Medically Reviewed by Dr. K on 15 April 2021
Table of Contents :
- Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder
- How To Know If You Have Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Getting a Diagnosis
Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is most often diagnosed in children. However, what if you believe you might be on the spectrum but were never diagnosed?
Parents of young children should be aware of common symptoms such as loss of eye contact, repeated gestures, and sensory problems. Since all children are checked for these symptoms during their 18 and 24-month paediatrician well-child appointments, autism spectrum disorder is diagnosed in the majority of situations by the age of two.
Previously, this was not the case. Any children who may now be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder may have been labelled as “difficult" or “learning disability" not long ago, and would not have received the support they needed.
Now that those children are adults, they and their families may wonder if they have ASD.
How To Know If You Have Autism Spectrum Disorder
You might have mild symptoms if you believe you have autism spectrum disorder, which may be a reason you were not diagnosed earlier.
There is also a possibility that you were misdiagnosed before. Autism spectrum disorder is often misdiagnosed as attention deficit disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or other mental illnesses.
When one of their own children, or another family member, is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, some adults will start to seek a diagnosis. Others are led there by a therapist or doctor who is treating them for another problem.
Some people go out on their own to see if their symptoms and behaviours are related to ASD. The issue arises as there is no standard method for diagnosing ASD in adults. Adult autism specialists are also difficult to find.
It may be a good option to seek advice from your primary care doctor or a psychologist. If there is an autism centre in your city, that will be a great place to start.
Adult self-assessment assessments may also be worth looking into. These methods aren’t well-known, and they can’t diagnose you on their own, but they’re a perfect way to start and something to explore with your doctor.
Getting a Diagnosis
One of the reasons an adult ASD diagnosis can be difficult is that you may have developed methods and ways at controlling and hiding the symptoms, without even realising it. Expect the doctor or autism specialist to track your actions and ask a lot of questions when you see them. Since many of the symptoms, such as repetitive behaviour, obsession with everyday routine, and trouble with social interaction, are similar in children, they can use a children’s checklist.
It can also be hard to get information about your childhood and development. Parents answer the questions when a child is being diagnosed, but that can’t always happen when you’re an adult. If parents or any older relatives are willing and able, the doctor will probably want to talk to them.
Your journey to being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder is unlikely to be straightforward. However, regardless of where it leads, it is essential to seek out resources to develop the coping skills required to manage your daily activities.
Referenced on 13/4/2021
- National Institute of Mental Health: “Autism Spectrum Disorder.”
- The Arc: “Autism and Adult Diagnosis.”
- Autism Speaks: “Getting Evaluated for Autism as an Adult. Where to Go? Who to See?” and “Researchers develop first autism symptom self-assessment for adults.”