Finding a Diagnostician

These tips can make a difficult process  more successful and less stressful.

Who can diagnose autism?

Psychiatrists (M.D.) can diagnose autism and prescribe medication. However, psychiatrists do not conduct formal testing, and typically provide very short appointments. For an adult who has passed through life under the radar, a more comprehensive diagnostic evaluation is strongly advised.

The mental health professionals listed at right have a degree and licensure that grants them diagnostic privileges.

Not all mental health professionals conduct evaluations, however. Some solely provide therapeutic services. In order to save yourself both time and money and to ensure that you are going to be able to receive the services you are seeking, it is best to ensure that your provider conducts diagnostic work prior to making an appointment.
Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist (LCMFT)
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)
Licensed Clinical Psychologist (LPC)
Clinical Psychotherapist (LCP)
Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC)
Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD)
Doctorate of Psychology (PsyD)
Licensed Master of Social Work (LMSW)
Licensed Specialist Clinical Social Worker (LSCSW)

What about experience with autism?

Having diagnostic privileges does not necessarily mean diagnostic or therapeutic expertise with autism. In fact, the amount of training required for most mental health professionals is minimal. As a result, it is important do your research to find someone who is someone appropriately qualified. Look for:
Actively provides therapy to autistics, particularly adults
Access to ongoing feedback with autistics
Nonableist perspective, or  ability to check nonautistic privilege 
Keeps up with current research and information through continuing education and involvement with autistic community
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