My name is Zack, and I’m a 26-year-old autistic adult who loves to learn more about autism. I have completed degrees in Medicine and Neuroscience and Medicinal Chemistry, and throughout these found myself drawn to learning more about neurodiversity whether from theories and research papers to the experiences of the people I worked with.
I was diagnosed with autism at the age of 23 while studying my Medicine degree and this was not a shock. A lot of my relatives are autistic and growing up we just lived in our own way. I was a kid who enjoyed playing Final Fantasy games and playing in the back garden with wooden swords imagining saving dragons and defeating princesses. There was no need for me to be diagnosed when everything was working well.
Over the years I decided that I wanted to use my curiosity to learning more about health problems and put this together with my wish to help others. I studied Neuroscience and Medicinal Chemistry and learnt how much I loved the brain, discovering how it worked and why small changes on a molecular level could cause distinct changes that makes each person an individual. After completing my degree I worked as a support worker for young adults with complex support needs, working with a lot of people with autistic traits if not a diagnosis of autism. I then got accepted at medical school and studied to become a doctor.
However, this is where my challenges started to become more apparent. My levels of sensory overload started to increase making each day a struggle as I tried to keep all of the pieces together. As the social demands on me grew bigger, I started to experience more problems as my coping strategies were not able to suffice. I knew I was autistic by this point, but now I had to go and get a diagnosis to help support me in the future. After a year and a half of waiting and talking to a multitude of different professionals, I managed to get my diagnosis. From there I worked hard at my degree, but always felt like I wanted to focus more towards learning about autism and developing my understanding. As I continued on, I noticed that my training did not discuss autism much and that there were gaps in the understanding of clinicians regarding this.
I finished my degree and started working as a doctor. However, the challenges that had been becoming more apparent over the years continued to grow – general note: hospitals are really not a great environment if you have problems regulating your sensory systems. Ultimately, I had to step down from being a doctor so that I could remain healthy and be the best version of me that I can be.
Following this I started this blog. Originally it was aiming to provide more information about autism, because it isn’t well understood. However, since then I have gotten busy and want to write for fun. If you want more information please see this post.
See you in the future!