Ziggy is a Certified Peer Specialist in PA and currently resides in Pittsburgh. He is a member of the Let’s Act committee, a group of peers devoted to raising awareness about mental health care. In his downtime, he enjoys reading novels and watching nature documentaries.View all posts
A Reflection of ASD Years After My Diagnosis.
You don’t know what you don’t know. That’s a quote from somewhere, right? For Autism Acceptance Month, I thought it would be nice to reflect on my formal diagnosis and how that enabled me to remember and come to terms with my childhood and own personhood.
The first time ASD was mentioned to me was during an appointment with my psychiatrist. We had been trying all sorts of medications, to address symptoms of anxiety and depression to no avail. As I was sitting across from my Doctor, I remember him saying “Let’s put a pause on medication changes, there’s something else I would like to talk to you about.” It was at that time when ASD was directly talked about and that I could be on the spectrum. My doctor gave a brief overview of ASD and traits that he noticed I had. The psychiatrist suggested I get a formal diagnosis and that we could go from there depending on the results.
When the results came back that I was on the spectrum; my psychiatrist didn’t stop there, he linked me with great autism groups and resources, and it was while being engaged in the resources and assistance that I was able to gain a greater understanding of myself as a person and my limitations. Knowing more about yourself allows you to work around your stressors and create plans of action where you can accomplish your goals at your own pace and time.
My ASD diagnosis was net positive. I was able to receive support and get connected with my own community by meeting other autistic peers. There’s so much to learn and such a great deal of warmth from my community members and those that help and assist us. A diagnosis alone might not give you all the answers you need right away but for me, it was a starting point to better understanding myself.