Everything You Need To Know About An Autism Diagnosis
Autism diagnosis can take a number of different forms. It may happen in early years, or as late as adulthood. It can be pursued publicly or privately. Autism may be the only necessary diagnosis, or it may exist alongside other co-occurring differences. It can only be diagnosed by a psychologist, psychiatrist, developmental pediatrician or a child neurologist. Diagnosis will typically be accompanied by a diagnostic report outlining recommended supports. For children, an autism diagnosis is necessary to access educational supports and therapeutic supports. For adults, diagnosis can assist in gaining other supports such as university disability services or reasonable accommodations in the workplace.
Furthermore for both of these groups, a diagnosis often provides clarity, relief and a framework for moving forward. Many parents feel relief to finally put a name to their child’s difference. For adults, especially women, autism may be misdiagnosed as depression or anxiety. This can be frustrating when standard therapies or medications fail to improve their lives. Many adults who are diagnosed later in life feel liberated; having finally found an answer for why they struggled in certain areas.
Despite originally being described as an incredibly rare psychosis restricted to children, the diagnostic criteria of autism has broadened over the years to acknowledge the variety of the condition and its presence in people of all ages. In fact, adults often pursue a diagnosis after recognizing familiar traits in their own autistic children.
Nevertheless, securing an autism diagnosis can be a difficult, lengthy and expensive process. To help you in this journey, check the resources below.