I homeschool my two kids — they’re 6 and 9 — and I am coming to terms with the fact that something is off-kilter with my youngest. I think about you getting a diagnosis as you sought help for your son.

I’ve always found labels uncomfortable, mostly because I haven’t found them to be helpful and I hate having to explain them to other people. Plus, I’m not sure about what specifically can be done to help my daughter, especially since she’s not in school.

So my questions are:

Do you think having an autism diagnosis has helped you and your son? Also, do you think that the specific diagnosis/label is more helpful to understanding each other and to your parenting than knowing your individual Myers-Briggs personality types?

3 replies
  1. Penelope Trunk
    Penelope Trunk says:

    Having an autism diagnosis is essential to your daughter getting the kind of help she needs. You probably aren’t seeing the extent of her problems right now, but she will be really grateful to you for taking her to a specialist and helping her understand herself better.

    Most kids in her generation will get help for psychological issues — you put her at a huge disadvantage to not get her help. Currently kids are turning to self-diagnosis through the TikTok algorithm because they cannot get their family to help them. The family finds all sorts of excuses to stay in denial about getting help. By acting on your instinct sooner, the diagnosis will help her understand herself and it gives other people a clearer path to help her.

    I have never, ever met someone who got an autism diagnosis who wishes they hadn’t. I’ve only met parents who are scared to get it.

    As for MB personality types, it’s most helpful to understand ourselves in relation to other types, not as standalone letters. But what matters more than personality types is keeping people in your life and treating them with respect. Here’s my most recent post on MB types:

    https://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2022/04/29/why-personality-type-doesnt-actually-matter/

    Penelope

    Reply
    • Liz
      Liz says:

      Seconded. Plenty of autistic people in my family. Severely disabled brother. Parents pretended I was perfect because I’m a girl and they couldn’t handle two kids with serious issues.

      They never got me help. I learned to mask. Inside I’m in real real trouble. I will probably have to leave my lucrative job because I’m so tired from faking it and I don’t have real coping skills. Please please help your daughter. It’s terrible to feel wrong your whole life and not know why. It’s terrible to feel like you can’t relate to other people.

      I didn’t realize I was on spectrum until I was in my 40s. Therapists can’t do much for me now. I will never get those years back.

      If mine and Penelopes voices aren’t enough to convince you, please read the graphic novel Camouflage about autism in women. It makes very clear what’s at stake here.

      Reply
  2. Jean
    Jean says:

    I’ll offer a similar opinion. I didn’t get diagnosed until my mid-50s. Actually it only occurred to me reading Penelope’s blog. Since diagnosed my thought is “it explains so much yet opens up a whole new set of questions”. Now I don’t try to fake social BS, I’m more true to myself. Less self-doubting. More confident my choices are right for ME. I wish I learned about myself years ago, God do I wish that, but at least I’ve learned about me now. Help your daughter avoid the insecurity and anxiety if not knowing why she’s different!

    Reply

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