Late-Identified Autistic Adults
Are Getting Left Behind
This Autism Acceptance Month, we are highlighting how inaccessible assessments and supports are for late-identified autistics in BC.
An autism diagnosis is life-changing
It allows an autistic person to better understand their strengths, helps them identify needs and ask for accommodations, gives them a community to connect to, and provides self-understanding
In the blog article “Late Not Less: Why Late-Identified Autistic Adults Need More Support in BC,” we profile five autistic adults who received a late diagnosis or are still struggling to access one and the barriers that stand in their way.
Accessible assessments are the first step
Watch the videos and read the stories of autistic adults who have struggled to get assessed.
We have 5 stories to share with you throughout April.
Kristina has had to overcome years of internalized ableism and an identity build around giftness. Discover how Kristina’s asymmetrical development hid their other autistic traits and why their parents overlooked this.
Caroline realized she is autistic at the same time she realized her kids are. Learn how little supports are available for autistic adults compared to children and how much that affects those who are late-identified.
Shannon saw three psychologists and had researched several more in her journey to diagnosis. See just how much misinformation she had to wade through before she could even start to get support.
Megan was told they were a bad kid, that they were aggressive, that they have Borderline Personality Disorder. Learn why these presumptions led to years-long struggles with self-worth, behavioural issues, and drug addiction.
Liv is caught in a catch-22. They can’t get accommodations without a diagnosis. Without accommodations, they can’t work enough to build savings. Without savings, they can’t afford a diagnosis.
This is a systemic problem
Throughout April, we will explore why autistic adults in BC are being overlooked with education videos and blogs.
Check back throughout April as we release all 5!
Autism affects individuals of all ages, but it presents itself differently in adults. Autistic adults may have developed coping mechanisms to deal with social communication issues, and changed sensitivities, interests, and executive functioning skills. They may have co-occurring medical and mental health conditions.
Wondering if you might be on the autism spectrum as an adult in BC? It can be tough to navigate the assessment process, but don’t worry! We’ll cover 6 steps to get you started, from doing a self-assessment to finding a neurodiversity-affirming assessor. Don’t give up on getting the help you need!
Struggling to get assessed: Why many autistic adults in BC are left without a diagnosis. Cost is a major barrier, with 75% of respondents reporting they can’t afford it. Plus, there aren’t enough specialists to meet the demand, resulting in long waitlists. Personal doubts and fears, as well as a lack of comprehensive care in BC, also play a role.
Women & Girls
Did you know that autistic women and girls are often underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed? This is due to a shortage of specialists, masking, misdiagnosis, phenotype differences, and lack of research.
Looking for answers and self-understanding? Getting diagnosed as an autistic adult can help you achieve personal growth, well-being, and social belonging. We’ll explore 4 reasons why autistic adults might seek assessment and diagnosis in BC. And whether you’re able to connect with a professional or not, we believe in the validity of self-diagnosis at AutismBC!
Telling your story can help
AutismBC wants to be an advocate for autistic adults. We are collecting stories from late-identified autistics about their journeys. We want to hear about how realizing you’re autistic changed your life, what barriers have stood in the way of diagnosis, and what you’d like to see in terms of support and funding for autistic adults in BC.
Follow us at the links below and share your story with us on social media using the hashtag #latenotless