Has anyone regretted obtaining an adult autism diagnosis? I’m thinking of seeking one but bit nervous it might draw unwanted attention to myself.

As an adult, you’ve navigated the NT world more or less successfully to date. Obtaining a diagnosis (or going through the process and being told that you’re NOT autistic) is something you will do for yourself to ease any concerns that you may have, and perhaps gain a greater insight into any difficulties you experience*.

You are not required to get a diagnosis. You may decide that you’ve coped till now, and that a diagnosis will not alter anything in your life**.

You do not need to divulge your diagnosis to anyone other than the professionals involved in getting diagnosed. They are prohibited from divulging your diagnosis to anyone, unless you consent – so, for example, there’s zero possibility that your employer will find out***.

*: Note, however, that you can read up on autism – I recommend Temple Grandin – and, with a little critical analysis and introspection, you can get much of the information that a diagnosis would give you. That’s assuming you want to deal with your difficulties, rather than get the autism badge.

**: As you’ve coped till now, you will probably not have a basis for obtaining disability benefits. You may be entitled to some supports, such as social skills training. A good, detailed diagnosis may highlight issues that you need to be careful about (e.g., forgetfulness), which may help you avoid problems (by for example, establishing a routine with calendars, diaries, reminders, etc.).

***: I have a nasty feeling that a diagnosis might count as a pre-existing condition in the US, vis a vis health insurance. However, if you have an illness has nothing to do with autism, your insurance would have no reason not to cover your healthcare. Some illnesses, e.g., depression, could be argued to be caused by your “pre-existing” autism, but a broken leg, cancer, pneumonia, etc., not so much.


Is it possible to be a CEO as an autist?

On balance, I’d say that in a lot of respects, CEO is a job almost designed with autists in mind.

It might even be a better job for autists who are lesser-functioning. The single-minded, obsessive, socially indifferent monomania required of a CEO is virtually abstracted from the DSM-V.

OTOH, autists can be anything they have the interest, skills and experience for. Kinda like NTs.

I have been told by many that vaccines can cause Autism. Is there any scientific research that gives truth to that?

The latest research on autism suggests that it is caused by early brain overgrowth*- beginning in the womb.

Now: think about what you’ve heard about autism. How a child was, if anything, advanced for its age, and suddenly regressed until diagnosed. Smart kids, clever kids… kids who perhaps had abnormally big brains??? And think about all those really clever people who earn loads of degrees in complicated subjects, but are a bit… weird? eccentric? nerdy? ‘Asperger’s’?

Autism can be terrible. But it can also be wonderful. On the other hand, there is nothing wonderful about dying of a preventable disease, as my great uncle did in a measles epidemic in the early 20th century. There’s nothing wonderful about being left blind, like his sister, or being left with damaged eyesight, like my mother and me.

And I, along with my son, and a substantial number of others in my family, are ‘on the spectrum’. We like being alive, thank you very much, and we are unbelievably pissed that people think we are worse than crippling, fatal, preventable illness.

Too bad there’s no vaccine for stupid.

Eric Courchesne at UCSD is one of the big names in this area.

Further research.