Are There Differences Between Diagnosing Autism in a Child and an Adult?

Question: Are there differences in a diagnostic evaluation of a child and an adult?

Answer: There are diagnostic differences between children and adults for autism and the related disorders simply because of the expectations at different ages. For young children, for example, we have to find ways to communicate with them that are appropriate for a 3- or four-year-old. For an adult, we have to do things that are much more appropriate for an adult. And adults have much more life experience than children do.

So there are different techniques that the specialists use to assess the difficulties that a child or an adult would have that leads to a diagnosis of autism or a related disorder.