In this video, a webinar presented by The Johnson Center, Dr. Claire Schutte delivers a presentation geared toward adults who are considering getting an autism evaluation. She goes into detail about why an adult might seek an evaluation and what the diagnostic criteria for an autism evaluation are, especially for adults.
As Dr. Schutte explains, some adults feel like they have made it up to this point in their lives without an autism diagnosis, and thus do not need a diagnosis. However, for many people, an autism diagnosis can provide validation to the struggles they have experienced in their lives. Additionally, a diagnosis can provide guidance for support for that individual.
Next, Dr. Schutte outlines the diagnostic criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder as expressed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 5 (DSM-5). According to the DSM-5, Autism Spectrum Disorders are marked by persistent deficits in social interaction and communication, as well as restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior. These symptoms must be present in the early developmental period, but can sometimes be masked by learned behaviors later in life.
The next topic covered by Dr. Schutte is the evaluation process, and what options are available for adults seeking a diagnosis. Evaluating adults for autism is an emerging field, so unfortunately there are less clinicians who specialize in adult diagnosis. Dr. Schutte’s recommendation is to call clinics that evaluate children for autism, and ask if they evaluate adults as well. Another option is to seek a referral from a primary care doctor or a psychologist or therapist. Once an individual has found an evaluator, the process should include an interview, observation, testing, and a review of relevant records. Dr. Schutte then goes into further detail about each of these parts of the autism evaluation process.
Once an adult has been diagnosed with autism, Dr. Schutte explains that she will have a ‘feedback’ session with the individual, where they can discuss the person’s feelings about being diagnosed and suggest support services.
Diagnosis of Autism in Adults | Presented by Claire Schutte, Psy-D, BCBA-D by The Johnson Center
Initial Release Date: Jun 13, 2017
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