Autism in adults

Getting a diagnosis of autism (including Asperger syndrome) can be a really positive step. A lot of adults say their diagnosis has helped them to understand why they find certain things difficult, and also why they are especially good at some things.

Having a diagnosis also means you can get easier access to support and benefits. However, the process of getting a diagnosis can be difficult for adults.

The usual way to get a formal diagnosis is to go to your GP and ask for a referral to a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist, preferably one with experience of diagnosing autism.

Here are some tips from The National Autistic Society (NAS) on how to present your case so that your doctor can see why you may have autism, and why having a diagnosis is helpful.

If you think you may have autism

When visiting your GP to discuss autism, make sure this is the only thing you are seeing your doctor about. If you try to drop it into a consultation about another subject, they may not address it fully. A good way to bring up the subject is to mention that you have been reading about autism or Asperger syndrome, or that you have been in touch with the NAS. 

Describing your experiences

The autistic spectrum (the range of symptoms people with autism have) is very broad, and two people with the condition may have very different symptoms or traits. Most people with autism have the difficulties discussed below.

Difficulty with social communication

People with autism have difficulty using and understanding verbal and non-verbal language, such as gestures, facial expressions and tone of voice, as well as jokes and sarcasm. Some people with the condition might not speak or have fairly limited speech. They may understand what people say to them but prefer to use alternative forms of communication, such as sign language.

Difficulty with social interaction

People with autism have difficulty recognising and understanding people’s feelings and managing their own. They may, for example, stand too close to another person, prefer to be alone, behave inappropriately and may not seek comfort from other people. This can make it hard for them to make friends.

Difficulty with social imagination

Those with autism have difficulty understanding and predicting other people’s intentions and behaviour, and imagining situations that are outside their own routine. This can mean they carry out a narrow, repetitive range of activities. A lack of social imagination should not be confused with lack of imagination. Many people with autism are very creative.

If your doctor disagrees with your argument, ask for the reason why. If you don't feel comfortable discussing their decision there and then, ask for another appointment to talk it through.

Why you may need an autism diagnosis

Diagnosis in adulthood can have advantages and disadvantages. Some people are happy with self-diagnosis and decide not to ask for a formal one. For those that do want a diagnosis, there are various benefits, according to the NAS. These include:

Understanding yourself

People with autism have often known for a long time that they have specific difficulties, but haven't been able to explain them. They may have even been misdiagnosed. A firm diagnosis can be a relief, because it means they can learn about their condition and understand for the first time why they have difficulties.

Gaining the understanding of others

Many people suffer from constantly being misunderstood. When the people close to you understand why you find certain things difficult, it's much easier for them to empathise.

Receiving the right services for your needs

Once a diagnosis has been given, you can access autism-specific services. Read more about autism in adulthood.

The NAS website has a range of diagnosis information, which can help you understand your condition.

You may also like to download their guide What Next? for adults who have already been diagnosed with autism.

Page last reviewed: 08/05/2014

Next review due: 08/05/2016


How helpful is this page?

Average rating

Based on 102 ratings

All ratings

Add your rating


The 39 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

antauk said on 19 October 2014

I have just been diagnosed with aspergers, after years of miss diagnosis with depression, PTSD, severe depression, etc etc, I talked to someone who's relative has aspergers, and he said I went just like him, so that set me on the path to get a diagnosis, went to see the doctor who was very helpful and referred me straight away, I had a screening two weeks later and they confirmed I fitted the criteria so then referred me for full diagnosis, another two weeks later, had a two hour session with the psychologist and she Verbally confirmed I had aspergers and would confirm also in a letter to me and my doctor.

Getting the diagnosis for me anyway was confirmation that I wasn't just depressed afterall I wasnt born depressed!, but the main thing I had the problem with was all those years of seeing specialists etc and it was a chance conversation with a friend that set me on the path, I could of been diagnosed years ago and save me a lot of anxiety and stress that went with the miss diagnosis.

But today... now...I thank the nhs, and my doctor but mostly my friend, for eventually (after 20 odd years) diagnosing the right problem after a very short time from referral to conclusion and now I can move forward, with the right help..

