By Simon Lewin
‘Well that would explain a lot’ I said when my wife suggested I may have Asperger’s syndrome. Up until a few months previously, I had next to zero knowledge of autism. Our son had been diagnosed as severely autistic at 16 months. Nathan was always spinning his hands, was delayed at crawling and speech and was a ‘quiet’ baby.
I came home one evening to find my wife in a fluster. ‘I’ve been looking at spinning hands and it keeps leading to Autism!’ she said.
‘I think we should wait till he’s older before jumping to conclusions’ I replied, a little dazed from work.
‘Oh yes just stick our heads in the sand’ she retorted. I didn’t know what to say so I stayed quiet and let her do her thing and over the next few months she had studied harder than when she did her law degree. Sure enough, he was unofficially diagnosed at 16 months and then officially on the 3rd of February, 2016.
I came home one evening and my wife was sitting at her laptop, and started asking me questions like ‘Did I think I was diplomatic?’ ‘What am I like in crowds?’ ‘Did I feel separate to my environment?’ She was looking at ASD questionnaires. I gave a few off the cuff answers, then she told me autism can be hereditary. Being open-minded, I said ‘That would explain a lot.’ After all, I’d been plagued by anxiety, sensory and social interaction issues my whole life.
…I did the questionnaire again and with more integrity. So guess what? Asperger’s. I felt excited. I looked at statements from forums and found one that stood out like my life had been condensed to a single page.
I was so intrigued now that the next evening I did the questionnaire again and with more integrity. So guess what? Asperger’s. I felt excited. I looked at statements from forums and found one that stood out like my life had been condensed to a single page.
To get a diagnosis I had to see my GP whom surprisingly, totally agreed with my suggestion. I was referred and in November 2015 officially diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Did I have a mixed reaction of joy and bewilderment? Yes. Did it bother or frustrate my self – esteem? Yes. Did I think at times ‘that’s it you’ll never be able to achieve your goals? Yep.
However, life had left me so hungry for that missing piece that I kept, and still keep pushing away these doubts, and as a result my passion for personal development is flourishing. I now think big, follow and practice mind changing exercises and let chatterbox (my anxiety) chatter away to himself.
I am turning an ASD diagnosis into one of the best things that ever happened to me.
The following year has been so packed with life happening that I have only recently been able to process the result.
A new life had begun.