Adult Autism: How to Live a Healthy Life

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You can cope with autism by establishing a fixed routine, setting aside time for self-care, and knowing your triggers. Keep reading to find out more.

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that likely occurs in the first three years of a baby’s life. Both autistic adults and children experience different symptoms at different times in their lives. Some of these include difficulty communicating with others, restricted behavior, as well as other conditions that affect proper functioning in school and workplaces.

No matter when autism is detected, it cannot be cured. However, there are several ways to deal with the disorder. From forming a fixed routine to identifying your triggers, there are certain ways that help autistic people lead a meaningful life. Keep reading to also learn how to help a loved one who has been diagnosed with autism. Living with an autistic adult needs a proper communication mechanism as well as a support system.

What is autism?

A neurological and developmental disorder, autism causes people to face challenges in communicating and functioning in daily life. Simple things like the inability to understand basic social cues, understand another person’s feelings, as well as experiencing problems regulating your own emotions are feelings that are common signs of being autistic. “Autism is a neurodivergence, which means that the brain has different connections to the person with autism and therefore functions differently than the neurotypical person,” explains clinical psychologist and psychotherapist Neha Patel.

Although many people with autism may be disabled, there are many who can live their lives reasonably well when given the appropriate and necessary support and opportunities to cope with the demands of everyday life. One of the main problems faced by people with autism is becoming easily anxious due to the pressures, demands and expectations of living a social life.

Read too: Autism in Adults: Signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder as You Age

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How does autism go unnoticed in childhood?

As the symptoms of autism vary, the diagnosis is often missed in childhood and it is only later in the person’s life that autism is detected. If an autistic person is able to communicate appropriately and has age-appropriate reactions and interests, autism may go unnoticed. This would indicate that your behavior is not neurodivergent. This also happens because the symptoms of autism are varied. Therefore, although they may go unnoticed in childhood, they can be seen later in life when relationships and responsibilities become more complex.

How to live with autism?

Here are some ways a person with autism can improve their quality of life.

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Building a routine and sticking to it helps both autistic people and their caregivers live meaningful lives. Image courtesy: Pexels

1. Create a routine

Establishing a routine and following it is a daily structure that helps you manage anxiety and get things done as needed. A study, published by National Institute of Healthstates that daily routines help to improve family rituals and help to contextualize autistic adults and children.

2. Indulge in self-care

Self-care routines such as exercise, adequate sleep and diet, time for some type of meditative or mindfulness activity should be part of your daily routine. O Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) states that autistic people should dedicate themselves to self-care. This can be done by avoiding oppressive situations with the use of noise-cancelling headphones or weighted blankets.

3. Focus on your strengths

A research article, published in Autism in adulthood, states that autistic people have many strengths, such as improved memory, creativity and also efficiency. Everyone has strengths and areas of interest and expertise. It is very important to work on them with dedication and find ways to make the most of them. It is important to become competent in this area. This helps improve self-confidence and esteem and gives a sense of accomplishment.

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4. Identify your triggers

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) states that there are many factors that can trigger autistic people such as the social environment, physical disorders and also changes in routine. It’s important to become aware of your triggers and learn helpful coping techniques, such as deep breathing or sensory stimulation, which can help control overwhelming emotions.

5. Social Skills Training

It helps to have professional help to improve social interaction, communication skills, and self-expression. O World Health Organization states that psychosocial interventions can help improve communication, which in turn would help both autistic people and their caregivers.

6. Seek help from appropriate professionals

Professionals such as therapists, psychiatrists, as well as support groups; All those who work to help people with autism will help you overcome your challenges and provide guidance and assistance.

Read too: How to identify autism early to avoid complications?

How to live with an autistic adult?

Living with an autistic adult brings challenges. You need to be sensitive to their needs and understand that you will need to take care of yourself too!

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Identifying your triggers and using tools to avoid them can help autistic adults. Image courtesy: Pexels

1. Self-education

First, learn everything you can about Autism Spectrum Disorder. This way, you will be better able to understand the person’s strengths, challenges, and needs, and you will also be better equipped to deal with weaknesses and have achievable expectations. you will be able to recognize the individual’s unique preferences, communication style and sensory needs.

2. Establish routines

Do this for yourself and also to help the person with autism you are caring for. Establishing a proper routine that you follow every day can go a long way toward reducing anxiety and instilling a sense of stability.

3. Communication

Maintaining clear verbal communication, expressing your limits, concerns and preferences is vital. Use clear words and instructions. Additionally, listen to the other person’s expectations and respect their limits.

4. Sensory-friendly environment

Minimize sensory overload, a situation in which your five senses are expected to absorb much more information than your brain can process. This can be overwhelming for the person with autism.

5. Self-care

You will only be able to support the autistic adult in your life if you are taking adequate care of yourself, your own physical and emotional well-being will increase your ability to help someone else

6. Balanced support

Provide support as needed, don’t become an enabler. Guide the person with autism and then allow them to navigate through trial and error. Of course, support them as needed while encouraging independence and autonomy.

7. Social participation

Create opportunities for social participation and involvement in activities that can align with their comfort and interest and those that will be a little challenging (in small portions) but that will motivate them to keep going.

8. Be patient and empathetic

This is a wonderful opportunity for you to cultivate empathy and patience, recognizing and accepting the neurodiversity of the individual with autism.

9. Career guidance and therapy

Definitely enlist the help of professionals trained in the field of autism, as they will help you face many challenges. Ask for help to maintain your metallic health as a caregiver.

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