Autism in Adults

Parents of autistic children are constantly worried about what will happen when that child makes the difficult transition into adulthood. Since approximately four out of every ten thousand children are born with some form of autism, awareness and support concerning this disorder is spreading. However, parents are still seeking ways in which to acclimate their older children into adulthood.

The major symptoms of autism include communication problems, repetitive behavior, inability to connect with peers, and low emotional control. These are all factors that will influence the life of an autistic adult, and adequate preparations that must be made.

Some autistic adults are high-functioning, and are able to integrate into society with little or no trouble. Other autistic adults are low-functioning, which means that they need some level of professional care in order to survive in the world as we know it. Some low-functioning autistic adults are almost completely unable to communicate with others, and adjust rather poorly to new situations. In this case, holding a job and living alone will be all but impossible.

One of the most difficult parts about adulthood for autistics is the lack of support. They worry that they are judged by everyone they meet, and may suffer from a low self image, which will further complicate their autism. Although they may be able to perform regular jobs and even take care of a family, they can be plagued by feelings of inadequacy and may be exceedingly uncomfortable in social situations. In reality, even most high-functioning autistic adults prefer to live (and work) at home or in residential communities with other autistic adults.

Jobs for autistic adults are plentiful, and should reflect the strengths of the individual. For example, autistic adults often have difficult with short-term memory, so a high-pressure job that requires multitasking may not be suitable. There are a number of support groups in most large cities that can help autistic adults cope with the troubles they face.

Because autism is considered a spectrum disorder, affecting different individuals in different ways, each case will be different and should be handled as such. Most times, the autistic adult will know his or her own capabilities and strengths, and will be able to make decisions based on his or her experiences. It is dangerous to pressure an autistic adult into a situation which he or she finds uncomfortable. It is better to allow the individual to progress at the rate at which he or she is most comfortable.
Evaluating an autistic adult’s abilities with a doctor or a psychologist can help determine how best he or she will fit into society. Coaching, support groups and assisted living are all beneficial, as is repetition. Studies show that autistic children and adults alike learn best when placed on a carefully regimented schedule. Autistic adults are more comfortable when everything is the same every day, and surprises are infrequent. Jobs involving lots of paperwork or repetition are often the best.

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