I was sixty years old, married for thirty four years, and had two grown children; I was making my living as a Comedian on a Cruise ship AND I had no idea I was on the spectrum.
After a show two Professional Therapists (A husband wife team) who worked for a school system as both a diagnostic team and a therapeutic team, came up to me after a show: “Kevin, what a marvelous way to use your Autism to fit your strengths. You are a marvel.”
” I am not Autistic.”At which they both laughed out loud: “Kevin, who does an act that includes jokes about the medulla oblongata, the standard model of physics, and the reproduction habits of varying animals, along with a description of Rasputin the Mad Monk? And the way you talk, move, and present is definitely on the Scale.” At which point…I laughed and shrugged it off. Two weeks later a convention of Brain Scientists and Psychologists were onboard the ship, they came to my show as a group. After the show, the two leading Scientists asked if I would give a talk about how Comedy is perfectly suited for an Autistic Person like me. I was stunned. Four different “Experts” had labeled me autistic, just from my show, choice of topics, and my movements?
I called my wife and daughters to share the bizarre encounters and a laugh. But they did not laugh. Instead there was a long silence. My eldest daughter was a teacher, she almost yelled out: “Dad! Now your life makes sense.” My wife and younger daughter also agreed with her, and all were excited to know who their dad was …and why. Just shy of four years later I got the formal diagnosis: Autism Spectrum Disorder- Aspergers, but as we discovered more…I was a headbanger as a child, slow to talk, and have little fine motor control. Meltdowns were an everyday experience as a child, as were bullying and rituals. Getting that Formal Diagnosis from a psychologist who only works with people on the Spectrum- was a Godsend. As my daughter said: “Now my life makes sense.”