Diagnosis for adults
You may be wondering if you or a loved one could be autistic. Perhaps your child has recently been diagnosed or you have read an article or seen a TV programme about autism and may have recognised some of the experiences presented. Some people may wish to explore this deeper and seek a diagnosis.
Getting a diagnosis
To get a diagnosis as an adult, you normally need a referral from your GP or a different health professional, like a psychologist. During your appointment, you will need to explain why you think you could be autistic and how you think a diagnosis may benefit you. You may then be referred for assessment to a specialist diagnostic team.
People can be diagnosed as autistic at any age – we know of people who are diagnosed in their 70s and 80s. Some people may view a diagnosis as a negative label but it can be very helpful for others and many describe it as a life changing experience. They often talk of having always felt different somehow, but not knowing why.
Talking about your diagnosis
An autism diagnosis at any age can be difficult for people to understand, but for adults who may have struggled all their lives, who were perhaps diagnosed or misdiagnosed with other conditions, it can be particularly difficult. It's important for people to have the opportunity to talk about this and they may eventually accept and embrace the strengths their autism gives them.
Find out more about diagnosis for adults and how to find support by clicking on the links below.
Links to more resources
Diagnosis for women and girls
Autism was once thought to be a difference only seen in boys. As a result, tests were designed around a specific presentation more commonly seen in boys. This meant that many autistic girls, who often present differently, were missed. Read more about diagnosis in women and girls