What is a diagnosis?
A diagnosis is the formal identification process and can be beneficial for two reasons:
- assists people with autism (and their families) to understand why they may experience particular difficulties and how they can overcome them; and
- enables people to access services and support.
Autism is generally diagnosed as a child. A diagnosis can be obtained by asking a GP for a referral to a health specialist such as a pediatrician or psychiatrist. These professionals may refer to the disorder using different names; such as autism, autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), classic autism, pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), high-functioning autism (HFA), or Asperger’s syndrome.