The Benefits of Receiving an Autism Diagnosis as an Adult
Ideally, a person should receive an autism diagnosis in childhood to ensure they can access the best treatment possible and enjoy a higher quality of life. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case and plenty of people are undiagnosed until they reach adulthood and some even decide not to seek referral because they believe it’s now too late to do anything about it. However, they’re plenty of benefits of receiving an autism diagnosis, even if your younger days are long gone.
1. Closure and a better understanding of limitations
Autistic people often feel like they don’t fit in and fall behind their peers, which receiving an autism diagnosis can help them come to terms with. As you learn more about autism, you also learn more about yourself and begin to understand why you might struggle at times when others don’t. This can encourage you to be more self-compassionate towards yourself; just because you feel overwhelmed by seemingly harmless stimuli doesn’t make you weaker or worse; you simply have a condition that makes you perceive and relate to the world a bit differently. Additionally, once you’re more aware of your limitations, you can focus on your strengths and make changes in your life that allow you to reach your potential. If you previously struggled with choosing what you want to do for a living, an autism diagnosis can help you settle for an option that won’t burn you out.
2. Receiving more specialised treatment and help
A lot of autistic individuals struggle with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, and receiving the diagnosis can help their therapist adjust the therapy accordingly or refer them to more appropriate treatment. If you’re struggling, you might also get assigned a support worker who can help you look after your well-being and assist with daily tasks when necessary. In some cases, you might also be entitled to benefits as autism is considered a disability in the UK.
3. Emotional connection
After receiving a diagnosis (or even before if you relate to the symptoms), you can join an online support group for those who face similar struggles. Finding people you can relate to can make you feel less lonely and increase your sense of belonging. You might also end up making new friends, and find out about local events that can help you work on your social skills or simply meet other autistic people.
4. You often get to educate your friends and family
Not everyone understands what autism is and not everyone knows that every autistic person is different even though they might experience similar struggles. When you share your diagnosis with others, you might receive a lot of invalidating comments such as ‘You don’t look autistic’, which aren’t great to hear but might give you an opportunity to educate people on the topic. Of course, whether you disclose your diagnosis or not is entirely up to you.
If you’re considering getting referred for an autism diagnosis or are already diagnosed and need help going forward, contact My Family Psychologist to discuss your options