"Communication is my biggest problem." - Yvonne

I'm Yvonne. I’m 27 years old, married and living together, and I have 2 kittens. I work as a pharmacy technician preparing medication, and my hobbies are photography and making costumes based on games/movies.

I’ve been diagnosed with autism in 2015, and with ADHD in 2022. There were suspicions of this since I was about 8 years old, but unfortunately little to no action was taken at the time. Fortunately everything fell into place after these diagnoses, and I’m learning to deal with it in a better way. I’ve also been on medication since the ADHD diagnosis, which has given me peace of mind.

I find it difficult to answer what impact autism has on me, purely because I recently learned that it’s combined with ADHD, and I can't quite place which trait comes from which diagnosis. But communication is my biggest problem. When I'm just getting to know someone, I mask intensely and seem neurotypical, it happens automatically. I do try to unlearn this, little by little.

Then I’m found out, it costs me a lot of energy to keep up, I don't express non-verbal signals or I actually express them wrong, and I don't pick up on the others’ non-verbal cues at all. I have a very strong hyperfocus that can spontaneously emerge and it’s also difficult for me to turn off; sometimes this is useful and sometimes not at all. In that respect it’s often very black and white with me: either I get distracted by everything, or I can't possibly be distracted from what I’m then hyperfocused on, when this is the case it’s very difficult to switch to something else. I also get overstimulated very quickly, but I do often look for stimuli. “Social cues” are a thing I find very difficult to grasp and to take into account, I honestly do not realise this, and it can often lead to unpleasant situations. These situations have made me feel very insecure.


Despite this, I’m proud that I have found my own ways to make situations more bearable for myself and others, and that I’ve learned a lot. And I continue to learn every day. I advise everyone to find what works for you.

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