That moment when you’re a fresh-faced 18 year old and you’re at the bar ordering a pint of snakebite in a plastic glass or a WKD (the blue one) – choice dependent largely on your taste in music circa 1997 – so you can join in with the crowd for the rest of the night before puking your guts up into a bin after a pasty from the all-night garage, when the bartender asks:
‘Have you got any ID?’
The fear in hearing those five words and being unable to convince them of your identity is real. How can you demonstrate you’re of legal drinking age if you don’t appear to be, without the official paperwork to prove it?
You could tell them your date of birth and what year you took your GCSEs, or you could remind them that you got served when you came in last week and the King’s Head down the road have never asked to see proof,* but the fact remains that unless you can produce documentary evidence to prove your identity, you will only get lemonade.
Having to ‘prove’ your autism, ADHD or other neurodiversity can feel the same.
YOU know who you are but it is so often the case that without a document to produce, to be carried around at all times just in case you are questioned, people decide that they are under no obligation to believe you, or to treat you accordingly.
This is just one of many reasons why adults are often keen to pursue a formal diagnosis, particularly those adults who receive the chronically misinformed response of ‘you don’t look autistic / ADHD/ other’, which deserves its own post …
*They would serve anyone.