So, last week I got an email from Tess Hemeon (the Public Relations/Communications person for the ASNL) asking if I was willing to be interviewed about being diagnosed as autistic as an adult. I said sure – I’m looking for new routes to go to help expand my advocacy. So Monday afternoon, I had an informal (aka not recorded) phone interview with an intern working at CBC Newfoundland and Labrador (here in St. John’s). One of the things I mentioned was that I wouldn’t mind doing a formal interview about the matter.
So, she contacted me Tuesday and asked if I was available to come in this morning for a recorded interview. My reaction was: “Yes!” ( 😉 )
Got up early this morning, and drove out to the CBC building for the taped interview.
The interview was with Krissy Holmes of the St. John’s Morning Show (which airs from 5:30 to 9:00 am, Newfoundland Time, on CBC Radio One), and it went really well.
She was easy to talk to, and genuinely interested in what I had to say. (She even ended up with a couple of ideas for follow-ups, if that goes through, from some of what I said. I’d certainly love to do those.) There was, of course, more information that I thought of that I would have liked to share after the interview was over (isn’t there always?) and the interview will have to be slightly cut for time (but she did mention that there was a clear narrative running through what I was saying, so that will be kept); but a very pleasant experience overall. (Like I said, I’d be more than willing to do it again.)
Originally the interview was going to air tomorrow, but there’s a local issue that has come up that is going to get greater coverage tomorrow, so it may not air until Monday (she doesn’t want the interview lost in the middle of something else). She’ll let me know when it will air at some point, and I’ll provide an update here. She’s also going to see if it can be made into a podcast (I mentioned that I’d told the other members of the CAPP Advisory Group about it, and they are from all across Canada, so wouldn’t get the local shows), and either way, I definitely plan to record it so that I can play it for my family and friends who may have missed it.
Things I would have liked to remember to mention: provincial autism organizations (hey, it was the ASNL who essentially got me this interview, and they’ve definitely been doing better over the last several years – I even went and took a peek at their updated resource kits before leaving for the interview); the START Clinic; my usual intro of, “Asperger’s was put into the DSM-IV the year I graduated high school”, and the fact that the DSM-5 Autism Spectrum diagnosis matches me even better than the Asperger’s one; the fact that a number of autistic adults have been diagnosed due to their children being diagnosed; co-occuring conditions (that are not autism, like epilepsy, depression, and anxiety); thank you for remembering to ask me whether I preferred “autistic” or “with/have autism”, and following through on my preference for “autistic”….
Things that I’m glad I remembered to mention: executive function issues; the example of family get-togethers growing up where I would try to hide in my room (I quoted my Diagnosis blog quote about how staying up there would feel like my nerves were being bathed in acid, and she really liked the way that gave a concrete image for people to understand, so I suspect that part is definitely staying in); the fact that some people prefer not to get a diagnosis; some of the advantages of being autistic (including a reason for why there was that increase in diagnoses in Silicon Valley); the fact that with girls, autistic behaviours don’t tend to really show up until about five or six, assuming they have no language delays; the blogs of autistic adults; sensory issues….
Things I mentioned to her after the interview, that may show up: the fact that girls/women tend to go through a number of misdiagnoses (I said that I think the average is between 6 and 13) before being properly diagnosed because autism is seen as a “male thing”, and we present differently; that I was lucky that my family went directly to “Asperger’s” rather than other things (see misdiagnoses)….
I also provided her with this blog’s URL and the titles of the Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism and We Are Like Your Child (as examples) so they will probably show up in the web article. (If you’re visiting here because of that, welcome to tagÂûght’s!)
The interview aired on the June 19, 2017 show, and I managed to record it successfully.