The Struggle with Late Diagnoses: Tanenbaum’s Journey to Understanding his Asperger’s

At 43, I was diagnosed with autism, and my mother still struggles to accept it

Growing up in New York and moving to Israel at 22, Tanenbaum reflects on the lack of awareness surrounding developmental issues in his childhood. His family did not recognize any disabilities he may have had, and even today, his mother questions the accuracy of his diagnosis. Discovering his Asperger’s did not bring the expected relief; instead, Tanenbaum felt anger towards the challenges he faced throughout his life.

After receiving the diagnosis, Tanenbaum began to piece things together. Understanding why he struggled in job interviews and had difficulties as a child made sense with the added diagnosis of ADHD, shedding light on many of the challenges he faced. Tanenbaum expressed regret at not knowing about his Asperger’s earlier, as it would have guided him away from pursuing a master’s degree in business administration at Bar-Ilan, recognizing that this field may not align with his abilities as he had hoped.

Dr. Amir Tal, the chief scientist of Beit Eckstein of the Danal Group, notes the lack of emphasis on addressing the unique needs of adults on the autism spectrum. While much research has focused on children, there is a growing recognition of the need for tailored support for adults with autism, especially for those diagnosed later in life. Dr. Tal stresses the importance of creating systematic data on late-diagnosis cases to develop targeted therapies to meet individual needs.

Despite progress in understanding late diagnoses of autism, many countries lack systematic data on prevalence and consequences. Dr. Tal advocates for creating a database to track individuals diagnosed later in life to improve outcomes at both individual and societal levels.

Tanenbaum’s story highlights how late diagnoses can impact an individual’s life significantly. The realization that he was struggling with ADHD along with Asperger’s gave him clarity about why he faced challenges throughout his life.

Late diagnoses can be challenging for individuals who are unaware they have been struggling all their lives with developmental issues like ADHD or Asperger’s syndrome. However, by understanding these issues better and developing personalized therapies based on data collected from late-diagnosis cases, we can create more inclusive societies that support individuals who face unique challenges due to their developmental conditions.

In conclusion, understanding late diagnoses is crucial for improving outcomes at both an individual and societal level. Creating a database to track individuals diagnosed later in life will help us understand how these conditions impact their lives better and develop tailored therapies that meet their specific needs.

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