General Information And Advice
Here are some ways that you can find general support, information and make contact with other autistic people.
Use ourAutism Services Directoryto look for services in your area, including counsellors
Find out more about what help and support is available
Read the Spectrum, our magazine written by and for autistic adults. You can alsosubscribeto it.
Become amemberof our charity to receive our quarterly Your Autism magazine and exclusive discounts on our events and products.
Autism And Understanding The Emotions Of Other People
An autistic person may find it hard to understand the emotions of other people. Emotions are interpreted by subtle messages sent by facial expression, eye contact and body language. These are often missed or misinterpreted by an autistic person. Because of this, autistic people might be mistakenly perceived as being rude or unfeeling. Autistic people may find it difficult to understand how others perceive their behaviour.
Day Programs For Graduates Who Remain At Home
Easterseals services for younger adults can offer respite for family members responsible for a relative with ASD who lives at home.
Easterseals day programs are designed for people with autism whose primary needs are for socialization, recreation and community involvement. While people with ASD participating in day programs might need some supervision, they need only minimal assistance with activities of daily living . Read frequently asked questions about Easterseals’ adult day services.
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What The Law Says About The Role Of Your Employer
Although there is no legal offence of letting an employee be bullied, employers do have a duty of care to you while you are at work. Also, you can make complaints under laws covering discrimination and harassment.
One of the main laws we’ll look at here is the Equality Act 2010. However, it’s important to remember that you could be bullied for reasons other than your disability for example, because of your race or sex, or just because someone doesn’t like you.
The employer’s duty of care means taking action to deal with the problem if there is bullying at work. Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 employers have a duty to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees and if they do not keep to this they are in breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act.
What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism spectrum disorder or ASD is a developmental disorder that can impact behavior and communication. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders by the American Psychiatric Association, diagnostic criteria includes:
- persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts
- restricted, repetitive behaviors, interests or activities
These autism symptoms must be present in the early developmental period and are unable to be explained by intellectual disability or global developmental delay. To diagnose ASD, the symptoms must cause clinically significant impairment in areas of functioning that include social and occupational.
The DSM-5 merged four distinct autism diagnoses into the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. Individuals previously diagnosed with one of these are included in the new ASD diagnosis. These included:
- autistic disorder
- pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified
- Aspergers syndrome
Autism is a spectrum, which is why we cant categorize individuals with autism into one simple group. We also cant treat autistic people the same, as each person is unique and has their own needs.
Not all adults with ASD need special assistance however, depending upon their ability to function independently, some need continued help. This might entail working with:
- an applied behavior analyst
- a home health care aid who comes in daily
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Home Depot And Cvs Caremark
Both Home Depot and CVS Caremark partnered with an organization called Ken’s Krew to recruit and train disabled employees. In fact, a co-founder of Home Depot played an important role in getting Ken’s Krew started. The program provides job matching, training, job coaching, community supports, and more.
Ken’s Krew associates are working in over 90 Home Depot stores and 18 CVS stores across the country.
Tips For Working With Adults On The Autism Spectrum: Conclusion
Adults with ASD are amazing individuals with varied:
- physical and cognitive abilities
Working with individuals on the spectrum can be challenging at times, although it mostly can be worthwhile and wonderful. Adults with ASD, no matter the support they have from loved ones, can use an extra empathetic and caring person in their lives.
Master of Education | Northeastern State University
Behavior and Learning Disorders | Georgia State University
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Support For Adults With Autism
If youre an adult on the autism spectrum, or you have an older child or partner with autism, youre not alone there are hundreds of thousands of adults with autism across Australia, many of whom are achieving their life goals.
Just like anyone, adults with autism need a network of people to enrich their lives, and whether diagnosed as a child or later in life, they may require support at certain stages of their lives.
The federal, state and territory governments, as well as your local autism associations, provide a range of support services to help you navigate your life with autism.
Living Arrangements For Autistic Adults
Many autistic adults live independently in their own home or apartment.
Other autistic adults live semi-independently they might only need support in certain areas, such as communication with government agencies or paying bills. A professional agency, family member, or another type of helper might provide this support.
Some other common living situations for autistic adults include:
- Living at home. In some cases, government funds are available for autistic adults living at home. You can learn more about these programs on the Social Security Administrations website.
