Value of Adult Diagnosis

On a list not devoted to autism/AS, a member wrote that she recently discovered that she has ADD and felt as if yet another problem had been added to her burden. I wrote in response:

But of course, it's not something new. You've been you all your life. The knowledge about ADD simply gives you a new way to think about certain aspects of yourself and figure out (better) how to change strategies that don't work well for you (because they are strategies based on "normal psychology" without taking ADD into account). Now you are free from the straightjacket of "normality" and can craft your own strategies, based on the unique shape of your own mind, for dealing creatively with the rest of the world.

That's the value of adult diagnoses like ADD or AS for those whose childhoods passed before the information was available.