Communication And Social Symptoms
Pragmatic Language Most individuals on the autism spectrum have difficulty communicating with other people. This often becomes apparent during early childhood. Any delays in speech development and nonverbal communication should be evaluated by a qualified specialist.
Eye Contact and Nonverbal Communication Poor and avoidance of eye contact are common symptoms among those with autism. Other non-verbal communication difficulties may include recognizing and using facial expressions, physical gestures, and overall body language.
Tone of Voice Some people with autism may have difficulty regulating or modulating their tone of voice. As a result, they may speak too loudly, too quietly, and/or with a monotone voice.
What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder
According to the American Psychological Association , autism spectrum disorder is “a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by difficulties with social communication and social interaction and restricted and repetitive behaviors, interests, and activities.”
Autism develops in early childhood, and it’s a spectrum disorder so symptoms and their severity vary among individualsmeaning autism can look different from person to person.
There appears to be a diagnostic gender biasconsequently, girls who meet criteria for autism are at disproportionate risk of not receiving a diagnosis.
Primary care physicians, psychologists, and psychiatrists can evaluate symptoms and provide an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis.
Many licensed mental health professionals specialize in therapy for adults with autism.
Is There Anything Else To Watch For
If parents are noticing consistent problems with their childs behavior or a lack of response to what is going on around them, speaking with the childs doctor about their concerns could help ease their worries. The doctor can either let the parents know which behaviors are developmentally appropriate or they could refer the child for an autism evaluation.
There are other signs and symptoms of autism that parents, educators, and caregivers can also watch out for. Those include:
- problems with eating: sensitivities, PICA, etc
- sleeping problems: insomnia, waking throughout the night, bad dreams, etc
- underdeveloped / delayed speech and language
- underdeveloped / delayed movement skills
- stomach/ gastrointestinal problems
- irrational fears or lack of fear
- high anxiety and /or stress
- over or under reactive with social and emotional interactions
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Some Examples Of Traits And Signs
According to some autistic adults, here are some common experiences adults may have before recognising they may be autistic:
- Feeling as if you do not fit in, especially with groups of people, friends, co-workers and even family
- Difficulty reading between the lines
- Taking things literally
- Feeling highly sensitive to the environment
- A strong sense of justice
- Extreme levels of empathy
- Feeling overwhelmed by world events
- Too-strong attention to detail
Laser Focus On Details And Facts
Some people living with autism spectrum disorder have trouble organizing details and inferring the big picture from facts or smaller pieces of information.
It may be easier for them to pay attention to every small detail individually, and consequently autistic adults may have a hard time categorizing and prioritizing information or applying information from one setting to another.
For example, people living with ASD may remember and understand the facts of an article they read, but not be able to identify the main idea or theme of the article if it’s not explicitly stated.
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Autism Symptoms In Adults: Checklist Of Common Signs
Recent research has made people and clinicians more aware of Autism Spectrum Disorder . People are becoming more conscious about the diagnosis of autism. Thats why many older adults are now in the limelight who remain undiagnosed with autism. The diagnosis of Autism Spectrum , even in late life, can offer significant relief and benefits because proper diagnosis will enable them to address their problems and get professional help for a better life.
People on the autism spectrum have unique needs across their lifespan. They require special care. They often show minor illnesses related to autism. Problems of people with autism increase manifolds as their problems of autism are not addressed. Therefore the autism diagnosis in adults is essential. Diagnosis may enable them to find support and services to overcome autism-related issues.
Autism Spectrum Disorder is a neuro-developmental condition generally characterized by social issues, communication difficulties, and repetitive behaviors. Autism can occur in all ages and socioeconomic groups. Low-functioning ASD is often diagnosed at the age of two. Still, the diagnosis of high-functioning ASD is not easy as its symptoms are overlooked by loved ones and medical professionals alike. According to recent research, one in 68 old adults have autism spectrum disorder, and most of them are not diagnosed with ASD until the age of 55.
What To Do If You Suspect You’re Living With Adult Autism
The symptoms of ASD listed above are not an exhaustive list, and an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis must be made by a licensed medical professional, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist.
For some adults, an ASD diagnosis can provide comfort, relief, and a clearer path forward. You may also want to speak with a therapist who specializes in autism spectrum disorder.
While autism spectrum disorder is a life-long condition, some therapeutic treatmentsincluding applied behavioral analysis, cognitive behavioral therapy , and certain medicationscan help manage symptoms.
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Communication Skills Are A Key Benchmark For Autism Assessment In Adults
Question No. 20: When in a social gathering, I can participate and keep track of multiple conversations.
