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How Long Can You Live With Autism

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Emotions Are Perceived And Communicated Differently

12-year-old writes a book about living with autism

There’s a long-permeating myth that those with autism can’t feel or express emotion, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. They just communicate and perceive emotions differently. According to Autism Speaks, those with autism can’t always understand expression. So when someone is sad, that might not be detected through body language. While recognizing and expressing emotions can be difficult for some, that’s not the case for everyone.

Autism Is Inherently Negative There Are No Benefits Associated With Being On The Spectrum

While people with an ASD face certain challenges, the myths about autism that associate the condition with negative qualities are simply not true as they are also likely to exhibit some of the positive qualities associated with autism. People with an ASD tend to be extremely honest, logical, detailed-oriented and passionate about their interests. They think differently than neurotypical people, and their unique perspectives can be an asset to their family members, friends and colleagues.

All People With Autism Are Extremely Intelligent Or Gifted In At Least One Area

Blame this misconception on the movie Rain Man. Some people assume that everyone with an ASD has a special talent, such as being a mathematical genius or an incredible artist. While these myths about autism granting someone heightened intelligence or artistic talent have remained prevalent in popular media, the fact is that people with autism have a wide range of skills and abilities, just like everyone else. While an estimated 10 percent of people with an ASD do demonstrate a high level of ability in art, music, math or statistics, most do not possess savant talents or extremely high IQs.

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Heightened Risks For Individuals With Autism

In 2018, Sarah Kurchak penned an essay for Vox where she discussed facing mortality at age 36, the average age when people like me die. People with autism face challenges that neurotypical adults may never be aware of, she writes. While many might assume that those challenges end with socio-emotional language limitations, the fact that autistic people have a higher mortality rate adds to the burden.

For example, the American Journal of Public Health wrote that people with autism appear to be at substantially heightened risk for death from injury due to getting lost, not being able to ask for help, not being able to give their name or emergency contact information, or becoming so overstimulated that they panic and put themselves in harms way.

The lower-than-average lifespan for autistic people also has racial and gender overtones. Autism is a deadly hazard when dealing with the police, writes Forbes magazine, because of a number of cases where police officers have taken noncompliant and noncommunicative behaviors from autistic people to be signs of suspicion and, in the case of overstimulation, hostility.

They Have Unusual Eating Behaviors

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Unusual eating behavior is a common occurrence in most people who develop autism. Autistic kids have extreme sensitivities and preferences when it comes to food choices. This can be frustrating to deal with. Yet it is a problem that if you are aware of, can save a lot of heartache. However remember that in this age of diets, we all have at some point developed unusual eating habits.

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Autism On The School Bus: Making It A Good Ride For Everyone

I dread Mondays. Most of us do. But for me, its not because the weekend is too short or I want another hour or two to myself before I have to face the morning commute and hustle. For me, Mondays always start in the same way: with a coffee in the one hand and my 6-year olds hand in the other as we wait for the bus. And as seemingly ordinary as this moment may sound, few parts of my day make me feel as anxious or frustrated as this one.

What you dont know is that my 6-year-old is special. She has autism which makes riding the school bus challenging and anything but ordinary. My little girl struggles with social interaction and often finds the noise and crowded school bus overwhelming. I remember how the bus driver would complain when she first started riding the bus that for the first 20 minutes of every bus ride she would scream non-stop. The bus driver couldnt understand it and neither could some of the students. Weve come a long way since then. And while my daughter still struggles with aspects of the bus ride, she now has a bag with earplugs and comfort toys to soothe her. So why am I still anxious?

Autism As An Adult: ‘on The Many Days I Spend Alone I Forget How To Talk’

I was diagnosed with autism in my 40s. I had no support, and spent a year weeping with regret for what felt like a train wreck of a life

I was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder in my 40s. Like many adults whove slipped through the diagnostic net due to being high-functioning, born too early, or simply female, Ive spent a lifetime trying to figure out the lifelong social and sensory difficulties of autism. That none of us wake up cured at 18 still appears to mystify some professionals. That we might still benefit from some support, however late the diagnosis, does too.

Many of us have garnered a few other labels along the way: freak, geek and weirdo from the bullying fraternity personality disorder, depressive and awkward sod from the mental health fraternity. Psychiatry had a different take on it: in autism I had a neurological learning difference which did not render me mad, bad or dangerous to know always good to hear and nor was I intellectually challenged. I was told I was too high-functioning to benefit from any autism services and that I must have worked it out by now. I was discharged with a letter wishing me well and a website address for the National Autistic Society .

