Healthy Living

Can Adults have Autism?

Can Adults have Autism?

Key Takeaways

  • Adults are not immune to autism
  • Thousands of adults suffer from autism

You will get a lot of information online on how to determine autism in child, as it can be easily noticed in children as young as 24 months old. What about autism in adults? Adults are not immune to autism and its effects either.

At present, thousands of adults suffer from untreated autism and face trouble finding information and programs for supporting their needs. Though autism appears uniquely in each case, there are some common symptoms that show the characteristic of adults with autism.

Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Adults

Verbal Communication Issues: According to WebMD, up to 40% of adults diagnosed with ASD may never learn to speak. Completely non-verbal adults many have autism, but verbal communication can still be a challenge for Adults who learn to speak at an appropriate level of their age.

Challenges with Non-Verbal Communication: Adults with autism face significant challenges in understanding and displaying non-verbal communication.  They find it difficult to maintain eye contact and to interpret facial expressions and gestures.

Lack of Empathy: Adults with autism have lack of empathy or showing feelings with others. They may find it hard to understand or process the perspectives of others. These challenges contribute in many social problems as they struggle with sympathizing with other people

Difficulty with Making Friends: Adults with autism find it difficult to develop friendships with others. Issues like idiosyncratic behavior, listening difficulties and language limitations can severely affect the ability of forming friendships.

Difficulty with Romantic Relationships: Romantic relationships can also be highly difficult for adults with autism. People with autism struggle to reading non-verbal cues and cannot interact properly, which limits their success with romantic relationships.

Sensory Processing Disorder: Sensory processing disorder causes various social challenges in people with autism.  Meeting new people leads to new sensory information like sounds, smells, sights etc. This can contribute adults with autism to stay away from new social interactions.

Repetitive Behaviors: Adults with autism often repeat the same words, phrases, behaviors and movements over and over again. 

Preoccupation with Particular Items or Topics: Many adults with autism tend to be highly talented with particular topics like drawing, aviation, history and other areas. This issue causes the inability or disinterest in any other topics.

Habituality: Adults with autism seem to have difficulty with any sort of change in their daily routine.  This problem can contribute to:

  • Difficulty travelling
  • Difficulty trying new foods
  • Discomfort with change to a daily schedule
  • Being disruptive and dysfunctional in order to adhere to a strict routine

AnxietyThe National Autistic Society says that anxiety is one of the common problems in autistic adults. This anxiety can appear in a various forms, including issues with temper control, concentration, interest, and depression.

Sexuality and Adults with Autism

Adults with autism can have inappropriate or immature knowledge of sexual codes of conduct. While they show just as much interest in sex as other adults of their age, the ability required to handle an intimate relationship often puzzlez them, and they struggle negotiating the often unspoken rules of a relationship.

Issues for Partners of Adults with ASD

Some people with autism can successfully handle relationships and parent children. But there are challenges.

Some common issues for partners of autistic people include:

  • Feeling responsible for the condition of their partner
  • Frustration
  • Lack of support from family members and friends who do not comprehend or appreciate the relationship.
  • A sense of isolation
  • Doubting the integrity of the relationship
  • Failure to fulfill their own needs 
  • Guilt

The Workplace and Adults with Autism

One of the most difficult challenges that an autistic adult face is: finding and managing good employment. Due to difficulties with social communication and interaction, adults with autism are often prejudged before they get the chance to prove themselves in a workplace. According to a current survey, the unemployment rate among adults with ASD is as high as 85%, even among those with degrees in higher education, high intelligence, and professional aptitude.