approaching diagnosis subject with my brother


My brother turns 50 this year and is undiagnosed aspergers. 

I have tried broaching the subject with him on a few occasions but he doesn't want to talk about it.

I feel he would benefit from a diagnosis but he just clams up and isn't interested.

He currently lives at home with my mother who is now 78 and it's got to the stage where she is struggling to cope with them living together. I feel getting a diagnosis may help as it would put my brother on the radar for potential help from the right people and possible financial help (if it's out there). He works part time on low wages so would struggle to support himself living independently due to finances.

Not sure exactly what I'm after but does anyone have any advice for me on approach and what assistance may be out there for my brother.



  • If he gets a diagnosis he may be able to claim PIP (Personal Independence Payment) which is free cash and not means tested to help with his finances.

    Dangle the carrot.

  • Be honest with him.For him It is not about money, or may not be about money. It is about how you have lived all your life as a certain person and then are expected to suddenly take in all this information about ASD. There is no diagnosis of aspergers anymore. The diagnosis is ASD - Autism Spectrum Disorder. The issues your brother will have in the future will be about aging and health alongside of ASD. PIP is awarded, rightly, to those of us whose difficulties impact on their life. It is not awarded because we are autistic. Be careful with anything that you promise him or lure him with if that is your choice of behaviour because  he may not forgive you if it does not turn out the way you framed it for him. However, he has a right to disability payments and certainly should be looking at support for independent living which could come through a diagnosis. Getting him there may need some thought.

    I would suggest being honest and open. Use stories from our community to help you and focus on the fact that it takes a long time to get diagnosis and help as an adult and if he starts the process now then it is for his future, not because you want him to have it now. If you can encourage him to read the stories of those of us who were diagnosed later in life then this might help him see that we are not odd, or needy of help anymore than anyone else deserves help. We are simply different and if our differences make us struggle then we should ask for help, particularly with diagnosis. It is difficult to ask for help if you have spent your life not getting that help for ASD. It took a long time for me to accept my diagnosis and I am a retired assistant principal who was diagnosed at the age of 57 with ASD and accompanying co-morbid disability. It took me even longer to ask for help because I had never done this and always struggled with my difficulties but always moved forward. As for PIP, it took a while for me to be encouraged into applying and when I did, unlike many stories you hear, I was awarded within a couple of weeks of the process of interview. I tell you all this so that you can see the other side of the coin. Does he talk about the future? For me I have no time concept in my head - no day before, the day before, the day before in my head so time is only a knowledge to me, it is not a concept I live. It is therefore difficult for my family to encourage me into the future. After all, I live in the time of the  present. We are all different. Perhaps you could encourage him to look at some information about asd without actually discussing about him. Maybe you could find from this forum others who were diagnosed later in life - we will all have very different stories. From these stories you could cherry pick what is right for you. I have no concept of money in the sense that my husband has and he deals with money. When I earn it the money goes into a bank account that he monitors and I simply ask Do I have money for......................As my concept of money is different I have no link to the reality of whether we have money or not. I am not stupid. I understand money. I understand time. I still teach.I know only that I can buy what I want to buy or that I have to wait. It may be that your brother is nothing like me. Somebody else on this forum might tell you something that resonates about your brother. If you can get him interested in looking at information he may start to look for himself. There are autism conferences on later this year. Autistica has one next month and The NAS has one later this year. Alternatively, if things become so difficult why not take the route through care for your mother and the issue might be raised that way. If the focus is on health care for your mother you could mention your concerns about your brother and they would direct you to appropriate pathways. The biggest thing is that if he behaves in a way that you recognise is different to those around him then it would be very helpful for him to find out his function and what he can do to support himself in the years to come. Best wishes for your future. There is one, it is just that  sometimes it has to be approached through somebody else's health or via a route that is other than directly with the person involved.