What are the problems that autistic adults face?

Autistic adults face a variety of obstacles, including difficulty forming and maintaining relationships, getting and keeping jobs, and communicating effectively with others. Autism is a type of pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) that affects communication skills. Autistic adults can have a mild form of autism, such as Asperger's, or a more severe form that prevents them from speaking.

People with Asperger syndrome can carry on conversations, but may have difficulty understanding social rules. They usually have a normal or high level of intelligence, but poor social skills, which holds them back. Adults with Asperger's may also have a low level of frustration or appear withdrawn from others. Adults with Asperger's can usually dramatically improve their social skills through specialized training sessions and behavioral therapy.

One challenge autistic adults face is starting and maintaining relationships and friendships. Since autism affects the ability to read faces and emotions, people can find it difficult to carry on conversations and follow basic forms of social ritual. Many autistic people don't maintain eye contact for very long, which can be off-putting for neurotypical people. Many autistic people don't have many friends because of their quirks.

Many autistic people never marry either. Romantic relationships are very challenging for those who cannot understand the normal give and take of a relationship. Those who are married may find it difficult to communicate with their spouses.

Another common problem autistic adults face is finding and keeping a job. Positions that require a high degree of social interaction are generally not suitable for people with autism. Autistic job applicants generally find the job interview quite daunting due to their poor social skills.

Many autistic people also have problems with change. They generally do not like change of any kind in their environments or routines. Typical coping mechanisms include jerking, rocking, or hand flapping. Autistic people generally strive for order and routine at all times and may have meltdowns if their regular routines are changed. Their love of routine can be a positive trait in technical work environments, but it often makes many aspects of their lives difficult.

In general, autistic people find social situations very difficult. Many of them must take social skills training or special education classes to learn how to function in ordinary society. Behavior modification programs and medications help some people with autism. Adults who received special care and social skills training at a young age usually have the best outlook.

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