My husband is a 33-year-old male. He also has autism.
We were together seven years before we realized he has autism. It wasn’t until after my eldest daughter was diagnosed after a few years of back and forth deliberation on my behalf that we finally got her assessed and diagnosed — and then it occurred to us that Cj has autism, too.
I knew my eldest daughter wasn’t “neurotypical” from about age 4 in kindergarten.
Back then I didn’t drive. So we walked everywhere. If I walked a different route to kindergarten, she would fall apart. If I didn’t give warning when I planned to change her usual breakfast food, she would not handle it. She never liked to be touched by other kids in kindergarten. She didn’t cope well with singing songs. She would cry and cover her ears when someone sang “Happy Birthday” louder than a hushed tone. She didn’t give good eye contact. She didn’t cope with meeting new people very well. She was rigid in her routine, and there were plenty of routines.