Are you wondering if you are autistic? Maybe you read something about autism or you saw a program on TV and believe it accurately describes some of your own experiences. In the last few years, autism awareness has become widespread, but that wasn’t the case before. Therefore, it was quite common for people to have gone through their life without an autism diagnosis, all the while feeling that they didn’t fit in. Lots of people learn to cope in their own unique ways, which is often tough work. They might have successful careers, be married and have families. Others may find things more of a struggle and may be isolated from the rest.
It is up to you to decide if you want to go for a self-diagnosis or walk to be formally diagnosed by a specialist. The problem is that a lot of people believe that diagnosis will only lead to an unhelpful label. However, the fact is that getting a thorough assessment and diagnosis can actually be beneficial in a number of ways. How? Some benefits of autism diagnosis for adults are outlined below:
- Getting an autism diagnosis can help you as well as your friends, partner, spouse, family and colleague understand why you tend to experience certain difficulties and what can be done to manage them.
- An autism diagnosis can also be useful for correcting a previous misdiagnosis like schizophrenia. This means that if you have any mental health problems, they can be addressed in a better way. However, bear in mind that an autism diagnosis often becomes difficult in patients who are suffering from mental health issues.
- With an autism diagnosis, you will get access to appropriate benefits and services. You will be able to claim benefits and also get access to community care services.
- When you are diagnosed with autism, you will be entitled to have reasonable adjustments made by your college, university or employer.
- You can become a member of various autism groups and communities, which can be incredibly helpful. Not only do these groups offer emotional support, they also help you in understanding your disorder and tricks to deal with it that may only be known by others who suffer from autism.
There is no need for a diagnosis to have self-belief, but some autistic people prefer to get a diagnosis because it helps them in making sense of their life experiences and they are able to identify with autistic people. If you don’t consider a formal diagnosis as necessary, you can take your autism test online. It will not take you more than five minutes and only requires you to answer a few questions. While it may not be 100% accurate, it is able to provide you with an idea of your problem.
In the case you decide to go with a formal diagnosis, you will first need to consult your GP. You have to present your case to them because they will refer you to a specialist. This means providing them with details about the difficulties you have suffered and why you think they are concerned with autism. You will have to go in detail when talking to your general physician as things from your childhood need to be explained. If your GP accepts that you are autistic, they will refer you to someone who can make a formal diagnosis. Typically, it is a clinical psychologist, psychiatrist or multi-disciplinary team who will make an assessment before giving a diagnosis. Once you have been officially diagnosed, you can ask about treatment options, if any, available to you, which can make your life better.