First of all, welcome to the club! You’ll likely hear these next few words a thousand times in near future but that doesn’t make them any less true: –
You are not alone.
People are being diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder every single day and they all have the same thoughts going through their heads, asking themselves questions such as: –
- How am I going to tell my friends and family?
- Are people going to treat me differently now?
- Where do I go from here?
Luckily for you, the ball is in your court. Any decisions you feel you need to make can be done at your own pace and should only be made by you. Everyone handles things in their own way, and the same should apply to you.
As for the previously mentioned questions, the same logic applies to them all. You are in control of the information in your mind; therefore, you can tell your family and friends in your own time. You may just be surprised how they react. Most people are very supportive these days when it comes to mental health issues and the reaction to your ASD diagnosis will likely be no different.
People may treat you differently in a positive way. They might choose to make themselves more aware of your sensitivities and then act accordingly to make your life easier when around them. There are still good people out there, believe me.
For the final question, the answer is quite simple. You can go anywhere you want. There’s a whole world for you to see through your newly autistic eyes where you can truly understand and accept the person you always were deep down without having those feelings of being lost or socially different.
As for giving a literal answer to that last question, there are many charities and support groups out there for people with autism, some of them designated to local areas, so have a look around and see what you can find. The one I would definitely recommend is the charity MIND who are based nationwide in the UK. Check out their website and get in touch once you feel you are ready to take the next step in your mental health journey.
Finally, the best advice I can personally give is to do some research into ASD. Read books about the disorder and search for online communities who understand your situation. You’ll be amazed how much learning about the condition can put your mind at ease.
Autism Spectrum Disorder can be scary at first, but then you realise it’s just who you are.