Louden on Autism Q & A: Diagnosing Older People

Autism Q&A
560 315 Paul Louden

Welcome to the Louden on Autism Q & A. Today, I’m back to answer a question submitted by a website visitors to shed light on some of the most important questions about autism. I receive questions every day, and I want to make sure that the answers to these important questions are being shared with all of you.


Please know that these are my opinions and my answers come from my research and my own personal experiences. Of course, each situation is different. All of us as people are different. And no two people with or without autism should be treated the same exact way.


This week, I received a question about older people with autism and how diagnoses can be different for those people who aren’t children or in their youth. This is a very common topic, so I wanted to address it in this week’s post.




I would like to know your take on my 36 year-old-son. I suspect that he is on the spectrum, but when he was growing up, autism wasn’t sure on the radar so much. My question to you is where/how can I find support for someone diagnosed as an adult? Everything I read is geared toward children.




Support for adults is really fairly weak still. It’s just a situation where the more “obvious” problems that result in someone being diagnosed in earlier childhood tend to get a lot of the focus because they seem more extreme, but someone who’s able to cope just well enough to manage a little bit, and slip by until later in life, doesn’t seem as important for many institutions to focus on. Unfortunately, this just isn’t really true. While the degree of the challenges may be different, both individuals are human beings who deserve the best chance at a good life they can have.

My general advice is to look for a therapist who’s familiar enough with autism that they can address any other challenges they have (depression or anxiety, sensory issues, etc.) with an awareness of how autism could be affecting their experience of them. As well, look for local groups that may allow you to share resources or other information – there are often support groups, and they may know employers, entertainment venues, and other things that are aware enough of autism to create a better experience for those that interact with them.

I’ve found a large part of improving my situation isn’t just learning to address my symptoms, but looking for, and finding, spaces in the world where I’m more comfortable being autistic.


Thanks for reading. Check back soon for another Q&A.

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