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Adult Autism Assessments

Autism is a lifelong disorder, present from birth and cannot develop in adulthood. Most individuals will typically show symptoms of autism by 12-18 months of age or even earlier. However, many individuals with Autism reach adulthood without being diagnosed or are misdiagnosed with other mental health or developmental disorders.

Autism symptoms and severity differ from person to person and can change and present differently in adulthood. While it is difficult to provide a comprehensive list of identifying signs of autism in adults, this offers indications for some behaviours adults may be experiencing:

  • Difficulty interpreting what others are thinking or feeling.
  • Problems in understanding and responding appropriately to facial expressions, body language, or social cues.
  • Others often misunderstand the individual’s own emotions and facial expressions.
  • Anxiety and avoidance of social situations.
  • Lack of desire for social interaction.
  • Social withdrawal and difficulty making friends.
  • Sticking to a rigid routine and difficulty with change.
  • Difficulty with participating in conversations with others.
  • Repetitive behaviour patterns.
  • Unusual sensory responses.
  • Strong and obsessive interests.

Why get diagnosed as an adult?

Many undiagnosed adults with autism may have been experiencing long term challenges in many aspects of their lives and may feel confused and isolated about why. Appropriate diagnosis can help individuals and their families and friends better understand why they view the world differently. Diagnosis can also help support adults with autism appropriately to tailor intervention needs through the lens of autism.

What is involved in an adult autism assessment?

In principle, the same DSM-V criteria apply for both adult and child Autism assessments. However, the behaviours associated with Autism can vary within individuals as they grow and develop and respond to various situations and environments in their daily lives. Their life experiences can influence the presentation in adulthood. As Autism is a lifelong disorder present from birth, clients will be asked about their whole life experiences as well as their current functioning, social skills and interactions, and behaviour. To ensure the integrity of the assessment process, incorporating the perspectives of a client’s family member or friend, about the client’s social and behavioural presentation is an integral part of the diagnostic process.

Collecting the relevant information about a client is undertaken through a comprehensive and targeted interview with the client and questionnaires from the client and the client’s close contact.

Our experienced clinicians will provide you with the quality care and professional service May is known for.