Working is a stressful thing, right? Deadlines, difficult decisions, busy schedules. Everyone can identify with those stressors.
But imagine what work would be like if you had a “fight or flight” response every time someone came up to you unexpectedly. Or when light flickered across your desk due to an open window and a blowing blind. Or when a meeting involved more than 2 other people. Or when someone looked at you expectantly but said nothing. Or any number of other things you might think are “no big deal” and are just a part of day-to-day operations.
What impact does that have on your mental health? And how much more severe is that impact when you don’t know why you can’t manage the events every one else seems to handle with no problem whatsoever?
This is why a diagnosis for all autistic individuals is critical, regardless of age. Being able to put those reactions and stressors into context can help people develop the strategies they need to achieve their best potential. It can help them to accept themselves and to stand up for their very real needs with their employers. It empowers and it improves mental health. And it moves all of society one step closer to autism acceptance.