68. What My Adult Autism Diagnosis Has Taught Me with Greg Burns

By Brigitte Shipman

Mother's Guide Greg Burns

In this week's insightful episode, I interview Greg Burns who is a system safety engineer in Australia to talk about his recent autism diagnosis in his late 50’s and his experience of living on the spectrum.

Greg shares his story of how he came to be diagnosed on the spectrum in this late 50's back in 2019.  Through his online interaction with other autistic adults, he realized he had many characteristics common in autistic individuals. He was soon after diagnosed by a psychologist in his local area.

His diagnosis helped him realize that he had been masking to fit in with the neurotypical ways of communicating.  He says that masking can cause stress that can be internalized and manifest as various kinds of illnesses, which he personally experienced.

He recalls his mom telling him that he didn’t develop a personality until he left home, which he believes resulted from trying to fit in and masking.

He talks about the challenges of the neurodiverse-neurotypical marriage of 30 years with his wife Robyn and how his primary motivation for getting diagnosed was to offer understanding to his wife and himself of his behaviors that distressed her so they could both get their needs met.

The diagnosis provided much understanding for how his thinking would be different from most people’s thinking and what would make him stand out.

He also talks about how his autistic traits, such as focus and attention to detail, have helped in his successful engineering career.

He shares his poem called "My Language" which expresses frustration and sadness of how autistic people are not being understood.

Finally, he shares what he wants us to know most about being autistic.

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