Our Physicians Don't Know Autism
I can hardly believe the ignorance that is out there in the world, in the medical field. You would think that people who practice medicine and see people every day would know more than the stereotypes of Autism.
When you go to a medical professional you hope they will understand your medical conditions, not doubt them.
I'm seeing a new physician - for me this is a very stressful change. It is a new person, I am driving to a new place, they have new procedures. Being in that office with that florescent white light burning my brain is hard.
My heart is pounding and I want to run out, so I close my eyes and count my breaths. I focus on the feelings in my lungs and the darkness until I am calm. There are several moments where I must do this through the examination.
At the end I mention my Autism, expecting for her to simply add it to the chart.
I handed over the wrinkled and folded diagnosis paper that I keep on hand for emergencies if I cannot talk. Already I could tell she was already questioning it's validity. "I'm surprised she put you on the spectrum" her overly friendly and patronizing tone was something that even I could pick up on.
There was so much I wanted to tell her. Desperately wishing to educate her - I was paralyzed by her doubt. This is a medical professional before me - if SHE doesn't know we are all in trouble.
I wish I had said more but I was now trying not to cry.
I told her that I keep most things to myself and that growing up feeling different on the inside (but not knowing why) teaches you to hide everything that is strange about you. You begin to fear your own uniqueness. So you learn to hide everything that is different about you.
You learn to blend in as a survival tool. All my mess is on the inside.
We need more education. If our medical professionals are still stuck on the stereotypes no wonder there are so many misdiagnoses out there and so many Autistic girls being missed.
Autistic women do not follow the male Autistic stereotype - and honestly not all autistic men follow it either.
This is a big problem. Where do we even start?