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But Everyone Feels This Way: How an Autism Diagnosis Saved My Life

But Everyone Feels This Way: How an Autism Diagnosis Saved My Life

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By Paige Layle

Autism acceptance activist and TikTok influencer Paige Layle shares her deeply personal journey to diagnosis and living life autistically. 

“For far too long, I was told I was just like everyone else. But knew it couldn’t be true. Living just seemed so much harder for me. This wasn’t okay. This wasn’t normal. This wasn’t functioning. And it certainly wasn’t fine.”

Paige Layle was normal. She lived in the countryside with her mom, dad, and brother Graham. She went to school, hung out with friends, and all the while everything seemed so much harder than it needed to be. A break in routine threw off the whole day. If her teacher couldn't answer “why” in class, she dissolved into tears, unable to articulate her own confusion or explain her lack of control. 

But Paige was normal. She smiled in photos, picked her feet up when her mom needed to vacuum instead of fleeing the room, and earned high grades. She had friends and loved to perform in local theater productions. It wasn’t until a psychiatrist said she wasn’t doing okay, that anyone believed her.

In But Everyone Feels This Way, Paige Layle shares her story as an autistic woman diagnosed late. Armed with the phrase “Autism Spectrum Disorder” (ASD), Paige challenges stigmas, taboos, and stereotypes while learning how to live her authentic, autistic life.

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