Friday, July 12, 2024

Can Autism Show Up Later In Life

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Autism Symptoms In Adults At Work

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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, individuals with ASD may exhibit extraordinary talents in visual skills, music, math, and art. And roughly 40 percent of individuals with ASD 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.

Spin Chats To Filmmaker Anna Czaraska

SPIN’s Sarina Bellissimo caught up with Anna Czarska to chat about how being diagnosed with autism as an adult has affected her.

Anna’s short film Mildly Different follows a young woman with autism who struggles to feel accepted. Seeing as autism is not expressed the same way in different genders, the film aims to promote awareness around autism in women.

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Speaking about why she wanted to make the film, Anna said she struggled searching for a reason to explain why she was “so different from everyone else.”

When she was finally diagnosed with autism, the judgement and misunderstanding she faced spurred her to create Mildly Different.

“The way people see autism isn’t really what autism is,” she explained.

“I wanted to create a piece of media that would give an authentic voice to autistic individuals and show non-autistic individuals what it’s actually like for us.”

Autism Love And Marriage: Can A Person With Autism Be In A Relationship

Believe it or not but one of the most Googled autism-related questions is can someone with autism get married?. To some, this may seem strange and even outdated. However, it has created an interesting discussion which todays article will be centred on: Not can someone with autism get married? but why do people question whether someone with autism can get married?.

First things first though. If you are here looking for the answer to Can someone with autism get married?, then let me quickly say YES. People with autism can not only marry, but there are many autistic people who already are married. Like every relationship there are bound to be ups and downs and, just like people who are not autistic, some on the spectrum may have difficulty finding their true love. However, speaking from both an ethical and legal standpoint, then yes, people with autism can get married.

But with that out of the way lets get onto todays more interesting topics. In particular, why do people think autists cant get married? And what does being autistic actually affect when in a relationship?

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A Harsh Reality And A Twinkle Of Hope

Many of us remember when we were first diagnosed with autism. For me, it was as recent as this past summer. I experienced a great sense of relief: Its not my fault, was my first thought upon diagnosis. I realized much of what Id intuited as personal failing was just a different way of seeing the world. So, I often wonder what this self-realization means for those who are undiagnosed autistics.

Positive self-realization is the topic of a study published this month in the journal Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine. Co-authors David D. Stagg, Ph.D. and Hannah Belcher interviewed 9 autistic adults who received their autism diagnoses in midlife.Living with autism without knowing: receiving a diagnosis in later life

Before we dive into the study, if you wondered if you may be on the autism spectrum, I recommend checking out this post:

How do I know if Im autistic?

Symptoms Of Autism Spectrum Disorder In Adults

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Common symptoms of autism in adults include:

  • Difficulty interpreting what others are thinking or feeling
  • Trouble interpreting facial expressions, body language, or social cues
  • Difficulty regulating emotion
  • Trouble keeping up a conversation
  • Inflection that does not reflect feelings
  • Difficulty maintaining the natural give-and-take of a conversation prone to monologues on a favorite subject
  • Tendency to engage in repetitive or routine behaviors
  • Only participates in a restricted range of activities
  • Strict consistency to daily routines outbursts when changes occur
  • Exhibiting strong, special interests

Autism spectrum disorder is typically a life-long condition, though early diagnosis and treatment can make a tremendous difference.

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What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism spectrum disorder refers to a group of complex neurodevelopment disorders characterized by repetitive and characteristic patterns of behavior and difficulties with social communication and interaction. The symptoms are present from early childhood and affect daily functioning.

The term spectrum refers to the wide range of symptoms, skills, and levels of disability in functioning that can occur in people with ASD. Some children and adults with ASD are fully able to perform all activities of daily living while others require substantial support to perform basic activities. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders includes Asperger syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorders not otherwise specified as part of ASD rather than as separate disorders. A diagnosis of ASD includes an assessment of intellectual disability and language impairment.

ASD occurs in every racial and ethnic group, and across all socioeconomic levels. However, boys are significantly more likely to develop ASD than girls. The latest analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 68 children has ASD.

What Are The Symptoms Of Autism

The early signs and symptoms of autism vary widely. Some children with ASD only have mild symptoms, and others have severe behavioral issues.

Toddlers usually like to interact with people and the environment they live in. Parents are typically the first to notice that their child is showing atypical behavior.

