Some people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) grow up without their condition being recognised. Some people may, through choice, feel there is no need to get a formal diagnosis. However, formally recognising and understanding the needs of those with autism, can be a positive thing.
The characteristics of autism vary from one person to another, but in order for a diagnosis to be made, a person will usually be assessed as having had persistent difficulties with social communication and social interaction and restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviours, activities or interests since early childhood, to the extent that these "limit and impair everyday functioning".
A diagnosis can make it easier to access a range of support services that may be available locally. It's never too late to be diagnosed with ASD.
Recognising the symptoms
You can read a detailed description of the symptoms of Autistic Spectrum Disorder on the NHS website.
You can also access the Autistic Spectrum Quotient (AQ10) test, a diagnostic tool used in the NHS.
If you think you may have the condition, make an appointment with your GP.
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