You do not need a formal autism diagnosis to access AANE’s support, services, or community. You are the expert on your own experience.

Whether you have received a medical diagnosis or not, AANE is here to support you. Many people make the decision to seek out a formal, medical diagnosis, while others go through their own exploration of self-diagnosis without official testing with a professional.

Know that diagnosis, by its very nature, describes broad generalizations. Here at AANE, regardless of your diagnosis, we recognize your unique experience as an individual.

Seeking an Autism Diagnosis

Diagnostic Labels

Processing an Autism Diagnosis

Language Disclaimer

AANE has made the decision to use the terms “autism” and “Autistic” in our communications moving forward. Many people continue to refer to themselves and their loved ones using the terms “Asperger’s,” “Aspie,” and other similar words. AANE respects each individual’s decision to use the language that best describes them and their loved ones. 

For Adults

Wherever you are on your journey, we are here for you. AANE has resources to assist you with understanding the diagnostic process and using it as a way of understanding yourself and accessing the support and community needed to thrive.

Diagnosing Autism in Adults: Why is it so hard?

"In the report from that evaluation, I read that her previous clinician had found her much too engaging, self-aware, and articulate to be Autistic."

Success: Creating a Life You Don't Need a Vacation From

"At the ripe old age of thirty-six, I was diagnosed Autistic. It was a gorgeous, sunny, spring afternoon in May when my life changed forever."

It's Never Too Late

"Newly realizing one’s neurology, even as an older adult, can be transformative."

I Think My Parent is Neurodivergent

"I think it is helpful to understand why the parenting style of an Autistic person may appear different from neurotypical parents."

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For Families and Caregivers

Though parents and caregivers might be curious about an autism diagnosis before their child, at times children and teens may notice they have differences in the way they process information and communicate compared to their peers. Whether a child or teen is looking for support in learning more about those differences, or you are a caregiver exploring information about neurodiversity and pursuing a medical diagnosis, you can learn more here through professional and personal experiences.  

The Why and How of Diagnosis for Children & Teens

"While some parents want an answer about whether or not their child or teen is Autistic, others may not be pursuing a specific diagnosis."

Diagnosis Discussion Tips for Parents

"Many parents and family members wonder how to talk to their Autistic child or teen about their diagnosis."

Autism & Parenting While Black

"I learned to ask questions. Each of my children’s diagnoses came at different times and in different ways, but for my daughters it felt especially slow. Research mirrors this pattern of invisibility for Black autistic girls."

Early Identification Process

"The early identification process for young children involves recognizing potential signs and behaviors that could indicate that a child is Autistic during the early developmental stages."

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Free Must-Watch Webinar

2023 Update: How to Find Public Benefits for Autistic Adults in Any State

This free webinar teaches Autistic adults in any state how to find public federal and state support programs that provide free or low-cost services to help them reach their immediate and longer-term needs and goals. Eligibility requirements and availability of these services vary significantly by state.

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