Em Rusciano explains why she’s ‘acting more autistic’ since her diagnosis

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Em Rusciano has explained why her autism and ADHD are more visible since she was formally diagnosed with the developmental disability. 

In a video shared to Instagram Stories on Friday, the podcaster says she’s been ‘masking’ her autistic behaviours her whole life and finally feels free to express her true self. 

‘If you’re late diagnosed ADHD, autistic, you might come across people saying that all of a sudden, you’re acting more more autistic or you’re acting more ADHD,’ the 44-year-old said began in the clip. 

‘I’m going to give you a reason for that. So our whole lives, there’s been two planes we’ve existed on. What’s actually been going on in our head, and what we’ve been doing with our bodies to mask and fit in,’ Em continued. 

‘And that’s what makes us so exhausted and unwell. So when we get this diagnosis, we realise we don’t want to have the two planes. We want our minds and bodies to match up. 

Em Rusciano (pictured) has explained why her autism is more visible since she was formally diagnosed with the developmental disability, along with ADHD

Em Rusciano (pictured) has explained why her autism is more visible since she was formally diagnosed with the developmental disability, along with ADHD

‘So we started giving ourselves permission to drop that mask and to close the gap between our body and our head. And that’s why you will all of a sudden start behaving more true to how you’re actually feeling.

‘And you’re actually not putting on an act, you’re actually being more yourself than you’ve ever been in your life,’ the singer concluded. 

It comes after Em shot down false claims she was ‘faking’ autism for attention earlier this year. 

In a lengthy statement posted to Facebook, Em outlined how ‘heavy duty masking’ of her symptoms helped her cope, but also made it less obvious to outsiders that she was struggling. 

The statement came after media personality Meshel Laurie falsely implied that the comedian was using her condition for ‘clout’. 

In a video shared to Instagram Stories on Friday, the podcaster says she's been 'masking' her autistic behavours her whole life and finally feels free to express her true self

In a video shared to Instagram Stories on Friday, the podcaster says she’s been ‘masking’ her autistic behavours her whole life and finally feels free to express her true self

‘The truth is, I’ve spent a lifetime developing coping techniques to try and fit in, I became an expert at appearing “fine” but in reality my apparent competence was actually heavy duty masking,’ Em wrote. 

‘That’s how it is for most late diagnosed women, I now know so many of my mental health issues were because I was trying to force my brain into neuro-typical structures and systems that were not designed for me.’

Em continued: ‘I simply did not understand why life was so bloody exhausting, then I found out it was because I was having to spend all my time pretending that I found certain parts of it easy. 

‘I didn’t know that everyone else just knew how to make the right amount of eye contact during a conversation with a stranger. 

‘I have great attention to detail because I spend hours anxiously pouring over everything I do in case there is a mistake and someone realises I am not really up to the task. 

'We started giving ourselves permission to drop that mask and to close the gap between our body and our head. And that's why you will all of a sudden start behaving more true to how you're actually feeling,' Em told fans

‘We started giving ourselves permission to drop that mask and to close the gap between our body and our head. And that’s why you will all of a sudden start behaving more true to how you’re actually feeling,’ Em told fans

‘I self monitor in social interactions, I work really hard to not interrupt the person talking, to not take the conversation over and go on a five minute info dumping spree because they’ve mentioned a topic I know all about. When I’m excited or tired or anxious I stim.’ 

At the time, Em received some unwarranted backlash online after revealing that she had planned to possibly utilise the ‘sensory inclusivity room’ at Marvel Stadium during a Harry Style concert in Melbourne. 

‘I’m extremely sensitive to light and sound and textures. Sensory overload and burnout happen to me five or six times a week, that’s why when I saw that Marvel stadium had a sensory room, I was excited,’ she explained after being criticised. 

The star shot down false claims she was 'faking' autism for attention earlier this year

The star shot down false claims she was ‘faking’ autism for attention earlier this year 

Rusciano was diagnosed with autism last November, just one year after being diagnosed with ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder)

Rusciano was diagnosed with autism last November, just one year after being diagnosed with ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder)

‘These are only a couple of examples of how my ASD shows up, but I shouldn’t have to explain myself. Yet this week I’ve found myself having to endure people debating if I’m autistic enough or even at all. How is that okay?’ 

The former radio star also called the questions around her autism, ‘limiting and ableist’ and that neurodivergent women, whose symptoms can present slightly differently to those in men, are often left out of the conversation. 

‘The only examples of ADHD and autism I had seen were the male presentation. But that’s the whole point, that’s why representation matters. More women like me need to be seen and heard so that we can change the attitudes and narratives around ADHD and ASD,’ she said. 

To prove her credibility to naysayers who have questioned her diagnosis and intentions behind publicising it, Rusciano read out her doctor’s assessment during an episode of her podcast.

Breaking down in tears, she said she felt like she needed to carry her report around with her at all times ‘to pull out’ if she’s ever questioned again.

The star had originally been refused a diagnosis by a male psychiatrist, who felt she didn’t meet the criteria, but she later found a female psychiatrist who was able to assess her.  

Rusciano was diagnosed with level one autism last November, just one year after being diagnosed with ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder).



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