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Fact Versus Fiction 6 Myths About Autism Dispelled

Since first being recognized as a mental health condition in the mid-twentieth century, autism has remained popularly misunderstood. In the 1950s, the refrigerator mother hypothesis took root in the public consciousness, leading many to believe that autism was caused by mothers who neglected to warmly nurture their children. Long since disproved, it leaves in its wake myriad other myths about autism, the continuance of which can lead to adverse outcomes for people with this condition.Combating this misinformation is important to increasing autism awareness and ensure the kind treatment of people with autism. In this post, we will dispel six common myths about autism and explore the facts surrounding each of these claims.

Autism Is Not An Illness

Can you make it to the end?

Being autistic does not mean you have an illness or disease. It means your brain works in a different way from other people.

It’s something you’re born with or first appears when you’re very young.

If you’re autistic, you’re autistic your whole life.

Autism is not a medical condition with treatments or a “cure”. But some people need support to help them with certain things.

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‘i Felt Like An Alien’

But the pieces didn’t quite fit – until he watched a TV programme about autism.

“The stereotyped view that I’d always had of autistic people was that they were either very severely disabled and unable to communicate, or formidable computer geeks.

“But seeing people in the documentary who seemed perfectly normal getting diagnosed, and identifying with them in so many different ways, was a revelation.”

Robert felt “immense relief” following his diagnosis.

“Finally I had a name for the thing that had made me feel like an alien for so long. Finally I could stop feeling bad about being different.”

Barney and Robert are just two of an unknown number of older adults who have spent much of their lives not knowing why they feel different.

With autism first classified as a mental disorder in 1980, people born before then may have gone undiagnosed or been misdiagnosed.

Around 700,000 people are thought to be autistic in the UK, and more are being diagnosed all the time, says Anna Bailey-Bearfield, policy and public affairs manager at the National Autistic Society.

“Autism is often seen only to affect children but more autistic adults are now appearing on TV and people are starting to see themselves represented.”

But the impact of not knowing for 40 or 50 years “can be very traumatic”, she says, leaving people feeling anxious and socially isolated.

National guidance says people should wait no longer than 13 weeks, but 2019 NHS data showed a significant number waiting longer.

They Are Not Broken Autism Is Nobodys Fault

It is human nature to want to fix things that we think to be broken. When dealing with an autistic loved one, it is all too easy to go into fix it mode. However, this mindset can be very damaging. When trying to create a nurturing relationship, remember that your loved one didnt choose autism. It is no more their fault than it is yours. It is important that you continue to show love, empathy and a genuine desire to understand the struggles they face.

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They Can Be Temperamental

Unusually, this is a sign or signal that something is wrong. When our loved ones seem to be agitated, withdrawn or manic, do not answer with a quick and impulsive response to the behavior. Instead try to understand that these behaviors are symptom of missed communication. They may be trying to tell you they are tired, frustrated or hungry.

Adults With Autism Face Old Age Without Much Support

Real Stories from People living with Autism Spectrum ...
by Jessica Wright / 22 February 2016
Topics:

Warning sign:

Fifty years ago, few people had heard of the term autism, let alone known anyone with a diagnosis. Not surprisingly, many adults with autism over the age of 50 have never been diagnosed others received their diagnoses late in life.

In either scenario, these adults enter old age facing a loss of independence that comes with unique challenges ones that society is ill-prepared to address.

An article I wrote last year highlights how little we know about aging with autism. Since then, however, there have been a smattering of studies aimed at better identifying and understanding autism and aging, along with a spate of editorials about how sorely such studies are needed1,2,3.

In most countries, a diagnosis of autism might help people gain access to support services such as visits from aides, which can make living on their own possible. And knowing that someone has autism could help others understand why certain routines, for example, may be critical for that persons well-being.

In a rare study looking at older adults with autism, Hilde Geurts, a neuropsychologist at the University of Amsterdam, followed up on the observation that many of the men and women she sees in her autism clinic also have depression. This suggested to her that older adults with depression warrant a closer look for signs of autism.

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Tip : Create A Personalized Autism Treatment Plan

With so many different treatments available, it can be tough to figure out which approach is right for your child. Making things more complicated, you may hear different or even conflicting recommendations from parents, teachers, and doctors.

When putting together a treatment plan for your child, keep in mind that there is no single treatment that works for everyone. Each person on the autism spectrum is unique, with different strengths and weaknesses.

Your childs treatment should be tailored according to their individual needs. You know your child best, so its up to you to make sure those needs are being met. You can do that by asking yourself the following questions:

What are my childs strengths and their weaknesses?

What behaviors are causing the most problems? What important skills is my child lacking?

How does my child learn best through seeing, listening, or doing?

What does my child enjoy and how can those activities be used in treatment and to bolster learning?

