High-functioning

High-functioning autism is often missed or misunderstood, not least because those with it so often overcompensate for their traits. The term has also been phased out in "official" quarters and yet it still applies to just so many people, not least those who have reached midlife undiagnosed (and especially women). Tackling this controversial topic on behalf of those of us who still fall between the cracks, with a link to some useful resources to help you find your way.

A world of my own

What many people don’t realise is that, to someone born with autism, this is their version of normal and to come to identify and accept your own inherent traits is to “come home”, whatever that may look like to an outside observer. Its as though all the deep enthusiasm you’ve been feigning about your successes pretending to be neurotypical all your life, which by now many of us have got very good at doing (if we haven’t already burned out from the gigantean effort), is finally reclaimed and then unleashed as all this genuine enthusiasm for realising THIS is how you really are. It finally feels authentic and well-fitting, like slipping on a suit of clothing that is tailored to you when all the other ones had been slightly over-tight, twisted, scratchy and, in so many ways, deeply ill-fitting and uncomfortable.

High-functioning autism and the creative, self-teaching maverick

The propensity to teach ourselves new skills and prefer to do things our own way from the outset is, I suspect, a trait of high-functioning autism. It makes us into mavericks, it sometimes increases what looks like our failure or non-completion rate and it frustrates the hell out of partners when we prefer to construct things "out of the box" without first consulting the instruction leaflet. However, it also makes us movers and shakers when it comes to making paradigm leaps...a much needed skillset at this point in time.