Than you.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

phogg1953 said on 04 April 2014

I am in my 50's and have been thinking about getting formally diagnosed, but having read the comments below and after watching the documentary about Autism on the BBC the other day I am not going to bother.
I went through the depression, withdrawl process as I think most if not all people on the sspectrum do at some point in their life due to the common negative experiences we all get.
Now though I have stopped trying to be what is termed NT and socially "normal" and just be myself. As a result I am not so much withdrawn, I have less depression and anxiety.
The funny thing is because of the reduction in these negatives I probably offend people less and I am less difficult to life with.
Tony Attwood an others recognize how much effort and wearing it is for Autistic people to act (fake it) to be like an NT as we percieve NT's to be.
My attitude in a nutshell is stop trying to be NT, worrying about being myself, and be myself when it comes to what are minor things in life and save the energy for the important things.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Dansercoer said on 12 March 2014

My GP told me I will have to wait 6-8 months to get 1 appointment with a psychologist (he could not tell me if this would be a clinical psychologist with experience of diagnosing ASDs in adults), or to be told there is no longer funding for diagnosing ASDs in adults. I contacted several NHS departments to find out what to expect, but to no avail.

Can someone shed some light on this please? I prefer not to spend time and money on a solicitor to get advice about the Autism Act.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

David__B said on 05 November 2013

Hi. I've recently been diagnosed and it's been liberating for me. I'm learning more about myself and helping others. I had a quick diagnosis - just a few weeks. The Autism Act 2009 is there to help you so mention it to your GP and get referred.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Win D said on 22 October 2013

This has been useful in telling me how my husband, aged 75, can get a diagnosis of Asberger syndrome.

It often seems to me that he is just being self-rightious and bloody minded towards me.

It would be a great help if I knew how to push his GP into referring him.

I have read the excellent book "Asberger Syndrome and Long Term Relationships" by Ashley Stanford, and it is particularly upsetting that The Digby Tantum Diagnostic Clinic is only 20mins. walk from our home.

I would welcome a comment from a professional.

Many thanks. Win D.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

bahamamama said on 29 August 2013

BTW, I think I have helped more children with ASD than CAMHS because I devise practical programmes and activities that address actual difficulties demonstrated by real children. I can do the same for adults. I am thinking of organising one of those meet-up groups for SW London, so anyone in the area, keep an eye out.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

bahamamama said on 29 August 2013

I have a son with ASD. He does not have a diagnosis, but I know he has ASD because I have a great deal of professional experience of the condition (as a specialist teacher) as well as postgraduate research experience (as a psychology research assistant). Because of my experience I knew how to respond to my son and the best way to deal with his difficulties, but even so, I am not superhuman, and on a few occasions sought support from CAMHS via a referral from my GP. They were useless, just wanted to diagnose (which I didn't want - I knew what was wrong and didn't consider a formal diagnosis necessary or helpful) but didn't provide what he needed - social skills groups, anger management, support to deal with associated depression, etc. His primary school staff were understanding and worked with me to support his learning, but his secondary school, an Ofsted-rated "outstanding" school and self-rated "best non-selective school in Kingston", a Catholic boys' school, let him down hugely, allowing him to fail and patronising me when I raised concerns. Autism is now a fashionable diagnosis, but what good does it do to be diagnosed if no real support is offered. The NAS is great in supporting people with autism, but the NHS is not. All the posts on here make that very clear. Something must change. Maybe if we all told our stories to our MPs, or even the media, maybe then we'd get the proper support we all need.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

scezzababy said on 19 May 2013

i was gunna right something honest and fair but stupid website wont let me, even the nhs website dosent do what its supposed to....... well my view of the nhs is less than good since i cant even post a comment i want on there website. and nhs choices what choices do we actually get, they dont even help you with things you can prove you have wrong with you!

