Adult autism is just beginning to get attention. The signs of autism are sometimes not recognized in individuals until they learn of the symptoms themselves as an adult. Milder forms of the autism spectrum disorders may have been diagnosed as something else or failed to be diagnosed at all. The following is a quick list on common symptoms found in individuals with adult autism.
• Has trouble relating with others
• Avoids eye contact and wants to be alone
• Has trouble understanding other people’s feelings or talking about their own feelings
• Prefers not to have physical contact
• Appears to be unaware when other people talk to them but respond to other sounds
• Repeats or echoes words or phrases said to them
• Participates in repetitive motions
• Has trouble adapting when a routine changes
• Has high sensitivity to smell, taste, look, feel or sound
• Loses skills they once had (i.e., language and vocabulary ability regresses)
• Excessively compulsive with some activities
Autism signs may change and even improve as a person matures, but autism remains to be a lifelong condition that continues to be a to challenge individuals through adulthood. Whether an autistic adult lives in a group home, independently, or with family, they still require parental or caregiver support to some level.
Just as children with autism vary in their capabilities, so do people who are older. Some are totally dependent on caregivers, while others are able to live relatively independently or have a semi-independent life.
Resources for adults vary by state and community, but vocational training programs exist in many areas. These programs can help eligible adults with autism work on daily living skills to help them be as independent as possible. Sometimes supported employment opportunities are available, which allow both training and employment for the disabled.