When it comes to people(mainly kids) on the Autism Spectrum, many people wonder if it is even worth getting tested whether or not someone is on the spectrum. I say this because as a society we tend to be a part of one of two groups when it comes to testing. People either think that a self diagnosis/loved ones diagnosis is enough and that they/ the person can overcome or grow out of it in time or that having a loved one/themselves labeled that that person can no longer be a functional contributing individual in society. Both of these views are severely wrong. First off is that most disorders can not be completely overcome and are never just grown out of. The amount of work I have personally put myself through still could have got me no where if I was not diagnosed and received numerous amounts of help early on. The second is that a person with a disorder can not some how live a meaningful life that helps contribute to society. It is rumored that some of the best minds our world has seen, were a part of the spectrum. Even if they were not, there are numerous amount of people that are living productive lives in todays world that have made it known that they are on the spectrum. I personally believe I am living a meaningful and productive life while on the spectrum. I can confidently say this because I am personally helping kids that have been diagnosed on a daily basis with things I never got the opportunity to have growing up. It is by no means making me millions but the progress seen is what is worth it. Lets get back to the issue of getting a diagnosis.
Getting a diagnosis can open numerous amounts of opportunities and resources that most people do not know they are there. The biggest is that the diagnosis can help pay for many services that otherwise could devastate a bank account. Things like physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, behavioral therapy, and just general psychological therapy. Some of these are needed(if not all) in many cases once a person has been diagnosed. I went through them all in my lifetime, and because of it I was able to enjoy playing three sports a year in high school and realize my passion for exercise science in college. I was also able to use these experiences in my current job so that the kids I work with are having a voice where some are not able to speak up for themselves or not able to do so properly. Another would being able to realize who you are and why you act certain ways, when society says you should be acting otherwise. I have been on a somewhat self realization journey the last few years trying to fully understand who I am and why I act certain ways in particular instances. I may not have all the answers, but I can tell you I would have little to none if I never got diagnosed.
So if you are wondering whether or not you think you or someone you love is on the spectrum, PLEASE get tested. It will help you/the person tremendously in the long run.
Mark Fleming- Person on the Autism Spectrum