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

scezzababy said on 19 May 2013

i have been trying to get a diagnosis of autism since i was 16, my doctor tried to blame all my problems on anxiety then sent me to the mental health doctor thought that was because of anxiety when it was because i was hearing and seeing things that was not there. i saw a therapist for a year with no improvement and because my therapist thought i had autism as well she sent me to see a psychiatrist. I saw him for 30 mins and he told my doctor in a letter that i had schizotypal personality disorder and mood instability plus autism and that i should be sent for an assessment.... ive only just received my appointment for four separate days. i have been asked to fill out the AQ and EQ before i go to make sure this assessment is what i need, those tests can both be taken online also. i have been treated like i am stupid and like i am not worth anything by alot of medical staff from the NHS however, since i was already treated like that for being different i now have confidence in saying i feel discriminated against and am willing to complain to who ever i have to if they cant treat me fairly and this seems to make them a little more fair towards me. i usually explain to people what it feels like to be stuck like i am and most people are very accepting once they know what i have and what it actually is. i find you cant just tell people you have autism and expect them to understand you have to tell them what it feels like even if you have to do it via text. i think people are only rude because they dont know what autism is or how to treat people who have it i am aware of what it is am not ashamed to tell people how it feels. for people reading this people with autism like clear written instructions, if you plan to be friends with some one on the spectrum maybe consider writing clear written text including things you will not put up with and you boundaries and they can do the same with you. we are all only human at the end of the day.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

silson19 said on 26 February 2013

30 Year old mature student
I went for a diagnoses of Autism after a referal by my uni. I was told i was autistic but that i had developed good coping skills and as such they didnt think i needed an offical diagnoses so wouldnt give me one. The uni took this as enough to help but student finance wouldnt. Now as a result i couldnt get the finance to but the extra stuff to help at uni and failed some of my work becouse of it. So much for not benaficial to have it. Now i am having to fight to get the official diagnoses.
Recomendation to anyone going take someone with you every visit! As they will stupidly ask you what it is you say that inapropriate or affencive and i dont know about anyone else out there but i dont know what it is if i did i wouldnt do it is that the point?

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

silveraspie said on 27 December 2012

As a female pensioner I got an Asperger diiagnosis 10-12 years ago through the NHS on the advice of the NAS. Far from allowing me to access help this leads to even greater life problems and I now do not reveal it. The NHS classify autism under "mental health" and you are shoved off to see weird psychiatrists who despite admitting they have never had an ASD patient feel qualified to persecute you. They say "of course there is no treatment for ASD". Furthermore my family do not accept it, prefering to believe that I am feckless and lazy and that's why I've been unsuccessful in life despite superior brain power. I go weeks without speaking to a soul (excepting checkout staff) and have just spent Xmas alone without giving or receiving any gifts. See the future and despair....

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

dany81 said on 17 December 2012

I am battling inside myself to understand or even to find a reason to go out and get a diagnose. I am not sure if it is the right thing to do. I am reasonably successful in my job, turns out that autism at least what I believe I have is great if you understand computers. I have learned to be over the years how you should be with people how to interact etc. but it is all a show I can mingle and make friends pretty quickly but the people near me ... my wife.. I don't even know how to speak to her we have a daughter together and she has been diagnosed with autism too. Our marriage is in ruins because I have been unable to understand her or give my support (she has been plagued by depression for personal reasons) and I just have not understood her or known what to do. This included my daughter too. only recently I have learned to understand what it is expected.... I have a real problem with focus I will focus on something and there is nothing in the world that will make me snap out of it. that included work... in IT it is easy to get dragged into crazy deadlines millions of pounds could be lost in sales etc ... I just focus on all of that and by the end I am just a shell and the world have gone past. I think a lot about doing things but I don't do them...

I don't know anymore I was under suspicion in my sevens of being autistic but nothing was ever done about (back then no one cared or understand it) now if I had the diagnose what good would come out of it...

I need help.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

yorkysott said on 28 October 2012

Very interesting comments about the vaidity and usefulness of obtaining a diagnosis. For my sins I now live alone in medway Kent and my issue is that as an adult the NHS do not want to give you a diagnosis. The NHS messed up over 20 years ago by dragging their feet in the diagnosis of this condition and have little or no intention of addressing this. Had I know year ago why I felt different my life would probably have been imeasureably better. hav served my country been to uni ad have always worked. I was bullied out of my last job due to my condition but no diagnosis means no support is available. i despair and often feel suicidal but if you are not a child then no help is easily available

