Comorbid Conditions: Diagnosis and Misdiagnosis in Autistic Women
by musingsofanaspie, musingsofanaspie.com
December 16th 2013
There’s a new article today at Autism Women’s Network: Autistic Women: Misdiagnosis and the Importance of Getting it Right
The rate of being diagnosed with a co-occuring condition if you’re autistic is very high. In fact, I’m curious if there’s anyone here whose sole diagnosis is autism or Asperger’s. I have a comorbid diagnosis of an anxiety disorder and probably have mild undiagnosed OCD. The really interesting thing is that so many of us don’t feel that all of our comorbid diagnoses are a good fit. I wrote about how my anxiety doesn’t feel disordered to me and so I don’t think the diagnosis fits.
I also think it’s interesting that we’re often given diagnoses for conditions that have many overlapping traits with autism. For example, dyspraxia and sensory processing disorder share nearly all of their traits in common with autism. How do clinicians decide that one autistic person should also get a dyspraxia or SPD diagnosis while another person with a very similar profile doesn’t? I would love to hear your thoughts on this or anything related to the article in the comments here.
Also, I owe a huge thank you to the people who filled out the survey about comorbid conditions and patiently worked with me on sharing their stories for this article. My next article for AWN will be about motherhood and the challenges that being on the spectrum can present as well as how it might affect our choices regarding childbearing. Okay, so that’s likely more than one article.
If you’d like to share your thoughts and experiences, I’ve created a short 5-question survey at Questions about Autistic Motherhood. It’s open to both women with children and women who do not have children. As long as you identify as being on the spectrum and would use the term mother to refer to yourself if you had a child, then you’re welcome to take the survey. I’m especially interested in the question about what supports autistic moms would benefit from–if there are enough responses, that will be its own article, because I think its a subject that doesn’t get nearly enough attention.