Signs of Autism in Adults
April 5th, 2022 by Catherine Marqueses
For years, people have struggled with undiagnosed conditions, as the knowledge behind them simply wasn’t strong enough. Despite this, we’re now familiar with all manner of conditions that cause a person’s brain to work differently than neurotypical individuals. With this being said, so many people find themselves reaching adulthood without a diagnosis, which can make their life a lot more difficult. Therefore, if you recognise autistic traits within yourself, you can get an autism assessment from your doctor. Upon receiving a diagnosis, you might find it a lot easier to manage these traits, especially when considering the advice from a healthcare professional.
It’s important to note that not all people with autism will express the same traits. Therefore, you may not have all of the below traits, or even any of them; however, these are the most common signs of autism in adults.
Difficulty with Understanding the Thoughts and Feelings of Others
One of the most common struggles that people with autism experience is that they may find it difficult to recognize certain emotions in their peers. For instance, if someone is visibly upset, but they claim to be fine, a neurotypical person will likely be able to deduce that they’re not happy from their behavior. Despite this, someone with autism may take what they say at face value rather than reading between the lines. Similarly, someone with autism may not understand why something may invoke emotion in another individual. It can be very difficult for someone with autism to see things outside of their own perspective.
Anxiety is very common within people with autism, especially when it comes to social situations and changes in routine. Typically speaking, people with autism feel safe in predictable environments that they’re able to manage. Social situations involve other people, meaning that managing every aspect of the scenario is impossible. As a result, the unexpected can lead to high levels of anxiety.
Struggling to Make Friends
Some individuals with autism will struggle to make friends and ultimately prefer to be alone. This struggle often stems from the aforementioned limited understanding of the thoughts and feelings of others, as well as struggling to display interest and having difficulty in expressing feelings. Occasionally, individuals with autism won’t be able to feign interest in something that they quite simply don’t have care for. Consequently, forming relationships can be quite tricky.
Similarly, some people with autism can come off as blunt, as small talk can seem like a chore. For some individuals with autism, they don’t see the point in meaningless interactions and so will avoid them as a whole. For instance, you may ask someone how they are as a form of greeting rather than a genuine question. Some people with autism might decide to skip out on these social niceties, which could be perceived as blunt by others.
Difficulty Expressing Feelings
Another struggle that some individuals with autism experience is a difficulty in expressing their feelings. It can be quite difficult for people with autism to express their emotions individually, making it tricky to express these feelings to others. Not everyone with autism will deal with their emotions in the same way that neurotypical people generally would, meaning that the expression of them can be difficult.
Taking Things Literally
Additionally, some people with autism struggle to understand phrases or pick up on sarcasm. Instead, they’ll take things as face value rather than analysing tone and context. Therefore, they may not fully understand phrases such as “break a leg” or other terms such as this.
If any of the above apply to you, you may consider contacting your doctor for assessment.