Finally, keep in mind that no matter what treatment plan is chosen, your involvement is vital to success. You can help your child get the most out of treatment by working hand-in-hand with the treatment team and following through with the therapy at home.

People With Autism Tend To Die Younger

March 18, 2016 — People with autism pass away younger on average than those without the condition, according to recent research.

The Swedish study found that adults with autism and a learning disability are 40 times more likely to die early due to a neurological condition than those in the general population.

Adults with autism, but without an additional learning disability, were nine times more likely to die from suicide than those without autism.

The Swedish study, carried out by the Karolinska Institute, was based on the health records of 27,122 autistic adults diagnosed between 1987 and 2009, compared with more than 2 million people in the general population.

The researchers found that people with autism died 16 years earlier at an average age of 54. Adults with the condition and learning disabilities died more than 30 years earlier than people without autism at an average age of 39.5 years. Adults with autism and without a learning disability died on average 12 years earlier, at 58.

The condition affects how people communicate and relate to others, and it influences how they make sense of the world around them. Symptoms can range from mild to very severe.

More than 3.5 million Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder, research suggests. It affects 1 in 68 children, the CDC estimates.

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Dont Wait For A Diagnosis

As the parent of a child with ASD or related developmental delays, the best thing you can do is to start treatment right away. Seek help as soon as you suspect somethings wrong. Dont wait to see if your child will catch up later or outgrow the problem. Dont even wait for an official diagnosis. The earlier children with autism spectrum disorder get help, the greater their chance of treatment success. Early intervention is the most effective way to speed up your childs development and reduce the symptoms of autism over the lifespan.

When your child has autism

Learn about autism. The more you know about autism spectrum disorder, the better equipped youll be to make informed decisions for your child. Educate yourself about the treatment options, ask questions, and participate in all treatment decisions.

Become an expert on your child. Figure out what triggers your kids challenging or disruptive behaviors and what elicits a positive response. What does your child find stressful or frightening? Calming? Uncomfortable? Enjoyable? If you understand what affects your child, youll be better at troubleshooting problems and preventing or modifying situations that cause difficulties.

Dont give up. Its impossible to predict the course of autism spectrum disorder. Dont jump to conclusions about what life is going to be like for your child. Like everyone else, people with autism have an entire lifetime to grow and develop their abilities.

Make Time For Downtime

How Can Teens with Autism make Friends?

We all need time to recharge and decompress, but my brother thrives on spending a ton of time alone, something that can be true of people on the spectrum. While at times I felt like it might be a good idea for him to be more social, I realized that even family dinner demanded a lot from him, and he would need downtime afterward.

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Underlying Mental Health Conditions

A 2016 study published in JAMA Pediatrics provided additional support for those on the spectrum having a higher mortality risk. The study found that young adults with ASD were twice as likely to die prematurely than young adults in the general population. This research pointed to underlying mental health conditions like anxiety and depression, which can go undiagnosed. In some cases, the symptoms of these conditions look different in those with autism, leading families and health care professionals to miss the signs that something may be wrong. In fact, up to 70 percent of people on the spectrum have another underlying mental health condition.

They Can Be Sensory Sensitive

The normal everyday hustle and bustle can be overwhelming to our loved ones with autism. Normal senses like sight, sound, and taste can be jarring, frightening and painful. It is impossible to avoid all outside stimuli but understanding the discomfort they go through is a huge first step to loving someone with the condition.

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Key Findings: Cdc Releases First Estimates Of The Number Of Adults Living With Autism Spectrum Disorder In The United States

A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder among adults aged 18 years and older in the United States in 2017*. This study fills a gap in data on adults living with ASD in the United States because there is not an existing surveillance system to collect this information.

An estimated 5,437,988 adults in the United States have ASD.

  • The prevalence of US adults with ASD ranged from a low of 1.97% in Louisiana to a high of 2.42% in Massachusetts.
  • The states with the greatest estimated number of adults living with ASD included California , Texas , New York , and Florida .

Consistent with estimates of ASD in US school-aged children, prevalence was found to be higher in men than in women.

  • Approximately 4,357,667 male adults were estimated to have ASD, with state estimates ranging from 3.17% of men in South Dakota to 4.01% of men in Massachusetts.
  • Approximately 1,080,322 female adults were estimated to have ASD, with state estimates ranging from 0.72% of women in Arkansas to 0.97% of women in Virginia.

ASD is a lifelong condition, and many adults with ASD need ongoing services and supports. The findings from this study can help states determine the need for diagnosing and providing services to adults in the United States who remain unidentified with ASD.

*Estimates were based on modeling inputs from state-based population and mortality data and parent-report survey data of US children diagnosed with ASD.

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