Adult Diagnosis

Author and illustrator Aoife Dooley didn’t receive a diagnosis until the age of 27.

Autism is not just for children and while we have many diagnosed adults within the AsIAm Community we do receive requests from many more asking about getting an adult diagnosis. In the few decades our understanding of autism has advanced far beyond its original definition. Dr. Leo Kanner primarily saw it as a childhood psychosis, which we now know to be untrue. Increasing numbers of adults are now seeking a diagnosis. However, this manner of thinking persists and many GPs may hesitate to grant a referral to someone over the age of 18. Nevertheless, it is worth persisting to receive a diagnosis.

Benefits of a diagnosis

A formal diagnosis is not merely a label assessment and diagnosis opens many doors for the following reasons:

  • it may help you (and your family, partner, employer, colleagues and friends) to understand why you may experience certain difficulties and what you can do about them
  • it may correct previous misdiagnoses (such as schizophrenia), and help pinpoint further metal health difficulties and co-morbid conditions
  • it may help you to get access to appropriate services and benefits
  • you will be entitled to have reasonable accommodations made by employers or colleges


The typical route for getting diagnosed is to visit your GP and ask for a referral to a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist, preferably one with experience of diagnosing autism.

However, accessing a diagnosis through the public health system is virtually impossible so many people will go to a private consultant.

Two practitioners who do provide adult assessment and diagnosis of autism are:

Dr. Emer Bowman Dublin Well Woman Centre, 67, Pembroke Road , Ballsbridge, Dublin 4. T: +353 (01) 668-1108

Dr Rita Honan & Associates, 7 Cope Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Ireland.

T: +353 (01) 896-3906    E:

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