A couple has expressed relief that their now-adult autistic daughter didn’t receive her diagnosis in childhood – despite developing a string of psychiatric illnesses during that time. 

Paul and Mary Shinter, 56 and 58, had their suspicions “something was off” since Paige – now 25 – was a toddler. “I caught her with a a copy of Middlemarch at the age of eight,” Mary Shinter admitted. “She struggled with a lot of things. But I just didn’t want her to get bogged down with labels.”

Since then, Paige Shinter has acquired an eating disorder, OCD, PTSD, severe depression and anxiety – which she lists in her Twitter bio in lieu of qualifications.

“I couldn’t imagine people at school knowing she was autistic. She might have been bullied,” Mary Shinter continued. “I mean, yes, she was bullied anyway. Repeatedly. But that isn’t the point.”

“They say it’s genetic, apparently. Though she doesn’t get it from me,” Paul Shinter said. He then wasn’t sure how to finish our exchange, so simply wandered off in a vague direction without saying goodbye.

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