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Signs of Autism in Adults

Updated: Apr 17

As we learn and understand more about autism, adults are finding it may be a condition that they have lived with undiagnosed. Signs of autism in adults can vary widely, and it's important to note that not everyone with autism will exhibit the same symptoms or to the same degree. Some common signs of autism in adults include:

1. Social Challenges:

  • Difficulty understanding social cues, such as body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice.

  • Struggling with social interactions, such as initiating or maintaining conversations, making eye contact, or understanding social norms.

  • Feeling overwhelmed in social situations or preferring to be alone. 2. Communication Differences:

  • Delayed or unusual language development, such as speaking in a formal or monotone manner, repeating phrases (echolalia), having difficulty with understanding sarcasm, or difficulty with abstract language like metaphors.

  • Challenges in nonverbal communication, such as limited use of gestures, facial expressions, or body language. 3. Repetitive Behaviors and Interests:

  • Engaging in repetitive behaviors or movements, like rocking, hand flapping, or arranging objects in a specific order.

  • Having intense, focused interests in specific topics or activities, often to the exclusion of other interests.

  • Following rigid routines or becoming upset with changes in routine or environment. 4. Sensory Sensitivities:

  • Heightened sensitivity or aversion to sensory stimuli, such as loud noises, bright lights, certain textures, or strong smells.

  • Seeking sensory stimulation, like spinning objects, touching certain textures, seeking deep pressure, or avoiding sensory experiences that are overwhelming or uncomfortable. 5. Rigidity and Routine:

  • Preferring routines and becoming distressed, anxious, or upset by changes in routine or unexpected events.

  • Having specific rituals or needing things to be done in a certain way. 6. Difficulty with Empathy and Perspective-Taking:

  • Challenges in understanding others' perspectives, emotions, or intentions.

  • Difficulty empathizing with others or responding in socially expected ways to emotions. 7. Executive Functioning Challenges:

  • Difficulty with organization, time management, planning, and completing tasks.

  • Trouble with prioritizing and shifting attention between different tasks or activities.

It's essential to remember that autism presents differently in each person, and some individuals may have strengths and abilities that are not immediately apparent. Diagnosis and support from healthcare professionals, such as psychologists or psychiatrists specializing in autism spectrum disorders, can be helpful for adults who suspect they may be on the autism spectrum or for those seeking guidance on managing challenges related to autism.

IntervalCare is a mental health telemedicine company that helps autistic individuals improve how they cope with the challenges of world around them. We also offer medication management to help with overwhelming emotions that autistic individuals may experience. Book an appointment to speak with one of our licensed mental health professionals today!

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