Processing this Diagnosis

A Slightely Maggie: Podcast Transcript

Hi and welcome to Slightely Maggie. This is Maggie Slighte.

I want to apologize to those who listen to me on my podcast, it’s been a bit since I published a podcast.

I literally dropped my autism diagnosis and then left. [Laughing]

I really did not mean to do that, at least to my podcast listeners, but it has–It’s been a process to process this, for lack of better vocabulary, apparently.

Anyway, welcome to my favorite strangers and this little bit of a podcast.

I’m going to give you kind of a rundown of what I’ve been doing as a self advocate.

This autism diagnosis has really been the missing…I’m not going to use that particular turn of phrase because it has a lot of connotations, but it has been a missing part to bring all of my peculiarities together, if you will.

The fact that I stuttered for years. My parents were told that I stuttered because they taught me to read too early.

Well, reading early, in fact, as a toddler, was something that I really enjoyed.

I didn’t find it had any correlation in my brain, but everybody, or people around me decided that it did, they took away things that I like. So I tried harder not to stutter.

And you can actually hear my standard and many of my podcasts in this one, in Strangers No More, I do still have a stutter, it’s not as noticeable.

I use some management techniques. I never went to speech therapy. When I was in school in the 1970s, they didn’t have speech therapy in Shelton, they just didn’t. There weren’t a lot of assistance back then. The only assistance that was offered was if you were really on the low scale or as I was in– surprise! surprise! (high) math and reading you are offered pull out programs.

So I was one out of three people. In my seventh grade class that were chosen to have an opportunity to learn algebra in Shelton Middle School and I’d lay money at this time at this point in time that the other two people in this program were also autistic. Just saying. You know.

And when we were in grade school, I was pulled out as one of the faster readers. I was pulled out in in a later program to learn how to speed read, which, by the way, was an absolute disaster of a thing. Don’t give? No, no, no,

Yes, I can comprehend. Yes, I could understand guess I can speed read, but it took so much of the enjoyment of reading out. Out of my ability. But now as a writer in a reader, I in order to really get a full comprehension of a book now, I have to listen to it and read it at the same time, I have to do a full immersion so yeah, don’t teach your kids how to speed read just saying just a bad guy. But you know, that was school school. I lived when… I think back to school.

I think of being at the back of the class with a book in front of my face. That’s was my life. That’s the way I lived.

I love school. It was an escape from a home that was confusing and full of a lot of yelling and a lot of hitting and when I was little with my stepdad Louis, and it, It was very difficult and confusing childhood, then the way that I reacted, too much, and Trauma.

No… I’m going to go back a little bit…one of the things, and one of the ways that my infancy was traumatic for not only me, but for the people around me, was that I didn’t like to be touched.

That was as a baby.

Now, think about that. When you have an infant, how much do you touch that infant? You cuddle them? You try to soothe them. You’re changing their diaper. You’re feeding them.

A lot of touch.

What happens when that infant doesn’t like touch?

Well, that’s exactly what happened to me.

I was an infant who hated to be touched.

Now, the fact that it took 50 for years to go from being an infant that hated to be touched (and by the way, had a lot of other issues as an infant) to a 54 year-old woman, who’s wondering if she is autistic?!

I’m just saying it should not have been a leap that took more than half of a century to make.

Why did it take a half of a century to make this leap? I daresay because I have a vagina.

Plain and simply because I was assigned female at birth, it has taken 54 years to realize– to discover– for other people around me– to assign the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder to my brain and body because I have a vagina. Because I have a vulva. Because I do not have a penis.

Excuse me?!

Why does this make my brain want to explode?

I cannot be the only person on this Earth that this type of a situation makes their brain want to explode. All I can say is Maybe with me being open, and honest, and discussing these things that should not have taken a half of a bloody century to discuss. Maybe. If one child who is assigned, female at birth gets a diagnosis that helps them because I was loud, then I did this the right way.

I’m going to end this one here.

Love and lighte. From Maggie Slighte

Peace out.

(Join me on TikTok at @MaggieSlighte!)

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