There are many reasons why people may not be diagnosed with autism when they are children. We believe this can be improved and that health providers and the wider community need to be more aware of autism and how it can present.

Generally, from my own experience in the clinic, the diagnosis of autism can be a relief for people.

Adults with autism often feel different, but struggle to know why.

Undiagnosed autism in adulthood can lead to feelings of isolation. Consequently people may also experience social difficulties, depression, and distress. People with autism can also have entirely different life experiences, healthcare needs and lifestyles.

  • The autism spectrum includes all levels of intellectual capacity.
  • People with autism can also have entirely different sensory profiles.
  • Some people may have sensitivity to sound, where another person may have sensitivity to touch.
  • Some people might experience decreased sensitivity to touch or pain.

What to look for if you think someone might be on the spectrum?

  • Social communication difficulties.
  • Unusually restricted interests.
  • Repetitive behaviours.
  • Challenges adjusting to some changes.
  • Sensory sensitivities.

Autism in Adulthood Infographic with pictures of a lot of different people

Ongoing difficulties with social interaction or communication

People with autism experience difficulties with interacting and communicating in a socially appropriate way. Often having difficulty understanding what others are thinking and feeling. When required to  ‘walk in someone else’s shoes’ or to respond to the emotional state of others appropriately. On average, people with autism perform worse on tasks that require empathy.

To understand others, people with autism need specific statements about what others are thinking or feeling. Sometimes misunderstanding sarcasm and tone, they need specific and concrete statements from others.  People with Autism often can’t pick up on body language and facial expressions.

Do you notice that a friend or family member of yours is consistently awkward in conversation?

We can help with Autism Assessments .

Insistence on sameness and/or resistance to change in Adults with autism.

An inflexible adherence to routines is one of the criteria that supports the diagnosis of autism. Individuals with autism may become extremely agitated when routine is changed. Routines such as eating lunch/dinner at a certain time or a last-minute cancellation for an appointment. Last-minute cancellations and changes in plan can be annoying to anyone but most people will problem solve around it.

Restricted and Repetitive interests or behaviours.

Neurotypical people can engage in conversation about other’s people interests of which they may know little. However people with autism can become hyper focused and fixated on a very narrow range of interests, displaying rigid patterns of thought. Such as, needing to know everything about trains or planes.

Because of these rigid patterns, they will consistently try to bring the topic back to their interest. If this sounds like a behaviour of someone you know, this could be affecting their ability to engage with others socially. In addition it can affect their ability to maintain a healthy day-to-day.

If this seems familiar it might be worth encouraging them to see their GP.

We can help with Autism Assessments .

Boutique Psychology – Person-centred therapy 

Address : 194 Gladstone St, South Melbourne

Phone : (03) 9938 9800

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