- Foster homes and skill-development homes. Some families provide long-term care to autistic adults. Skill-development homes may also teach self-care and housekeeping skills as well as plan activities.
- Supervised group living. Group homes provide a structured environment for autistic adults. They can provide different levels of support based on each persons needs.
- Long-term care facilities. These facilities usually benefit autistic adults who need a more intensive level of support and care.
Also Check: Do You Get Disability For Autism
Registration & Information: Covid
People with disabilities are the second largest group dying of COVID-19, which makes removing barriers to vaccinations so crucial. The Autism Society of Texas received a federal grant to provide COVID-19 educational materials and a series of free Autism-Friendly COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics. Autism-Friendly clinics reduce the sensory rich issues that may be a barrier to vaccinations. Using calming strategies and an Autism-friendly team and environment can drastically improve outcomes for people with sensory sensitivity and sensory overload. Any child or adult with Autism or any disability, as well as their parents/caregivers may receive their first, second, or booster COVID-19 Vaccine. For more information or to register for our San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, or Austin clinics, visit our COVID-19 Information page. We are also seeking Autism professionals to volunteer.
Education For Autistic Adults
Education is a personal choice for autistic people, the same as it is for anyone else. Different resources and options may be helpful based on your specific needs.
For example, an autistic adult who requires a significant amount of day-to-day support may need their parent or primary caregiver to help advocate for them and connect them with education and resources.
If youre autistic and dont need as much support, you might choose to enroll in college or enter the workforce as you transition to adulthood.
Here youll find some ideas for autistic adults and parents of autistic adults who are interested in pursuing education into adulthood.
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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.
What Is A Vocational Rehabilitation Agency And How Can It Help Me
Each state has a Vocational Rehabilitation agency that provides employment service supports to people with disabilities . VR is paid for by the federal and state government, and you might be eligible if you apply. It is available in every state to help people with disabilities prepare for and obtain jobs. In big cities there may be several VR offices, whereas in rural areas there may only be one office that serves many counties.
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How To Work With Autistic Adults
Some individuals with autism spectrum disorder live with their family or other loved ones, some live in group homes for individuals with special needs, while others live quite well independently with little to no outside assistance.
Many adults on the autism spectrum have specific qualities which can make life especially challenging. Some individuals may not be as verbal as others or have the best social skills, which makes functional communication and socializing a struggle. Others may need a lot of prompting, training, and reinforcing to learn how to do daily life skills independently. Not all adults with ASD have a job or career path, but many do. Those who help these individuals can prepare them for job responsibilities and instill a great work ethic.
Those working with adults with autism are usually:
Even staff with experience can still continue to learn more about the world of autism. Learning how to deal with autism in adults helps to ensure they:
- get the best treatment possible
- utilize their abilities
- get the most out of life
Continue reading for five tips for working with autistic adults.
Classifying Autism In Adults
Adults with mild autism are defined as high-functioning and those with severe autism are considered low-functioning. Low-functioning adults with severe autism need constant care from their families or within a facility that can address their needs around the clock .
My daughter and I we are examples of this. Im what would be considered high functioning and shes what would be considered low functioning. But, that doesnt mean that I dont need support as well.
In contrast, adults with mild autism can lead relatively normal lives- with the right amount of support. Thats not to say that an individual with so-called severe autism cannot.
However, these terms and labels can also be incredibly misleading. But, lets keep them in mind for purposes of this post.
They can live on their own and work, support and care for themselves. This doesnt mean that they dont have challenges. In fact, many high functioning autistic adults see their biggest problem as the way others perceive them and the reactions of other people to their bizarre behaviors is often troubling.
How well an autistic adult is able to take care of him/herself is often directly correlated with the quality of education they received as children and how early that education began. If they have been properly taught social responses and accepted behaviors, autistic adults can function as contributing members of society.
They can have families, careers, and social lives.
Public School And Transition Supports
Children in the public school system have access to Autism Spectrum Disorder specialists, school psychologists, speech language pathologists, classroom/ resource/learning centre teachers, teacher assistants, student services coordinators and/or facilitators.
School program planning teams develop and implement programs and services. An annual grant to school boards supports staff education in ASD.
The APSEA Autism in Education Partnership website offers research, and information to educators, families, and other service providers.
In addition to support provided within public schools, children with ASD receive support to transition into and out of the public school system.
