Autism in Adults
Autism in adults is a lifelong developmental process; the characteristics may vary from one person to another. Many people who are diagnosed with autism also have learning disabilities, and those with Asperger’s syndrome and high functioning autism have fewer problems with speaking than others on the spectrum. They are often of average or above average intelligence, however, may still have complex support needs.
Some people go through childhood without knowing that they have the condition, but finding out is a big relief, finally being able to understand why they found some things difficult, and others exceptionally easy.
Anxiety is a real difficulty for many adults with autism or Asperger syndrome; it can affect a person both physically and psychologically. Anxiety can occur from a range of reasons, and adults with autism or Asperger syndrome can vary in their ability to cope with it. Understanding emotions can be difficult but by helping someone to understand anxiety, you can help them to manage it better.
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Anxiety can affect both the mind and body, and produce a range of symptoms. The psychological and physical symptoms of anxiety are closely linked and so can lead to a vicious cycle that can be difficult to break.
Sometimes depression can be a cause for panic attacks. Ways to tackle these issues include:
- Cognitive behaviour therapy – it teaches people how to identify anxiety and change anxiety generating thoughts.
- Medication is a short term relief, as well as counselling.
- Some people suggest herbs and vitamins can help too.
- Diet and exercise can play a big factor in helping a person cope with panic attacks, as physical fitness and a good balanced diet is essential for emotional well-being.
- Relaxation/Meditation can reduce stress levels and give you a calm approach to life.
At West London Community College we offer social skills training for autism in adults, which will help when going for interviews and searching for employment, our ICT and work experience programmes will also help towards this. We provide professional help in making life more independent, and those with the condition to be able to solve problems and interact with others.