“Misdiagnosed, misunderstood or missed altogether, many women with autism struggle to get the help they need.”
We should not have to feel this way. We should not spend our lives confused and wondering why our best is sometimes not good enough.
Original article below by
It took 10 years, 14 psychiatrists, 17 medications and 9 diagnoses before someone finally realized that what Maya has is autism. Maya loves numbers, and with her impeccable memory, she can rattle off these stats: that the very first psychiatrist she saw later lost his right to practice because he slept with his patients. That psychiatrist No. 12 met with her for all of seven minutes and sent her out with no answers. That during her second year at Cambridge University in the U.K., industrial doses of the antipsychotic quetiapine led her to pack on more than 40 pounds and sleep 17 hours a day. (Maya requested that her last name not be used.)
But those numbers don’t do justice to her story. It’s the long list of diagnoses Maya collected before she was 21, from borderline personality disorder to agoraphobia to obsessive-compulsive disorder, that begin to hint at how little we understand autism in women.
It should never be this hard – but stories like the one above are common. I hear them over and over again. Many Autistic women will not seek a formal diagnosis for fear of being misdiagnosed with another condition.
An initial screening for Autism for an Autistic adult can cost anywhere from $500-$4000 depending on where you live. My specialist doesn’t take insurance. These costs are out of pocket. Many Autists are unemployed or under employed and under paid and simply cannot afford the out of pocket costs.
Something has to change. We need help.