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Diagnosis of ASD in Adults: a Spectrum of Symptom Manifestation

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Presenter: Rachel Orr, PsyD Original Air Date: June 25, 2021 CEs: 2 Recent data shows a rise in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnoses, with current CDC figures indicating 1 in 54 eight-year-olds have ASD. Although understanding and early detection in children have improved, ASD in adults remains underexplored. Historically, fewer diagnostic resources for adults have left many undiagnosed, struggling without self-awareness or access to adequate support. Adults with ASD face more psychiatric issues than the average population, complicating ASD diagnosis. Challenges also include trouble in forming relationships, achieving educational and career goals, and living independently. Identifying ASD in adults is crucial for providing proper support and resources. Objectives: - Understand the complexities delaying ASD diagnosis in adults, including comorbidities, clinician biases, and external factors. - Recognize the significance of diagnosing ASD in adults. - Gain insights into how ASD's core symptoms appear in adults, especially those considered "high functioning," through specific examples. - Learn assessment and identification strategies for ASD in adults. - Distinguish ASD from other psychiatric conditions. Dr. Rachel Orr, with a PsyD, pursued her education at Loyola University Maryland and received training at Johns Hopkins Hospital and Kennedy Krieger Institute, contributing to research in an Autism clinic at Children’s National Hospital. She interned at the Boston VA, focusing on rehabilitation, geriatric psychology, and neuropsychology.