Explanation: This question is more of an extension to the earlier question in the previous module. Imagine a situation where you are with some of your best friends. How would you react? Will you be able to keep conversational pace with everyone at the same time? Or would you prefer to stay away from the gathering and meet one friend at a time? The way you interact with others can describe your personality in surprising ways that you may have never thought of!
Question No. 21: Making up stories as casual conversation starters comes easily to me.
Explanation: Have you seen how good some people are at making up stories? When used in the right way, these little story-telling hacks can come in handy as amazing conversation starters. Although not all of us can be great at starting conversations all the time, observers believe it is good practice to strike a healthy balance while also understanding when it is better to start or not start a conversation. Nevertheless, this distinction reveals some intricate details about how one can shape his or her personality towards a better outcome.
Question No. 22: I enjoy casual chit chat, gossip, rumors and similar FUN conversations.
Explanation:Imagine you are on a weekend trip with your besties. Would you talk nonstop with your friends or do you prefer to stay quiet? Your choice reveals a lot about you.
Diagnosis Of Autism In Adults
There are currently no ASD diagnostic criteria specifically for adults. But the current DSM-5 criteria can be adapted and used for this age group.
Clinicians primarily diagnose adults with ASD through a series of in-person observations and interactions. They also take into consideration any symptoms the person reports experiencing.
If youre interested in being evaluated for ASD, begin with your family doctor, who will evaluate you to be certain that there is no underlying physical illness accounting for your behaviors. Your doctor may then refer you to a psychiatrist or psychologist for an in-depth assessment.
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How Many American Adults Live With Autism
In 2020 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated 5.5 million American adults are living with autism spectrum disorder .
Celebrities and prominent public figures who have opened up about being diagnosed with ASD include:
Actress and environmental activist Daryl Hannah
New York state assembly representative Yuh-Line Niou
Scottish singer and Britain’s Got Talent contestant Susan Boyle
Men are four times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than women, according to Autism Speaks.
However, as the authors of a 2017 meta-analysis conclude, the true male-to-female ratio is not four-to-one, rather, it is closer to three-to-one.
The review’s authors call attention to gender bias in diagnosis from pediatricians and mental health professionals.
“There appears to be a diagnostic gender bias,” they write, “meaning that girls who meet criteria for ASD are at disproportionate risk of not receiving a clinical diagnosis.”
Potential Benefits Of Living With An Autism Diagnosis
Receiving an ASD diagnosis as an adult could mean a greater understanding of yourself and how you relate to the world. And it can help you learn how to better work with your strengths and strengthen areas of your life that are impacted.
Getting diagnosed can help you gain a different perspective on your childhood. It can also help those around you to understand and empathize more with your unique characteristics.
A better understanding of your own situation can help you find new and inventive ways to work with your strengths and qualities. You can also work with your clinician and your loved ones to seek supports that may be right for you.
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Importance Of Observation Skills In This Test
Question No. 01: I tend to notice, and may get disturbed by, small sounds that others may not notice or care about.
Explanation: You might often be unintentionally disturbed by small sounds. Although being occasionally disturbed should not be construed as a definitive sign of autism, if you find yourself to be constantly worrying about small noises and end up being disturbed, it may be a factor. That said, lower your probability of getting disturbed by smaller sounds or signals and you will lessen the symptoms of autism. Examples of small sounds: humming, phone vibrations, etc.
Question No. 02: I get fixated by tiny pieces of information.
Explanation: Have you often wondered why you get fixated by minute pieces of information when some of your colleagues or friends do not seem to be bothered by them? Although it is usually good practice to keep an eye on the details, being so concerned about smaller pieces of information that it ends up disturbing your normal life, could be a sign of autism.
Your propensity to keep a keen eye on minute pieces of information should be balanced. Extremities on either side of the scale should always be taken care of.
Question No. 03: I like to engage in activities or games with kids that involve pretending or make-believe.
Question No. 04: Even if I am reading a best-seller, often I dont understand what the characters are up to or what their intentions might be.
Autism Can Sometimes Go Undiagnosed Until Adulthood Here Are Eight Signs And Symptoms Of Autism Spectrum Disorder In Adults
Could you have symptoms of adult autism?
If you’re wondering whether you’re living with undiagnosed autism spectrum disorder , you’re not alone.
Americans’ curiosity in and Google searches for adult autism and the related term “neurodivergent”spiked up significantly in mid-2020 and have steadily increased since, according to Google Trends.
Read on for more information on autism spectrum disorder, neurodiversity, the symptoms of autism in adults, and how to get a diagnosis and treatment for ASD.
