I Just Received a Diagnosis as an Adult — Now What?!

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Life has been difficult at times, and I now understand a bit about why I seemed to be different from everyone else growing up, why I had trouble understanding and following social rules, why I struggled understanding people’s emotional reactions, and why I didn’t necessarily feel the way others felt when emotionally charged information was presented.

School was rough, except for the subjects I truly enjoyed! I never realized that the difference I became aware of and was experiencing is part of a diagnosable condition, Autism Spectrum Disorder.

The statement above is just “one man’s perspective.” Another account is described in the following article within the CAR Autism Roadmap™:

Of course, everyone experiences Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) somewhat differently. Yet adults with ASD, particularly those who are not diagnosed until adulthood, often find that they have much in common. Even if you are not someone who typically joins or seeks out social groups, you may benefit from reaching out to other adults who also have ASD. There are a number of organizations that offer support, resources, and connection to other adults who are also diagnosed with ASD. Three that you may want to investigate are:

There are also other more localized groups listed in the CAR Resource Directory™. In the Directory, choose “Support Information – Self-Advocate Support Group.”

You should know that there are few, if any, mandated supports for adults with ASD. In fact, unless there are other co-occurring conditions, an adult with ASD may not be eligible for any government supports. The following articles contained within the CAR Autism Roadmap™ will help you learn about supports that may be available to you.

Additionally, you might qualify for vocational assistance, such as a job coach or help in refining your interests and abilities. You should contact your local Vocational Rehabilitation Agency:

To find agencies in other states, visit:

Regardless of whether you qualify for services from your local Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, you may be entitled to accommodations in your workplace if you have a job and choose to disclose your diagnosis and how it affects you. Read the following articles from the CAR Autism Roadmap™ to learn more about accommodations and other employment issues that may be relevant to your situation:

You may want to consider finding a therapist who can help you talk through your feelings about the diagnosis or one who can help you work on social skills or any other area that may be a concern to you. Look through the Mental/Behavioral Health section of the CAR Resource Directory™ to find someone who can help.

Your recent diagnosis of ASD does not change who you are. But it may help you to understand yourself and your past better. And it may help you take charge of your future. Get started learning more about your new diagnosis today by visiting the CAR Autism Roadmap™. Articles relevant to adulthood can be easily accessed by using the “Age” filter when browsing.

Last Updated: March 16, 2014

The Center for Autism Research and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia do not endorse or recommend any specific person or organization or form of treatment. The information included within the CAR Autism Roadmap™ and CAR Resource Directory™ should not be considered medical advice and should serve only as a guide to resources publicly and privately available. Choosing a treatment, course of action, and/or a resource is a personal decision, which should take into account each individual's and family's particular circumstances.


CAR Resource Directory™