What are the Problems Faced by Autistic Adults?.
Autistic adults face a variety of obstacles, including difficulty forming and maintaining relationships, getting and keeping jobs, and communicating effectively with others. Autism is a type of pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) that affects communication skills. Autistic adults may have a mild form of autism, such as Asperger’s, or a more severe form that prevents them from speaking.
People who suffer from Asperger’s Syndrome can hold conversations, but may find it difficult to understand social rules. They usually have a normal or high intelligence level, but poor social skills, which holds them back. Adults with Asperger’s also may have a low frustration level or seem withdrawn from others. Usually, adults with Asperger’s can improve their social skills drastically through specialized training sessions and behavioral therapy.
One challenge that autistic adults face is starting and keeping relationships and friendships. Since autism affects the ability to read faces and emotions, individuals may find it challenging to hold conversations and follow basic forms of social rituals. Many autistic individuals do not hold eye contact for very long, which may be off-putting to neurotypical people. Many autistic people do not have many friends because of their quirks.
Many autistic people also never get married. Romantic relationships are very challenging for those who cannot understand the normal give-and-take of a relationship. Those who are married might have difficulties with communicating to their spouses.
Another common problem faced by autistic adults is finding and holding down a job. Positions that require a high degree of social interaction typically are not suitable for autistic people. Autistic job applicants usually find the job interview to be quite daunting due to their poor social skills.
Many autistic individuals also have problems with change. They generally dislike change of any kind in their environments or routines. Typical coping mechanisms include shaking, rocking, or hand flapping. Autistic people generally strive for order and routine at all times and may have meltdowns if their regular routines are changed. Their love of routine may be a positive trait in technical job settings, but it generally hinders many aspects of their lives.
Overall, autistic people find social situations to be very difficult. Many of them must take social skills training or special education classes to learn how to function in ordinary society. Behavioral modification programs and medication help some individuals with autism. Adults who received special attention and social skills training at a young age usually have the best outlook.