How Can an Adult Be Assessed for Autism?

If you are interested in seeking an adult autism diagnosis, find out where to look for a qualified specialist in your area and how to use different diagnostic techniques and tools.


Q: Where may an adult be assessed for a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD)? What kind of expert or specialist diagnoses adults with autism, and how does the procedure usually proceed? Which qualifications and credentials are most important?


It can be challenging to find a trained professional to assess, diagnose, and treat adult autism, as many individuals with autism all too well know.


That being stated, the first step in obtaining a diagnosis of adult autism is to consult a specialist who specializes in diagnosing ASD, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist. Seek out adult psychologists first, as they are more exposed to disorders with early childhood onsets and undergo more clinical training than adult psychiatrists. (The patient’s development must have included symptoms for the diagnosis of ASD to be valid.)


By doing the following, you might be able to locate a specialist nearby:

  • A recommendation from your primary care physician
  • An online lookup for a medical directory or on the Internet
  • Your insurance company Reputable autism organizations
  • Local hospitals and colleges

The expert you select should undoubtedly have some kind of training in diagnosing ASD, even though there is not a “certificate” that authorizes professionals to diagnose adult autism. For ASD diagnostic tests, they do not necessarily need to be reliable at the research level, but they do require clinical training alongside other autistic specialists.


It is also crucial that the clinician diagnoses autism using trustworthy diagnostic techniques that are supported by research. The following resources are the most effective for completing an adult autism assessment, aside from necessities like the clinical interview:


  • Thorough developmental histories that show how symptoms changed over time and whether outside influences were involved. Psychologists are skilled in dissecting and analyzing these past events. Other family members, such as parents, spouses, or siblings, might be able to help with
    the process by providing a detailed account of your symptoms throughout time.
  • Popular tools include the Social Communication Questionnaire, Autism Diagnostic Interview- Revised (ADI-R), Adaptive Behavior Questionnaire, Autism Spectrum Quotient, and Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-2 (ADOS). These last two are the most complete metrics that are currently available. A clinical interview known as the ADI-R is conducted with a caregiver or other family member who has known you since you were a young child. A clinical interview, observations of your social communication abilities, and a look for repetitive behaviors linked to ASD are all part of the ADOS.
  • Psychiatric evaluations for other disorders are frequently used to rule out, confirm, or even find illnesses that coexist with ASD.
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