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

FastAspie said on 21 September 2012

Dear Aspienomore
I am sad to hear of your completely negative experience. My wife was diagnosed over two years ago and she is finally getting the understanding from her family she always needed but didn't get in the past. I am undergoing the same process myself now but my Aspieness, if it is that, is much less obvious and debilitating. I believe I will get a diagnosis eventually - too many of the pieces fit together - but I can function OK in society, largely through just copying what others do to fit in.It's hardly been as easy as I make it sound though. I've been dropped by a lot of people I thought I could count on but I just cope somehow. Every day a struggle.
For adults seeking a diagnosis to make sense of past history, I would advise going very canny with telling people about it, as their IS a lack of understanding as Aspienomore says. Don't treat a diagnosis as a ticket to a kind of 'coming out' unless you've really prepared the ground. Only you can decide on this.
I think the adult on a swing with the Star Wars toy is not a great idea, even though, as stereotypes go, it might have some use. I really believe understanding of Autism and AS will get there though. AS is kind of fashionable just now because of Sheldon and other famous real Aspies but 'mental health' is the ticking timebomb underneath our society and to use a mixed metaphor, people with AS IMHO are the canaries in the coalmine. To get political now, a Social Darwinist, neo-liberal society is not what ordinary people is making them mentally unwell. A society that treated ordinary people with decency, with some attention to human flourishing, and makes technology our friend and not our hand-held, manic-gaze-directed-at-phone slave would be a better place for the kind of understanding Aspies need.
A sort of Utopia perhaps but then all and i mean all the banks are insolvent so change is coming whether the rich like it or not. I think humanity's going to win this round for once. Amen.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Aspienomore said on 12 September 2012

I am an adult and was diagnosed two years ago - it has ruined my life.

For the people who "really need to know" like I did, - I suggest you look at the picture at the top of this page of the chap on the swing because that is the blunt reality of how autism is seen by society.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Sba 77 said on 24 August 2012

i know i've got it, but i just want a formal diagosis cause i want it to be confirmed, it would be a weight of my shoulder. i was told in 2009 they couldn't do it on the nhs, so how can i go private? I don't know how and i don't have the money.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Sba 77 said on 24 August 2012

I identify with a lot of u, I know I've got aspergers I just want a formal diagnosis so it can be confirmed, but it can't be done on the nhs, at least that's what they told me in 2009. So I'm 20 now and I have so many of the symptoms and similarities it's untrue, all the problems or most of them I think all link back to aspergers and I know it's classed as mild but I think that's wrong, I thought I was normal but I'm not cause I've got this, I don't think anyone can understand how depressing it is unless you have it, my dad keeps saying "we don't know if you've got it". Yes I do. You're not me. You haven't seen everything that's happened in my life. It's the most frustrating thing ever. I feel sorry for me, it's not the only problem I've got either. I'm scared I'm gonna be like this forever, nothing's going to change, and if it doesn't lifes not worth living.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

eunoia said on 06 May 2012

I don't believe I have autism or asberger's; this query is, how do I tell a friend they may do? This friend is bright and capable but, having been concerned for some time with her behaviour, attitude, temper and having had comments made to me- by friends and those who work alongside children and adults with the condition- I feel I want to say this to her for her own wellbeing and to improve her quality of life. She says she feels depressed, but the suggestion that she go and ask for psychiatric help seems to terrify her; I don't know that she would ask for help from her GP for a diagnosis here either. She has a fixed idea that medication/therapy is almost a sign of weakness; I have had treatment for depression and other conditions. She seems sarcastic, not so much about me personally, but about the health practitioners/treatments, as if it was going to be something out of 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest' or 'Clockwork Orange'. Unrealistic these days. Hospitals and doctors aren't always great and everyone's experience is different, but isn't some support better than none? I just don't know how to broach the subject with her. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I don't want to abandon her, but she is becoming more and more difficult to cope with and effectively pushing away, not only myself, but my family and other friends who have, up until now, been very tolerant and accepting of her behaviour. How can I help her?

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Avenging_Angel said on 11 April 2012

Hello all, and also to any passers by.

My gp reckons I'm on the autistic spectrum of disorders.

If this turns out to be confirmed more officially it would explain a lot. My gp's opinion as it is explains a lot anyway, like why I feel like I'm not actually on the same planet as most people, and never have.

What's happened so far is a meet up with someone on the local mental health team who turned out to be a counsellor who informed me that there was no money from them available for diagnosis of asd in adults.

