Being diagnosed with autism as an adult‘I went 27 years without knowing.’

As heard on The Ray D'Arcy Show

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Comedian, illustrator and creator of Your One Nikita, Aoife Dooley, was recently diagnosed with autism at the age of 27. She joined Ray D’Arcy to talk about the process of being diagnosed and what has happened since.

Aoife told Ray that the news is “still sinking in”.

“I suppose it was a bit of a shock but then, at the same time, I wasn’t surprised either.”

Aoife had always felt that things were “going wrong” and didn’t understand why. She blamed herself for not understanding. Aoife told Ray that a friend of hers who had been diagnosed in his 30s suggested she go for testing, mentioning that he “could see a few traits” in Aoife. After doing some research and looking into her family history, she decided to pursue her friend’s suggestion.

“You kind of go through your life not really knowing what’s going wrong and blaming yourself for things. So, it’s kind of a relief in a way now to know.”

She took a couple of online tests and watched a documentary about autism, wondering if it could be a possibility. Though some of the tests were not especially scientifically accurate, the results she was seeing led Aoife to look into a professional consultation. She learned that she had some misconceptions when it came to autism.

“I had a very, very stereotypical view of what it was to be autistic, I’m not going to lie. Up until 2 months ago, I didn’t realise how big the spectrum actually was and that you could even get diagnosed as an adult.

Though still at the early stages of her diagnosis, Aoife believes that finding out that she has autism is helping to explain things from her past which were unclear to her.

“It’s made sense of loads of little things already…not being able to articulate how you’re feeling and then people constantly asking like, ‘Why don’t you smile?’ or ‘What’s wrong with you? You’re always real cranky.‘…You kind of almost have to like make up an excuse for being that way to kind of make life easier for everyone around you because you don’t know yourself what’s wrong, if that makes sense.”

You’ll know Irish illustrator and comedian Aoife Dooley from her online presence as ‘Your One Nikita’ aka the Dublin hun and her books 'How To Be Massive' and 'How To Deal With Poxes'. Aoife recently posted on social media about being autistic, her post got a massive reaction and Aoife is in studio with Ray D'Arcy now to tell us more.

Posted by RTÉ Radio 1 on Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Listen back to the whole interview on The Ray D’Arcy Show here.

© The Listener 2018

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