A late diagnosis of autism can be affirming as well as confusing. Is it important to go through a formal autism assessment? Do the opinions of other people matter? What does self-diagnosis mean?
Until recently autism has been viewed as a male disorder and even, for a short period an “extreme male brain” theory was used to understand the disorder. However, as more understanding is developed, research is finding that autistic females tend to be able to camouflage their symptoms of autism and use compensatory behaviours that mask their social challenges.
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterised by communication and social interaction difficulties and restricted, repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests or activities present from childhood that limit and impair everyday functioning.