John Harris

Journalist & Author

‘All my life suddenly made sense’: how it feels to be diagnosed with autism late in life

Jon Adams was 52 when he learned he had Asperger syndrome. As adult referrals rise, he and others explain the impact – good and bad – of a late diagnosis

One day during his last year at primary school, Jon Adams drew a picture of a street in Portsmouth, the city where he still lives. The scene he drew had no people in it, but its representation of everything else suggested a talent beyond his years.

The headteacher happened to see the picture, and said he wanted to put it up in the school’s entrance hall. “And that was an honour,” Adams says, “particularly for someone who didn’t think they were any good, because they’d been told they weren’t any good, every day.”

My son received a diagnosis aged three. He had fixations with particular music or places – traits I recognise in myself

At secondary school, boys pretend to fancy you. It kills you, because you take it seriously

You might have imperfections, but the basics of the way you view the world are right for you

Related: Autism in the workplace – an opportunity not a drawback

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