Most online information regarding autism is geared towards young children. In fact, data about adult autism is insufficient that it poses a negative impression that the condition rarely occurs in adults.
The truth is, autism is a disorder that does not only occur in children but can also prevail during adulthood. However, there is just a lack of information about this according to Kenneth Smith, LPC. He says, “Many resources are available for childhood/adolescent autism, but these approaches do not seem well-suited for adults, and there is almost nothing for people over age 21.”
Autism can primarily appear during the early stages of childhood and can progress until old age. Due to its permanent effect, autism can be severely challenging for adults. Therefore, it is essential to learn about adult autism since it can interfere with how a person will appropriately navigate through a complex and demanding world.
According to Sarah Swenson, LMHC, “When your adolescent is also at the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum, which we used to refer to diagnostically as Asperger’s syndrome, the angst and alienation can remain locked inside to an even greater extent. They manifest in withdrawn behavior, preference for solitude, and intense acting out in frustration.”
Adult Autism Facts
Let’s start with the basics of adult autism. What are the things that are necessary for one to know about the disorder?
Autism Can Persist From Childhood To Adulthood
Despite the stories you know and see on television, autism is a disorder that does not disappear quickly. Yes, there are claimed treatments here and there, but it is a rare occurrence for children who were diagnosed with autism to not carry the condition with them once they grow old. On certain occasions, autism persists from childhood to adulthood even though the person has efficiently built a reliable set of skills and demeanor that make autism less discernable.
Autistic Adults Can Be Successful
Just because they have autism, doesn’t mean that they are not going to have their fair share of success. Although it is somewhat extraordinary, there are still prominent adults with autism who are either moderately or extremely triumphant in their fields. Some are enjoying their married lives while being adequately compensated by their employers. There are even some autistic personalities that have become role models for those who fall under the spectrum, inspiring them to become independent and live full lives despite their condition.
Autistic Adults Experience Uncompromising Challenges
“Typically, explains Psychologist Megan Farley, “adults with autism come to a mental health clinic because they’re struggling with one or more issues. Common autism-related challenges include social isolation, finding and keeping a job or a romantic partner, anxiety or mood problems or an inability to organize one’s life.”
Given that high-functioning adults who have autism were able to power through despite the weight of their disorder, the majority still face difficulties and challenges. The demand required from higher-functioning autistic individuals is sometimes so herculean that they usually struggle to become “normal” and at the same time, cope with their sensory dysfunction, deficits in social or communicational skills, and extreme anxiety. Almost 30% of individuals with autism are on the non-verbal side; which means, they have little capacity to verbalize words or phrases to communicate with other people. More so, approximately 18% of autistic adults are exhibiting aggressive behavior, making it hard for them to develop positive relationships in a typical environment.
Adult Autism Varies From One Person To Another
The presentation of the condition is not singular; adult autism can be divided into different settings and categories. While some autistic adults are outstanding in ambitious fields like robotics, video game design and production, and information technology, others are efficiently functioning within compounded settings. The vast differences between a happily married individual versus someone having a fruitful friendship make it arduous for medical experts to provide support and services for autistic adults.
“If you think this might be you and you want a diagnosis, go online and find someone in your area who specializes in autistic adult assessment. Sometimes, just knowing can be a tremendous relief and explain so much that you always wondered about.” –
In retrospect, autistic people are dependable, honest, and are mostly focused on getting the job done because they are seldom distracted by external factors and interests. Never underestimate the capabilities of an individual with autism for you may just be in awe with their wide-range of competence and strengths that can even surpass “normal” standards.