Department of Education

How do I know if I have autism?

How do I know if I have autism?

What is autism?

  • Autism is a lifelong developmental disability and is part of the autism spectrum.
  • People with autism struggle to make sense of the world around them, which can be very worrying for them.
  • There are three main areas of difficulty:
    • Social communication (understanding facial expressions, tone of voice or jokes)
    • Social interaction (making friends and forming relationships)
    • Social imagination (preparing for change, predicting what will happen next, understanding peoples thoughts and feelings)
  • Every person on the autism spectrum is affected in very different ways. Some are able to live relatively ‘everyday’ lives and others will need specialist support for the rest of their lives.

Getting an assessment

  • If you think that you might be on the autism spectrum, make an appointment to see your GP with one or both of your parents, or ask one of them to make the appointment for you.
  • If your GP thinks that you might be suffering from developmental difficulties, he/she will refer you to a team of experts who will be able to make a professional assessment.
  • A formal diagnosis will mean that you are able to access the provisions that you may need now and in the future.


You can find lots of information about autism on the NAS website. These two articles are a good starting point.

• What is autism?

• Diagnosis: The Process for Children


Lost your password?