Newly Diagnosed Adult With Autism Seeks Therapy Advice
Im a newly diagnosed 47-year-old with autism. What kind of treatments can help me?
Todays Got Questions? answer is from psychologist Megan Farley of the Waisman Center for developmental disabilities at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Dr. Farley received an Autism Speaks research grant to study the factors that help or hinder the development and success of adults with autism.
This is both a great question and a difficult one to answer. Currently we have far too little in the way of evidence-based treatments for adults with autism spectrum disorder .
We have a small handful of treatment strategies that have been clinically evaluated and found to be effective for helping adolescents and young adults with autism. At the University of Texas, for example, researchers have successfully used a virtual reality training program to improve social skills among young adults with autism. The PEERS program has likewise shown promise for teaching social skills to young adults with autism.
For live help with these resources, you can call or email the Autism Speaks Autism Response Team and ask for its adult-services specialist: 888-288-4762 or .
General guidelines for finding the help you needBeyond autism-specific programs and therapies, I can offer you some general recommendations based on my clinical experience, that of my colleagues and that of the many adults with autism with whom Ive had the privilege to work.
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Reflections From Autistic People
“I recently met a lot of autistic people at an advocacy group I attended last night. For the first time in my life, I felt like I could be myself and that people would understand me and not judge me for being autistic. I was in good company!” ~ Ernie
“Autistic people should reach out to each other for friendship and support. You never know who you will meet that you might end up having a lot in common with.” ~ Alice
“I’ve been around autistic people all of my life. But I did not realize that I was autistic too until I was diagnosed in adulthood . I had always known there was something different about me, as I always felt that I was from another planet. I had joined an autism-focused Listserv shortly before my diagnosis. And that is where I met one of my friends. Like me, she is autistic. Over the years we have had many deep conversations about autism and about being autistic, from what it was like growing up to defining ourselves in the here and now. It brings happy tears to my eyes to admit that it is my autistic friend who helped me to find myself and who helped me to explore and understand myself, my needs, and my relationship to the world.” ~ Jemma
“Autistic people ROCK!” ~ Kramer
Adult Autism Spectrum Disorder Treatment Options
Are you wondering, how do you cope with an adult autism diagnosis? If so, its important to remember that autism is not a disease, so you are under no obligation to seek treatment. However, therapy can help you significantly reduce your symptoms and improve your ability to deal with the stressors of everyday life.
Individuals who treat their ASD typically undergo a blend of verbal, cognitive, and behavioral therapies. Your therapist will work closely with you to design a customized treatment plan based on your unique challenges. These may include depression and anxiety, struggles at work, feelings of isolation, or family problems. By contextualizing ASD within your everyday life, you can create practical ways to manage your symptoms.
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Living With A Diagnosis
Feel caught off guard by your adult autism diagnosis? It may help to look at your diagnosis as a path to better understanding yourself. You can gain insight on challenging moments from your childhood or teen years, for example, or any relationship problems youve experienced as an adult.
Every adult with ASD has both unique challenges to overcome and unique strengths to draw upon. However, there are some common challenges to address, including difficulty building or maintaining relationships, social isolation, managing mood disorders, and staying organized.
Even if you havent received a formal diagnosis, if you suspect you have ASD, you can begin to take steps to improve your life. The following tips and strategies can help.
Top 10 Autism Friendly Employers
Lisa Sullivan, MS, is a nutritionist and health and wellness educator with nearly 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry.
According to research, performing job-related activities helps to reduce symptoms and increase daily living skills for those with autism however, only about half of autistic adults are employed. There’s no doubt that employment is elusive for adults on the spectrum. This reality, however, is changing fast.
A January 2019 article in Forbes,“Effective Autism Employment: A Legal Perspective.” would have been nonexistent a decade prior. The article pointed to major initiatives by top tech employers, such as SAP and Microsoft, and the beneficial impact of their workplace inclusion programs.
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Signs Of Autism With Lower Support Needs In Adults
Most of the time, prominent symptoms of ASD are diagnosed in young children around toddler age.
If youre an adult who hasnt been diagnosed with autism, but you believe you may be on the spectrum, its possible that you may be considered autistic with lower support needs. In the past, this has been referred to as high-functioning autism.
Following are signs of autism in adults: