Autistic Spectrum Digest (Autism) Issue 22, September 2015 - Page 32

But it`s there whether they are diagnosed or not. It seems strange that some people are so unwilling to accept a part of themselves, that they would happily go without help for the changes they may feel they want to make in their lives. One of, if not the biggest, misconception about autism is that is it something that affects males and not females. Things have changed a bit now, but even the often quoted fact that more men have autism than women can be misleading. It is known that more men are diagnosed with autism, but it seems highly likely that just as many women are autistic as men. But sadly women don't seem to fit in to the conventional spectrum the same way men do,and this can offten lead to them remaining undiagnosed . But for the sake of the health of all the autistic females out there it is time people started recognizing autism in all its forms. A diagnoses can have a two-fold effect on a autistic person. Firstly, just knowing for sure that they are autistic can be a relief, someone might have been struggling with parts of themselves, and their life for years, and had no clue why. Finding out that not only is there a good cause for this, but that a lot of other people might struggle with the same things can be a huge help on its own. But also, having a diagnosis gives someone access to a whole world of help: on-line communities, support networks in real life, and a whole wealth of information that is there to help people with autism. It is sad to think that the idea of being known as having autism, or being autsitic is scary to some people. It`s also a pity that they fear it would become the defining part of who they are. The thing is, autism does impact on every part of day to day life, but it will do this anyway, with or without a diagnosis. What people have to decide is if they want to get help, or support with the parts of autism they find hard, or not. A diagnoses can be helpful, and there is a point to getting one - whether it defines the autistic individual or not is up to them. Some people think of autism as a negative label, but there are those who do feel it is a huge part of who they are, but are OK with this. The next article will talk about people who positively embrace their autism as a key part of who they are, as well as looking at whether autism is a label, a diagnosis or an identity. 32