It was pretty obvious between the speech difficulities, social quirks, weird behaviors that I was different. It took my sister in law telling me to get diagnosed with autism to realize what "different" I was tho - everyone else had all these weird labels for me that never fit.
I was glad to be diagnosed and to understand why I was so different and why others didn't understand me. I've actually had a much better communication with others, and treatment since getting diagnosed. simply because I compromise more on my own behaviors, and people try to meet me more half-way too.
I just always felt like my son was a little disconnected. I just knew. I couldn't always understand him, his motivation for doing things. I come from a family of free thinkers so I had no idea that this was going to impact him as much as it has but I wasn't new to people marching to the beat of their own drum :)
It has always been obvious that I was somehow different from most people; however, growing up everyone always treated those differences as character flaws. It got to the point where I believed them. It took my husband pointing out some things to me that made me start questioning and looking into it. After reading some things about adults with Aspergers, he was convinced. I, on the other hand, wasn't quite sure. I really went back and forth on it so I decided to schedule a formal assessment. It was, apparently, pretty obvious to the psychologist that I have Aspergers.
It was nice to have it in writing so I could no longer argue with myself over it. Knowing has allowed me to understand myself better, and it has afforded my husband a greater understanding of me (quite honestly though he already understood me much better than I understood myself).
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