When people talk about autism spectrum disorders (ASD), they often think about the challenges and needs of the children who suffer from it. We know that early detection improves their development and quality of life. However, what about autism in adults? What needs, support and strategies does an adult man or woman with this neurobiological disorder have?
Since scientists improved diagnostic criteria in the 1990s, it has not only been possible to identify children with ASD in schools.
Many adults were also able to find explanations for their behavior. At last they found an explanation for their idiosyncrasies and the origin of their personal limitations. One thing is clear: this is a disorder with a very broad spectrum of characteristics and needs.
Some people have Rett syndrome, others have Asperger’s. However, the latter term is no longer used, but falls under the name autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Adults with autism can be very functional. They may also present with high dependency and severe communication impairments, problems with social interactions, and repetitive behavior. Whatever the symptoms, you need to understand something.
Psychological attention, social assistance, and the right to inclusion are all essential to their care. Adults with this condition is a reality that must be visible to ensure the answers they may need. Only in this way will they achieve the level of well-being that all people deserve.
Statistics show that nearly 1% of the population suffers from an autism spectrum disorder. Also that early detection and adequate psychological support can improve the future of this broad collection in our society.
Adults with Autism: What Are Their Needs?
It is important to note that adults with autism are not well understood or studied. They are also often neglected. Fortunately, scientists have shown more interest in this area in recent years. The scientific community now has more statistics, more resources and more knowledge.
All this leads to one main goal: to give individualized and expert attention to each person according to his needs. However, there is a problem with clinical practice. As a result, many adults who are highly functional do not know they have the condition.
These are self-employed people with job responsibilities and big projects who sometimes feel like something is failing in them. In fact, problems with social interaction, hypersensitivity to stimulation and anxiety often severely limit their quality of life. It is also important to know that no two people with ASD have exactly the same characteristics.
Yet, beyond the uniqueness of each case, autism in adults interferes with everyday life. However, detection and early personalized therapy can guarantee changes, improvements and well-being. Let’s take a look at some special challenges and types of help they need.
Consulting ASD experts
If you have an adult family member with autism or suspect you may be on the spectrum, it’s best to consult an expert in the field. What can a trained psychologist do for you?
- First, he will evaluate the patient to identify the strengths as well as the cognitive, behavioral, and emotional needs of the adult with autism.
- A therapist will also have conversations with the people in the patient’s daily life.
- They will run some tests to rule out other conditions.
Adults with autism and types of therapy
Psychological intervention in an adult with autism will always depend on their specific needs. Therapists usually help patients work on the following aspects:
- First, to practice communication training and social skills.
- The treatment helps them develop good daily living habits.
- Psychologists help them modify certain behaviors to aid in group integration, well-being, and social behavior.
- Patients also practice functional routines, so that adults with autism gain more security and autonomy.
- They receive help in joining the workforce.
- It is also essential to help with things like anxiety or mood disorders such as depression. This type of disorder often means that patients face a variety of emotional challenges. Cognitive behavioral therapy is very helpful in these cases.
- Individual psychotherapy is also very important. A man or woman with ASD needs to improve his or her romantic, family, or work-related relationships.
- Finally, some adults with autism have more severe cognitive problems. They may have behavioral problems that require psychological support.
Family support and the local environment
Finally, when discussing adults with autism, consideration should also be given to their family environment. Think of fathers, mothers, partners and children. Knowing how to act or simply understanding the disorder is an important step in improving patients’ lives.
In short, psychologists are an important daily support. They can also help dispel fears, doubts, anxiety and stress. In essence, the personal reality of this large collection in our society is complex and unique. Fortunately, resources, strategies and experts can help, little by little, to achieve a better quality of life.