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At 43, I was diagnosed with autism, and my mother still struggles to accept it

Byeditor

Apr 2, 2024

After receiving the diagnosis, Tanenbaum began to piece things together. Understanding why he struggled in job interviews and had difficulties as a child made sense with the added diagnosis of ADHD, shedding light on many of the challenges he faced. Tanenbaum expressed regret at not knowing about his Asperger’s earlier, as it would have guided him away from pursuing a master’s degree in business administration at Bar-Ilan, recognizing that this field may not align with his abilities as he had hoped.

Growing up in New York and moving to Israel at 22, Tanenbaum reflects on the lack of awareness surrounding developmental issues in his childhood. His family did not recognize any disabilities he may have had, and even today, his mother questions the accuracy of his diagnosis. Discovering his Asperger’s did not bring the expected relief; instead, Tanenbaum felt anger towards the challenges he faced throughout his life.

Dr. Amir Tal, the chief scientist of Beit Eckstein of the Danal Group, notes the lack of emphasis on addressing the unique needs of adults on the autism spectrum. While much research has focused on children, there is a growing recognition of the need for tailored support for adults with autism, especially for those diagnosed later in life. Dr. Tal stresses the importance of creating systematic data on late-diagnosis cases to develop targeted therapies to meet individual needs.

Despite the progress in understanding late diagnoses of autism, many countries, including Israel, lack systematic data on the prevalence and consequences of late diagnoses. Dr. Tal advocates for the creation of a database to track individuals diagnosed later in life, allowing for the development of personalized therapies. This data-driven approach is essential for improving outcomes at both the individual and societal levels.

By editor

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