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Yesterday, when surfing YouTube I found a video with a man who was diagnosed with Autism when he was a toddler. He claimed that his mother was told that he would never live independently and at best only speak a few words. However his mum refused to believe that he would be unable to live a normal life, and so put in in mainstream school, which I will add was in the early 1980s. Now he is a CEO and has written a book called Am I Still Autistic? This made me wonder about my own diagnoses's as a child in the early to mid 1990s. Back then I was diagnosed with what was then called 'High Functioning Autism', as back then I used to have a hot temper (when things didn't go my way) have wild flights of fancy (more on that later) and when I was about two or three I stopped talking, only to begin again (slowly over time) when I was about four or five, although I was still fully aware of my surroundings, albeit as best a toddler can be at that age. I also had issues with being touched and the all time classic, clothing tags (thus I would often play in the nude) although this later disappeared when I was six years old. Thus I was sent to an 'Autistic school' which although I hated as there were so many Classic Autistic pupils there, thus the funds and attention was put (for the most part) on them, however I made a number of close friends (both among the staff and the higher functioning pupils) there and so have one or two fond memories of my time there, if only for the people rather than what went on there (barring perhaps the year we went to summer camp, which was wonderful, but that's another story). One teacher, or maybe in was one of the care staff (I don't know which) wrote in my yearly report that I may have been misdiagnosed and that I may have Aspergers Syndrome. Thus, I was briefly reassessed, and although I remember little of what happened regarding this, I still remember to this day being told that I in fact had AS not HFA, which I must confess made me feel a little important. Since those heady days it would seem that I have outgrown many of my original traits, firstly I can talk (although that said I could at the time I was diagnosed) secondly I don't run about in the nude (it still had an appeal for me for quite some time until my late teens) thirdly I don't have anywhere near as short the temper I had back when I was a kid. Lastly I don't confuse fact with fiction the way I did when I was a kid (although I do often consider a great many situations, which while they are possible, don't often happen) as back then I used to tell tall tales about my adventures and come up with madcap plans (like most small boys do) but, I would also believe that they happened and that they would work. Granted this could be put down to growing up, but I have seen a number of other ASD adults, who haven't matured at all! And I don't mean those with 'classic' Autism. Please do not think that I believe that Autism, can just 'disappear' for as far as I'm aware, it doesn't. What I am asking is, have any of you out there, outgrown your 'original' traits? Or if you were diagnosed earlier in life would you have a more 'severe' diagnoses's? Or even if you were taken up for assessment now, would you even be diagnosed now?
The BBC invites you to this free event which offers a fantastic opportunity to visit us at MediaCityUK, Salford and learn more about the different applications of technology used across the BBC. PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN TECH – NETWORKING & DEVELOPMENT DAY Friday 6th March 2015 | 09:30 -18:00 BBC Future Media is the team responsible for designing, developing and running digital services like iPlayer, BBC websites and the Red Button - along with the creation of games and apps for other BBC departments such as Children’s, Learning and News. This event will provide behind-the-scenes insights into the world of digital media at the BBC whilst also highlighting career opportunities within Future Media for top tech talent with disabilities. Hear first-hand about the opportunities of working on a product like iPlayer in roles across User Experience and Design (UX&D), Product Management, Analytics, Software Engineering and Technical Project Management. Meet disabled employees and find out what it's like working for the BBC and the support we provide for staff. This event is open to people with disabilities who are already working in technology – or are recent disabled graduates with a relevant degree (for example Computer Science). For more information see here