Autism In Adults

Adults with autism typically

  • Have ifferences in the way people perceive their environments and those around them.
  • Process information differently, and communicate differently, which creates communication barriers.
  • Maintain rigid patterns and rituals can interfere with social interaction and quality of life

The main symptoms of autism are social and behavioral challenges, such as:

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) does not present with the same set of symptoms in every individual. The wide variety of signs and symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder, and their varying severity, makes it referred to as a spectrum.

It can make daily life difficult for people with ASD. Some people classified as “high-functioning” may simply feel “different” from others. Many of them have felt that way since childhood, but have not been able to pinpoint the exact reason why. Similar to this, they may not notice that they feel or behave differently, but others around them may take note of these changes.

In spite of the fact that autism spectrum disorder is most commonly diagnosed in children, it is possible for adults to remain undiagnosed. You may be on the autism spectrum if you believe you exhibit any of the following characteristics. This article will provide information on ASD diagnosis and support options.

Signs of high-functioning autism in adults

Most often, prominent symptoms of autism are identified by the time a child is a toddler. In the case of adults with ASD who have not been diagnosed but who believe they may have it, you may be considered to have high-functioning autism.

Following are some signs of autism in adults:

  • Having difficulty reading social cues.
  • Having difficulty participating in conversation.
  • Being unable to relate to others’ opinions or feelings.
  • Not being able to read facial expressions or body language appropriately. It is sometimes difficult to determine whether someone is pleased or unhappy with you.
  • You speak in a flat, monotonous, or robotic manner that does not convey what you are feeling.
  • You tend to create your own descriptive words and phrases.
  • It can be difficult to comprehend figures of speech and turns of phrases like “The early bird catches the worm”
  • When talking to someone, you do not want to look into their eyes.
  • If you are at home, with friends, or at work, you speak in the same tone and manner.
  • One or two topics dominate your conversations.
  • It is difficult to establish and maintain close friendships.

Emotional and behavioral difficulties

  • You have difficulty controlling your emotions and responding effectively to them.
  • Outbursts and meltdowns are a result of changes in routines and expectations.
  • When something unexpected happens, you are likely to experience an emotional breakdown.
  • When your belongings are relocated or rearranged, you become upset.
  • There are rigid routines, schedules, and daily patterns that must be adhered to at all costs.
  • Routines and rituals are repeated over and over again.
  • You make noises in places where quiet is expected.

Other signs

  • You know a great deal about a few specific areas of interest (such as a historical period, book series, film, industry, hobby, or field of study).
  • Your academic performance is very strong in one or two challenging subject areas, but you experience difficulty in others.
  • There is hypersensitivity or impaired sensitivity to sensory input (such as pain, sound, touch, or odor).
  • It feels like you are uncoordinated and clumsy.
  • Instead of working and playing with others, you prefer to work and play on your own.
  • You are perceived by others as eccentric or academic.

Diagnosis of autism in adults

For adults with suspected ASD, there are no standard diagnostic criteria; however, they are in development.

As a result, clinicians diagnose adults with ASD primarily through a series of personal observations and interactions. Symptoms reported by the individual are also taken into consideration.

In the event you are interested in being evaluated for autism spectrum disorder, you should consult your family physician, who will examine you to determine whether there isn’t a physical illness underlying your behavior. You may also be referred to a psychiatrist or psychologist for a more in-depth assessment.

In your first meeting with the clinician, he or she will want to discuss any concerns you may have regarding communication, emotions, behavioral patterns, range of interests, etc. In addition to answering questions about your childhood, your clinician may ask you to speak to your parents or other family members who have lived longer to learn about your lifelong behavior patterns.

The clinician can use the diagnostic criteria for children as a reference and ask your parents questions based on their memories of you as a child to gain additional information.

You may be evaluated for other mental health or affective disorders if you do not exhibit symptoms of ASD in childhood. However, you may exhibit symptoms as a teen or adult.

It may be challenging to find a provider who can diagnose adults with autism due to the fact that most autism diagnoses are made in children.

Living with an autism diagnosis

A diagnosis of ASD as an adult could provide you with a greater understanding of yourself and your relationships with others. Additionally, it will assist you in identifying your strengths and identifying areas in your life that require improvement.

A medical diagnosis can provide you with a new perspective on your childhood. As a result, others can better understand and empathize with your unique characteristics.

It is important to comprehend the set of challenges you face in order to find innovative ways to overcome them. Alternatively, you can also speak with your clinician and your family to determine what type of support is right for you.

Support for adults with autism

Adults are generally not provided with the same level of support as children with autism spectrum disorders. Cognitive, verbal, and applied behavioral therapy may be used to treat adults with ASD. Often, you will need to seek out specific support depending on the challenges you are experiencing (such as anxiety, social isolation, relationship difficulties, or trouble in the workplace). 

Some possibilities include:

  • Medical evaluation by a psychiatrist experienced in autism
  • Consulting a social worker or psychologist for group and individual therapy.
  • Continuing to receive counseling.
  • Enrolling in vocational rehabilitation (for career-related difficulties).
  • In the event that you have symptoms of anxiety, depression, or behavioral issues associated with autism, you may wish to take prescription medication.

It has been reported that adults with autism have found support through online forums and groups, as well as in person interactions with other adults on the autism spectrum.

If you this resonates with you take the next step by reaching out to us! Call us at 720.583.9332 or send us an email at info@mountainvistapsychology.com

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