What Does This Mean
All of this being said, this doesnt mean I wont write a blog post here or there or discuss things on social media, or consult when I have the energy. But Im going to take my mental health seriously when it comes to advocacy work like BoycottSpectrum10k and StopTheShock. Id like to thank the autistic and disability community for being a space for processing, understanding, and connection.
I hope you give yourself the same grace that I am trying to give myself these days, and I hope you find what brings you joy. Genuinely, please take care of yourself. The world is better with you in it.
Autism Symptoms And Behaviors
Individuals with autism may present a range of symptoms, such as:
- Reduced eye contact
- Not engaging in imaginative play
- Repeating gestures or sounds
- Closely focused interests
- Indifference to temperature extremes
These are just a few examples of the symptoms an individual with autism may experience. Any individual could have some, all, or none of these symptoms. Keep in mind that having these symptoms does not necessarily mean a person has autism. Only a qualified medical professional can diagnose autism spectrum disorder.
Most importantly, an individual with autism is first and foremost an individual. Learning about the symptoms can help you start to understand the behaviors and challenges related to autism, but thats not the same as getting to know the individual. Each person with autism has their own strengths, likes, dislikes, interests, challenges, and skills, just like you do.
Studies On Sexuality In Individuals With Asd
About 10 years after the official entry of autism in the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1980, the first systematic studies on the sexuality of patients with ASD were published.8–11 The current state of research on sexual experiences, sexual behaviors, sexual attitudes, or sexual knowledge of ASD individuals is rather mixed, with some studies finding differences from healthy controls while others do not. However, because of the heterogeneous nature of the disorder spectrum and the diverse scientific methodology of the studies, this is not surprising. Previous studies have: included female and/or male patients in residential settings with presumably more impairments and less opportunities for sexual experiences focused on persons with intellectual impairments or other comorbid developmental disabilities, thereby leading to confounding effects used online surveys in which only higher-functioning individuals took part relied on reports from family members and care-givers or from the patients themselves and assessed individuals with ASD in different age ranges.
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‘autistic Not Weird’ Survey Results
- One survey conducted in March 2022 by Autistic Not Weird received more than 11,000 responses.
- Just over 76% of autistic respondents indicated a preference for IFL, or that they always wanted to be referred to as an autistic person rather than a person with autism.
- Just under 4% indicated a strong preference for person with autism.
- 15% indicated that either term felt appropriate, and about 5% declined to answer the question.
- Overall, this data points to a community preference for IFL in relation to autism.
What Is It Like Not To Be Yourself
COVID-19 social distancing has caused all of us to redefine what it means to be social and it has not been comfortable. An act as natural as socializing is now weighted with complex calculations. We now have to navigate social rules that feel unfamiliar and are difficult to remember. Going out and interacting with others can be a daily stressor. Many of us now associate socializing with discomfort, and what I hope this might mean is that we will begin to understand what social discomfort feels like for people with autism on a daily basis as they navigate our typical, social landscape.
SOCIAL MASKING & CAMOUFLAGING
As a professional who has supported many individuals with ASD to develop social skills in order to achieve their personal and professional goals and as a friend of several people with ASD, I am reminded of how challenging it is for people on the spectrum to master social skills when they often just do not make sense. Why do I have to look at someone when they are talking to me? theyd ask. I can hear with my ears not my eyes. In work settings, they puzzle over social interactions like making small talk when to them, the sole reason that they are there is to work.
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Is There A Test For Asd In Adults
Clinicians have developed different tests that can help diagnose ASD in adults. These include diagnostic tests such as ADOS 2 Module 4, ADI-R, and 3Di Adult.
However, it is not clear how reliable these tests are for adults. The reasons for this include:
- Researchers who look at the reliability of ASD tests often use a small number of study participants.
- Not many research studies on testing for adult ASD include enough participants from historically underserved groups, such as People of Color or people who are LGBTQIA+. This means the results of studies looking at ASD testing methods may not represent a true population of autistic adults.
- Many clinicians may not be familiar with the signs of ASD in adulthood. This is especially true if the patientâs symptoms are not severe or if the patient also has other conditions, for example, anxiety.
Autistic people may have of co-occurring conditions, such as anxiety or depression, than those in the general population.
