The assessment of autism spectrum disorders in adults

Anastasios Galanopoulos (Department of Behavioural and Developmental Psychiatry, Clinical Academic Group, Adult ADHD Service, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, Maudsley Hospital , London, UK)
Dene Robertson (Department of Behavioural and Developmental Psychiatry, Clinical Academic Group, Adult ADHD Service, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, Maudsley Hospital , London, UK)
Emma Woodhouse (The Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, Forensic and Neurodevelopmental Sciences, Kings College, London, London, UK)

Advances in Autism

ISSN: 2056-3868

Publication date: 4 January 2016

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore and highlight the main elements of an autism spectrum disorder assessment in adults. It features significant challenges for the clinical teams responsible to undertake the assessment. This paper aims to explain the importance of the wider needs assessment in accordance to the Autism Act and Autism Strategy.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper describes the main symptom domains for an ASD diagnosis, according to the two basic diagnostic manuals. It provides compendious summary of the available diagnostic tools and the significant comorbidities people with ASD present with including other neurodevelopmental disorders, mental or physical health problems, challenging behaviour and risk issues.

Findings

The paper proposes that all National Health System professionals should be able to recognise possible signs of ASD and accordingly refer individuals for a comprehensive assessment to secondary services. It highlights the importance of a wider needs assessment as part of a broader approach to addressing the needs of those with suspected ASD.

Practical implications

The paper aims to improve the gaps which remain in the referral and diagnostic process of people affected by ASD.

Social implications

Through a comprehensive assessment the paper aims to improve the educational, social and personal functioning of people with ASD as well as the quality of life of their parents and carers.

Originality/value

The paper assembles a wide range of relevant considerations in regards to potential ASD in one place, and can be used to inform a comprehensive understanding of the assessment/diagnosis process.

Keywords

Citation

Galanopoulos, A., Robertson, D. and Woodhouse, E. (2016), "The assessment of autism spectrum disorders in adults", Advances in Autism, Vol. 2 No. 1, pp. 31-40. https://doi.org/10.1108/AIA-09-2015-0017

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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