Living with any kind of disorder is never easy, especially when it comes to autism. The condition can be severe and challenging, making life difficult for both the person affected and their families.
While much attention has been given over the years to understanding autism in children, very little focus has been given to adults who are severely affected by this condition. Here, we will explore what happens to severely autistic adults as they grow older and how they cope with their disorder.
Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism spectrum disorder or ASD is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects social communication and interaction skills. It also impacts nonverbal communication like facial expressions, tone of voice among others.
People diagnosed with ASD have difficulty in adapting to changes in routine; they can be highly sensitive to sensory stimuli like bright light or loud noise, and tend towards repetitive behaviors or fixations on particular objects.
Severity Levels of Autism Spectrum Disorder
Not all people with autism experience symptoms at similar levels- some people may display mild forms while others develop more severe symptoms that affect daily living activities significantly. The severity level depends on social communication ability , limits repetitive behaviors/sets routines besides sensitivity levels about sensory inputs such as sound/lights/touch/smell etcetera:
Mildly autistic individuals eventually learn new skills but may need extra support initially due to their idiosyncratic behavior patterns; this group represents an estimated 40% of those on the spectrum according to the CDC.
Moderately autistic individuals account for approximately 32% according to the same research organization – these adults depend considerably on outside interventions like personalized services programs/habilitation plans/therapeutic options managed by qualified clinicians decreasing type II errors arising from isolation or under-diagnosis.
The most challenging level for both afflicted individuals and caregivers; people with severe autism may engage in extremely repetitive or restrictive behaviors, such that they may require total care likely by family members if any support is available. A third of the general population diagnosed on ASD fall within this category breaking down to roughly a quarter of adults who have received one.
What Happens To Severely Autistic Adults?
Severely autistic adults experience limited vocational prospects beyond wage/subsidized employment opportunities that provide less independence than conventional activities/practices.
Additionally, some might face challenges regarding independent living since many require assistance or supportive housing from family members/caregivers when it comes to daily routines like financial management/meal preparation/medication administration etcetera.
As these individuals age beyond their early twenties, finding accessible senior care/support becomes increasingly challenging as most facilities cater primarily towards cognitive intact seniors; thus whoever ends up caring for them often burns out over time given how intricate demanding their needs can become- particularly once a caregiver lacks access to expert help and resources/space/time necessary due diligence in responding adequately) in handling crisis situations like medical emergencies/challenging conditions which commonly arise/emerge over multiple months abruptly altering routine functioning significantly or one-off events requiring prompt independent action.
These challenges further impact communication among these groups of people and social interactions between families that reside at differing geographic locations making coordination burdensome sometimes leading them towards isolated lifestyles dominated by caretaker presence whose options tend constriction erratically as life progresses eventually having dwindling physical capabilities themselves becoming vulnerable too unless proper insurance coverage secures them against unexpected finances before turning critical points separating those generally self-sustainable into another dire arena where preemptive planning proves essential such end-of-life arrangements; however, even here limitations such as fewer options sourcing dedicated staff equipped/trained to handle serious ASD scenarios exist despite growing needs.
Common Challenges Faced By Severely Autistic Adults
Severely autistic adults face numerous challenges in their daily lives, including:
Severe autism frequently goes hand-in-hand with communication limitations/deficits that could adversely impact the quality of life considerably – as evidenced by high instances aggression episodes along difficulty conveying wants and needs.
People struggling with severe autism often process sensory inputs differently than neurotypicals leading them towards experiencing discomfort distress when presented with loud sounds bright lights smells touching other people things pick up certain tastes etcetera meaning they may require limited exposure through specialized headphones shelter spaces/silent rooms regulating environment stimuli contributing toward overall sense wellbeing throughout the day minimizing high anxiety levels brought about due overstimulation during regular hours.
Severe Autism has a unique attachment to special interests which once prompted don’t easily leave someone’s agenda, thus causing substantial disruption if anything changes from fixed routines/patterns of Behavior / tradition preference without adequate preparation beforehand, manifesting itself within the individual potentially becoming indifferent/gnocchi/lashing out emotionally questioning reason behind sudden change impinging precious time allotted pursuing passion projects likely already suffering neglect lack understanding on societal standards being inept at reciprocal give-and-take context most individuals take for granted thus taking longer times establishing relationships trust worthiness earning respect overall sense hostility prone facing seclusion society pushing away exacerbating dependent nature only making a return harder.
How Can We Help These Individuals?
Perhaps one significant way we can help severely autistic adults is by creating personalized services managed by trained professionals or organizations devoted cooperatively towards finding solutions centered around providing an appropriate quality lifestyle while fostering long term well-being; however, this should be done according to each patient’s specific clinical profile since some cases might need institutionalized care beyond family-based caregiving capacity depending on how disruptive care-giving in a physical setting becomes.
Here are some common questions and answers related to severe autism spectrum disorder :
Q: What is the prevalence of ASD?
ASD affects approximately 1 in every 54 children across America; however, this figure only accounts for those diagnosed within childhood as adults are rarely evaluated beyond their late teen years.
Q: At what age does ASD get diagnosed?
While most commonly spotted during early observation up to year three-four upon reaching relative social developmental milestones cases exist where individuals will pass undiagnosed without suspicion until adulthood due to better masking strategies developed over time that may have further strained the adult experiencing stress anxiety over people they could not gauge or fit with expending precious energy during social interactions/organization strategies their norm thereby becoming fixed coping mechanisms despite contributing one’s low mood depressed states low self-esteem an overall sense of despair disenchantment or hopelessness towards overcoming hurdles accessing better opportunities/receiving appropriate care services.
Q: Does medication help people with severe autism?
Medication can be helpful depending on individual situations varying/case-by-case but generally used to manage co-existing factors like seizures /obsessive-compulsive symptoms requiring regular medical check-ins monthly prescription enforcing considering restricted diets/sensitivity medications possible side effects interpersonal conflicts taking arise concerning unwarranted substance indulgences. Nonetheless, they do improve quality life for most suffering from extreme behavioral problems aiding emotional stability conducive maintaining greater levels independent functioning otherwise compromised at junctures bringing down risky behavior max continuum levels/severity associating upheavals negatively impacted well-being ad groups brought out abuse misinterpretation intention violence fear power struggles challenges managing complex emotions financial independence parents/trustees running into obstacles regarding personal decision making rights ability work contribute society/participate civil activities donate etcetera requiring extensive legal efforts advocacy support besides official jobs disability payments/social security welfare general assistance programs states typically grant severely unique taxation demographics add to successful integration depends on individual medical history family sentiments societal expectations/metastasizing system support society inclusive accommodating embracing diversity via established orientation a bringing networks together uplifting themselves.
In conclusion, it is evident that severely autistic adults face numerous challenges in their daily lives. While there are several strategies and support systems available to help them cope with these difficulties, much more needs to be done. Improving awareness of the condition and promoting acceptance for individuals affected by ASD can go a long way in helping these individuals lead fulfilling lives.