Autism Symptoms in Adults
A child who grew to adulthood and was able to function somewhat normally in school and life, probably suffers from the mildest form of autism spectrum disorder: Asperger's. The symptoms of Asperger's are the same for both adults and children.
The signs of autism in adults are:
- normal to above average intelligence
- lack of eye contact or facial expressions when speaking to others
- little interest in others
- appears to lack empathy
- preoccupation with certain topics or objects
- need for sameness or routines
- inability to make or keep friends
- trouble starting or holding a conversation (with turn taking)
In adults, lacking key social and communication skills can have a devastating effect on personal and professional life.
Here are a few examples of how the symptoms might look in an adult:
1) Having normal to high intelligence - An Asperger's adult is capable of reading, writing, and speaking on a par with their peers. They can probably get and keep a job. Unfortunately, they will probably experience difficulty when interacting and communicating with co-workers which may lead to problems on the job.
1) Lack of eye contact or facial expression - Failing to look at a person during a conversation can be misconstrued as disinterest or boredom. Some Aspies say that others mistake their inability to make eye contact as rudeness or disrespect.
3) Appear to lack empathy - Not showing emotion when a person is upset or distressed can cause an Aspie to appear unsympathetic. Some Asperger's individuals have reported losing friends or having relationship difficulties because they failed to react appropriately when faced with an emotional issue or situation (i.e., grief, anger).
4) The need for sameness or routine - Because they don't react well to change or will refuse to make changes to their routine, some Aspies have created problems for themselves at work or in school.
5) Preoccupation with a particular subject or topic- Talking incessantly about one thing to the exclusion of all others will be perceived as extremely strange or annoying by most people. Some Aspies report they are aware they engage in this behavior, but they fail to stop it or learn how to correctly hold a conversation with others.
6) The inability to keep or make friends - Some Aspies suffer from depression as adults because they want to build relationships with others, but are unsuccessful. Their disability isolates them from others and can lead to serious depression if not dealt with appropriately.
Many Asperger's individuals are aware that they behave in unusual ways. For an undiagnosed Asperger's adult, these behaviors were probably considered 'personality quirks'. These so-called quirks kept them socially isolated until they received their diagnosis as an adult and were then able to receive the appropriate help, support, guidance and treatment.