This is a question I often think to myself and have talked about with my girlfriend as well.
I am very vocal most of the time. Once I start talking, you have to find a way to shut me up. Even my diagnosis says that I talk excessively much.
What most people don’t see, is that I can become non-verbal, where I communicate in grunts. The one on one talks I have with counselors are artificial in the way that I will always be on my best, regulating my stimulation in such a way that I’m not overstimulated. The preparation starts the day before, that’s the physical. The mental starts way before that.
My work counselor said what I thought a lot about as well. To paraphrase: That everything is less noticable because I’m this communicative. I can talk and reason about everything. Which has delayed my diagnosis by a couple decades.
sometimes I think about what would have happened if my autism was more noticable. Don’t get me wrong, it is noticable, if you know what to look for. But more noticable, what if I didn’t have my girlfriend, and had to go by bus, and had to cook for myself and clean and don’t get reminders verbally to bath and put on a fresh T-shirt every once and a while. But this happens before my counselor even sees me.
what if my autism was more visible… a normal school would have been impossible. My mom would nag in my presence what a burden I am. How a trait I have is a burden. How I, because I can’t communicate and can’t process language that well, don’t seem to listen. Actually how most autism moms talk now.
I would have had my diagnosis sooner, but would my quality of life have been the same? Not that it was so super now though…