Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that affects communication and behavior. Although autism can be diagnosed at any age, it is described as a “developmental disorder” because symptoms generally appear in the first two years of life, but high-functioning individuals may not be diagnosed until much later in life.

More people than ever are being diagnosed with ASD later in life. Making it more important to understand this condition which can be overlooked, dismissed or even misdiagnosed. Symptoms of ASD vary by individual and no two people have the same symptoms.

Common symptoms of autism in adults include:

  • Difficulty determining what others are thinking or feeling
  • Trouble understanding facial expressions, body language, or social cues
  • Difficulty regulating emotion
  • Trouble keeping up a conversation
  • Difficulty maintaining the natural give-and-take of a conversations
  • Tendency to engage in repetitive or routine behaviors
  • Strict adherence to daily routines; outbursts when changes occur
  • Exhibiting strong, special interests

ASD is typically a life-long condition, though early diagnosis and treatment can make a big difference. ASD treatments may include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Vocational therapy
  • Medication

Whether high functioning or severely autistic, adults with autism work harder than their typical peers to enjoy a fulfilling life. To succeed, they—like everyone else—need friendship, support, and opportunities to work and play in an accepting social setting. To learn more about ASD click here.

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