Adult Autism Assessments

At Join Psychology, we have expertise in providing diagnostic assessments of Autism Spectrum Conditions for young people and adults (aged 16+).

Adult Autism Assessment & Diagnosis

Understand your patterns, discover your strengths & find out if autism could explain your daily struggles

As autism has gained more awareness in recent years, more and more people are noticing that they or someone they’re close to might have some autistic traits.

Do you or someone you know struggle with social situations, feel anxious about routine changes or find it hard to make and keep friends? Do people sometimes tell you that you’re rude or blunt? Do you find the sensory world around you overwhelming? Do you feel like you struggle with parts of life that other people seem to find easy?

Autism affects social communication with others as well as relating to and perceiving the world at large. You’re not alone in feeling a disconnect with those around you.

A formal diagnosis can help to bring much needed relief and understanding as well as helping you to discover your strengths. Here at Join Psychology, Dr. Jo Coombs , specialises in adult autism assessment and therapy that provides practical solutions to make everyday life and relationships easier.



Jo is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist, specialising in:

  • Adult autism assessment.
  • Autism assessment for women.
  • Differentiating autism from complex trauma.
  • Autism assessment in the context of family court proceedings.

In previous decades, our understanding of autism was much narrower, resulting in some children on the spectrum being misunderstood and missing out on a diagnosis earlier in life. This means that we now have a proportion of adults in which autism diagnosis has been missed.

Missed diagnosis can occur in men and women, but is more common amongst females. This is because whilst autism can manifest itself in several different ways, women and girls can be very good at camouflaging and hiding symptoms even from a young age.

This can include forcing eye contact during conversation and mimicking the social behaviour of others. The result is that some children grow into adults, not understanding that their patterns and social struggles are due to autism.

Understanding how and why you do things can improve your mental health and make your day to day life and relationships easier. For many people, a diagnosis is a huge relief. They finally understand why the things that seem so simple for others, have been so hard for themselves.

But a formal autism assessment doesn’t have to end with just a diagnosis. We can also help you with post-diagnostic support , such as practical tools and techniques that can be implemented into everyday life to help make things easier for you.

The benefits of receiving a formal diagnosis can include:

  • An understanding of why you may experience certain difficulties.
  • Learn how to reconnect with your strengths.
  • Better coping strategies and practical techniques to make life easier.
  • Improved mental health- less anxiety, less stress and a happier outlook on life.
  • Access to the right kind of support and benefits from health professionals.
  • Improved relationships, better communication and more support from those around you.

Finding it hard to make friends, experiencing a disconnect in social situations, struggling with change and sensory overload could be linked to autism. Getting a formal diagnosis can help you cope better in these social situations and make life easier and more enjoyable for yourself and those close to you.

An autism assessment with Jo Coombs and her team at Join Psychology is fully compliant with the NICE (National Institute for Health & Care Excellence) guidance which outlines the standards for a formal diagnosis of autism in adults.

We understand that the idea of an assessment can feel intimidating and a little overwhelming. Jo and her team will work with you to make sure you feel confident. Assessments are also LGBTIQA+ affirmative, to ensure everyone feels comfortable every step of the way.

The process can be flexible to suit your individual needs and concerns, working either online or in person.

Initial Consultation

The assessment begins with questionnaires for you to complete and an initial consultation with Jo that lasts around 90 minutes. During this interview, she will discuss why you are seeking assessment and ask you some questions about the struggles you’ve been experiencing. You can complete this consultation alone, but it’s often helpful to have someone close to you present also, to give an outside perspective.

Once the first consultation is complete, a decision is made between yourself and your psychologist to determine if further assessment is needed.

Diagnostic Assessment

The next step is diagnostic assessment. This includes some additional questionnaires before you speak with Jo again. She will use a structured diagnostic interview to ask you some more in-depth questions and have some conversations with people that know you well. The questions may be centred around things like your childhood development, social communication, interaction, sensory differences and other challenges you’re experiencing in life now.

Jo may also ask you to share copies of school reports or reports from healthcare professionals you have seen to get a broad range of perspectives about you over the years.

You will also meet with another health professional from Jo’s team who will complete the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS-2) with you, which is a task-based observational assessment and part of the gold standard assessment for autism.

Team Review, Feedback and Report

Once the assessment is complete, Jo and her team will discuss the information and their impressions together to come to a conclusion about diagnosis and what may explain your experiences. Team discussion and review is important as it ensures we can be confident and robust in our conclusions about your needs and what may help you.

Jo will then meet with you to talk about the results of the assessment, along with recommendations about next steps you can take to help you manage and cope better with everyday life. You’ll get a full report, that’s yours to keep and share with employers, health professionals and educators when necessary. Diagnosis can help you focus on your strengths as well as identify and work on any areas of difficulty.

Understand autism, discover your strengths & learn strategies to help make everyday life, friendships & relationships better

Are you an adult on the autism spectrum? Would you like to discover your strengths and learn how to use them? Would you like to understand your struggles and learn simple coping strategies to make everyday life, friendships and relationships easier?

Getting an autism diagnosis as an adult can trigger a whirlwind of emotions. The relief that comes with finally finding an explanation for your difficulties, combined with the confusion and a feeling of “Well, what now?” as you try to figure out what this diagnosis means for you both in your past and in your future.

The good news is that you don’t have to work through this alone. Here at Join Psychology, Dr. Jo Coombs is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist specialising in adult autism and autism in women. She can work with you to help you process your diagnosis, discover your strengths, gain a better understanding of yourself and from others in your life  and learn how to create a happier life.

Understand Yourself Better

Understanding your uniqueness, your challenges and behaviour patterns can help you to find peace and acceptance within yourself, and from others in your life.

Discover Your Strengths

Autism brings gifts as well as challenges at times. I can help you to discover these gifts and talents and learn how to make the most of them in your life, relationships and career.

Make Relationships Easier

Relationships can be hard at times for people with autism, but with a deeper understanding and simple strategies, relationships can become simpler, happier and closer.

Overcome The Challenges Autism Can Bring

Whether it’s sensory struggles, communication, relationships or social skills, there are strategies you can learn to make living with autism easier.

How It Works

Here at Join Psychology, we understand the challenges that those on the autism spectrum face each and every day. As a Clinical Psychologist specialising in adult autism and autism in women, Jo knows how to support you on your journey, making life with autism easier for you and those around you.

Post-diagnostic sessions can be delivered flexibly, in a combination of either one to one, couple or family sessions, depending on your needs and preference. Sessions take place either online or in-person in Swallowfield, Berkshire.

Jo is kind, compassionate and experienced in helping people on the autism spectrum to feel comfortable as you get the help you need to move forwards with your diagnosis and make life easier. All support is LGBTIQA+ affirmative, ensuring everyone feels comfortable throughout.