“I found Anne Marie after my 9-year-old son was identified as having ADS by teachers at his school. When researching the condition in a bid to support my son through his diagnosis, I inadvertently found myself. I could not face tackling the process of getting a diagnosis through the NHS after years of failed support, so I looked elsewhere for someone who not only had experience of diagnosing adults with autism, but who also specialised in how the ASD presents in women.
The simple belief in my story and validation of my experiences garnered from Anne-Marie has given me more confidence in who I am. It was staggering to speak to someone who understood me at such a basic level when no one else ever had. I felt seen and heard for the first time. The level of insight into how I behave and respond to the world, and her explanations about how neurotypical people function in comparison has been immensely useful in my journey to understand ASD. I was astounded to realise how much I was missing – an entire language of subtle non-verbal communication. Who knew?!
A lot of people dismiss the importance of a diagnosis as an adult, including many medical professionals. But if ASD is fundamental to who I am as a person and how I interact with the world, how can it not be crucial? Having the diagnosis is allowing me not only to better understand myself (and forgive what I thought were simply failures of strength or character) but is also giving me a meaningful tool with which to advocate for myself. Through understanding my ASD I can better understand my needs and adapt my world to live more productively. Very importantly, through a formal diagnosis, I have a firmer platform from which to ask for what I need from medical professionals and my employers.”