I recently had an appointment with my gastroenterologist’s physician’s assistant. I have a history of stomach health issues including irritable bowel syndrome. I’ve been having issues with gallstones this year and other things I’m not comfortable sharing right now. A lot of the news I got wasn’t the best the news but it wasn’t the worst either. I’ll most likely have to get surgery to remove my gallbladder. And the PA recommended a series of test be done to figure out what’s causing my other health issues. Like I said not the best news but not the worst either.
So I decide to disclose that I’m autistic. I had been reading that autistic people can also have gastrointestinal issues so I wanted to know if that was a possible reason for my current symptoms. She said something very eloquent and used medical terminology. I’m going to paraphrase what she said, “Autistic people do tend to have stomach issues but it’s also very possible for them to develop illnesses like anyone else.” I can’t do justice to what she said. She didn’t talk down to me and she still cared about my health even though I disclosed that I’m autistic.
I never know how people are going to react when I disclose I’m autistic. And the thought of telling medical professionals scares me even more. Which is funny because I pursued a diagnosis so I could explain my sensory and communications issues to medical professionals. This was very encouraging that I had a positive reaction with the PA. I hope to work up the courage to disclose to my doctors more often.
If you have to go to the doctor do you find it difficult to disclose that you are autistic? Do you worry if that will affect the kind of treatment you will receive? Have you experienced positive or negative interactions with medical professionals after disclosing you’re autistic? Do you have any communication difficulties when talking to medical professionals? Parents and caregivers, if you have a child that doesn’t have obvious symptoms of autism, do you disclose the child is autistic? Do you ever worry about how your child will be treated by medical professionals? Please share in the comments.