process as me, look and think about things the same way - I guess that shows lack of empathy? I don’t know. But then I think I am one of the best people I know at empathy. I don’t know.
I felt deflated when I was told. And it’s definitely something that is taking some unpacking. I’m not seeing it as a negative thing as such, but I’m definitely thinking lots about myself, my personality, my abilities, my hobbies, my mannerisms, anything that I maybe thought was just a quirk.
There’s lots of things.
Zox bands - collecting them then falling out of love with them when they stopped doing the large band size. Then the RSVLTS shirts, I still really like them but they’ve added some extra costs now so building the collection further will be quite troublesome.
Board games too - and if you look at the friends I have, they all tend to be neuro-divergent too.
Set collecting, hyperfocus, problems talking about my feelings. Not liking change. Feeling awkward at parties and things.
There’s lots and lots and lots - and every day I think of something else - but am I just trying to pigeon hole anything and everything that I can? I don’t know.
I think I’m going to speak to the doctors and see if there’s anything that we can do. I’m not expecting a quick diagnosis, but I definitely think that I’ll start ticking that box on forms, seeing if there is any extra help and support we can get.
I think I’ve read about a few people that didn’t find out they had autism until later in live, and it was through their kids being diagnosed.
It feels like it’s a little late to be doing anything about it - but at the same time, it feels like there might be a few answers for the how, why, where and what that’s going on inside my head.
Maybe through better understanding of my own situation, I can better support the kids and my wife. And maybe in this more accepting world we can all be a little better supported.
Still lots to unpack, and still a lot to think about.