This is a blog post from Chloe, and her blog can be found here.
Throughout my life I have often wondered, why don’t I understand that big word? Why do I struggle with being away from home? Why can’t I go for a sleepover? Why don’t I want to go out with my friends? Why do I struggle so much with the slightest change in my life? There are so many other questions I have spent a long time asking myself without having an answer but now at the age of 24 I am starting to understand who I am and why I am the way I am.
If you have read my previous blogs you will know that I struggle very badly with my mental health, I have spent the last two and a half years seeing nurses,doctors, psychiatrists and therapists which has helped me so much when trying to understand what is going on in my head and in my life in general. One day I went in to see my care co-ordinator and she suggested sending me for an autism assessment, I think it was mainly because that my main trigger is sound and I am also very sensitive to light. So it was only then that I started to get asked questions about my daily routines, habits, any obsessions, what I enjoy, what I don’t enjoy and as I was answering these questions more and more quirks and symptoms started to show up for example I find it very hard to make eye contact with people and I do also find it very hard to speak to someone who themselves are not very talkative.
I had to wait about 6 months before I actually had the official autism assessment and the appointment was done over a zoom call and lasted around two hours. It was very overwhelming and extremely tough for me to talk for that length of time and to have so many questions fired my way but I am so pleased I did it. As a part of this assessment they did have to make a separate appointment to speak with my parents about what I was like as a baby and young child and according to what my mum told me this appointment lasted about an hour and a half.
So after these assessments it took around a month to have my follow up appointment. During this appointment the lady that did my original assessment went through the whole report that she had written and my diagnosis came back that I was in fact on the autism spectrum. Being completely honest I was relieved because know I can begin to understand why I am the way I am. It also means that other people around me will be able to understand this too. So now I have had this diagnosis I have been offered different bits and pieces to support me, such as a socialising group with other women who also have autism. I am also going to be getting a card/leaflet which I can carry around with me which explains that I do have anxiety, autism, psychosis and panic attacks so if I am out on my own and I start to struggle I can show this to someone instead of trying to explain what is wrong.
I have spent all my life struggling with lots of different things so I am s0 pleased that I now can have some support with how to cope with certain situations. I have also been told to speak to my old mental health team who can possibly support and help me further. I do really recommend either talking to your doctor or calling your local autism assessment centre if you do feel that your struggling with anything from social situations, sensitivity within the five senses etc. You can find all symptoms for autism on the nhs website, you never know you might be able to have extra support to help cope with day to day life.
Thank you so much for reading.
Have a magical day!