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Doing English

Recently I went for a formal psychological assessment and… the result surprised me (apparently I’m the only one who is surprised, though…).

If you’ve been reading my emails/blog/books or watching my videos for a while, you’ll know that for quite a while I suspected I had ADHD.

And since I’m not the kind of person to be happy with just “suspecting” something… I wanted confirmation. So I made an appointment to have a formal psychological assessment and diagnosis.

And here’s what came out of it:

That was yesterday.

And I was wrong.

Turns out I don’t have ADHD.

No.

I’m Autistic.

Surprise!

To directly quote the email I got from the psychologist this morning:

“The diagnosis is Autism under DSM 5 Criteria subcategory of Asperger Syndrome under ICD-11 Classification.”

To be clear, finding out changes nothing.

And I’m indifferent to the label.

Some people try to hide it because they’re scared people will treat them differently or be prejudiced against them. I honestly don’t care.

Ultimately, I’m still exactly the same person I’ve always been.

But it’s liberating finally understanding WHY I’m like I am.

It explains EVERYTHING about my behaviour, the things I struggle with, my personality and the way I am. Everything. The good parts. And the bad parts.

See, while you might not realise, many of the things you do naturally (like understanding facial expressions, and whether someone is joking or not) I had to learn. Consciously. In much the same way as you learn English. While you struggle to understand English speakers when they’re in a group conversation, I ALSO struggle. Even though it’s my first language (I find group conversation incredibly confusing and disorientating. Which is why I’ve learnt to lead and control most conversations ー makes it easier).

Autism explains why I’m so blunt, have no tact whatsoever, and simply feel nothing when people get offended (or usually even understand why). It’s why noise, fluorescent lights and strong perfume confuse and disorientate me.

And… the list goes on and on.

But I’m going to leave this here for today.

Even 24 hours after the assessment, I am completely and utterly exhausted. My brain feels like it’s melting out of my ears.

I will say this, though ー

My autism is a VERY good thing for you and my helping you with your English.

Here’s why.

Best, Doing English with Julian NorthbrookJulian Northbrook
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