Ellen’s latest video deals with her diagnosis, mental health, and her thoughts on the services available to girls with autism – and it’s hugely informative.
During World Autism Awareness Week 2018 (26 March to 2 April), Ellen Jones put out a video answering questions and talking about her experiences with being autistic, and with only being formally diagnosed with it in her late teens.
“I was actually surprised how short the time was that I had to wait [for a diagnosis]” Ellen begins. “But I think that was because I had a team that was incredibly on it, and that was quite well resourced – and not everybody has that opportunity.”
She continues by saying that ‘it was only when I was already engaged with the mental health services that they went ‘Oh, there’s something going on here beyond just your mental illness and mental health […] We think you might have a neuro-divergency.’”
Ellen’s experience isn’t unusual among autistic people. It’s all too common that autistic people are drawn into the healthcare system for other conditions that end up either overlapping with their autism or highlighting symptoms that they may have thought were part of their other condition(s), simply because they lacked the resources to explore that before.
One issue that is raised regularly among autistic people and allies is how to define them, which is often phrased as a choice between two terms, ‘autistic person’ or ‘person with autism’, with Ellen expressing her preference for the former. “I don’t have autism, I am autistic – autism is a fundamental part of the way that I perceive the world, I interact with it. It kind of colours the way that I view things.
Read the full article here: http://teneightymagazine.com/2018/04/09/video-spotlight-learning-i-was-autistic-at-19/