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A diagnosis is the formal identification of autism. This will be by a health professional such as a paediatrician or psychiatrist. Having a diagnosis is helpful for two reasons:

  • It helps people with autism, and their families, to understand why they may experience certain difficulties and what they can do about them.
  • It enables people to access services and support.

Your GP, Community Mental Health Team or adult social worker will be able to refer you to a service for diagnosis and support.

You can read more about this process at Getting diagnosed with autism - NHS (

Being diagnosed as autistic can be difficult to come to terms with. You may be coping with a condition that you know very little about, and wondering how to get appropriate support. 
Alternatively, you may have known that you are autistic for a while and find the diagnosis a relief. Although looking for support with adult life, many autistic people celebrate their neurodiversity and unique strengths and qualities.   

The National Autistic Society have more information about finding support after you have been diagnosed with Autism here autistic adults (

Last updated: 9/12/2022