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Autism Symptoms in Adults

In adults, the symptoms of autism are discovered in rare cases. More often than not, these symptoms are seen at a young age itself. Here's more...
Bhakti Satalkar Apr 19, 2019
The symptoms for autism in adults differ from person to person. It is a neural development spectrum disorder, which is characterized by the impairment of social interaction and communication. An autistic person normally shows restricted and repetitive behavior.
There are two types of autism disorders, Asperger syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). In Asperger syndrome, the delay in cognitive and language development is noticed.
There are some common problems which are routinely seen in autistic people, like seizures, gastrointestinal problems, mental retardation, etc., while there are also some people, who do not exhibit any one of these features.

Symptoms of Autism in Adults

The symptoms are normally noticed when the person has a problem with social and communication skills.
  • Language Barriers: Autistic adults find it very difficult to verbalize what they want to say. Their speech is often robotic, and may also seem to be rehearsed.
  • Social Awkwardness: People who suffering from autism, totally avoid eye contact. Face-to-face interaction and communication is challenging for these people. They lack communication skills to a great extent.
  • Communication Problems: It is difficult for them to start and continue a conversation. They often do not understand facial expressions, body language, and the non-verbal cues and intonations of others.
Jokes and irony is often beyond their realm of understanding. This can cause a lot of harm than good, as people interacting with adults suffering from autism find it frustrating, and avoid communicating with them. Adults suffering from autism may speak in high pitches, and may also have a flat intonation.
  • Time Management Problem: A peculiar problem with these people is that they can't keep track of time. Often, they are engrossed in a task and enter into a trance-like state. It may require an external force to get them out of it.
  • Lack of Emotional Control: These people do not have control over their emotions. Sometimes, they themselves are surprised with the emotions they display. 
People might find it difficult to deal with them, since, like children, they have a tendency to throw tantrums. But, their tantrums cannot be compared with those of a child.
  • Sensitivity: Most of the autistic people are hyper or hypo sensitive to light, sounds and crowds. Some of the cases of autism may also display both hyper as well as hypo sensitivity to the same cue at different times.
  • Motor Activity: It is observed that most of the people with autism suffer from some fine or gross motor difficulty. This is very clearly seen with coordination in athletic coordination, writing, etc. Hence these people are better off in activities which do not involve any kind of coordination with other people.
Running, swimming and such other activities are better suited to them.
  • Personality Problems: Although each autistic person is radically different than the other, they do have some common personality traits. More often than not, they will engage themselves in repetitive activities. 
They normally are passionate about one or more things. A number of them have a passion for music. They often find it difficult to make and maintain friends. Most of them are cocooned in their own world, and prefer activities which require minimum interaction with other people.
  • Adherence to Routine: They are sticklers for daily routine. They may get very agitated if there is a variation in their routine.
  • Other Symptoms: Some autistic people are gifted with rare skills such as an ability to memorize lists, calculate calendar dates, be extremely gifted at drawing, etc. Autistic people may have very strong likes and dislikes.
The best treatment for autism in adults is giving them the required amount of attention. They may also require counseling and support as a part of the treatment. Despite these symptoms, they are able to live and work on their own. The level of their independence and self-sufficiency depends on their intelligence and ability to communicate.
18,000 people participated in some vocational rehabilitation programs conducted in 2014. Of them, 60% people successfully landed a job with 80% of these working part-time with a median pay of USD 160 per week.