Coming Out

So I have just had a lovely weekend away with some of the girls from medical school. We stayed in a bothy in the country, walked and ran in the woods, drank lots of tea and beer, ate lots of cake and home-cooked veggie food, played our own variation of pictionary, gossiped about facebook friends, discussed the recent election results and the troubles in the NHS, boasted about our sporting / kids / culinary achievements and generally had a great time. Until……

one of my friends asked me about my assessments and then we had THE discussion. It wasn’t really the time or the place for me, but she asked and I don’t lie! Then came the “well we’re all actually on the spectrum somewhere” phrase and she went off home none-the wiser to to the feelings she had stirred up inside me and I that I have been ruminating on ever since! I am hoping by getting this down in print that I may actually be able to move on today and get something constructive done.

No we are not all on the autistic spectrum somewhere. Yes we are all on the human being spectrum somewhere. Certainly many neurotypicals have autistic traits. Many autistic people have neurotypical traits. To be diagnosed as on the autism spectrum requires fulfilling certain diagnostic criteria one of which is for there to be significant impairment in areas of functioning due to these traits (DSM V).

Unfortunately my delayed processing did not allow me to spit this out there and then and I just mumbled a “hmmm” which didn’t really help my cause. What I should have said was “Would you ever say to someone with incapacitatingly (?word) bad migraines “we all have headaches sometimes”?” I will try and keep that in mind (difficult for my mind!) for next time!

Coming Out

2 thoughts on “Coming Out

  1. Maybe that was her way of trying to process the news and thinking that she was being nice about it? I know it can be difficult for people to get their heads around a diagnosis even if they are prepared for it on some level. It’s not a helpful reaction for her to have had for you though.

    I’ve heard that phrase myself before, not directed at me (as I’m still on the diagnosis journey) but in response to learning my kids are on the spectrum. I think people say it thinking they are being helpful and not understanding the impact of their words on those who are living with autism.

    I hope it helps you to know you are not alone in having this sort of experience though.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. ‘No we are not all on the autistic spectrum somewhere. Yes we are all on the human being spectrum somewhere. Certainly many neurotypicals have autistic traits. Many autistic people have neurotypical traits. To be diagnosed as on the autism spectrum requires fulfilling certain diagnostic criteria one of which is for there to be significant impairment in areas of functioning due to these traits (DSM V).’ YES! Can’t tell you how many times I’ve needed to say this but couldn’t express myself!

    Like

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