i have been saying this

"Telling kids they have autism when they are younger may be best"

Kofner, Kapp and their colleagues answered that question by asking 78 university students about how and when they found out they had autism. For the most part, the investigators found that telling kids when they are younger helped them feel better about their lives as they grew up.

"we tried actually listening to autistic adults for once"

@SapphicGiraffic are you kidding, i would have killed for a diagnosis with support as a kid

beats the fuck out of feeling like a goddamn alien for 25 years

@SapphicGiraffic I'm not autistic and neither are my kids, but they do both have learning differences, and I can't imagine why you'd want to hide information about them from them. Feels like this could only be stigma related bc I don't see what advantage less information offers

@InternetEh "i don't want my child to feel different!"

"i don't want to pathologize my child's personality!"

yeah it's all mental health stigma all the way down, london and i keep having this fight with their mom about their youngest sister who is clearly autistic. i mean london and their next oldest sibling are also probably somewhere on the spectrum with atypical expression but the youngest girl is like textbook female autist and we are like "you need to TELL HER" but 🤷‍♀️

@InternetEh like, your child IS different and people are going to treat them differently when they behave differently, least you could do is prepare them for it

@SapphicGiraffic yeah, I am not a big believer in sending kids into the world unprepared for things. Some parents are just terrified of their own children and can't have challenging conversations with them. Parenting is not for cowards.

@SapphicGiraffic yeah kiddo has a friend who is a million percent undiagnosed ADHD, but his parents are from Texas and kinda conservative in their own "freethinking hippie" way. Kid also isn't vaxxed.

Back to the topic though: telling a child they learn differently isn't "pathologizing" until you start telling them there's something wrong with them. That's up to the parent

@SapphicGiraffic @InternetEh parents of autistic kids think world runs on wile e coyote logic where you don't fall into the pit until you're told it's right under your feet

@behold3r @SapphicGiraffic yeah this logic is applied to everything: gender and sexuality, mental health, etc. But really it's just an excuse for cowardice.

@InternetEh @behold3r not an excuse but i know for some people a large factor is fear on the child's behalf, like "i've seen the way X people are treated and i don't want that for my child", it's short sighted and irrational but i get where some of these responses come from a genuine place of concern, especially from older folks who grew up with no exposure to support resources. doesn't make it okay tho and keeping it from the child is just gonna make it harder for them to stay safe in the long run.

the article actually goes into how parents should like, have these sorts of conversations in a continuous, age appropriate way, like you tell a five year old "hey your brain works differently and that means you learn and think differently, not a problem just something you need to know" and work up from there, adding info as they grow into it.

but yeah, fear and ignorance are the main blocks

@SapphicGiraffic @behold3r everything you say is true. I don't blame parents for being afraid for their kids. But at many points, you have to accept you can't protect them from everything. The best thing is always to arm them with knowledge.

@SapphicGiraffic I didn't get a diagnosis until College. Even though I clearly had issues my entire life with my entire school hating me for being weird (or "too sensitive" because it's impossible for someone to experience things differently than you).

You know why? Because my therapist as a child thought I was too functional to even have Aspergers (it hadn't been united in an umbrella yet) I had to literally take her through the DSM-IV. Like I was the therapist not her.

It would have been great to not feel like there was something inherently wrong with me (then again given my mother, maybe It would have been treated as something inherently wrong with me. I don't know).

I really want telling people when they're young to become standard, and you know, listening to autistic people. Believing their experiences.

Sorry, I'm not trying to take it out on you, I just get upset sometimes thinking about what could have been or w/e.

@lapis i didn't find out until i was 24, struggling my way through transition, a failing marriage, and finishing grad school. i feel you


Jude 🤝 Jessica
Denied an Autism Diagnosis from sheer incompetence

High Five autism buddy!

@SapphicGiraffic I have been seeing this across my timeline all day, and like

y... yes


listen, I'm not autistic, but this seems like common sense???

(this is not confusion aimed at you, this is confusion aimed at the fact that this seems to be a debated topic)

@LilyVers you would think that but no. i know so many autistic adults who find out and then go to their parents and the parents say like "yeah we knew the whole time, remember that day when you were like seven and you played in the doctor's office while he asked you a bunch of questions? we just didn't tell you"

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