Autism is a complex developmental disorder that can cause social and communication difficulties, repetitive behaviors, and unusual reactions to sensory stimulation. Some signs of autism in adults include hyperactivity or anxiety problems.
The “treatment for mild autism in adults” is a difficult task. There are many different methods that can be used to help with the issue. The article will provide 5 tips on how to deal with autism in adults.
Autism Spectrum Disorder: What Is It?
ASD, often known as autism spectrum disorder is a communicative and behavioral disease that affects development. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM 5) published by the American Psychiatric Association has the following among its diagnostic criteria:
- persistent deficiencies in social interaction and communication in a variety of circumstances
- limited, recurring interests, habits, or pursuits
These signs of autism must appear throughout the early stages of development and cannot be explained by intellectual impairment or a general developmental delay. A clinically significant impairment in social or occupational functioning must be present in order to make the diagnosis of ASD.
The DSM-5 combined four different forms of autism into one label: autism spectrum disorder The new ASD diagnosis covers those who have previously been given one of these diagnoses. These comprised:
- diagnosis of autism
- disorder of disintegration in children
- non-specific pervasive developmental disorder
- Asperger’s disorder (considered high functioning autism)
Because autism is a spectrum disorder, it is impossible to lump all autistic people together into a single category. Considering that every autistic person is different and has different requirements, we also cannot treat them all same.
Although not all individuals with ASD need specialized care, some do, depending on their level of independence. This might mean collaborating with:
- a Behavior Analyst with application
- a life trainer
- a mentor
- a daily visiting home health aide
working with individuals who are autistic
Others people with autism spectrum condition live with their families or other close friends, some live in special needs group homes, and some live fairly well on their own with little to no outside help.
Many individuals on the autism spectrum have certain traits that may make life particularly difficult. Functional communication and interacting with others may be challenging for certain people because they may not be as talkative or as socially adept as others. Others can need a lot of prodding, instruction, and reinforcement to learn how to do everyday tasks on their own. Many individuals with ASD have jobs or professional paths; however, not all of them do. Those who assist these people may teach them good work habits and prepare them for employment duties.
People that assist persons with autism are typically:
Even seasoned staff members may always learn more about the autism spectrum. Understanding how to handle adult-onset autism ensures that:
- get the finest care possible
- use your skills
- make the most of each day.
For five suggestions on dealing with adults with autism, keep reading.
1. Develop Diverse Communication Styles
The term “autism spectrum” truly describes a number of illnesses. Each condition has unique symptoms that are categorised according to their severity to help in diagnosis. Common characteristics of several of these diseases include difficulties with speech and language. This includes both verbal and nonverbal interaction, as well as expressive, receptive, and functional language abilities. You must develop the skills necessary to assist individuals with autism in communicating in their chosen manner.
On the upper end of the spectrum, an autistic person may talk fluently and use a wide variety of words, while those on the lower end may only utilize noises and other methods of communication. Some autistic people who are fully nonverbal may need to use the following methods to communicate their needs and wants:
- using signs
- aids and technologies
- nonverbal interaction
Treat adults with ASD with respect and in the same way you would any other person. There is no need to behave differently regardless of the developmental stage of the audience to whom you are addressing.
The May Institute’s autism specialists provide excellent tips for communicating with adults with ASD.
- Not as a kid, but as any other adult, address him or her.
Do not assume that all people with autism spectrum disorder have poor cognitive skills; disabilities come in many shapes and sizes.
- Avoid using too familiar or intimate words or phrases.
It’s improper to call someone “sweetie” or use other endearments or pet names. Be courteous and professional at all times.
You’ll notice that while learning how to interact with autistic adults, it’s best to avoid using sarcasm and metaphors since autistic people are often quite literal and do comprehend it.
Play the part of an engaged listener. Listen carefully to what your buddy has to say, whether they are sharing a tale or need to vent their emotions.
- Wait for an answer if you pose a question.
When talking, it’s crucial to give yourself plenty of time since not everyone with an autistic spectrum disease processes information at the same rate.
- Provide pertinent criticism
Helping adults with autism spectrum disorders is your responsibility. Give prompt, non-judgmental comments if you see an improper action or can think of a better way to say or do anything.
- Avoid speaking to them as if they are not there.
If everyone is present, address them as well as the autistic person while speaking with family members or other experts.
Remember that everyone has a unique communication style, even those who do not have autism!
2. Recognize and abide by boundaries
Working with individuals who have autism will benefit by setting and maintaining limits. In addition to establishing your own limits, whether they be verbal or physical, you also need to be aware of your client’s boundaries.
Many people with autism spectrum disorder feel sensory overload when exposed to things that most people would find pleasant. It’s crucial to realize that some individuals on the autistic spectrum dislike typical bodily gestures like:
- Rewarding remarks
- being nearby in space as well as time
Ask your customer or a loved one about their preferences before you start working with them. You may go ahead and establish your own limits throughout this discussion.
