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To Sam

Am I really autistic?

Hi Sam,

I saw that you would be interested in hearing from anyone with autism or knows someone who is autistic because of World Autism Awareness day and I thought that this would be a good time to send this.

I am autistic but quite a lot, I think that I am not actually autistic. I know social things, I am just too scared to ever use them. I don't have that much of problems with sensory things and I think that I am not like anyone else with autism. I think that I might just be a weird person and my parents just got me diagnosed with autism to say that I am not just a weird person. Could I possibly be misdiagnosed? My social skills can be weird of course and I am not like other people but I just hear about other autistic people and they seem very different to me.

Thank you 

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Sam

Hi there,

Every person who has autism is unique. And they can be affected by autism in different ways. This is called “autistic spectrum conditions”, which means that autism is viewed on a scale of how it affects people.

There are normally lots of tests done before somebody is diagnosed with autism. This is so professionals can be sure of the diagnosis they make. The tests usually involve a detailed scoring process, and getting a second opinion so that one person can check that the other professional has done all of the tests correctly. It’s unlikely for somebody to be misdiagnosed with autism, although this can happen occasionally. 

Some people with autism often do have problems with social skills and sensory things. But some people with autism find ways to overcome these problems.

If you’re worried about your diagnosis, it’s a good idea to speak to your doctor and ask them to refer you back to the service that diagnosed you. This is so that they can check your diagnosis.

Before you do this, it could be helpful to discuss this decision with somebody you trust. You mentioned that you think your parents got you diagnosed with autism to say that you’re not a “weird person”. It could be good to let them know the worries you have about your diagnosis so that you can discuss it together.

If you’d like to talk some more about how you’re feeling about the diagnosis, remember that you can always talk to a counsellor about it any time. You could also look on the NHS website or get support on the National Autistic Society’s website.

You’ve done really well to get in touch and I hope you get the help you need.

Take care,
Sam

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