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Adult Autism Assessment and Diagnosis

How to find out if you are autistic: Adult Autism Assessment and Diagnosis

Adult Autism refers to autism that is diagnosed in adulthood. If you’ve been reflecting on your experiences and suspect you might be autistic, here’s how to proceed with an adult autism assessment.

 

What’s involved in an adult autism assessment?

 

Adult Autism Screening

Consider scheduling a one-hour autism screening appointment to gauge the likelihood of autism. If autism seems unlikely, you can be directed to more suitable support options without undergoing a full diagnostic assessment. If the screening stage highlights differences which could represent autism a full assessment is recommended and can happen on the same day if you prefer.

Adult Autism Assessment

The gold standard for diagnosis involves a face-to-face assessment, where your story is heard, and information about your experiences across your lifespan is gathered and interpreted. A comprehensive adult assessment includes a thorough clinical interview, observational assessment, and developmental history. Tools like the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) may be used for observation and information gathering. In total the assessment typically lasts several hours with breaks or lasting over two sessions.

How is an adult autism diagnosis made?

Diagnosing autism requires a clinical judgment by a qualified professional, such as a specialist psychiatrist or psychologist. Your experiences are carefully compared against the diagnostic criteria outlined in the DSM-5 or ICD-11 manuals. Possible outcomes of the assessment include a new autism diagnosis, displaying some features of autism, or identifying another explanation for your differences.

Is an adult autism assessment worth it?

Deciding to undergo an assessment is a personal choice. For many, an autism diagnosis provides validation, a sense of identity and improved wellbeing. It can also facilitate access to necessary support and accommodations in educational or workplace settings. It can help to ensure your physical and mental health needs are better met by healthcare professionals.

 

If you would like more information about how Cognacity can help or to make an appointment please contact us on: 020 3219 3080 or reception@cognacity.co.uk.

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