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Receiving an Adult Autism Diagnosis: Top Five Preparation Steps

This article was featured in Brainz Magazine where our founder Jazmin Burns holds the position of an Executive Contributor! Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Receiving an autism diagnosis as an adult can be a life-changing moment. Whether you’ve long suspected you might be on the autism spectrum or have recently scheduled an evaluation, proper preparation is critical to ensuring an accurate and effective assessment. To guide individuals through this process, we present the top five steps to take when preparing for an adult autism evaluation.

1. Educate Yourself Start by delving into autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Familiarize yourself with its characteristics, symptoms, and diagnostic criteria. Empower yourself with knowledge by consulting reputable sources, such as books, websites, and scientific articles. Don’t hesitate to connect with autism advocacy organizations and support groups to gain additional insights and resources to aid your understanding.

2. Self-Reflection and Documentation Engage in thoughtful self-reflection across your life stages, from childhood to adulthood. Catalog your strengths, challenges, and specific difficulties in social interactions, communication, sensory processing, and repetitive behaviors. Maintain a journal or document instances that highlight your experiences. Collaborating with trusted friends or family members can offer varied perspectives and enrich your journey of self-discovery.

3. Gather Relevant Information To ensure a comprehensive evaluation, compile relevant information from diverse sources. Retrieve school records, medical history, employment records, and past evaluations or assessments. Acquiring these documents ahead of time guarantees you’re well-prepared for the evaluation. Don’t hesitate to involve family members or close friends who can provide valuable insights into your developmental history.

4. Seek Support Navigating an autism evaluation can be emotionally taxing, making support from loved ones crucial. Open up to trusted friends or family about your intentions and concerns, drawing strength from their encouragement. Consider having a companion accompany you during the evaluation and share their perspective. Additionally, connect with autism support groups and online communities for camaraderie with those who’ve undergone similar evaluations, offering validation and empathy.

5. Prepare Questions Before the evaluation, compile a list of questions to discuss with the clinician. This step promotes clarity, enables insights into the evaluation process, and clarifies potential next steps. Questions may range from the types of assessments used during evaluations to the expected duration of the process, potential outcomes, and available resources and support services in case of an autism diagnosis.

Preparing for an adult autism evaluation involves proactive steps that enhance the accuracy of the assessment and empower individuals on their journey toward self-understanding and potential diagnosis. By following these recommendations, individuals can confidently approach the evaluation process, fostering a path to self-discovery and support.

Read the full story on Brainz Magazine!


Are you someone who identifies as neurodivergent? Dr. Burns and her team take a neuroaffirmative approach in their work to meet neurodivergent individuals where they are in a safe and validating environment.