Why do I need a diagnosis as an adult?

Is It Autism and If So, What Next? A Guide for Adults

You may be wondering why you need an autism diagnosis, especially if you have lived without one for many years in adulthood. Many young adults and adults who suspect they may have autism are afraid or unwilling to seek an official diagnosis because of the stigma they may feel is associated with the disorder. However, as autism awareness increases rapidly around the world, many are beginning to see the strengths and unique abilities of individuals on the spectrum.

An official diagnosis can help answer questions you may have had about yourself and your behavior for many years. For some, it can be a relief to know that these behaviors can now be explained with the diagnosis. It can also help you access the treatment and services that will help improve your symptoms and help you overcome the challenges you may have faced during the years before a diagnosis, as a diagnosis is often required to access services. A diagnosis can also lead you to seek out autism-specific supports that can help you along your journey with autism, such as support groups and social skills training. Getting a diagnosis can also increase self-awareness which can help you focus on your strengths and work around areas of challenge. 

Support groups have been found to be very helpful for adults diagnosed with autism. Search the Autism Speaks online Resource Guide for Support Groups near you.

Read more about autism in adults in the Adult Autism Diagnosis Tool Kit.