Autism and Neurodiversity Resources

What is Autism?

Autism is a developmental condition that impacts how you perceive and respond to the world around you. Autism exists on a spectrum, which means that it impacts people differently. You may hear it called autism spectrum disorder (ASD)Autism is not a mental health disorder, but people with autism may be more likely to experience some types of mental health challenges, including ADHD. 

People with ASD may also be more likely to experience depression and/or anxiety. Some reasons for this include:

  • Negative attitudes from other people. Non-autistic people may not understand or accept your differences, which may lead to stigma, loneliness, and discrimination.
  • Differences interacting with the world. You will likely need to navigate places and situations that don’t mesh with your sensory, processing, or communication needs. This can also lead to stigma and loneliness.
  • Barriers to support. It can be difficult to get the right support for autism and for mental health problems. For example:
    • An autism diagnosis, particularly if you hold a minoritized identity, may take a long time.
    • Some mental healthcare providers may not understand how best to support you.

(Adapted from Mind)

How CMHS Can Help You

CMHS clinicians can help neurodiverse students navigate college life. They can help you understand your experiences in classrooms and social settings, advocate for yourself when needed, and connect you with other supports on and off campus to help you thrive.

If you think you may have autism, a CMHS counselor can help explain the process of seeking a formal diagnosis.