A Letter to the Parent or Carer of an Undiagnosed Autistic Girl

I was undiagnosed until a mature adult. My children were undiagnosed because I home-schooled. While there were some definite struggles for them, especially socially in high school, autism wasn’t anywhere on the radar. We simply didn’t know about it. Having the diagnosis much younger (for all of us) would have had its own difficulties, but ultimately I think would have been a greater benefit. One of the greatest things I’ve learned throughout my life is that knowledge is power, and that understanding, knowing as much as I can about something, makes me less anxious and depressed. Knowing why we’re different would, I think, have made a big difference. As more and more people are successfully diagnosed it’s becoming clear that autism is not as rare (or gender specific) as previous generations have thought. It’s not to be feared or maligned or “cured.” I pray my grandchildren and great-grandchildren, if they’re autistic (which seems likely), grow up in a world that is more accepting of difference and less obsessed with “normalcy.” That state is purely a matter of perspective.

The Misadventures of Mama Pineapple

[Trigger warning: mental illness]

Dear Parent/Carer,

I’m writing to you in my capacity both as the parent of a little girl awaiting assessment for autism, and as an adult autistic woman, and one who has spent most of her life, until the age of 36, undiagnosed.

I know you’ve been wondering about your girl. Perhaps someone has said something – a family member, perhaps; a friend; a teacher. Or, maybe, you’ve been thinking for quite some time that this little person might be a little…different. ‘Autism’ is the thing that’s been suggested. And you’re wondering.

Perhaps you’re wondering about the formal assessment process. Perhaps you’ve already begun to get things moving, or maybe you’re little further down the line, and it’s dawning on you that the whole thing is far more arduous than you’d ever imagined. I get that. Totally. My family is there too.

And so, you’re thinking you…

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