I don’t mean it’s getting better in a personal sense because, well, that needs to be a whole different post. I mean in the sense of the help and information out there in the world.
I think the main reason I wasn’t diagnosed with anything as a child is because of the lack of information. I hadn’t heard the term autism in my youth but my mum possibly had (she worked as the manager of a gp practice when I was young). Growing up I came across it briefly but autism wasn’t something girls had, only boys had autism. Well, that was the information at the time that was out there and it’s still harder to diagnose autism in females than in males because it presents differently in the different genders and girls seem to mask their autism quite well.
Luckily for me, and probably a lot of other people out there, there is more information on what autism is and how it presents in girls compared to the way it does in boys. It’s a subject that people are talking about more but I still think there’s a long way to go when it comes to women with autism rather than a child of any gender with autism, which is wher I feel a lot of the emphasis is being placed.
I’m probably not the best person to explain any differences as, being autistic, I can only see things from my point of view and the way I think and feel is my normal so seeing autism from the point of view of a different gender is impossible for me to envison.
There is, however, a great article online – https://www.autism.org.uk/womensday – which helps to explain what it is like to be a woman with autism. Rose describes what it is like to be her and I can relate to everything she talks about. Anxiety about social situations, being overwhelmed by senses and other difficulties are a part of everyday life for me. I completely understand where she’s coming from when she talks about liking her drink a certain way. I rarely let someone make my cup of tea for me because it has to be made a certain way and has to have the right amount of milk and be brewed for the right amount of time or it’s just not right and I can’t cope with it. This then brings on feelings of frustration, which then becomes a slippery slope of emotions that descends very rapidly into having a meltdown.
But it is getting better and things continue to improve because people continue to talk about it and get the information circulated.
I know things will get better for me with time. I need to get to that point where I have an official diagnosis because, without it, there is no support or help for me to access.