Navigating the Process of Autism Testing for Adults

May 22, 2024


As awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) grows, more adults are seeking autism tests to gain a deeper understanding of their unique experiences. Whether driven by personal insight or advice from loved ones, the process of getting an autism diagnosis as an adult can be both enlightening and empowering. This blog post will guide you through the step-by-step process of autism testing for adults, from initial considerations to the final diagnosis.

Overview of the Process

  1. Initial Consultation:

    1. Discuss whether an autism evaluation is the right step for you

  2. Comprehensive Assessment

    1. Fill out some documents and meet with your provider for a set amount of time

  3. Analysis and Feedback:

    1. Review the results with your provider

  4. Post-Diagnosis Support:

    • Includes things like therapy, support groups, or workplace accommodations.

Recognizing the Need for an Autism Test

Many adults come to the realization that they might be on the autism spectrum after years of feeling "different." Some common reasons adults seek testing include:

  • Difficulty in social interactions

  • Communication challenges

  • Sensory sensitivities

  • A strong preference for routines and repetitive behaviors

  • Intense focus on specific interests

If these traits resonate with you, seeking an autism test can provide valuable insights.

Step-by-Step Process of Autism Testing for Adults

1. Initial Consultation

The first step in the autism testing process is an initial consultation with a mental health professional. This meeting aims to understand your reasons for seeking a diagnosis, your personal history, and your current challenges. This can be with a psychologist, psychiatrist, or a neurologist with experience in adult autism.

What to Expect:

  • A discussion about your experiences and symptoms

  • Questions about your childhood, educational history, and social life

  • Screening questionnaires to gauge the likelihood of autism

2. Comprehensive Assessment

If the initial consultation suggests the need for further evaluation, a comprehensive assessment will follow. This is a detailed and thorough process that may include:

a. Self-Report Questionnaires

You may be asked to complete standardized questionnaires like the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ) or the Adult Asperger Assessment (AAA). These tools help quantify autistic traits.

b. Diagnostic Interviews

A diagnostic interview is conducted to delve deeper into your developmental history and current behaviors. This interview may involve:

  • Personal History: Detailed questions about your early development, educational background, and social experiences.

  • Behavioral Observations: The professional may observe your behavior in different contexts to understand your social and communicative abilities.

c. Interviews with Family Members

Sometimes, input from family members or close friends is valuable. They can provide additional perspectives on your developmental history and behavior across various settings.

d. Cognitive and Psychological Testing

Cognitive assessments may be used to rule out other conditions and understand your intellectual functioning. Psychological tests can help identify co-occurring conditions like anxiety or depression.

3. Analysis and Feedback

After the comprehensive assessment, the professional will analyze the collected information to make an informed diagnosis. This phase includes:

Diagnosis: The professional will determine if you meet the criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder based on the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition) guidelines.

Feedback Session: You will have a feedback session where the professional explains the diagnosis, discusses your strengths and challenges, and provides recommendations.

4. Post-Diagnosis Support

Receiving an autism diagnosis can be transformative. Post-diagnosis support is crucial to help you navigate your new understanding of yourself.


  • Therapies: Behavioral therapy, social skills training, or occupational therapy tailored to autistic adults.

  • Support Groups: Joining support groups for autistic adults can provide community and understanding.

  • Workplace Accommodations: Understanding your rights and advocating for necessary accommodations at work.


  • Educational Materials: Books, online courses, and workshops about autism in adults.

  • Counseling: Individual or group counseling to address emotional and psychological needs.


The process of autism testing for adults is a journey towards self-discovery and understanding. From the initial consultation to receiving a diagnosis, each step is designed to provide clarity and support. If you recognize traits of autism in yourself or someone you know, seeking an autism test can be a powerful step towards a more informed and fulfilling life.

For more information and support, explore resources like: