Awareness of an Autism Diagnosis at a Younger Age Proves Beneficial

May 08, 2022

Study Reports that Learning about an ASD Dx Early May Lead to a Heightened Quality of Life

For the first time, a research team (made up of autistic and non-autistic students and professors) has investigated if learning about an autism diagnosis at a younger age had a better outcome than finding out about an autism diagnosis later in life. To find an answer, the study’s authors surveyed 78 university students and academic researchers, all of which had an autism diagnosis. The participants were asked to share how they found out they were autistic and how they felt about their diagnosis at the time. They were also asked to reveal how they felt about their current lives and how they felt about being considered on the spectrum now. The results showed that students who learned they had autism when they were younger felt happier about their current lives than people who learned about their diagnosis when they were older. Interestingly, participants who learned about their diagnosis when they were older felt happier about having autism when they first found out than people who found out at an earlier age. This was due to a sense of relief that there was an explanation for their atypical symptoms. Ultimately, the authors say their study shows that it is best to tell individuals on the spectrum about their diagnosis as early as possible, as it provides empowerment and gives a foundation of self-understanding that helps the person thrive later in life. Additionally, the students involved in this study felt strongly that it was a poor idea to wait until children are adults to tell them they have autism. They also said that parents should tell their children about their diagnosis in ways that help them understand the condition and feel good about who they are. 

Original Article

Original Study Abstract

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