Hello! My name is Maureen, and I appreciate the invitation to participate in this blog. I'm 36, and I have been recently diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified). I have a Ph.D. in health education, so I'm excited to be involved in a project which will educate people about autism spectrum disorders. There is not much information or support for adults with an ASD, so the more we can educate this underserved population, the better!
I was always "a little different" as a kid. I started to read my first words at 2 1/2 years, but socially and emotionally, I was a bit delayed. It's amazing to get a diagnosis where everything is finally starting to make sense. I call the diagnosis a blessing and a curse. A blessing because as I mentioned, I no longer feel the need to blame myself for not being a "normal" 36-year-old woman (I know I've done everything I can do). It is a curse because other than the anticonvulsants I have been prescribed, I am confused about what I should do with my life. My current job as an instructor is extremely difficult because I am so sensitive to the lights and sounds of the room. But as I learn more about the reality of having an ASD, I also realize how much I can help to educate people. I'll post again soon! Thanks for the invitation! Maureen :)