Will this impact my chance of getting a diagnosis?

Hello! I'm Holly.

I'm a 17 year old girl and have been trying to get an assessment for about 2 years, some things went wrong with CAMHS and so it has taken a long time.

It seems like I could be getting one soon but I am starting to worry.

Every professional and autistic person I have spoken to have all agreed I display most of the characteristics. I scored over 40 out of 50 in the questionnaire thing they made me fill out. I'm not sure what else could be going on, ASD is the only explanation for how my brain works that I have found, and I desperately need to find some conclusion as to what is going on as it has started to cause me a lot of difficulties at school.

However, I didn't start displaying those characteristics until around age 5 according to my parents, and my medical information doesn't reflect the fact I was showing those characteristics until I was 6/7. I thought most autistic kids show signs at around age 3, or is that wrong? It may be possible I displayed signs but they weren't noticed as that is what happened with my hearing, I started getting hearing problems about age 5 but no one picked up on it until I was 12...

Does the age thing matter?

And does anyone have any information on what the assessment itself will be like for someone my age? The only autistic people I know are my cousins, but they are much younger and got diagnosed earlier on.

Thanks in advance

  • My traits didn't become very obvious until I was about 6 or 7.

    They were there before, but only obvious in hindsight. Not wanting to play out with the other children at nursery, and preferring to be inside where it was calmer and quieter. Being focused on certain toys because of their textures. Not interacting with the other children, preferring to play alone. It certainly wasn't as clear at that age, but it was there.

    It only becomes more obvious when, at around 5+, other children begin to develop more advanced social skills and interactions, better coping mechanisms and emotional  regulation. That's when autistic kids start to stand out, because they don't develop in that same way. 

    At a younger age, it's less obvious. All toddlers are socially inept, prone to getting upset by random things, and quite repetitive in their interactions. 

  • Hi Cat

    I've just posted a similar response to Gradvlax which might also help you...

    This forum is supportive and full of knowledgeable people.  I am sure you will get other responses.  It is a question that is often asked so you could also search the forum (search tool at the top of page) for posts about ‘obtaining a formal diagnosis’ or ‘adult diagnosis of ASD’.

    In the meantime, you might find the following links useful:

    NAS All About Diagnosis: http://www.autism.org.uk/about/diagnosis.aspx

    Furthermore, it is important the professional you see has experience of autism spectrum disorders. You can find details of diagnostic services on our Autism Services Directory in the Assessment and diagnosis section: http://www.autism.org.uk/directory.aspx

    You may like to have a look at the following page which includes personal accounts, which may help: http://www.autism.org.uk/about/adult-life/stories.aspx

    It might also be useful to pass on information about autism to health professionals when seeking a diagnosis. The following page includes information for a range of health professionals: http://www.autism.org.uk/Working-with/Health.aspx

    If you have further questions, you may like to contact our Autism Helpline team. They can provide you with information and advice about getting a diagnosis. You can call them on 0808 800 4104 (Monday to Thursday 10am to 4pm, Friday 9am to 3pm).  Please note that the Helpline is experiencing a high volume of calls and it may take a couple of attempts before you get through to speak to an advisor.

    The NHS also has some pages about Autism Diagnosis for Adults: https://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Autism/Pages/Diagnosisinadults.aspx

    The Royal College of General Practitioners' autism page: http://www.rcgp.org.uk/ASD

    And ASD Toolkit: http://www.rcgp.org.uk/clinical-and-research/resources/toolkits/asd-toolkit.aspx

    Hope this helps,


  • If you can take your parents with you to assessment. Most people who do the assessments like it if they are there. They can explane things that you just can't. Just be your self.

    I making assumption that you are a female (Holly). They can show thing in different ways from males. Just hope you are able to see someone who knows about autism in females and the differences way they show.

    PS I am no expert on Autism but for being diagnosed as Autistic male.