"I hate counselling" - I think was one of my more diplomatic responses.

Anyway, research is under way to find a source of official diagnosis, and will post later with any developments on the matter.

Can't really say I feel any kind of institutionalised welcome at the moment.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

benosbourn said on 05 April 2012

I watched a TV programme not long ago, and seeing a guy realising he had autism after his kids were diagnosed. and then describing some of the things that made him thing he was in the autism spectrum. After the programme quite a few things from my past and present clicked into place. Lack of ability to keep friends and relationships, jobs etc. Lack of emotional connection with people in general especially partners! I've had 4 counsellors and a session of CBT years ago to address other issues... I'm not considering going to my GP to get diagnosed but I'm not very hopeful! In a way its a relief to be able to put a name to what I've been going through all my life, but not reassuring to read through these comments and realise there isn't much the NHS is willing to do about supporting those diagnosed!
i'm 36 years old and I have also been diagnosed with chronic recurring depressive disorder (in the form of clinical seasonal affective disorder) which seems to compound the symptoms of autism I have.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

findthetruthdawning said on 02 February 2012

I am a lady who has had '96' jobs and got diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome at 40 years. I am now 47yrs. I have had no help from job centres - just get another job they always said. I was told 'change your doctor', 'press services' - no one does anything - or should I say services came round to see me but deemed me not serious enough for funding after all the pain i have gone through over the years. I have been left for 7 years since and depressed with just my mum who is depressed about it all too. This country is going to the pits and N.H.S means No Health Service. Every job is helping the community in some way, after never having any help over the years and suffered no relationships or kids - any work I could ever do I would not want to, very little quality time left. God knows the truth.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

findthetruthdawning said on 02 February 2012

I am a lady of 47yrs. I have had 96 jobs , none lasting and no help from jobcentres or medical services - just told 'get another job' . I was diagnosed with asperger syndrome at 40 yrs. Still no hope from any services, doctors, bodies etc. It sounds great when people say 'try this, try that' it doesn't work. The system can pay for the ill and crying non coping - I have tried enough in my life to this point- no job, relationships or kids. I am depressed but won't go on drugs because I believe in God. I won't suffer the banking crisis, family break down, shouting bosss - it is not my fault - I only wanted respect or there is no hope. I will not beg for money by a shoving or a pushing out there. If I cant get benefits because I am too ill to work - there is no hope anyway for anyone and what does it all mean.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

findthetruthdawning said on 02 February 2012

I am a lady of 47 yrs, had 96 jobs in/out short duration (psychiatrist has record) . The system I researched is scared of opening the flood gates with diagnosis of AS for adults especially. I got my diagnosis in 2005 at 40 yrs. It took a while to get the diagnostic report 'proof' - they don't want people scared and claiming benefits. The country is in a bad state, if not world - people getting more problems and looking for something to pin it on. I kept 'crying' and no one helped me to go in workplace and see/sort issues or declare incapable of work - just kept saying change doctors, see this /that body, get another job etc. ENOUGH is enough without going insane, meds ,violence etc. I keep quiet and believe in God. Shouting bosses stressed about money, divorced bitter women, whatever - it's not my fault . We should have respect or pay for the ill coping if services can't afford to help !!

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

diabetictype1 said on 30 September 2011

I have diabetes type 1 too and also struggle constantly with medication. I cant understand why I just cant seem to do it right and my bms are all over. I was diagnosed at 6. I am married with two children but have no friends at all and never really have, if I did then I struggled emotionally with them. I was always referred to as the strange girl. I have always known I was different but not sure how/ why. Reading some comments I feel again emotional but also a bit this what I have?

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

User128354 said on 26 August 2011

I have been absolutely disgusted whilst trying to get a diagnosis for my husband whom we believe has Asperger's/ADHD. We have been to the GP, which has taken him about 4 years to actually buck up the courage to do, only to find out that the doctor referred him to the mental health team, who have replied to say that there is no funding for diagnosing adult ADHD/ASD and therefor other than going private we have no way of getting a formal diagnosis. It has taken him so long to go to the GP for help, only to be told that he is a "nobody" when it comes to providing services. My son is also going through a formal diagnosis procedure, without problem in the same area, and I am totally baffled as to why a child can get diagnosed, when an adult can't. Surely the process is the same! My hubby also has Type 1 diabetes, and cannot get his head round his treatment, causing problems with his health and this doesn't seem to be recognised by professionals because he has no formal diagnosis (vicious circle - no support without diagnosis - can't get diagnosis so no support!!) I am absolutely disgusted about the way adults with these issues are pushed to the side, and made to feel unheard, when they have such problems!

