Autism and Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASCs) affects approximately half a million people in the UK alone. This is about 1 in every 100 people.
Why seek a diagnosis of possible Autistic Spectrum Conditions in Adult life?
The benefits of getting a formal diagnosis of autism can include:
- it may help you to understand why you may experience certain difficulties and what you can do about them
- When the people close to you understand why you may see and feel the world in a different way and find certain things difficult, it’s much easier for them to empathise
- It may help you to get access to support and benefits
- Your employer may be required to make any necessary adjustments
See also NICE Guidance on Autism spectrum disorder in adults: diagnosis and management by clicking HERE.
What Are The Symptoms of Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASCs)?
ASCs can cause a wide range of symptoms, which are grouped into three broad categories:
Social communication difficulties
• Difficulties with both verbal and non-verbal language
• Takes things very literally
• Unable to take turns in a conversation
• Difficulty in interpreting facial expressions or tone of voice
• Finds understanding jokes or sarcasm very difficult to understand
• Only wants to talk about their own interests
Social imagination difficulties
• Difficulty in understanding people’s feelings
• Unable to think ahead and predict what might happen, nor understand the implications of a course of action
• Does not understand the concept of danger
• Finds it difficult to engage in imaginative play or role playing
• Has a dislike for new or unfamiliar situations
• Does not like changes in routine
Social interaction difficulties
• Has difficulty expressing their own emotions
• Unable to recognise emotions or feelings in others
• Appears to be insensitive
• Prefers to spend time on their own
• Appears to behave inappropriately from time to time
Individuals with ASC may also suffer some form of sensory sensitivity, such as not liking the smell of something or the feel of labels in their clothes.
They may also have a special interest that they can “hyperfocus” on, beyond the levels of normal interests or hobbies.
If you, or someone close to you may have some of these difficulties, and suspect that they may be on the autistic spectrum, you can find more information about how to explore possibility of seeking an assessment and diagnosis by clicking HERE.
Further Useful Links
National Autistic Society (NAS) – general site http://www.autism.org.uk/ – the UK’s main ASC-specific support organisation. A great starting point for families or individuals with questions about Autism Spectrum Conditions
NAS services directory http://www.autism.org.uk/directory.aspx – a comprehensive list of resources for people with an ASC and their families, searchable by area and type of input required
Wrong Planet.net http://www.wrongplanet.net/ – a web community designed for individuals (and parents / professionals of those) with Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, ADHD, PDDs, and other neurological differences