The Significance Of Identity
In research and clinical work, PFL is typically used when taking a recovery orientation to treatment. For example, a doctor refers to patients with cancer rather than cancerous patients because the goal is to treat and eliminate the cancer.
Groups aiming to cure autism tend to use PFL when referring to autism and are generally considered to be a form of eugenics and elevate the voices of non-autistic people while being unresponsive to feedback from the autistic community.
Many autistic people have written and spoken about why IFL is important to them and why it is generally preferred over PFL. PFL implies that the person is the same with or without their diagnosis, and the majority of the autistic community agrees that their autism is a fundamental part of who they are.
Neurodivergent conditions, including autism, are brain differences, meaning that they impact who the person is.
Some autistic individuals prefer PFL or state that they have no preference, so when addressing them, use what they prefer. But when referring to the autistic community at large, the best practice is to determine what the majority of community members prefer because true allies value community voices.
Multiple surveys conducted over the past decade have shown that, while context plays a role in what language is most appropriate to use, IFL is generally preferred by the autistic community.
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What Do You Call People With Disabilities
Men, women, boys, girls, students, mom, Sues brother, Mr. Smith, Rosita, a neighbor, employer, coworker, customer, chef, teacher, scientist, athlete, adults, children tourists, retirees, actors, comedians, musicians, blondes, brunettes, SCUBA divers, computer operators, individuals, members, leaders, people, voters, friends or any other word you would use for a person.
People First Language recognizes that individuals with disabilities are first and foremost people. It emphasizes each persons value, individuality, dignity and capabilities. The following examples provide guidance on what terms to use and which ones are inappropriate when talking or writing about people with disabilities.
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Parenting An Autistic Child
Parenting an autistic child is its own ball game. Having four kids total, two with autism, thats a whole new game! Parenting is a blessing, and it comes with its struggles as well as joys. Today was one of the days that was a struggle. Yet, in retrospect, it made me realize the blessings of my life and children.
While attending a baby shower, I was flooded with a world of emotions. Not from the shower, but within my own world. Though I know my children are not the norm, they are my norm and I just see them as my children. Most occasions, when attending social gatherings, its with people close enough that know my children already. Today was not one of those events.
There was an amazing turn out for the baby shower. Many of whom I hadnt seen in around a decade, others several years, and a few I see more frequent. I had all four children with me, as my husband was at work. My best friend was there, so I did have help as my children see her as their aunt. As we greeted old friends, everyone would say hi to my son especially. Now this is normal, as most women instinctively say hi to cute little ones. My son however, didnt look at them or acknowledge they exist. No interaction what so ever on his part. That is because he is autistic. Social interactions outside family are few and far between.
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Affable And Socially Talented
It has long been a popular assumption that successful leaders are affable and socially talented . Leadership scholars Goleman and Boyatzis depict great leaders, and place them on the opposite end of the neural continuum from people with serious social disorders, such as autism.
Mandelas children, then, thought him a distant father and old friends teased him about his being persnickety and pedantic, reported Roberts . People with autism are often said to be pedantic .
Mandela, whose record-keeping was obsessive , was also obsessed with newspapers, said his wife, and after reading them he folded every paper exactly the same way every day. Each day he also took off his hearing aid, lined it up on the table, and then placed a badge he was wearing in position, and then his pens, so that the pens, and everything has the same line . Lining things up in rows or patterns is a common habit among people with autism . It appears Mandela was structuring his life down to the smallest details . People with autism tend to be very attentive to details .
Lets end this part with U.S. president Lyndon B. Johnson. He was a bossy child, as described by Caro : If little Lyndon wasnt allowed to be in charge, he would not take part in a game. As an adult, he still had a strong need to dominate. Autistic people are often bossy and controlling .
Things To Know About Dating & Autism
While autistic children are the majority recipients of special attention and early intervention programs, adults and teens can be overlookedespecially when it comes to developing and exploring romantic relationships. Just like neuro-typical adults, people on the spectrum also deal with the ups and downs of finding and keeping romantic partners and intimate relationships.
12 Tips For Dating Someone With Autism
Depending on your childs abilities, there may come a time when they want to explore dating. Below are some helpful tips you can share with someone who is interested in dating your son or daughter with autism . Of course, these are general tips and may need to be adjusted based on their specific needs and preferences, and some may not apply at all. Thats the beauty and challenge of the autism spectrum.