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

21stcenturybreakdown said on 10 August 2011

I'm a 25 year old woman trying to get an offical diagnosis for Aspergers. I've always been different from everyone else and no one has ever been able to understand me not even my family and they have always found me very trying and difficult. I've never been good at making friends or keeping friends. I've also never had a boyfriend which upsets me alot because I always thought I would have children by now. I went to a special school when I first started school and then after I was in schools which had units. I was dreadfully bullied in high school and at two colleges I went to after leaving school. I now go to an Aspergers support group which is the only place I've ever felt at home. I had to fight for a refural to the local mental health team to try and get this diagnosis. The guy I saw is trying to get me refured to a center that deals with learning difficulties. I haven't heard anything back and I'm feeling really frustrated. I also suffer from Anxiety and Depression which I'm on meds for and they have helped me alot because before been on meds I couldn't do anything without ending up screaming or crying because of been worried and worked up about something.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

drowning said on 09 April 2011

Hello. I had to comment because I have been going through a very isolating situation. I'm 29, live my mother, unemployed. I have one close friend, he thinks I have asperger's syndrome. My mother now thinks so too. My life has been hell. I'm always afraid of saying something wrong and always feel guilty for not being like other people, caring about the same things. I don't call or talk to people, family or try to make friends. I simply don't have the energy to keep faking anymore and have isolated. Withdrawn into my own little, isolated world for the past 5 years. I'm very, very lonely but I can't keep faking the way my personality was growing up. I've already forgot how to be like other people and I'm so angry about it. People make no sense and it's hard to not become cynical and bitter. Life is so unpredictable and chaotic. Little things cause me horrible suffering like noise, changes in my environment, even new things, can send me into depression for weeks and it takes me so much time to recover. I'm afraid. I'm afraid of people and of life. I don't know what to do but I hope I can find help. I need help.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

greengables said on 08 January 2011

I was 51 when I was diagnosed as aspergers' syndrome 'A' typical by a Professor of the Dilemma Institute in Sheffield. Although I haven't been able to access much support where I live now, actually knowing why I struggled in certain areas, like keeping close friends, being very emotional and volatile, helped me understand myself and why I always felt I was different to everyone else I knew. The fee for my diagnosis was beyond my ability to pay and my PCT eventually agreed to fund the diagnostic test. My GP was very understanding and I consider myself very fortunate to have had so little opposition to my request. I am now trying to secure the assistance of an advocate as I have realised that my attitude and communication are very aggressive when emotional and/or stressed by an unexpected situation or painful past experience. I hope by sharing this, it may help someone struggling to understand themselves or obtain a diagnosis.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

rosiewellies said on 15 July 2010

I am a woman 34 years of Age. Have always been a good writer and reader but recently since a year ago my communication ,verbal comprehension has got somewhat worse. Although I am aware there can be many causes for this I feel I am slow to pick up on the facial expressions of others and slow to accuractely recognise other peoples intentions and behaviour outside the context of my own routine. I rarely felt like an outsider and know that the going does get tough sometimes, but you just need to keep pressing through. i will soon be going to uni and feel I need a proper diagnosis. Like may others on here my symptoms seem mild and a I am a sociable and healthy person so i didn't get a diagnosis on the NHS. My maternal relatives have a range of similar character traits which have nver been diagnosed. My GP does not seem to be wellinformed about ASD and I have constant issues in the workplace even though I do try to work hard and give it my all. I also have carer duties and am studying so it makes it very difficult to have time to consider my own health. I hope imay get a diagnosis next time I speak with my GP.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Dave-999 said on 22 July 2009

