"I’ve been walking around with autism for 35 years, without even knowing it." - Laura

I’m Laura and I’m 44 years old. I got my autism and AD(H)D diagnoses nine years ago. I’m the mother of one son and a ‘gift-mom’ of two bonus kids with ASD and/or AD(H)D.

I got my diagnoses because people didn’t really know why my son was having issues at a young age. Instead, I was taken in for tests. If I didn’t do this, I probably never would have known I have autism. I’ve been walking around with autism for 35 years, without even knowing it. And still, it often isn’t recognized in women and girls well, unfortunately. That is why I’m very happy to participate in the FANN project, to empower other women and girls with autism and to show that there really are a whole lot of possibilities. For instance, at the age of 30 I studied SPW3 and now I’m doing the MBO4 training to become a personal guide/coach and lived-experience expert. I also created an Instagram account to give others a glimpse into my life and autistic brain (@autistic.lautie). I really like to help others, especially by showing how things work for me. That often makes it recognizable to the other individual. Because of that recognition, it can help someone enormously when processing their diagnosis. Not being the only one dealing with certain things that you run into or have difficulty with, or not at all.

The impact of my diagnosis gave me an explanation for my mega 'burnout 2.0' of 5,5 years. At the time, I got no help after my diagnosis (which my son did receive immediately), that took me more than four years. Finding out by yourself and understanding for yourself what YOUR autism means to you, and why you sometimes have issues with things is so important in this process.

I’m proud of my son (who also has autism and ADHD), how he gets through life despite the fact that it’s often difficult for him at school, with friendships, etc. He really is just himself and that is admirable, I believe.

My tips: See what suits you and what you need to rediscover and develop yourself. You often can do much more than you think and you certainly can do more than other people sometimes say you can. Keep looking at what is possible and focus on those positive things!

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