Some adults have struggled emotionally, socially and vocationally their entire lives. They have always known there was something “not quite right” with themselves – and they may even suspect some form of autism – but they delay in seeking a formal diagnosis for fear that they will be “labeled” (e.g., “If I get labeled as having a ‘disorder', people will discriminate against me and treat me unfairly”).
Why would some people who suspect that they may have Asperger's (high-functioning autism) resist getting a diagnosis? Here are some possible reasons:
- I don’t want to get lumped into a category.
- I need to be “normal.”
- I don’t want to believe it.
- I don’t want to be perceived as a ‘flawed’ person.
- It's not that bad - I can function just fine.
- I don't have to know if I really have a disorder because it's not going to matter at this point.
- I didn’t plan this into my life.
- I don’t have time for this.
- It can’t be true. It just can’t be.
- The unknown is terrifying.
- Autism doesn't run in my family, so I can't have it.
- If you don't get the “label," then you are leaving it up to everyone in the community to give you the label of their choice (e.g., weird, eccentric, rude, self-absorbed, etc.).
- The sooner you get a proper diagnosis, the less valuable time you lose – time that you can never get back to help yourself.
- You can’t treat it properly until you know what it is.
- You may be eligible for appropriate services.
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