Autism Symptoms in Adults – What to Look For and How to Help

What are autism symptoms in adults like? Autism in adults can be a tricky thing. Traditionally, adults with autism often get left behind because the vast amount of services for those with autism are for children, especially focusing on early intervention. But adults with autism need services too, and they are quite lacking. In fact, some people with autism are not even diagnosed with autism or autism spectrum disorders until they are older.What Autism Symptoms in Adults Should You Look For?Maybe you have a co-worker or friend who seems really smart, but very socially awkward. A friend who’s had a string of entry-level jobs that he never seems to be able to keep, despite being very smart. A friend who makes a lot of social faux pas, always seems to say the wrong thing and hangs around the edge of the office Christmas party. You hear about autism and higher functioning kinds of autism like Asperger’s syndrome, and you start wondering – could they have it?Autism symptoms in adults are similar to ones in kids, but you just have to adjust a little for the time that adults have had to compensate for their difficulties. In other words, not all symptoms may seem obvious, as adults may have learned to overcome some of them, but they are still autistic.Additional Autism Symptoms in AdultsAdults with autism probably won’t look you in the eye, or else they will stare. They may fidget a lot, look at their hands, and seem rather anxious. Trouble making conversation is common. They may blurt out seemingly random statements about special interests of theirs, especially facts. “Did you know that there are 339 dimples on a golf ball?” is one possible example.Many Adults with Autism Have Never Been DiagnosedIt is possible for an adult to go most of their life without being diagnosed as autistic. This is because some of them are quite smart despite their deficiencies, and have managed to work around their challenges.They may often be stuck in dead-end jobs and wondering why they can never quite succeed like everyone else, though. They are probably wondering why things are so hard for them and perhaps writing themselves off as a “screw-up.” Diagnosis can improve self-esteem as well as getting them services to improve their lives.Adults with Autism and DepressionAdults with autism, especially ones that aren’t able to work, often have trouble with depression. It is hard to find meaning in life sometimes when you have so many challenges.The best way to beat depression is to get involved with something. Volunteer somewhere. Read books to kids at a kindergarten. Find a non-profit that could use your help. Learn how to cook, or take up photography as a hobby. Join a social group that is related to your interests. The point is, when you are engaged, you are less likely to think about what is making you depressed.Adults with autism who have the proper supports can be an asset to the community. Autism symptoms in adults are not hard to spot if you know what to look for.