Autism | Assessment | Adults | Mental Health

Autism Assessment for Adults — the Emotional Impact

Now that I’ve processed my autism assessment report, I feel upset about it

Alan (AJ) Autistic Widower
9 min readFeb 17, 2020


Three Years On

In a few months, it will be three years since I got my autism assessment results.

I’ve previously written about the assessment process itself, but that article was mostly factual. This time, I want to focus on how it felt, and what impact it has had on me from an emotional point of view.

Before being assessed, I’d heard that some people can find the process to be quite difficult emotionally — almost traumatic.

At first, I couldn’t really understand why, because the assessment process sounded fairly straightforward: just fill in a questionnaire, go and chat to a clinical psychologist a few times, then put them in touch with anyone who knew you as a child.

I had to do some rather bizarre things during some of the sessions, like describing the pictures in a children’s storybook, and making up stories using props such as string and paper clips. Occasionally, it felt like I was on a hidden camera show — as though there were people in a secret room somewhere, watching me and laughing as I made a fool of myself. Despite that, it wasn’t too taxing.

Then the final report arrived, and my opinion changed dramatically!

A sheet of white paper, to represent the autism assessment report. Text says: “Official, sensitive, personal. Private and Confidential. Autism Spectrum Condition Diagnostic Report.”
Photo taken by the author, Autistic Widower.

A Rant About the Report

It took me by surprise when I saw just how critical the report was of me. It was like a personal attack, except that I couldn’t respond or defend myself. Having a write-up of all the difficulties that I’d described to the assessor, where the various aspects of our interactions were categorised and criticised, made me feel like they viewed me as almost sub-human or worthless.

There was a condescending and patronising tone to some parts of the report, such as where it listed tips on how to communicate with me. It’s hard to pinpoint, but it felt like there’s an underlying implication that I have limited intelligence, and limited understanding or knowledge about the more subtle, emotional and non-technical aspects of life.



Alan (AJ) Autistic Widower

Random life stories, opinions, and a dry sense of humour. A 55-year-old former electronics engineer and programmer in England. ☕️