TWAP047: An Expert Tells You About Adult Autism Diagnosis

An Interview with Dr. Rachel Loftin, PhD

adult autism diagnosis

Adult Autism Diagnosis: Your Questions Answered

Do you want to take the confusion out of understanding adult autism diagnosis?

In this episode, Dr. Rachel Loftin answers your questions (submitted by many of you) about this interesting topic.

Dr. Rachel Loftin, PhD

Website: Video Introduction

Bio:  Rachel Loftin, PhD

AARTS Center: Autism Assessment, Research, and Treatment Services at Rush University Medical Center.

Twitter: RachelLoftinPhD

Your Questions (And More):

  • Is the criteria for adult Aspergers significantly different from the criteria for children? 
  • Has anything more been published on specific differences in Aspergers in females?  Some excellent websites are advocating research to expand understanding of the somewhat DIFFERENT TRAITS that appear among women.  I recently met a woman who believes she has Aspergers, but that she is ‘flaying under the radar’ due to the emphasis on male diagnosis AND to the somewhat different manner in which Aspergers may be expressed in (for example) a highly creative woman (eg, a writer or artist).  
  • Why is that in the UK there are so many social services available to adults with Autism as opposed to the US? It seems as if as soon as an autistic person becomes an adult they are left to wander and try to navigate this strange world on their own.
  • Why aren’t primary doctors trained to pick up on autistic traits in adults to help with guidance to proper assessment and diagnoses? I have even come across individuals who label themselves as “self-diagnosed aspies” This term should not exist, there has to be professionals to pick up and diagnose traits to further send their clients to specialists for thorough testing. I don’t walk around saying that I have self diagnosed myself with a brain tumor just because I may have some similarities or feelings as a properly diagnosed person with a brain tumor. No brain scans were conducted to show the deviation from a normal brain that a neurologist would pursue to prove the presence of a tumor or an fMRI brain scan to prove autism. Or are there just a lot of misdiagnosed beings out there as well as many people that just don’t bother going to specialists who may not even conduct extensive testing due to the costs involved? Then again, some adults with autism are well known to succeed in passing for “normal” to fit in.
  •  What’s with the delay in professionals determining genetic testing for Autism-Asperger’s. My genetic testing was just to rule out fragile-x but come on why are we so slow in determining which gene or sets of genes are responsible for this? You need more hyper focused people in the labs to move this world positively forward at a much faster pace. Then again perhaps there is and I have not done a thorough search on PubMed to adequately research this.
  • How does one deal with a person (especially a close friend, a brother, or even a spouse) who is extremely successful from a professional standpoint, but displays mind-blindness, obsessions with routine and with saving money,, an extreme need for a particular type of order, shocking lack of common sense in some basic family and financial matters, avoidance of making eye contact, social awkwardness and some others symptoms that may include some traits of Aspergers?  I’m a former educator and am in touch with a number of people who would like to help specific persons seek diagnosis (whether or not the problem is partly or completely or not at all associated with Aspergers).

You’ll Also Learn:

  • What kind of online quiz can be used to screen for possible autism traits
  • Benefits and drawbacks of obtaining a formal autism diagnosis
  • Genetic research trends in autism
  • How autism is diagnosed in adults


Autism Quotient Questionnaire

Information about the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS)

Dr. Rachel Loftin’s research publications

Autism Speaks Resource Guide for Services In Your Area (In the United States)

[email protected] (check the links for both local and international help).  Unfortunately, I’ve lately found the site extremely slow and inconsistent in loading pages once I click on the main website.

Rush AARTS Autism Resource Guide for People in Chicago, IL

Join the Conversation

What topics would you most like covered on the show? Who would you like me to interview? Share you answer in the comments below or Ask me a question via my Contact Page.

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 I'm Steve Borgman.  I'm a licensed clinical professional counselor and blogger committed to bringing you hope, understanding, and solutions that you can apply to your life immediately.

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