Resources on Mental Health for Autistic Adults
At a Glance
Mental health resources can be difficult to find, especially related to the needs of autistic adults.
Here is a quick round-up of resources we’ve found out there on mental health and autism.
There are a lot of different and common mental health needs across autistic adults, we share some resources that cover a wide range of needs.
In a world that increasingly emphasizes the importance of mental health, it can be difficult to find resources that are relevant to autistic adults.
Autistic adults seeking out mental health professionals can face stigma due to dated knowledge about autism, unwelcoming therapeutic environments, and insensitivity from even well-meaning professionals who are not equipped to work from a place of understanding.
This is before we even get into the challenge of finding a therapist who reliably works with autistic clients AND the specific co-occuring condition you may be interested in addressing.
We go into more depth about the challenges associated with finding the right mental health professional in our Mental Health Toolkit along with some strategies for choosing a therapist and some existing resources that are out there.
In this blog post, we want to take a quick look at those existing resources for anyone who has been looking for more strategies to try to navigate the current system as best they can. It’s also a great chance to shout out some of the sources that helped us build our own toolkit!
Let’s take a look at some resources related to finding the right mental health care for you and the types of info they share!
Online Mental Health Resources for Autistic Adults and Autism Families
- Milestones Autism Resources Mental Health Toolkit - Milestones has its own excellent toolkit that focuses on some of the nuts and bolts questions related to choosing providers, which settings offer which types of care, and some common forms of therapy. It also incorporates some questions specific to autistic people. If you feel stuck at a certain point in the process and feel like you might be missing some information, this is a great resource to check out!
Finding the Right Therapist - This article from the Asperger/Autism Network offers some starting points for qualities to look for in a good therapist. Feel free to take any suggestions that feel relevant to you or to use them as jumping off points for more personalized goals!
How to Find a Neurodiversity-Affirming Therapist - Another article focused on finding the right therapist, this article offers some additional means of vetting a potential therapist and ideas to add to your personal list. While the website the article is on, Choosing Therapy, is not necessarily an autism-specific resource, it is a potential directory of therapists to try during your search. The directory includes listed specializations and gives each therapist the opportunity to include a more detailed personal description to offer an idea of what working with them will be like.
3 Questions to Be Sure They Won’t Shame You for Being on the Spectrum - Rose Reif’s wonderful article focused on neurodivergent clients starts with three main questions but gets into serious detail about what you can expect from a therapist experienced with neurodivergent clients versus ones who might be willing to accept neurodivergent clients but have not invested any effort in creating a welcoming environment or system for building a collaborative and effective plan of action.
(for parents/caregivers) Choosing a Good - or Bad- Therapist for Your Autistic Child - This article shares some of the complexities of finding the right treatment for your child that fits under your coverage, and most importantly offers tips for spotting harmful therapies. Therapy can unfortunately be a murky world to navigate, especially for parents who might not feel like they have the authority to contradict an “expert” who says a seemingly harmful therapy is the right thing to do. This article offers some tools to help you independently evaluate whether a given practice is in the best interest of your child.
- AGU’s Mental Health Toolkit - If you’ll allow us a little more shameless self-promotion, we’re excited to share more about how our toolkit can help! In addition to discussing some of the challenges associated with finding the right mental health professional, we dig into some of the red and green flags associated with potential therapists, finding care based on your existing coverage, and what you can do to individualize care. We draw on many of the resources listed above so you may find some overlap or relate to one perspective more than the other. The most important thing is making use of the information that you find most helpful!
There can be such a wide range of challenges to finding the right therapist, big and small. Informational resources cannot always help with every challenge, but we hope some of these guides have offered some new tools to help navigate these often tricky and frustrating situations.
If you are interested in more resources related to finding mental health professionals or another mental health related topic then we would love to hear from you! Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.