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Understanding Autism

Adult Autism


What is Adult Autism?

Adult autism* refers to autism that is diagnosed in adulthood. Autism is a neurodevelopmental condition meaning it is present from birth. Autistic people share characteristics such as different social experiences, and different behaviours like special interests or sensory sensitivities. Autism brings strengths but it can also make some areas of life more challenging. Recognising and supporting autistic adults can lead to improved wellbeing.


What are some of the signs of adult autism?

  • Finding it tricky to know how to participate in conversations
  • Using “social scripts” to decide what to say
  • Having a preference for direct language and taking things literally
  • Expressing your feelings differently to how others might
  • Differences in body language e.g. your experience of eye contact
  • “Masking” your differences to behave as others might expect
  • Different experiences of social relationships
  • Using “stimming” movements e.g. flapping when excited
  • Finding it very hard to manage change
  • Preference for routines
  • Having strict rules around food
  • Showing strong focus on your interests and spending lots of time thinking about, talking about, or doing them
  • Being over-sensitive or under-sensitive to sensory things like lights or noises.


How is adult autism diagnosed at Cognacity?

Our comprehensive approach emphasises neuro-affirmative assessment and personalised support. The first step begins with a one-hour face-to-face screening consultation with Dr Alison Lennox, our Consultant Psychiatrist in Adult Autism.

If you are invited to proceed to full assessment, Dr Lennox utilises clinical interview, developmental history, and observational assessment to guide the assessment process accurately. We will make any accommodations you require. It’s important to note that reaching a diagnostic decision is always a clinical judgment based on extensive clinical experience. More information of what to expect can be found here.


What happens after your autism assessment?

After your assessment you will receive a detailed, neuro-affirmative report with personalised recommendations. This means as well as acknowledging areas of difference it will highlight your strengths. Dr Lennox can also meet with you for further post-diagnostic support sessions if you wish. She may recommend connecting you with one of our experienced psychologists to help meet your specific goals.


*Research shows “autism” is the term currently preferred by the majority of autistic people so is the term used throughout this article. The current diagnostic term is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), while some people prefer the term Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC). Asperger syndrome and High functioning autism are now historical terms. At Cognacity you will be supported in your language preference.


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

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ICO Registration:

Cognacity Health Ltd - ZB425974

Cognacity Ltd - ZA392828

Disability Confidence Employer - Level 2


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