Being diagnosed as autistic can be difficult to come to terms with. You may be coping with a condition that you know very little about, and wondering how to get appropriate support.

Alternatively, you may have known that you are autistic for a while and find the diagnosis a relief. Although looking for support with adult life, many autistic people celebrate their neurodiversity and unique strengths and qualities.  

Here, we talk about some of the difficulties autistic people may face. We also look at how you can find support in the following areas: 

If you have been diagnosed as having a demand avoidant profile, the PDA Society have information on life with PDA.

Strengths and qualities

Autistic people can have a unique view of the world that others find interesting and valuable.

They may also be:

  • very good visual learners
  • focussed and pay attention to detail
  • extremely knowledgeable about their key interests
  • creative.

Possible difficulties

Autism is an invisible disability, meaning that you may need to educate others, including professionals, about how being autistic affects you and what support you need.

You could give them our information about:

We also have advice for your manager, college tutor, or doctor.

Support

General information and advice

Here are some ways that you can find general support, information and make contact with other autistic people. 

Social

Our organised group outings and activities are a way of meeting and socialising with other autistic people.

If you find that there is not a National Autistic Society group local to you then you can search our Autism Services Directory for groups arranged by other organisations, charities and autistic people.

You could post in our community to ask if anyone attends a group that may be suitable for you or contact our e-befriending service

Read more about social interaction.

Community support and housing

The support needs of autistic people vary, some may live independently, while others need occasional or full time support.

You have a right to an assessment of your support requirements if you have an apparent need.

Read more about community care for adults.

Benefits

There are many different benefits that autistic people can claim.

To find out more read our information about benefits for autistic adults or contact the citizens advice bureau.

Education

Every university or college has a team dedicated to supporting disabled students. Talk to them about anything you think might help you. This could be things like extra time in an exam, or being able to avoid busy rooms and libraries.

Read more about starting college or university.

Employment

Autistic people have a lot to offer potential employers. However, they often struggle to find suitable employment.

It’s unlawful for an employer to discriminate against you because you are autistic.

Read our advice about work, including disclosing your autism diagnosis and tips for interacting and coping at work.

Advocacy

Having an advocate can help you to say what you want, ensure that your rights and interests are understood and that you get the services that you need.

Read more about advocacy.

Autistic people can provide a valuable insight into autism for research purposes. If this would interest you then you can join the Discover network.

Further help from our charity

What is autism?

Adult Life

Experiences of diagnosis

Choosing an approach

Autism facts and history

Managing money

Encounters with the law

Getting older

Valuing neurodiversity

Brain in hand

Last reviewed: 15 November 2017.