As you learn about autism and how it may apply to you, you will familiarize yourself with the diagnostic criteria and search for a diagnostician.
You've likely already read the official diagnostic criteria, probably multiple times. It's cold medical jargon at best, a confusing collection of overly negative symptoms at worst. It also leaves out a lot of details, such as how it actually applies to real, live people.
Here, we’ve broken down the DSM’s diagnostic criteria and added in our interpretations gained through years of professional experience and autistic experiential expertise.
We’ve listed some helpful things to consider as well as some personal anecdotes from actual autistics that might help clarify how the diagnostic criteria actually apply to real people. We offer a way to personalize the medical jargon of the DSM's diagnostic criteria.
7 MISUNDERSTOOD/MISSED SYMPTOMS COMMON to ADULTS
Compensation can make up for deficits, at great cost. Just because one can compensate for symptoms of autism, does not mean one does not experience them, and they should be considered during an evaluation. Women, in particular, have years of experience making up for their difficulties, and making sure no one sees them struggle.