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Top 25 Reasons Why Adults With ASD May Refuse Treatment

We asked 100 people with autism spectrum disorder, who never sought formal treatment, the following question: “What is the main reason you avoided seeking any type of treatment for your condition?”

Here are their answers (although not direct quotes) in order of popularity:
  1. Don’t see any need to change
  2. No health coverage/could not afford cost
  3. Possible negative effect on job if boss and coworkers found out
  4. Did not know where to go for treatment
  5. Concern that receiving treatment will cause family and friends to have negative opinion
  6. Able to handle issues without treatment 
  7. No transportation/inconvenient 
  8. No program available having the type of treatment preferred
  9. Did not feel need for treatment at the time 
  10. Did not have time/too busy
  11. Fear of being committed to a lengthy process
  12. Fear of having to take medicine 
  13. Concerned about confidentiality 
  14. Strong belief that treatment would not help 
  15. Not 100% sure of having the disorder
  16. Want to be in control of own destiny without a “label”
  17. Don’t want to be told what to do or how to live life
  18. Apprehensive about what the treatment program entails and not feel able to handle it
  19. Don’t do well in groups or around a bunch of other people
  20. Afraid of getting drug tested because use marijuana to self-treat anxiety
  21. Symptoms are not as bad now as an adult
  22. Lack of family support
  23. Tried treatment briefly and found no benefit 
  24. Afraid of being committed to a mental health facility due to frequent suicidal thoughts
  25. O.K. with how life is going now


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