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Just noticed there’s some more “othering” of self diagnosed autistics going on, so I’m going to drop some #ActuallyAutistic views on the subject - As a formally diagnosed autistic.

Let's go ahead and consider this some more education in the name of #AutismAwarenessMonth.
Now - I don’t believe myself to be “greater than” those who are self diagnosed by virtue of my formal diagnosis, but I Think I should put it out there as cred. Consider it using my privilege for good.

SO.
Most places won’t cover DX (Bizarre, with how medicalized autism is in public discourse!), and assessment can be prohibitively expensive. Even for those who have it covered / can afford it, there can be huge waiting lists. Assessment comes with many barriers.
One thing I don’t see discussed much is another barrier to getting DXed as an adult - a lifetime of masking. Personally, I “read” as far less autistic now (assuming certain conditions, anyway), than I did when I was DXed more than 20 years ago.
I think right now I’d “pass” my way out of a Dx if I tried, honestly.

Now, while I - and many other autistics - can pick one of our own out from across the room, even when they have a lifetime of masking, we can’t expect the same of allistic professionals.
They tend to go by stereotypes normed against young white autistic boys.

Now, not only do adult white autistic men not tend to present the same as that norm, but that goes double for anyone female, non binary, or of literally any other race but white.
Age, experience with masking, and being further and further away from that original norm stacks the deck against legit autistics actually being Dxed.

Now, barriers aside, there are other reasons to support self DX.
For one, in the current political climate, with talk of registries for autistics, a rise of Nazis, socially acceptable eugenics programs, rabid "warrior moms", etc ... if you don't need it for something specific, I'd *personally* not even bother getting a formal dx. Safety first!
Secondly... If you're autistic, you're autistic... whether or not an allistic writes it on an official form.

Personally, I find it pretty ridiculous to gatekeep autism from those who haven’t had an allistic declare them to be autistic.
“You’re not <marginalized identity>, because <majority identity> hasn’t declared you to be” is just a really bizarre way to think.

ANYWAY. I digress, back to the barrier of a DX. Let’s say an adult autistic goes in for a DX and is unable to obtain one, for whatever reason.
Maybe the pro isn’t aware of how to see autism in adults / non white people / women / etc. Maybe the autistic is having a particularly good day for masking. Whatever, they don’t get their DX.

Does that rejection of a DX make the person not autistic? Nope.
Does not even going for a DX make a person not autistic? Nope.

Whether you go in and get a dx, or don't go in and self id, or go in and don't get a dx... you're the same person you were before it.
If a Dr tells you you're not autistic, but governing yourself as if you are (sensory issues, whatever) makes your life better? Do it.

Realizing you're autistic is like 95% about "oooooh... so that's why _____".
Those realizations are valid whether or not you have a paper telling you that in the eyes of an allistic with a degree you ARE autistic.

Aside from some bizarre exclusivity views, the big arguments against Self Dxed people, as far as I can see, are:
1. That people will be falling all over themselves to falsely declare themselves autistic. This is just nonsensical.

2. That people will be mistaken about being autistic, and declare themselves autistic when they’re not.
So, let’s address that second one.

Let's say being autistic makes sense to you, explains things... and somehow you're wrong (??) about it. Let's say you ... I don't know, were a toe walker and collar chewer as a kid. SO you find autistics, and you start checking off ...
other things that made you feel alone and like an outsider as a kid.

Even if you're somehow wrong and not technically autistic (Maybe you're ADD with some common threads)... so what? Are you taking anything from anyone? No.

Is your existence hurting anyone? No.
Are you feeling better because you found people you can relate to, and learn that any weirdness as a child wasn't actually as "freak weirdness" as you were led to believe? Probably Yes.
That's why I'm all for self dx. SO many of us were so alone and isolated as kids, felt like we were just dropped off on the wrong planet, etc. I don't want others to go through that, you know?
I've seen so many lights click on for friends when they realized they were autistic, and they start connecting the dots and are just more at home with themselves.

It's a good thing.

So, yeah. Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk. :)
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