“My name is Alice; I’m 27 years old and I currently live in England. Life has not always been the easiest for me. You see, I have undiagnosed autism as well as cerebral palsy.
I’m undiagnosed because I had a really bad experience in 2019. I got a diagnostic assessment and scored really highly on all the tests, but at the last appointment, they said they weren’t going to give me a diagnosis. They said that was because my cerebral palsy made it difficult to socialize in any way (not true) and sent me away with a leaflet for social prescribing, regardless of what I’d showcased during the assessment.
I want to keep fighting for a diagnosis, but since this was in 2019, Covid-19 happened shortly, and I haven’t been able to go back since. However, because I was suffering so much, me and my family decided to make the relevant accommodations at home, and now I’m much happier.
A New Friend
The Disney film Frozen is my special interest, because it’s all about a girl with unique abilities realizing that what makes her different and sometimes ostracized is actually what makes her powerful. On Sunday, July 24th, thanks to a local company called Perfectly Princess Events, I finally got to meet the snow queen herself!
We sang and read stories together whilst she painted snowflakes on my cheeks and giggled over our matching outfits! We talked about how her going to find the answers about her powers was like me still trying to get my autism diagnosis, and how it’s okay to be yourself regardless of what others say.
I told her I didn’t have a best friend and she said that was okay because she was my best friend now. I gave her a friendship bracelet that splits in half (we each have a side) and she put a snowflake she made herself onto a necklace for me!
I shared my experience in some of my favorite Facebook and Reddit groups, and together, the posts have amassed 7,976 likes and more are pouring in! It’s so great to be able to spread joy like this, and I want to be able to spread it a little further.
[OC] I have cerebral palsy and undiagnosed ASD, and love Frozen. Recently, I got to meet a certain snow queen! We talked about how her going to find her answers was like me trying to get my diagnosis. I told her I didn’t have a best friend – she said that was okay because she was my best friend now. from MadeMeSmile
I have cerebral palsy and undiagnosed ASD, and love Frozen. Recently, I got to meet a certain snow queen! We talked about how her going to find her answers was like me trying to get my diagnosis. I told her I didn’t have a best friend and she said that was okay because she was my best friend now. from autism
I was talking to a member of one of the groups and he said he said that, as an autistic man, he was afraid to be himself because of what people would think, that they would mock him. It made me realize that due to a lack of acceptance and diagnoses (especially for girls), so many autistic people are suffering in silence.
I’d like to bring awareness to that, and highlight that although there are flaws in the diagnostic process, we need to be brave and show the world who we truly are; regardless of our differences, we are all worthy of equality, love, and acceptance, and we shouldn’t have to conceal our true selves for fear of society’s judgment. It’s time to let it go.
While it shouldn’t be necessary, a diagnosis acts as concrete evidence that leaves no room for doubt, some of which can even sometimes come from the autistic community itself. A diagnosis allows us to access the right support officially, and can also lead to a sense of closure and validation for the individual.
My advice to people struggling to come to terms with their autism, diagnosed or not, is: don’t let it be a struggle! To be autistic means to have completely different neurological wiring from others, so how on earth can anyone expect us to ‘fit in?’ Moreover, who would want to?
I hid for many years; I masked my emotions and tried to be ‘normal’ – whatever that is – and it only resulted in violent meltdowns, a profound sense of isolation, and a deep-seated fear of my true self. Now that I’ve shown myself to the world, I’m surrounded by more friends than ever before, and am always complimented for my positive outlook and happy smile! I have bad days too, but I know can’t always help how I react, and that’s okay. I’m me and the world shouldn’t expect me to be anything else.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Alice Barker. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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