Adult Autism Diagnosis Tool Kit

A guide for identifying autism in adults and figuring out what comes next

Developed by autistic adults, this guide addresses what comes next if:

  • You are an adult currently seeking a diagnosis or were recently diagnosed with autism.
  • You are an adult who recognizes you have autistic traits but are unsure what to do.
  • You were seeking counseling or support for something else as an adult, and the clinician brought up autism.
  • You recently found out that you were diagnosed with autism in childhood, but your parents/guardians did not disclose that to you.
  • Your child was diagnosed and/or is being evaluated and you wonder about yourself.
  • You are someone who loves or supports someone who fits one of the above.

In addition to explaining the clinical definition of autism, diagnosis, and services, supports and rights, the Adult Autism Diagnosis Tool Kit also amplifies the autistic adult voice and what living on the spectrum looks like. Learn from other autistic adults who have walked down the path.

Topics covered in this Tool Kit include:

  • How to get a diagnosis
  • What the evaluation process looks like
  • Co-occurring conditions and other common related issues like ADHD, GI issues, and autistic burnout, among others
  • State and federal services available
  • Types of therapy
  • The American Disabilities Act and other legal protections
  • Self-Advocacy including asking for accommodations and disclosing your diagnosis
  • Relationship perspectives
  • Autistic adult perspectives

The original version of this guide was released in 2015 with a comprehensive review and update in 2023, led by a team of autistic adults, including outside contributors, with the help of Autism Speaks staff, board and advisory members.

Recommended supplemental resources:

Roadmap to Self-Empowerment for Autistic Adults

*Participants from The Nicholas Center appears in Tool Kit cover image.

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Adult Autism Diagnosis Tool Kit Cropped Cover