Because of how it presents itself, autism is a condition that’s often diagnosed early on, usually in childhood or teenage years. Medical experts state that a reliable autism diagnosis can happen in children as young as two years old.
Despite this fact, there are many adults who are on the autism spectrum without knowing it.
If you’re a resident of the Sunshine State and you suspect that you or a loved one might be neurodivergent, there’s a good chance you could benefit from autism testing in Tampa. If you’d like to learn more about what this entails, keep reading.
What Is Autism?
Before we look at what the autism testing process looks like for adults, let’s begin with the basics. What exactly is autism and what are some signs a person might have it?
Autism is a developmental disability that can cause a person to communicate, behave, and learn in ways that aren’t necessarily typical. For example, a sign a person might have autism is if they have problems with social interaction and exhibit restricted or repetitive behaviors or interests.
Around 5.4 million adults in the United States have autism spectrum disorder which works out as roughly 2% of the population. Florida is actually one of the states with the highest number of adults living with ASD.
Autism Testing for Adults
Because autism is a mental condition, it’s not as straightforward to diagnose as a physical condition might be. In most cases, testing for autism involves looking at a child’s development either retroactively or in real-time. By tracking when and if a child has hit key developmental milestones, a medical expert can make a diagnosis.
However, this method of testing isn’t always possible when a person is older, which is why autism testing for adults is a little different and can often be a bit trickier.
Many health care providers hesitate to diagnose autism in adults. For this reason, it can be tough to find a provider that’s willing to administer autism screenings for adults.
Autism testing for adults can vary from healthcare provider to healthcare provider. Generally, however, it will follow a similar format. First, you’ll need to find a certified therapist or a psychologist in Tampa.
You’ll likely spend a lot of time being interviewed about you and your life. There are also some screening tests and questionnaires used, and where possible, providers will use details about your development as a child.
Your initial healthcare provider may bring in other specialists if they suspect you could have another diagnosis, as autism is sometimes mistaken for other disorders, and vice versa.
Trusted Adult Autism Testing in Tampa
If you’re an adult who suspects you may be on the autism spectrum, you don’t have to continue to live in the dark. An autism diagnosis can be a life-changing thing for an adult. Many people on the spectrum live their whole lives wondering why they feel different than everyone around them.
If you’d like to find answers for yourself, we can help. Get in touch to set up an appointment for autism testing in Tampa today. We also offer ABA therapy in Tampa and psychoeducational testing in Tampa.