Adults with Autism

Individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) exhibit common problems with communication and social behavior. This causes difficulties in many areas of life. In severe cases a person with as ASD will need full-time residential care for life. The consumer and their family is then left to face the challenge of finding living arrangements and employment to match the particular needs of their adult child, as well as programs and facilities that will support these goals. Many others with ASDs are capable of employment in sheltered workshops under the supervision of managers trained in working with persons with disabilities.

    1. Autistic Life

- Compared to the general population, fewer adults with an ASD marry or have children or live in a metropolitan area. This trend is changing as more diagnosed adults are forming relationship with others on the autistic spectrum. This autistic culture, as it is referred to, is based on an accepting belief that autism is a unique way of being and not a disorder to be cured.

    1. Employment

- A small percentage of high-functioning adults are able to work successfully in mainstream jobs, although frequently far below their actual level of skills and qualification. Employers should take advantage of the individual’s strengths and abilities.

    1. Diagnosis as an Adult

- Getting a diagnosis for an ASD as an adult is not easy. It can be hard to convince your doctor that a diagnosis is relevant and/or necessary. The typical route for seeking a diagnosis as an adult is to visit your doctor and ask for a referral to a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist. No one person will have all the traits but in large most will be affected within these three areas:

» Social Communication

      • Difficulty understanding gestures, body language and facial expressions
      • Unaware of what is socially appropriate and have difficulty choosing topics to talk about
      • May not be socially motivated because they find communication difficult
      • May not have many friends and they may choose not to socialize very much

» Social Understanding

      • Difficulty in group situations
      • Finding small talk and chatting very difficult
      • Problems understanding double meanings
      • Not choosing appropriate topic to talk about
      • Talking about people say very literally

» Flexibility of Thought

      • An obsession with rigid routines and severe distress if routines are disrupted
      • Problems making plans for the future and having difficulties organizing your life
      • Problems with sequencing tasks

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