Every child on the autism spectrum experiences challenges in the following areas:

  • communication
  • restricted or repetitive behaviors

Early symptoms of ASD can include the following:

  • developing language skills late
  • not pointing at objects or people or wave goodbye
  • not tracking people with their eyes
  • showing a lack of responsiveness when their name is called
  • not imitating facial expressions

Some individuals arent diagnosed until adulthood.

At present, theres no one official test for diagnosing autism. A parent or doctor may notice early indications of ASD in a young child, though a diagnosis would need to be confirmed.

If symptoms confirm it, a team of specialists and experts will usually make an official diagnosis of ASD. This could include a psychologist or neuropsychologist, a developmental pediatrician, a neurologist, and/or a psychiatrist.

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Research Is First Of Its Kind

Mandys team looked at autistic traits in the general population, rather than limiting itself just to those people who are at the extreme end of the spectrum.

Autistic traits for the same group of children and adolescents was measured at ages 7, 10, 13, and 16.

Boys who showed high levels of autistic traits at age 7 tended to remain consistent over time, demonstrating similar traits at older ages.

Girls, on the other hand, showed a marked increase in levels of autistic social difficulties between the ages of 10 and 16.

Mandy said the findings were surprising, as previous medical wisdom stated that girls and women with autistic traits tended to camouflage them as they got older.

If anything, I expected to see a decline in autistic symptoms in girls over time, he said. Whats very interesting is that there was one person who suggested the opposite, and that was Hans Asperger himself. Theres this rather intriguing sentence from this paper he wrote in the 1940s, where hes wondering why we never see girls with what he would call autistic psychopathologies. And he said, Well, maybe its because these traits dont show onset until adolescence with females. And nobody tested that idea. So its intriguing that that would be what we appear to have found on this occasion.

How Is Asd Diagnosed

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ASD symptoms can vary greatly from person to person depending on the severity of the disorder. Symptoms may even go unrecognized for young children who have mild ASD or less debilitating handicaps.

Autism spectrum disorder is diagnosed by clinicians based on symptoms, signs, and testing according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-V, a guide created by the American Psychiatric Association used to diagnose mental disorders. Children should be screened for developmental delays during periodic checkups and specifically for autism at 18- and 24-month well-child visits.

Very early indicators that require evaluation by an expert include:

  • no babbling or pointing by age 1
  • no single words by age 16 months or two-word phrases by age 2
  • no response to name
  • excessive lining up of toys or objects
  • no smiling or social responsiveness

Later indicators include:

  • impaired ability to make friends with peers
  • impaired ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others
  • absence or impairment of imaginative and social play
  • repetitive or unusual use of language
  • abnormally intense or focused interest
  • preoccupation with certain objects or subjects
  • inflexible adherence to specific routines or rituals

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Signs Of Autism In Young Children

Symptoms of autism spectrum disorder are usually clear by two or three years old. The range of behaviors and skills covered here may become apparent between two years old and five years old.

Some signs that a child has autism spectrum disorder may include:

  • Not expressing emotion or only a limited range of emotions
  • Difficulty interpreting different emotions in others
  • Not seeming attached to parents
  • Lacking interest in playing social games or the company of other children
  • Interest in playing with one particular toy or object
  • Echolalia, repeating other peopleââ¬â¢s words or phrases
  • Repeating own words over and over
  • Using formal language and expressions, rather than the slang of their peers
  • Not developing language skills at all
  • Difficulty toilet training
  • Challenging behaviour, such as banging head on wall or picking at skin
  • Engages in behavior such as flapping hands, rocking or twirling

Children with autism spectrum disorder have difficulty interpreting what other people are thinking and feeling, and often miss social cues. A child with autism may not be able to tell the difference between an adult who says ââ¬Åcome hereââ¬ï¿½ while happy and smiling, and an adult who says ââ¬Åcome hereââ¬ï¿½ while angry and frowning. This can be confusing and creates the impression the child is not connecting with people.

How Is Autism Treated

There is no cure for ASD. Therapies and behavioral interventions are designed to remedy specific symptoms and can substantially improve those symptoms. The ideal treatment plan coordinates therapies and interventions that meet the specific needs of the individual. Most health care professionals agree that the earlier the intervention, the better.

Educational/behavioral interventions: Early behavioral/educational interventions have been very successful in many children with ASD. In these interventions therapists use highly structured and intensive skill-oriented training sessions to help children develop social and language skills, such as applied behavioral analysis, which encourages positive behaviors and discourages negative ones. In addition, family counseling for the parents and siblings of children with ASD often helps families cope with the particular challenges of living with a child with ASD.