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Autism Symptoms In Adults At Home
Other peoples feelings baffle you. You have a collection of figurines on your desk that must be in the same order at all times. These, and other common manifestations of ASD, may be apparent in adults at home:
- Your family members lovingly refer to you as the eccentric professor of the family, even though you dont work in academia.
- Youve always wanted a best friend, but never found one.
- You often invent your own words and expressions to describe things.
- Even when youre in a quiet place, like the library, you find yourself making involuntary noises like clearing your throat over and over.
- You follow the same schedule every day of the week, and dont like unexpected events.
- Expressions like, Curiosity killed the cat or Dont count your chickens before they hatch are confusing to you.
- You are always bumping into things and tripping over your own feet.
- In your leisure time, you prefer to play individual games and sports, like golf, where everyone works for themselves instead of working toward a common goal on a team.
What Are The Benefits Of An Adult Having An Autism Diagnosis
If you think that you might be autistic yourself, or you think an adult family member or friend may be on the autism spectrum but they have never had a formal assessment or diagnosis, you might question whether there is any point in doing so now, particularly if autism does not seem to be impacting on functional skills or daily living activities.
Ultimately, this is a personal decision. Many adults on the spectrum who do not have a formal diagnosis have fulfilling employment, maintain happy and meaningful relationships, and enjoy a good quality of life.
At the same time, some adults who have not been formally diagnosed can find life challenging in terms of how they connect and engage with others, or in maintaining consistent and meaningful employment, and as a consequence might feel isolated, confused and frustrated, and may be unsure as to why. This can ultimately impact on health, wellbeing and quality of life.
Some adults who have not been formally diagnosed can find life challengingand as a consequence might feel isolated, confused and frustrated, and may be unsure as to why.
Therefore, while it is a personal decision to seek an autism assessment, there may be a number of benefits to be gained from having a diagnosis of autism, regardless of the stage of life at which it occurs:
Many adults on the spectrum who do not have a formal diagnosis have fulfilling employment, maintain happy and meaningful relationships, and enjoy a good quality of life.
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Checklist Of Adult Autism Behavior Signs And Symptoms:
You enjoy consistent routine and schedules and get upset or anxious should that routine or schedule be changed.
You find it upsetting when something happens that you did not expect to happen.
Have trouble regulating your emotional responses.
Are bothered if your things are moved or rearranged by someone.
Have a series of repetitive rituals or behaviors that you follow on a daily basis.
You make noises in places where you are expected to be quiet.
Preference for highly specific interests or hobbies that you spend a lot of time on.
Have difficulty multi-tasking.
Have a very strong reaction or no reaction at all to sensory stimuli, such as textures, sounds, smells and taste.
These signs and symptoms can impact a persons life positively and negatively. For some people, the signs and characteristics of autism will impact life positively. This might include:
Excelling in a chosen area of study, or a chosen career.
Noticing details in the environment that others miss.
Having increased empathy or immense care for people or animals.
Enjoying working independently.
Autism Symptoms In Adults At Work
Symptoms of ASD vary greatly from person to person based on the severity of the condition. These or similar manifestations of ASD may be apparent at work:
- When youre having a conversation with your boss, you prefer to look at the wall, her shoes, or anywhere but directly into her eyes.
- Your co-workers say that you speak like a robot.
- Each item on your desk has a special place, and you dont like when the cleaning company rearranges it to dust.
- You are really good at math, or software coding, but struggle to succeed in other areas.
- You talk to your co-workers the same way you talk with your family and friends.
- During meetings, you find yourself making involuntary noises, like clearing your throat over and over.
- When talking with your boss, you have difficulty telling if he is happy with your performance or mad at you.
In addition, autistic individuals may exhibit extraordinary talents in visual skills, music, math, and art. And roughly 40 percent of autistic individuals have average or above-average intelligence.
If you experience these or similar symptoms of ASD, consult a doctor or mental-health professional for a formal autism evaluation and learn more about treatment options for autism symptoms in adults.
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Checklist: Autism Spectrum Disorders Symptoms And Signs
This ASD symptom checklist is a tool to help parents, doctors, and mental health practitioners discuss symptoms, behaviors, and needs that might relate to Autism Spectrum Disorder.
It is not intended as a diagnostic tool, but rather, to support discussion and potential evaluation. The checklist was developed by Hannah Grieco M.Ed., an education and disability advocate. of the checklist from Parenting Pod.
Source: Parenting Pod | Checklist: Autism Spectrum Disorders Symptoms and Signs, https://parentingpod.com/autism-symptoms-checklist-children-teens | Copyright 2016-2021 Parenting Pod. Used with permission.
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