While some people seek diagnosis, others resist the use of diagnostic labels and argue diagnosis can be used as a form of social control. Our investigation explored how a diagnosis is experienced by adults. What are the benefits of, and objections to the diagnostic label of autism? What are the consequences of diagnosis? How is diagnostic categorisation achieved by clinicians? What impact does a diagnostic label have on people’s preconceptions? Autism diagnosis is particularly relevant because the label is increasingly applied, the diagnosis has clear costs and benefits, and its application is sometimes disputed.
Our investigation documented and analysed the experiences of adults in the neurodiversity movement, as well as and including, adults with autism diagnosis. We gathered the experiences of adults who have sought a clinical diagnosis of autism by working with our partners in the NHS.