Autism is a condition that can change the way people connect with each other or relate to others, and there are a large number of adults with autism living in the United States today. Though you might think that they live in group homes, cannot work and have few friends, those with autism live lives similar to your own and want you to know some specific things about them.
They Have Relationships
A common misconception is that adults with autism cannot have relationships. You might think that someone with autism will live a lonely and solitary life with just family members and some close friends nearby. There are a number of people with autism who marry and even have children. Others have a large support network that includes dozens of friends. High functioning autistic people generally have a greater chance of marrying because they can connect better with others. Jonas Moore, who has autism, claims that relationships are challenging because he occasionally suffers from angry outbursts and has a hard time expressing his emotions.
They Can Work
Parents sometimes worry that their autistic children will live at home forever and that they can never work. The truth is that many of those diagnosed with autism actually hold down full-time or part-time jobs. The type of jobs open to them depend on how well they can function in society. While some might work simple jobs bagging groceries or stocking shelves in a store, others with autism are highly intelligent and creative too. They can work as photographers, artists, mechanics and in a host of other fields.
It Isn’t Always Diagnosed
Diagnosing autism often takes quite a bit of time. A family doctor or general physician will often see the patient and then recommend that parents see a therapist or a specialist. The specialist will run different tests that look for the symptoms and signs of autism. Those who function at a higher level may not receive an early diagnosis. There is a chance that the individual may not know that he or she has autism until the person reaches adulthood.
Living On Their Own
Adults with autism do not always live with their parents or family members. A large portion of higher functioning autism people actually live on their own. They attend classes and go through programs that teach them how to budget money, write checks, pay their bills and clean their homes. Even those who function at a lower level may live in a group home. Group homes feature multiple people living together and sharing a kitchen, living room and bathroom. Some group homes have private bedrooms, but other homes require that residents share bedrooms with each other.
There are Different Levels
One of the most important things you should understand is that there are different levels to autism and that not all adults with autism are exactly the same. A non-verbal autism person is someone who cannot speak or communicate with others. These people are more likely to live in specialized homes, mental health facilities or with their parents. Among those who are verbal, there are still different levels. The highest functioning people are those who can work a full-time job and live on their own. Others may need some extra help from those around them.
The autism spectrum refers to the different levels of autism. Non-verbal autistic patients are on one side of the spectrum, while those who exhibit just a few symptoms are on the opposite side of the spectrum. Looking at what adults with autism want others to know about them can help you better cope with the diagnosis given to a loved one.