We interrupt the usual programming to bring you this important message. We at The Unpuzzled Project do not believe that just because you’re self-diagnosed, that you are any less Autistic. We do not believe that just because you haven’t been able to secure a diagnosis because you do not have insurance, or because the experts who’ve seen you are misinformed, or because you cannot afford an expensive evaluation, or because the people around you do not support you, or whatever important reason you have. We want to say that your self-diagnosis is valid and we believe you.
Self-diagnosis is not glamorous. It is not trivial. It is not a big bucket of fun. At first, it is anxiety-producing and makes you question everything you think and feel. It makes you fall into denial, doubt yourself, question your self-worth, and fear the people around you. However, it is a process, and hopefully by the end of that process–whether you have the personal validation of a professional diagnosis or not–you are able to accept yourself. The Unpuzzled Project wants you to know that you are more than okay.
Just like rhetoric that suggests that LGBTQ+ people come out because it is “fashionable,” “trendy,” or “cool,” anti-self-diagnosis rhetoric seeks to invalidate and trivialize the experiences of an already-marginalized group of people. Clearly, the entire notion of anti-self-diagnosis rhetoric directly reflects fundamental misunderstandings of reality.
So please do not feel like you are any less than you are. In the face of anti-self-diagnosis rhetoric, be you. Be your creative, intelligent, wonderful, Autistic self. You are more than acceptable.