The Presentation and Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Adulthood

Author: Clare Holmes

Holmes, Clare, 2017 The Presentation and Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Adulthood, Flinders University, School of Psychology

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Autism spectrum disorder is a lifelong disorder but increasing numbers of individuals are presenting for diagnosis in adulthood.

Identifying autism in adulthood can be particularly difficult because information about autism in this period of life is limited and available diagnostic tools can be impractical and inappropriate.

This work sought to improve current understanding of autism in adulthood and to develop a valid and practical diagnostic tool to identify adults with autism.

A range of behaviour characteristic of autism in this period of life was identified for each of the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria. Ms Holmes then developed the Autism Detection in Adult Populations Tool, the first diagnostic tool specifically designed to assess the DSM-5 criteria for autism as they present in adulthood. This diagnostic tool adequately identified whether adults had autism spectrum disorder and shows promise in informing diagnostic decision-making.

Keywords: Autism, autism in adulthood, adults, diagnosis

Subject: Psychology thesis

Thesis type: Doctor of Philosophy
Completed: 2017
School: School of Psychology
Supervisor: Robyn Young