We’ve come a long way in our understanding of autism spectrum disorder since the term was first used in 1908. While autism spectrum disorders have been in medical literature for more than 70 years, our understanding of the disorder has changed dramatically over time.
We now know, for example, that children don’t typically outgrow the condition, which means there are millions of Americans who go through daily life facing unique challenges. We also know there are ways to conquer those challenges long term. Here are a half dozen tips for coping with adult autism.
1. Become your own advocate.
Quite simply, this means speaking up to get what you need. Let’s say, for example, that your cubicle at work has flickering fluorescent lights that bother you. It’s okay to ask for different lighting that will allow you to work more efficiently.
2. Make your home your safe place.
When you’re out in the world, there will be a lot of things you can’t control—the noise of emergency vehicles, bright streetlights, and even the weather. Make your home as soothing as possible by taking steps to reduce noise, strong smells, harsh lighting, and unpleasant textures. You’ll want to think about things like choosing carpet instead of tile or wood, reducing clutter as much as possible, installing extra soundproofing materials, and choosing soothing colors like greens and blues for your walls. Here’s a great guide if you’d like to learn more.
3. Choose a career that suits your talents.
People on the autism spectrum sometimes do better working at jobs that don’t require interpreting non-verbal cues. That could be internet work, for example, or even work as a welder, drafter, or statistician.
4. Seek support.
Autism Speaks has a comprehensive list of resources on its website. There are agencies, people, and groups out there to support you in your efforts, whether you’re worried about college, getting a job, or even falling in love. Take advantage of the help and advice available to you.
5. Educate yourself.
There are many good books out there for adults on the autism spectrum, including the following:
6. Find a good doctor.
One in 68 children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. The upside of this statistic is that the medical profession continues to up its game in order to be able to serve this community more effectively.
Life on the autism spectrum can be challenging as an adult. That’s why it’s so important to reach out for the help you need. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our experts. It’s the first step in taking your health—and your future—into your own hands.