ASD is pervasive throughout the life span. Adults with ASD often struggle in navigating through marriages and workplace environment particularly where one is required to interact and communicate frequently. The way autism manifests can sometimes differ between men and women. Women for example, tend to mask their difficulties with social interaction and communication by hiding their feelings and remaining quiet.
A few common struggles with autism in adulthood are as follows:
- Difficulties interpreting sarcasms and/or the use of indirect language (e.g. buckle up). Understanding of social language tends to be literal.
- Struggles in identifying ‘social rules’ and reading context environment. This often results in making uncomfortable remarks and behaving inappropriately therefore resulting in being labelled as ‘conversation stoppers’.
- Challenges in decoding intention behind language (e.g. what others think and how they feel).
- Rubbing others the wrong way as one may be seemingly blunt, rude or appear uninterested without intending to appear so.
- Easily bullied or manipulated and therefore being subjected ‘office politics’.
- Struggles networking and engaging in larger social events.
- Wanting to belong but not knowing how to go about blending in with others and thereby often feeling left-out.
- Getting very anxious about small changes in routine and difficulties adjusting to changes thereafter.
- Having a fixation on rules and ‘doing the right thing’ regardless of context. If rules are broken,
Evidence-based intervention suggest that a combination of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and social thinking skills in addition to couple’s counselling; where necessary, can benefit adults with ASD.
- ‘Why Should I Care?’ by Winner, G and Crooke, P.
- ‘The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome’ by Attwood, T.
- ‘Autism as Context Blindness’ by Vermeulen, P.