"I finally got the recognition of my autism." - Natasja

My name is Natasja, I am 29 years old. I was diagnosed with autism when I was 25 years old. My father passed away when I was young; grief and a reduced social ability, because I am highly gifted, was the explanation for my (social) problems. I went to therapy several times, but with no diagnosis and no success. In high school, I already recognised myself in the autism diagnosis, but my psychologist refused to consider it seriously.

A few years ago, I collapsed and fell into depression. As a result, I finally got the recognition of my autism. I like being creative, for distraction and stimulation. I like the repetition of crocheting or embroidery, the quietness of drawing and colouring. I love reading and learning, I want to know and understand everything and in my excitement I will tell you all about it.

Studying is a wonderful intellectual challenge. I started with medicine - my dream study, which I could not finish because of the social aspects. At that time, I had no diagnosis to help me understand why I kept experiencing problems as the patient contact increased, so I changed studies. Religious studies is one where you can hyper-focus on a subject and bury yourself between piles of books. Perfect. What fascinates me is 'how people work': the difference between my studies are not as big as you might think.

My tip for others: Be different. It's not about others accepting your autism, you have got to accept it yourself.

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