At 43, I was diagnosed with autism, and my mother still struggles to accept it

Unraveling Late Diagnoses: Tanenbaum’s Journey to Understanding His Asperger’s

Tanenbaum’s journey to discovering his Asperger’s diagnosis was a difficult one. Growing up in New York, he struggled with job interviews and difficulties as a child, but it wasn’t until later in life that he received the diagnosis that shed light on many of the challenges he faced. Tanenbaum expressed regret at not knowing about his Asperger’s earlier, as it would have guided him away from pursuing a master’s degree in business administration at Bar-Ilan.

Discovering his Asperger’s did not bring the expected relief; instead, Tanenbaum felt anger towards the challenges he faced throughout his life. He reflects on the lack of awareness surrounding developmental issues in his childhood and how his family did not recognize any disabilities he may have had. Even today, his mother questions the accuracy of his diagnosis.

Dr. Amir Tal, the chief scientist of Beit Eckstein of the Danal Group, notes the lack of emphasis on addressing the unique needs of adults on the autism spectrum. While much research has focused on children, there is a growing recognition of the need for tailored support for adults with autism, especially for those diagnosed later in life. Dr. Tal stresses the importance of creating systematic data on late-diagnosis cases to develop targeted therapies to meet individual needs.

Despite progress in understanding late diagnoses of autism, many countries lack systematic data on its prevalence and consequences. Dr. Tal advocates for creating a database to track individuals diagnosed later in life and allow for personalized therapies to be developed based on their specific needs. This data-driven approach is essential for improving outcomes at both an individual and societal level.

Tanenbaum hopes that by sharing his story and advocating for more resources for individuals with late diagnoses, he can help others find comfort and support during their own journey towards understanding their condition.

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