Ok, sorry for the double posts before but here goes my story;
I'm a 28 year old man who from school age always knew he was different, my friends were few and far between and I ended up hating school because of all the bullying, be it physical (sometimes) or mental (usual).
I've always felt like an observer or outsider and it felt few understood me, in fact, one of the people who did I have a great admiration for!
Anyway, parents came up to see me and my brother like you do, and they had a dvd with them which i watched and shortly in i realised why i was watching it, over the next week i took an asperger test (50 questions, multiple choice) and scored very high, over 40 and after a few minutes with my gp, she said she'd write the referral letter, I suppose what i want to know is useful sites, NOT NAS, i've seen all that and its really a shopping site but if people on here are allowed to post safe links, it may benefit us all.
Anyway, the only thing on my mind is its been 2-3 weeks and i've heard nothing, patience is not a strong point, i've heard 4 weeks is the usual target but i want to (nicely) find how my referral is progressing

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Dave-999 said on 22 July 2009

@ Sue, firstly i'd like to say i totally understand what you had as a child, i had the same and also my friends got bullied really badly just for being my friends.
Secondly, the old gp is wrong, i know an adult who has been diagnosed!
Ask to see your doctor and get referred, its daunting to do (i've done it) but i'm so determined to get this done and i was happier that i've taken the 1st step!
Keep at it and keep your spirits up best you can, mine are so-so waiting for the next stage.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Dave-999 said on 22 July 2009

Stiivyn; if employers are treating you like that, they're in breach of the disability discrimination act! If you could prove it (considering employers MUST tell you why you've been unsuccessful) then your local MP would be very interested as would CAB (Citizens Advice Bureau)

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Dave-999 said on 22 July 2009

Just to say polkadotpants, my understanding of AS (i'm reading all i can while i wait for referral to come through, i'm that worried) is NO gp can tell you that you don't look as though you have it, if any gp said that to me, i would doubt their competancy!
What I have read is perhaps friends and family can help in the decision making, people who have known you a while may need to be contacted to give a character reference, other thing is, what can you do private? Anything?
Just for information, this month I saw the featured dvd on NAS website (the £20 one) with my Mum and Eldest brother, long story short it had been borrowed from a family friend who had been diagnosed recently and i watched it and have to say, could identify on most things there, so i wait now (my Doctor said she would refer me to the clinical psychologist) and yes, its irritating!

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

TheKLF99 said on 22 February 2009

You can get a diagnosis of AS as an adult, it does take a while but all it needs is an understanding Dr. I got dx'ed when I was 22 and since then things have got a lot better. Some private run AS groups will allow you to join without a diagnosis, I was with WAspS for about 2 years undiagnosed. Even if you get diagnosed though the amount of support NAS supply is very minimal. Before I was dx'ed I was messed around a bit because the Dr didn't know who to send me to, the only psychologist in Warrington that dealt with AS only dealt with AS up to 18 not adults. In the end NAS give me a list of Dr's in the area that would help and my Dr got me referred to a Professor in Sheffield who diagnosed me. There are quite a number of things though that do help after getting a dx, you can claim DLA, you can get a free bus pass, you can get help from the DEA when looking for work, you can enter the New Deal scheme early. If you go to college even for a night course you can get extra time in exams or help from the tutor. Most places that have concessionary rates will allow people with AS in on concessionary rates. Workplaces have to be more understanding and be very careful before sacking you or else they could be done under the DDA. One major problem I have is timekeeping as I have the ADHD side of Asperger's as well and easily get distracted, if it hadn't been for the diagnosis I would have lost numerous jobs in the past due to me turning up late a lot of the time.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

taran0 said on 06 February 2009

all the information on ASD and all the organisations are useless, you can't get no help whatsoever. I rang autism west midlands, NAS, ASD careers support and they wont even talk to you unless you have a diagnosis.

