Hey so I don't fit the diagnostic criteria that you recently posted? but I've been self diagnosed for about 3 months now and have just started being comfortable with telling people irl. I stim a lot, have trouble making friend, have special interests and like routines. I know a lot of other autistics who self diagnose based on the same things that I've diagnosed based on. I'm really confused. Does this mean that a lot of the self dx community and I aren't valid? Can I still be autistic?
Those are the criteria required to get a professional diagnosis, so if you don’t meet them, then you won’t be able to get professionally diagnosed. However, there is a lot of conversation within the autistic community as to what actually makes someone autistic and whether the DSM criteria are an accurate way of telling whether or not someone is autistic.
My personal view is that if you feel that you identify with the autistic experience, then you are autistic. If you don’t meet any of the section A criteria, then you probably aren’t autistic as social difficulties are the defining aspect of autism, however, from what you’ve said, you fit at least part of section A.
Further, the criteria are cryptically worded, so if you identify with the autistic experience, it is likely that you do fit the criteria but just don’t see the ways you do. For instance, many of us think we’re better with nonverbal communication than we actually are and don’t realize that we’re actually misinterpreting the nonverbal communication of others.
TL;DR: If you identify with the autistic experience, you are likely autistic.