1. Dating people who are not on the spectrum is quite commonOne common misconception is that people with autism only want to date others who are also on the spectrum. This notion is completely untrue as they want to find someone to connect with that they can just be themselves around. After all, autism is a spectrum, so it could take a few dates for someone to even realize the person theyre with is autistic. Thats why it may be important to discuss this with anyone your child wants to have a relationship with.
Tip For Dating An Autistic Person The magic touch
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Things 1 Autistic Person Wants You To Accept
Lydia Wayman’s top wishes for acceptance, no questions asked
Writer: Lydia Wayman
Lydia Wayman is an autistic author, speaker, blogger, and advocate from Pittsburgh. Her blog, Autistic Speaks, is irresistible reading if you want to get a better sense of what the world looks and feels like from the point of view of at least one very articulate person on the spectrum. Heres Lydias list:
They May Struggle To Understand Body Language Facial Expressions And Gestures
They may not realise that being in a certain proximity means people are trying to be friendly. Also, they may find it difficult to understand why people act friendly towards them, but their body language or gestures to someone else may be different. A lot of people with autism may find it hard to tell a fake friend from a true friend.
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Symptoms Of Autism Spectrum Disorder In Adults
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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How To Begin A Diagnosis Process
Adults who suspect they or a loved one might be autistic can do a self-assessment test for adults. A person can find these tests online. While they cannot give a diagnosis, the tests are a good starting point.
A person seeking a diagnosis can take the results of such a test to a primary care doctor who will try to determine whether ASD may be present by:
- enquiring about the symptoms, both current and during childhood
- observing and interacting with the person
- speaking to a loved one
- checking for other physical or mental health conditions that may be causing symptoms
If no underlying physical condition can explain the symptoms, the doctor may refer the person to a psychiatrist or a psychologist to make an ASD diagnosis.
If symptoms are not present in childhood but begin in adolescence or adulthood, this may indicate a cognitive or mental health condition other than ASD.
It may be difficult to find a specialist who can diagnose ASD in adults. Individuals who would like a diagnosis for themselves or a loved one may need to do research to find a provider with experience diagnosing autistic adults.
Another option is to speak to a developmental pediatrician or child psychiatrist who is willing to see adult clients.
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Pointers To Help Autistic People If They Get Off Topic Or Spend Too Much Time On A Topic:
Gentle nudge or prompt to get back on topic such as, What were we talking about again? Or redirect them by bringing up the topic you were originally discussing like, Where should we go for lunch? It sounds like you love Chinese food, how about XYZ place at 11:45 am?
So to summarize, our next steps are XYZ, your part will be this and it will be due by x date. Does that seem to cover what we discussed?
In a kind yet concrete way, say, I hear you really like talking about dinosaurs, but I am not really interested in that and dont want to talk about it anymore, can we talk about something we are both interested in? Then suggest something that you have in common or could such as favorite movies or food.
Tip : Take Responsibility For Your Actions
In relationships, no one person is always in the right. Its important to be aware of how your behavior provokes reactions from your loved one and influences the dynamic of your relationship. If theres a reoccurring problem between the two of you, take some time to ponder how you might be contributing. This applies to both the autistic person as well as the neurotypical individual.
Recognize what you can and cant control. You cant fully control your partner by nagging themand manipulative behavior wont foster a healthy relationship. However, you can control your own reactions which in turn can affect the relationship dynamic. For example, if youre more patient with your partner, they might be more open with you.
Question your own motives. Perhaps you push a friend away because you feel ignored. Or maybe you talk down to them because you feel like theyll never fully understand you. A little introspection can give way to healthier behavior.
Add positivity to your interactions. Seemingly small acts of love can shift your dynamic. Give your partner unexpected gifts that make their life easier. Offer words of encouragement when theyre trying to accomplish something. Tell them how much you appreciate their efforts. This can foster a sense of security, trust, and acceptance.
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Can People With Autism Work
Kearon said most people with autism are capable of working. There are certainly people with challenges, but with the right supports, most people can work, he explained. And, he added, its important not to pigeonhole folks with autism and assume they would only be good in, say, technology-oriented jobs.