I have been having a lot fo problems in work situations and dealign with people and socialising, it was gettign to tthe point that i might lose my job due to communication problems. and i could only work part time, despite being proficient at my job.

i went to my GP he said theres nothign wrong with me and didnt have a clue about ASD. I eventually forced him to review me to the mental health team adfter seeign two diferent psychologists who didnt have a clue about ASD, referred me to join a confidence building course. i refused and said that i need a diagnosis so that i can get support in my carreer.

while all this was going on i was let go from work, I got a letter from the mental health team saying i was being discharged and that they think I MIGHT have ASD.

its all been a waste of time and now i am back at square one, it might sound like a bit of a rant but,
so much funding so many organisations setup, whats the point where none of them can help you, they just talk to you over the phone and tell you to contact someone else.

it just defeats teh object you are dealign with peopel who have problems communicatign and then you fob them around all over the place to places and people they are not comfortable with.

the provision for autistic people is a joke, you cant access services unless you get a diagnosis and you cant get a diagnosis because most gps and psychologists don't have a clue what it is.

i have stopped bothering and just trying to deal with it myself now.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Polkadotpants said on 05 January 2009

It saddens me so much when I hear how hard it is to gain a solid diagnosis; I myself have been living with Asperger's since around 6-7 years of age and now in my adulthood I'm expriencing many difficulties relating to sensory overloads, it's gotten so bad that I only leave the house to do my shopping, I suffer bouts of terrible depression and to top it all off my GP stated I don't look like someone with Asperger's - yet after a second oppinion I scored high on a question based asessment. My son has been diagnosed and it is thought my 1 yr old daughter has it too - also my brother, though he is happy with self diagnosis. I feel as though I'm sinking into a horrid nightmare where I can't always make sense of things, people seem odd and whose eyes I can't bear to look into, once harmless noises bring me crying out to my knees with my hands over my ears, it's like having your head stuffed with cotton wool and looking out through a veil sometimes - I'm an adult with Asperger's whose mental state has been allowed to fester to a point of desperation. What do I have to do to prove it, to be given the basic right to some kind of closure? I'm pleading for help and yet nobody has taken me seriously. The NHS need to address every last GP and ensure they know the signs, that they can be missed if not properly asessed, that girls are typically not diagnosed until later life as they can 'fake' sociability better than males, and subconciously hide their problems or shift attention away from them. I don't know how much longer I can live like this, it feels as though I'm on the edge of sanity. What else can I do but hope he sees fit to refer me at the next appointment?

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Stiivyn said on 05 September 2008

I was diagnosed last July, aged 39. I was referred to Cambridge Lifespan Asperger's Syndrome Service (CLASS). They do demand that an informer (parent or elder sibling) take part in the diagnostic process. However I can't say that anything has changed much after diagnosis. I am declaring my diagnosis on my CV and it appears to scare every employer off, even for volunteer jobs, so I think it's better to keep quiet about it.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Anonymous said on 28 July 2008

I have had the same problem as sue, i have been unable to attain a diagnosis on the nhs, so i have had to go private. I'm at university and need a formal diagnoisis for help, plently of nhs psychologists have said yes you have aspergers syndrome but none have been able to formally diagnose me, it just seems there is no one in my area willing to take on my case.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Anonymous said on 09 July 2008

I am a 35 year old woman, with 5 children, 3 of witch have been diagnosed being on the Autistic spectrum. I feel though when I read about the condtion, I am reading about me. I led a pretty friendless childhood and was constantly bullied from junior school right through to the end of secondary school. Acedemicaly I was average, but I never put any effort in and possibly if motivated would have achived much more. I always felt I got on much better with the adults when I was a kid. I asked a former GP what they thought about my case, as I do tick many of the boxes, but the reply was that adults cannot be diagnosed. Have I been told wrong? Is it worth my while trying again? Sue

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Autistic spectrum disorder: Graeme’s story

Graeme took a dyslexia test at the age of 24, which showed he had signs of autism. He describes how he was finally diagnosed with Asperger syndrome and what the diagnosis meant to him.

Media last reviewed: 31/03/2014

Next review due: 31/03/2016

Your NHS Health Check

Millions of people have already had their free "midlife MOT". Find out why this health check-up is so important

Intolerance to sound

Known medically as 'hyperacusis', this is thought to affect 7-23% of the UK adult population. Read more...

Free audio guides to boost your mood

Eight Moodzone mental wellbeing audio guides designed to help you better understand the problems you may be facing in your life

Living with autism

Find out how to get an autism diagnosis, plus more about the help available and people's experiences of living with the condition

Carers Direct helpline

If you need caring advice in a hurry, you can call Carers Direct free on 0300 123 1053, or read more about the helpline