An Early Autism Diagnosis Does Not Necessarily Mean a Better Quality of Life

July 03, 2023

Research Finds the Number of Autistic Traits Is the Strongest Predictor of Better Life Outcomes

British researchers recently set out to examine whether learning about an individual’s autism diagnosis earlier in childhood predicts a better quality of life and well-being in adulthood. Unlike previous research, their study did not find evidence for this relationship, suggesting that the age one receives an autism diagnosis is not a robust, independent predictor of adult life outcomes. Instead, the authors discovered that having more autistic traits was the strongest predictor of all quality of life and well-being outcomes. At the same time, they discovered that other variables, such as sex and additional mental health conditions, emerged as unique predictors of several outcomes. This new research highlights the need for more concrete, objective terminology to measure the different components of the process of coming to know about one’s autism diagnosis in future research. It also advocates for a heightened focus on how a diagnosis is disclosed and the social-emotional support the individual receives during and following the recognition process. Additionally, the authors revealed several other factors that were significant predictors of quality of life and well-being, including being male, having additional mental health conditions, and having more autistic traits. It is important to point out that this study makes clear that getting a timely diagnosis remains critical for individuals with autism and their families to access appropriate support. 

Original Study 

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons