it’s amazing how much therapists will do to avoid diagnosing someone with something they consider a ‘more serious diagnosis’ even though adding the diagnosis… doesn’t affect anything about how my life goes. today my psychologist finally said “i think you have traits that constitute a case of mild autism.” that sentence has so many qualifiers.
there’s this idea that an autism diagnosis will ‘ruin your life.’ ableists will ruin my life far more than any diagnosis will, especially one i recognized in myself long ago.
she’s having a meeting with my parents next week to discuss my diagnoses, treatment plans, and prognosis. when she said it she talked about wanting to be tentative with my mom & not tell her. and honestly, she’s right. when my mom talks about autism, she talks about it as this huge life-ruining thing where you can’t “have a real life.”
my therapist said she was nervous about telling me this because she doesn’t want this diagnosis to overshadow the rest of my life, and because she thinks i’m still capable of living a normal life.
meanwhile, there are plenty of things that do interfere with me having a “real life” at home.
when i ask my parents basic questions, they laugh at me, or misinterpret my words.
when i said “i have trouble breaking down tasks, for example, with cleaning up a kitchen, i know partly that there are tasks that go into that, but like, if u asked me ‘how do u clean up a kitchen?’ i wouldn’t be able to tell you how to break it down, even though you’re supposed to clean the surfaces and the floor, wipe the stove down, clean the microwave, do the dishes, and so much more i can’t figure out or put together. could you write my kitchen tasks down for me?” my dad told my mom & therapist that what i said was ‘i don’t know how to clean up the floor’ & infantilized me to my face about it.
that wasn’t an isolated incident, but i don’t want to go into detail about their abuse.
given that that happened, am i really going to ask my parents how to use our new washing machine, or will i spend a few more months living with dirty sheets because i don’t want to be ridiculed and let my mom keep yelling at me for not doing my laundry.
i know an abled person could figure out these things: using the washing machine, or break down cleaning tasks or do their assignments before two days to the grading deadline. i also know that as much as my parents have told me “questions are always okay,” that only goes as far as “questions a neurotypical adult doesn’t know the answers to.”
I told my dad about the tentative diagnosis, but I had to ask him not to tell my mom.
TL; DR: My autism isn’t ruining my life, but my parents’ reactions to it sure are lowering my quality of life. I don’t want my therapist to walk on eggshells about a diagnosis that’s obvious and clear just because it’s “serious.”