A social tale or boundary “contract” might be helpful if a lack of boundaries starts to bother one or both parties.
People with an autism diagnosis often flourish when given:
Setting clear expectations and limits may make your client feel comfortable and secure and give them a clearer idea of what to anticipate from their daily routine.
Just bear in mind that you also need to maintain sensible limits from time to time.
3. Stay composed and carry on
Many persons with autism are familiar with the feeling of anxiety. For people with ASD, anxiety may be realistically caused by worrying about uncertainty, experiencing an unexpected shift in routine, being overstimulated by sensory input, or being triggered by a social scenario.
It’s crucial that your client’s atmosphere be serene and tranquil when they experience anxiety and unhappiness during social encounters. Raised voices exacerbate anxiety and stress. It works best if you speak gently and respect their personal space. Utilizing a work they like as a kind of diversion might also be beneficial. Examples comprise:
- building a puzzle
- consuming music
- watching a movie
Autism sufferers are often highly diligent. Sorting the pieces by size, for instance, will offer them a sense of order and be calming to them, helping you to draw their focus away from the disarray and back to the organization.
For individuals with ASD, there are a ton of calming techniques and self-soothing methods accessible. If you see your client in a state of anxiety, use one of these methods for adults with autism:
- Utilize a weighted blanket or vest.
- Implement essential oils
- Play with putty or an other fidget toy.
- practice deep breathing
- Play a meditation app on your phone or television.
- Make use of EFT tapping
- Take a stroll
- Exercise a pet
- Create art in a unique way.
The ways in which each autistic person manages stress and finds ways to unwind vary. Find out more about your customers’ trigger reactions and preferred relaxing activities.
4. Be organized and prepared.
Expect the best while dealing with autistic individuals, but be ready for the worst.
Have a predetermined itinerary available for your client the day before, whether you are remaining at home or venturing out into the neighborhood, so that s/he is prepared and at ease. Inform your customer as soon as any unforeseen changes happen and make sure they are OK with it.
Going out into the neighborhood might be difficult at times. It might be distressing when others around you and your autistic client don’t comprehend the condition. Prepare for going out by making backup plans in case the first one fails. If anxiety strikes, be prepared with soothing techniques. Make sure your client is practicing skills when out in the community as well. This might be:
- putting social skills to use
- counting out money to pay for meals
- using suitable communication
- the process of shopping at a store
Before entering the community, having your client practice these techniques at home will make them feel more at ease and prepared.
Working with individuals with autism necessitates having essential conversations about new circumstances beforehand and using diversions to prevent anxiety from rising.
5. Maintain Consistency
Adults with ASD often struggle with everyday changes, particularly ones that come as a surprise. Like the majority of individuals who do not have autism, many of them like to be organized and aware of what to anticipate in novel settings. Never forget to follow a regular routine. It may be necessary for meals and hygiene routines to occur at the same time every day. Scheduled periods of work and play are also possible. Since not everyone will have the same preferences about consistency in this matter, you should find out more about your customer. A change in schedule may not bother some persons with ASD.
If you do need to keep a rather dependable schedule, using timers, clocks, visual schedules, digital schedules, etc. can help Maintain Consistency.
In general, consistency may provide people with autism a sense of security and peace of mind.
Help is accessible.
The autistic community’s parents and caregivers may share stories and develop helpful bonds by joining a support group. Parents and other caregivers of autistic people may learn about:
- appropriate workshops nearby (or online groups)
- modernized treatments
- Services for autism in the neighborhood
- Effective strategies for overcoming everyday obstacles
When it comes to various groupings, there is no one solution that fits all. Here are a few varieties you could encounter.
The leaders of these organizations are parents or other relatives of autistic people. They give people a sense of belonging and emotional support.
Educational support groups are places set aside for the exchange of the most recent knowledge about autism, including the most recent best practices and methods used by experts.
These are run by experts who have experience working with autistic people. They could be directed by a group or organization that provides assistance.
- Family Support Groups for Autism
Focus in family support groups is on how an ASD diagnosis affects the family. They could discuss common problems or helpful neighborhood resources.
Conclusion: Advice for Working with Adults on the Autism Spectrum
Adults with ASD are extraordinary people with diverse:
- both physical and mental capabilities
Working with people who have autism spectrum disorders may be difficult at times, but it can also be rewarding and lovely most of the time. Regardless of the assistance they get from family members, adults with ASD might need an additional sympathetic and caring individual in their life.
Northeastern State University offers the Master of Education degree.
Disorders of Behavior and Learning | Georgia State University
rev. June 2022
The “coping skills for autistic adults” is a document that provides tips for how to deal with autism in adults. The document was created by the National Autism Association and it can be found on their website. Reference: coping skills for autistic adults “pdf”.
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Janice is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Special Education. She also holds a Master of Science in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) from Queen’s University, Belfast. She has worked with and case managed children and youth with autism and other intellectual and/or developmental disabilities in home and residential setting since 2013.