Have you heard these myths about late autism diagnosis and self-discovery? Myth 1: It’s too late to get diagnosed as an adult. Myth 2: Autism only affects children. Myth 3: Self-discovery ends with a diagnosis. In this episode, our guest Rich Stevenson will debunk these myths and share his personal journey of late autism diagnosis, self-discovery, and the ongoing process of understanding and acceptance.
Growing up in the UK, Rich Stevenson had always been a lively, animated child. His boundless energy and vivacity made it easy to overlook the more subtle markers that hinted at something different about him. Fast forward a few years, and he found himself on a journey of self-discovery, fueled by the diagnosis of his son with autism. Through this experience, Rich found himself navigating unfamiliar terrain, both as a father and as an individual. The realization of his own autism, a diagnosis confirmed in his mid-thirties, presented more questions than answers. Yet, it was during this time of introspection that he realized the power of storytelling and community. He started the ‘Inside the Orange’ and later ‘Advocate to Autistic’ podcasts, platforms that served as a conduit for sharing personal experiences, insights, and resources. These ventures were not just about Rich’s journey, but about creating a space for others to share their stories and feel less alone in their experiences.,Life took a surprising turn for Rich Stevenson when his youngest son, a happy and bubbly toddler, was diagnosed with autism. As a father, Rich found himself in a sea of challenges, fears, and uncertainties. Yet, he faced them head-on, adapting his life around his son’s needs. The struggles and triumphs he encountered in raising his son subsequently led him on an unexpected path of self-discovery, culminating in his own autism diagnosis later in life. The knowledge was both an answer and a question, a resolution and a mystery. Unraveling that mystery inspired him to share his journey with the world, initiating conversations about autism through his podcasts, ‘Inside the Orange’ and ‘Advocate to Autistic’. Rich’s voice not only resonates with his own experiences but weaves together the collective experiences of a broader community, offering solace, guidance, and a shared sense of belonging.
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It’s about sharing that little bit of story to help someone else that might just need that bit of help from someone else. Let’s share our stories and experiences, and help each other along the way. – Rich Stevenson