In the Autistic community, self-diagnosis is accepted as a valid journey to diagnosis.
There might be reasons to pursue medical diagnosis, which could include the affirmation of hearing it from an external provider/professional; needing medical diagnosis to overcome particular barriers, such as needing accommodations legally or at a workplace; access to a functional healthcare system that makes medical diagnosis accessible, etc.
But self-diagnosis is valid, too. Here is a helpful infographic explaining some of the reasons why.
[Image description: It is an infographic with the title, “Why self-diagnosed autistics are valid.” Each reason given has a small drawing along with it. The reasons given are:
1. A drawing of money, with the reason “Medical diagnosis can be expensive.”
2. A drawing of a person having a lightbulb light up over their head, with the reason, “Humans are the experts on their own minds.”
3. A drawing of two adults holding the hand of a child, with the reason, “Family may prevent assessment.”
4. A drawing of a checklist, with the reason, “Diagnosis criteria is a poor checklist of stereotypes.”
5. A drawing of a diverse group of people, with the reason, “Diagnosis criteria ignores gender, race, sexuality, culture, and more.”
6. A drawing of a checkmark with the reason, “Medical diagnosis confirms autism, but doesn’t create it.”
7. A drawing of a person with long, curly hair, with the reason, “Discrimination within the medical profession may prevent diagnosis.”
8. A drawing of a person looking worried next to a clock, with the reason, “Assessment waiting lists are often long.”
9. A drawing of a hospital or medical building, with the reason, “Medical trauma may make assessment unfeasible.”
The image was made by AdultingWithAutism.]