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Signs Of Autism In Older Children And Teens

Although autism spectrum disorder can reliably be diagnosed from the age of two or three years old, many children do not receive a diagnosis until they are older. Milder symptoms in children with autism spectrum disorder who are higher functioning may not be recognized until they are in school.

Autism is a spectrum condition, which means that children will have different experiences of day-to-day living. Children who are more than five years old and on into their teenage years, who have mild symptoms and are towards the higher functioning range of the autism spectrum, may:

  • Develop a narrow range of interests or obsessions with certain topics
  • Engage in repetitive behavior such as hand flapping, twirling or snapping a rubber band
  • Not make eye contact
  • Use formal language rather than the slang of their peers
  • Place great importance on routines and rules
  • Develop strong preferences for certain foods, clothes or objects

Children who have more severe symptoms and are towards the lower functioning range of the autism spectrum may:

  • Not use speech at all
  • Become extremely distressed at changes to routine
  • Exhibit challenging behavior, such as being aggressive or banging head on wall
  • Need assistance with everyday living, such as bathing and dressing
  • Engage in repetitive behaviors, such as rocking
  • Insist on rules and routine
  • Develop rigid preferences for certain foods, clothes or objects
  • Need specialized diets

How Does Autism Develop

How Early Can Autism Be Detected?

People on the autism spectrum, like most people, develop with age from infancy to adulthood. We could strengthen our understanding of non-autistic individuals, build coping strategies for our sensory sensitivities, learn to conceal our stimming and strong interests, and so on. Many of us can develop social skills in our early adulthood that non-autistic people learn in their adolescent years.

As a result, some of us have employment, partnerships, marriages, and families, and some of us can even be deemed successful. This can mean the loss of anxiety, tension, exhaustion, burnout, and exhaustion, as well as the need for a lot of alone time to settle down and reduce sensory overload and stress.Existence does not, however, come to an end at 30, or even 50. Autistic people, like non-autistic adults, mature and can gradually run out of resources to keep up the mask of coping and social skills. Masking and concealing autistic symptoms can become more difficult as people age. Retirement, on the other hand, can offer more time alone and less tension.

Is it true that non-autistic people improve as they grow older? That, of course, is dependent on the age group. Autism sufferers are in the same boat. Someone in their seventies or eighties can cope in a different way than someone in their thirties or forties.

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With Autism Later In Life

Though the classic form of autism is something that is often quite obvious in a child, there are high functioning autism types like Aspergerâs that can be thought to be something else entirely.

This form is just now being understood, and many who have had it their whole lives are just now learning that this is the case. It seems to make the answer to the questions pertaining to can adults be diagnosed with autism rather simple. Adults can most certainly be diagnosed with autism.

It can be a tough journey though, as many doctors donât like the Aspergerâs condition, and think it is highly blown out of proportion. Others just donât have the knowledge to accurately diagnose children and adults with higher functioning forms of autism, so, it was something that went unnoticed for a very long time.

Most parents and doctors assumed the child was different or âshyâ but that was all the further thought that was put into the situation. These children are now adults and starting to question those assumptions.

Some people are even wrongly told that they have conditions like Obsessive Compulsive disorder. Because of frustration and anxiety regarding socialization, many have become often loners. There are other clues that an adult might have autism.

During Adulthood Or After Can Autism Get Better Or Worse

Autism as a state is also very new when it comes to the psychiatric diagnostic pantheon. Thats because, while autism has been studied since the 1940s, the rate only started in the late 1970s and 1980s. While we should hope that our knowledge of autism and aging can be restored, as many of our autistic descendants move ahead for the next ten years, the interpretation is more a progressive challenge today.

However, what we learned from autistic adults who were diagnosed later in life is that maturity can be extraordinarily liberating for spectrum individuals, as all of us can ultimately gain a stronger sense of belonging only when we get older from many of the social programs that allowed us to realise it.Naturally, while it is clear that elderly autistics are less likely to respond , this does not often happen because if autism or otherwise people are more stable and obstinate as their old age rises, as can be seen in the endless hours I have wasted training families over 60 to run an iPhone!

Moreover, personal examples of autistic children show that coping strategies which took life to perfection will, unfortunately, become the first victims of conditions such as, in later periods of autistic life.

  • Denial Dementia
  • Huntington disease

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Can Autism Be Passed From Mother To Son

The findings fit with a theory called the female protective effect, which holds that it takes more genetic factors to lead to autism in women than it does in men. In this case, women who have mild traits of autism may pass down autism-related gene variants to their children, without having autism themselves.

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