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Traci Neal
Adult Diagnosis
of Autism

Professionally Diagnosed by Dr. Michelle Peterson 

My Journey

Dear Reader,

I always felt different growing up, but I could never fathom why. At the end of August 2023, I talked with my mother. I am unsure what it was about, but it made her mention me possibly being autistic. I remember her saying it in the past yet I did not pursue the topic further. For some reason, I felt compelled at this particular time to research autism. It was there that I found so many similarities of myself in it. 

I did not want to self-diagnose myself though. I knew I had to get professional help to confirm what I felt in my heart. Once I got my results back from a professional psychologist, it was a relief and a little shocking. The autism was evident to me, but I was unaware of the ADHD. What is amazing about all of this is I am a more nonverbal communicator than a verbal one and I have high energy like a child.


Although I express myself better nonverbally, the only reason I thrive in performing poetry is the power of God. If I did not have God helping me to function in life daily, I would act like a child. I do love the bubbly, energetic side of my ADHD though. My autism causes me to take things literally and basic as a child would. When words are not familiar to me or instructions feel unclear to follow, I will ask questions for understanding.


I learn through repetition and consistency. Even though I have a Bachelor's and Master's Degree, I do not remember information taught during those years. Still, I can remember songs, movies, games, and what I learned in school from childhood, since repetition is how I learn. I owe every aspect of my poetry to God because my Christian faith has been such a strong beacon throughout my journey.


To have never been diagnosed with Autism and ADHD until 34 years later is such an amazing testament in itself. I feel like a walking miracle. I have no anger or malice towards any of my close loved ones for my later diagnosis. I am grateful. The woman who I am today is through many factors, but three stand out the most. They are my strong faith in God, my disciplined parental upbringing, and my determination to reject all negativity given to me. 

When you realize what you went through made you BETTER, there is no reason to be BITTER


Traci Neal

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