Autism Diagnosis in Adulthood: Challenges and Perspectives

AIDE Canada
There has been a dramatic increase in the number of autistic individuals who are diagnosed in adulthood, and those who want to have an autism test. Join us and our panel of experts as we describe the tools used to diagnose adults, obstacles to getting a timely diagnosis, and share the lived experience and perspectives of individuals who were diagnosed as adults.

About the Speakers


Terri Robson, an Autistic Advocate who struggled to accept and understand the personal impact of Asperger Syndrome. She became determined to share her life experiences with others. She considers herself a non-ableist “Aspie”.


Terri is the founder and owner of “Awkward Spirit: Looking Beyond the Mask” and international presenter. She is also founder of an Adult Asperger Support Group and parent support group in Red Deer, Alberta. Terri has made presentations for various professional organizations; including a number of government departments, Alberta Teacher’s Conventions, Children’s Autism Services of Edmonton and a webcast panel for the Employment First Symposium. Terri is very proud to have presented a breakout session after Michelle Garcia Winner.


Terri received the “Premiers Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities” Award of Excellence for Public Awareness (in 2016 in the province of Alberta). She has also mentored young men and women with ASDs.


Terri’s passion has led her to inspire and empower professionals, caregivers, teachers, and parents in finding the information and supports needed to lessen the struggles for those individuals who may be on the same journey she has travelled.  Terri is indeed a remarkable and resilient woman.


Dynamic. Funny. Informative. Aspie for life!



Rebekah, diagnosed Autistic in 2012, is a prominent Autistic self-advocate from Kelowna, British Columbia (BC), Canada. Since her diagnosis, her advocacy has included writing extensively about autism in the context of health and policy, which has led her to be featured in a multitude of mediums including magazines, news articles, webinars, the radio, and she has been quoted at the Senate of Canada. 

Elizabeth Kelly


Elizabeth Kelly is a speech-language pathologist by training. She has been involved with the Adult Autism Diagnostic Clinic at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital in Edmonton since its inauguration in October 2015.

Elizabeth Kelly, R. SLP (she/her/hers)
Speech-language Pathologist

Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital

Ph: 780-735-8852

Dr. Vanessa H. Bal

Dr. Vanessa H. Bal is an Associate Professor and Karmazin and Lillard Chair in Adult Autism at the Graduate School of Applied & Professional Psychology at Rutgers University. She is a licensed clinical psychologist and director of the Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services (RCAAS) Psychological Services Clinic. She is also co-director of research at the RCAAS and leads the Lifespan Symptom Profiles, Achievements & Needs (LifeSPAN) ASD Lab, which focuses on advancing understanding of autism in adulthood. Her research and clinical interests include characterizing strengths and autism profiles of individuals on the spectrum across development, identifying biological and early-life correlates of clinical phenotypes and later-life achievements, and developing approaches to improve autism diagnosis in adulthood and address adult mental health concerns and foster well-being.

Megan Harmony



Megan Harmony is a soul led woman with a warrior spirit. She always finds a way to see hope in the darkest of places and is willing to turn on the Light to support others. Megan was misdiagnosed in her 20’s as having Borderline Personality Disorder but that didn’t quite fit so she continued to pursue assessments and help until she was diagnosed in her 35th year of life with A.S.D. She struggled for the first 3 decades of her life always feeling different and facing many challenging circumstances even for neurotypical individuals.

Megan is a 3 time best-selling Author in “The Great Canadian Woman-She is Strong and Free Volume 1”, “It’s Ok to Not Be Ok”, and “Her Unraveling.” She hosted the Soul-Full Podcast for one year and now practices as an Arcturian Reiki and Light Healing Master. Megan has also been soulfully sober for 12 years and shares messages of Hope, Faith and Courage everywhere she goes.

Megan’s greatest pride in life comes from watching her beautiful daughter grow up and knowing she is able to support her daughters needs while learning to support her own. Megan lives to help others see how amazing they are and continues to strive for better understanding of all the things that just don’t make sense in the world. She believes that no matter the question the answer is love and that there is a lot of good in the world if we only look to see it. Megan enjoys time with her family, friends and pets, as well as time in nature. To contact Megan, reach out to her on Instagram or Facebook at meganharmonytlc or Megan Harmony.


Photo by Imani Bahati on Unsplash

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