ASD assessment as an Adult (how to ask for parental involvement?)

Hi, so I am currently considering requesting an ASD assessment from my CMHT as this is something that has been on my mind since I was 12 when I learned what Autism was. I am 20 now and I feel like I want to pursue this however I understand that someone will need to give a full developmental history and I don't know how to bring this up to my Mum. I brought up my worries when I was 14 and my Mum very much disagreed stating I was saying it for attention and wanted to copy friends. I am worried she will still believe this and that it'll effect our relationship. I am just looking for some advice on how to address the situation if anyone has similar experiences.


  • Hi! Ideally you take a family member along who can give a developmental history BUT it is not essential I was diagnosed without taking a family member with me. That said, as a mum myself I don't think that it should affect your relationship with your mum by asking her to attend the assessment. Why do you think she would react adversely to this?

  • She reacted adversely in the past. She said I was being irrational and that I was copying others around me. I'm worried she'll turn it on me again. Even if the assessment is negative this has been burning in my head for 8 years. I now work with children with ASD and have helped mark up ADOS's as part of my course. I think I now know enough for someone to take my concerns seriously and I just hate the idea of my Mum being disappointed or ashamed.

  • I went to my assessment alone and was still given a diagnosis. If you feel your mum will be more of a hindrance than a help I'd go alone.

  • No one grows up wanting to be diagnosed as autistic, unless they actually are and are struggling with its impacts. My mother was always quite dismissive of my various health problems throughout my teenage years, and it was only as an adult I was able to get some major diagnoses (Asperger's, CFS, endometriosis, food intolerances). Admittedly, she worked in a hospital so felt she had reasonable knowledge, but nothing compared to what we can find now on the internet.

    Unfortunately, my mother has since developed schizophrenia so I haven't been able to discuss my diagnoses with her in any meaningful way, but, knowing the woman she was, I'm sure it wouldn't be disappointment or shame she would feel, but rather guilt for not having taken my concerns seriously at an earlier age and enabling me to access the support that I needed.

    As others have said, it's a preference rather than a prerequisite to have a parent provide a developmental history. My father did mine, but by his own admission really couldn't remember all that much (I coached him ahead of time on a few key things that stuck out from my childhood which he had witnessed i.e. that happened when he wasn't at work etc.), and were in direct contrast to my brother's behaviour/responses, who is NT and close in age to me.

    Maybe if you could try explaining to her calmly and rationally that you are pursuing an ASD assessment and your top three reasons for doing so. You could then mention that they welcome parental input but it really isn't necessary to secure diagnosis as the assessor will be well-placed to determine this from your self-reported history, experiences and tests so it's no big deal if she'd rather not be involved.

  • It seems as though you’ve had many years to think through your likely ASD as well as having the work related knowledge and experience to validate your suspicions. I would like to think that your mum would acknowledge your opinions and concerns. Maybe write her a letter or an email to explain/ask, if you’re not comfortable having the conversation face to face? Or, if you really feel that telling your mum would do more harm than good then maybe go on your own. 

  • When I told my mother that I believed myself to be autistic and that my GP agreed and had referred me on... she let out a short burst of cruel laughter and informed me in no uncertain terms that I was wrong. Needless to say, I didn’t take her to my assessment. Also needless to say, she’s the one who has been proved wrong. 

  • Hi guys! Thank you for all the replies it’s been really helpful. I have recently received a psychiatry appointment for the end of this month and have decided to bring it up there. If my psychiatrist agrees to assess me then I’ll bring it up to my mum. 

    (I have psychiatry cause of ocd and they suspected adhd cause I have Tourettes diagnosis but I think the symptoms relate within ASD )

  • my mum had a similar reaction. I didn't argue with her,  Mums are programmed to only see the best in you and to survive.  I don't know your mothers upbringing.  She simply may not really understand all the symptoms of the spectrum. I believe my mum couldn't see my autism because i was so like her and she only experienced non-verbal autism. I believe her to be on the spectrum and to not know it. So tread carefully. Yes go see if u have autism but dont use it as a "I told you so". 

    Laughter is sometimes a nervous response inwardly and not at you. I told my assessors up front there is no way my mum would say a bad word about me so they assessed me without her. 

    Wishing you all the best and your mum all the best.

    Let us know what happens.

  • I wouldn’t use it as a “I told you so”. I understand my Mum sees me much like herself. But now (hopefully) with my experience in working with autistic young people she will understand that I am knowledgeable enough to make the decision to be assessed. 

  • good,  do u think she is on the spectrum ?