Adults with Autism

Apr 15, 2015
Tagged with: Adults with Autism

According to the Autism Society, as of 2014, over 3.5 million Americans are currently living with autism spectrum disorder, or ASD. It is estimated that approximately 80 percent of these people are under the age of 22, but this group of children will soon be aging into adulthood, and many experts are concerned that few people know enough about adults living with ASD.
Fortunately, there is still quite a bit of important information that research has proven about adults living with autism that can be helpful for you as you provide support to your loved ones.

Adults with autism can be prone to anxiety and depression.

Research has also shown that adults with autism can tend to experience problems with anxiety and depression. According to the ASD resource, “An adult on the autism spectrum may [experience difficulties] to varying degrees with social communication, social understanding and imagination. The person can have trouble in appropriate social interaction with others, establishing and maintaining friendships and being able to anticipate what will happen in given situations. Depression is an understandable reaction to employment difficulties, social isolation, relationship issues and problems with adapting.”
Richard Bromfield, PhD, a psychologist on the faculty at Harvard Medical School, told Autism Asperger’s Digest that people with autism often already feel isolated from others around them, and belittling something they are feeling or worrying about would do nothing but isolate them even further. Be sensitive and aware of how they are feeling and make an effort to validate their worries; this will help alleviate those fears.

Adults with autism can have a harder time adjusting to the workplace and earning a living.

According to Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, “Having a job or a career is a major contributor to quality of life that often does not come easily to adults on the spectrum.“ However, your support can make it easier for your loved one to adjust easily to his or her workplace. The experts at Autism Speaks say that “helping [adults with autism] articulate their strengths and challenges, teaching them how to advocate for themselves and giving them encouragement and guidance to what their rights are regarding employment. Your support will be valuable to them both practically and emotionally.”
Playing an active role in your loved one’s job search and providing support once they are employed is crucial. Too many people living with disabilities don’t receive support and thus can have a difficult time maintaining employment or even housing. There are quite a few resources available for such situations, such as The Road Home and other local organizations, for situations in which adults and families need assistance. However, when they feel love and support from their families and friends, adults with autism are more likely to attain and thrive in their places of employment.

You can help your loved ones!

Staying closely involved and letting the adults with autism in your life know that they are loved and have your support will help them live fulfilling lives. Let us know in the comments below: how have you been able to support an adult with autism in your life as they have grown older?


Author: Alexa Elheart

  • bobl07

    Thank you for these tips. It is so important that people with disabilities continue to seek employment.