Diagnosis in adulthood can be a mixed blessing. Some people decide that they are happy with self diagnosis and decide not to ask for a formal diagnosis; for those that do there are a variety of benefits:
Many of the people we speak to have suffered from mental health problems and/or have been misdiagnosed as having mental health problems such as schizophrenia. They have known that they have specific difficulties for a long time without being able to explain them. A firm diagnosis can be a relief because it allows them to learn about their condition and understand where and why they have difficulties for the first time.
Gaining the understanding of others
Many people suffer the consequences of being constantly misunderstood. Often the fact that someone has AS can lead to teasing, bullying and social isolation. When the people close to you are able to understand that there is a reason for your difficulties it is much easier for them to empathise with your position.
Receiving services appropriate to their needs
Adults with AS may need support with day to day living (this is only the case for some people and many others have no support needs). If they are having these needs met it may be by people who do not understand Asperger Syndrome and the specific difficulties associated with it. With a diagnosis, you can access autism-specific services such as the Prospects Employment Consultancy, run by The National Autistic Society.
Joining the AS community
It can be helpful to meet up with other people who have the condition in order to learn about their experiences and share your own. There are some support groups available for this and the NAS also supports a group called Asperger United, who publish a newsletter written by people with AS for people with AS. Another good way of contacting people with AS is through the internet, and you can find out more about useful websites on our links page. You do not have to have a diagnosis of AS in order to access this support. Gaining a diagnosis can be difficult and very few adults find it easy. You are the only person who can decide if this is the best choice for you.