What is autism spectrum disorder?
Before we discuss what the Autism Symptoms in Adults Checklist is, let’s briefly discuss what autism spectrum disorder is first.
Autism spectrum disorder, sometimes referred to as ASD or just autism for short, is a type of neurodevelopmental disorder. This disorder impacts a person’s behavior, ability to communicate with others (especially when reading social cues), and sensory processing.
It is characterized by other signs/symptoms (several of which you’ll see in the template), but one thing to note is that people with autism spectrum disorder don’t necessarily have the same symptoms as others. Even if they do, that doesn’t mean the severity is the same. Some who have autism spectrum disorder symptoms can still function independently and may even appear not to have the disorder. In contrast, some have more severe symptoms to the point that they interfere with their activities of daily living, relationships, and more.
This disorder is complex and has no designated medical tests. Specialists who assess and diagnose autism spectrum disorder tend to conduct interviews and multiple assessments. Once they’ve gathered what they believe is enough information about the patient, they will cross-check everything they’ve found with the criteria for autism spectrum disorder established by the latest edition of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
ASD manifests early in a person’s life, usually between ages one to three. Parents or guardians normally have their kids checked for ASD as soon as possible so they can properly manage them as they grow up and minimize the negative impacts that it can cause. However, there are times when people aren’t diagnosed with ASD when they’re kids and instead find out when they’re adults.
How to use our Autism Symptoms in Adults Checklist:
An Autism Symptoms in Adults Checklist is a nifty clinical tool that healthcare professionals hand out to patients getting checked for the possibility of having autism spectrum disorder. It’s a self-report checklist that indicates various signs and symptoms of the disorder. It’s usually handed as part of a comprehensive examination of a patient that aims to detect the possibility of them having ASD.
The Autism Symptoms in Adults Checklist template we created comprises I statements, so those using it only need to tick the ones they believe apply to them. Please note that this is just one template that you can use.
Here are examples of I statements one would find on our template:
- I find it challenging to join conversations
- I tend to speak in a flat, monotone voice.
- I tend not to speak most of the time
- I find it difficult to relate to other people’s emotions and experiences
- I find it difficult to relate to or understand people’s thoughts
- I tend to use repetitive language
- I have a hard time reading body language
- I have a hard time reading emotions
- I have a hard time reading social cues
- People have told me that they have a hard time knowing what I think
- I tend to dominate conversations
- I tend to provide excessive information about things I like or love
Autism Symptoms in Adults Checklist example:
Now that you know about autism spectrum disorder’s gist and have been acquainted with our Autism Symptoms in Adults Checklist template, it’s time to see what it looks like.
Our template has a checkbox for each I statement. They can be ticked with a pen (if you’re using a physical copy) or by clicking/tapping on them (if you’re using a digital version).
There is also a Notes box at the bottom of the checklist that allows people answering to write down what else they believe is a sign that made them suspect they might have ASD.
If you like what you see and believe this is an excellent way to gather preliminary information about adult patients who suspect they might have ASD, feel free to download our free Autism Symptoms in Adults Checklist PDF template!
When is it best to use the Autism Symptoms in Adults Checklist?
It can be handed out to patients who visit you for a consultation about having a potential autism spectrum disorder.
As mentioned earlier, most people get checked for ASD symptoms and get diagnosed when they’re between one to three years old, but people can live a normal life and grow into an adult without knowing they have ASD. They can become curious about it, especially if they notice signs or have been told they exhibit certain behaviors or mannerisms that they’re unaware of.
Their curiosity can lead them to get examined by a professional. Professionals handling such patients can hand a copy of the Autism Symptoms in Adults Checklist to kickstart their examinations and get diagnosed.
People curious about having potential ASD can use it at home!
We understand that our clinical resources are primarily for healthcare professionals, but that doesn’t mean non-healthcare professionals can’t use some of them. We have a lot of self-report tools like depression scales and inventories, which include our Autism Symptoms in Adults Checklist template.
If recent experiences or self-observations point to the possibility of you having autism spectrum disorder, feel free to download our template and answer the checklist! If you tick many signs/symptoms on the list, we recommend seeing a professional to confirm your suspicions.
What are the benefits of using the Autism Symptoms in Adults Checklist?
It can help people become aware that they might have autism spectrum disorder.
Earlier, we discussed that adults can become curious if they have autism spectrum disorder, especially if they’ve had recent experiences that made them cognizant of the potential symptoms they have.
The Autism Symptoms in Adults Checklist can help reveal what possible signs and symptoms of ASD they have. If they tick many boxes, it can prompt them to see a specialist to get examined and diagnosed.
It can set the groundwork for comprehensive assessments for ASD diagnosis.
If you have a patient who attends a consultation to discuss the potential of having autism spectrum disorder, handing them the Autism Symptoms in Adults Checklist can kickstart the examination process. By learning about their potential ASD signs and symptoms, you can shape the examination process, especially if specific signs and symptoms become focus points based on your findings.
It can help professionals determine what goes into a person’s treatment.
Even if the checklist is used to kickstart the ASD examination process, that doesn’t mean specialists will no longer use it. If the patient does get diagnosed with ASD, specialists can refer back to the checklist to identify areas of concern. By doing another run-through of the checklist, they can determine what therapies, interventions, and support they can provide the patient to help them manage their ASD and prevent it from causing problems in their daily lives, especially since they’re adults.