Hannah Belcher and her mom walked into an assessment meeting with a young doctor. Together, they answered the physician’s probing questions: was Hannah good at making friends? What about the little oddities in her behavior—her dislike for particular colors and textures, especially things that were moist? Then they talked about her preoccupation with certain books and movies and her trouble understanding other people’s emotions.

After three hours, the doctor said, “Usually I need some time to go through the evidence or talk it through with my supervisor, but I think the evidence is pretty conclusive.” Hannah had Asperger’s Syndrome. What may surprise you is that Hannah and her mom weren’t at the assessment because of a referral from a pediatrician or concerns from an alert elementary school teacher. As a matter of fact, Hannah was a 23-year-old woman with a psychology degree when she found out she was on the autism spectrum.

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