Note For Anyone Writing About Me

Guide to Writing About Me

I am an Autistic person,not a person with autism. I am also not Aspergers. The diagnosis isn't even in the DSM anymore, and yes, I agree with the consolidation of all autistic spectrum stuff under one umbrella. I have other issues with the DSM.

I don't like Autism Speaks. I'm Disabled, not differently abled, and I am an Autistic activist. Self-advocate is true, but incomplete.

Citing My Posts

MLA: Hillary, Alyssa. "Post Title." Yes, That Too. Day Month Year of post. Web. Day Month Year of retrieval.

APA: Hillary, A. (Year Month Day of post.) Post Title. [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Thursday, April 26, 2012

It's Official

Much to the complete lack of surprise of anyone who knows me well, especially those who also know about autism, I was diagnosed today. No more grey area between self-identified and diagnosed (I would consider two psychologists saying ``yeah, you totally fit, but I'm not officially going to diagnose you without going through the DSM item by item" and then me reading through it myself and concluding that I match to be a bit of a grey area between self-identified and diagnosed.) It's been somewhere between ten and eleven years since I read an article about an autistic child, who I think they considered to be high functioning whatever high functioning really means. I saw a lot of myself in him, read the list of traits of autism, and went ``Oh. I meet a lot of that, actually." So I asked my mother ``Am I autistic?" She said no, and that was the end of it for a while.
Fast forward to junior year of high school and Splash at MIT. I meet a fellow Autistic person (goodness, I am officially having paperwork that says I'm an autistic person! That's new) and she can tell. She tells me. I feel a bit awkward about this, since in the time since I read that article and asked my mother, I have seen some of the pop culture of autism. I can talk. I have friends. Surely I'm not autistic? So I take a look at the traits of autism.. Crud. That IS me. Wow. This wasn't the DSM, which I had not yet heard of, but it was enough to bring the suspicion back up.
And a few months later: I was in ``group" and one of the other girls there was on the spectrum, specifically Aspergers. It came up. She said she thought I had it too. The group leader, who was also the school psychologist, agreed that I probably did. (That's the someone noticing anyways from I Hid, by the way.) It came up a few more times over the course of the year that I was probably on the spectrum, but it never really went anywhere. When could it have? I went back and forth between two households since my parents are divorced. (If you quote the fail and false statistic about how many parents out autistic kids divorce, you are so doomed. Divorcing over a disorder you don't know your kid has is... hard to do, and the statistic isn't true anyways.) I also played a sport every season and took really high level classes.
Now we get to senior year (I spent a month of the intervening summer in China, during which I spent a weekend alone in Beijng, in case you're wondering where summer went.) Group, chorus, and tenor bass choir have all switched meeting times. Chorus and tenor bass are cool with each other, but group will interfere with one of those four meetings in five. Sad. So I told the people in charge of group that I'd be leaving. And they thought it was in my IEP that I had to be in such a group. So I informed them that I didn't HAVE an IEP because no one had ever diagnosed me. Oops. And so I left. (Apparently they had confused me with someone else.) Hang with the fellow Autie at Splash and Spark again, shock everyone by deciding to go to URI, and head off to China again.
First year of college: By this point, I'm fairly sure I'm on the spectrum. Trick or treat for UNICEF with a bunch of girls on the spectrum, fail to flinch when we are described as ALL being on the spectrum. Hang at splash, hang at spark. Also, get engaged.
Second year: She's not at splash. Hang at spark. Start a blog that is currently mostly about autism stuff. Get diagnosed about two weeks later. Then____?

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