Adult diagnosis of ADHD and Autism
Challenges of undiagnosed ADHD and Autism
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism are two neurodevelopmental disorders that can significantly impact an individual's daily life. While these conditions are commonly diagnosed in childhood, many adults may have undiagnosed ADHD or Autism.
According to a study published in the Journal of Attention Disorders, the estimated prevalence of ADHD in adults in Australia is 2.8%, with 80% of those individuals reporting symptoms that impair their daily functioning.
There is limited data on the prevalence of undiagnosed Autism in adults in Australia. However, a study published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders found that the prevalence of Autism in adults in Australia may be higher than previously estimated, with approximately 1.5% of adults meeting the criteria for a diagnosis.
In this blog, we will explore the challenges adults with undiagnosed ADHD and Autism may face and how seeing a psychologist can help them get diagnosed and develop a treatment plan.
Challenges of Undiagnosed ADHD and Autism:
Undiagnosed ADHD and Autism can present significant challenges in daily life. Adults with undiagnosed ADHD may struggle with inattention, distractibility, impulsivity, and hyperactivity, which can impact their ability to focus, complete tasks, and manage their time effectively. They may also experience difficulties with social interactions and relationships, as well as employment and academic performance.
Similarly, adults with undiagnosed Autism may struggle with communication, socialisation, and repetitive behaviours or interests, which can impact their ability to build relationships, maintain employment, and engage in daily activities. They may also experience difficulties with sensory processing, which can impact their ability to tolerate certain environments or sensory stimuli.
Diagnosis and Treatment:
If you suspect that you have undiagnosed ADHD or Autism, seeking an evaluation from a psychologist can help you understand your symptoms and develop an effective treatment plan. A comprehensive evaluation may involve a review of your medical history, interviews with you and close family members or friends, and standardised tests to measure attention, impulsivity, socialisation, and communication skills.
Once you receive a diagnosis, a psychologist can work with you to develop a treatment plan that meets your unique needs. Treatment for ADHD may involve medication, behavioural therapy, or a combination of both. Treatment for Autism may involve behavioural therapy, social skills training, occupational therapy, or medication, depending on the individual's specific needs.
Getting help is key. Undiagnosed ADHD and Autism can present significant challenges for adults, impacting their daily life and relationships. Seeking an evaluation from a psychologist can help you understand your symptoms, receive a diagnosis, and develop an effective treatment plan. Remember, seeking help is the first step in improving your quality of life and achieving your goals.