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Living With Autism In Adulthood

Updated on June 9, 2020

What Is Autism

Autism is a disorder that affects 1 in 45 people. Every sufferer is different and it is not always obvious that a person is Autistic. This is because there are many levels to the disorder. At one end of the scale are those who show signs of disability and at the other are those who show signs of high intelligence. However Autism is not that clear cut and rather than black and white the Autism Spectrum is a Rainbow.

Those who are at the High Functioning end and have a higher than average IQ may excel at certain tasks or subjects but find others hard.

Most sufferers find socializing hard and as such have difficulty making friends. This can cause problems later in life as Autistic Adults may find situations like interviews hard to cope with. This in some can lead to anxiety which in turn can make the situation worse.

Most sufferers find it hard to get through school and gain qualifications and those that do may only come out with good results in one or two subjects. This can also cause issue when looking for work in later life.

Becoming a valued member of society who can function well is rare in Autism. However with a little help and support 30% of sufferers can do just this and the rest should never give up trying as we all have a role to play you just need to find out where you fit in.

My Story

I am one of those sufferers who found interviews hard and the inability to get work affected my mental health. However after a few false starts I found work and in the end got a job that I have now been at over 14 years. I have built up my confidence through working in a retail environment dealing with customers. I also coached athletics for a few years which helped me aswell

Autism And The Work Environment

When looking for work take your strengths into account and make potential employers understand how you would benefit the business.

You need a CV listing your strengths and any qualifications. Get a relative or friend to help you if you struggle with this task.

If you struggle socially but are great with numbers then make them aware that you would work well behind the scenes doing certain administrative tasks rather than being in a customer service role.

Interviews can be hard for everyone but for autism sufferers who are not good in social situations they can be terrifying. However don't let this but you off as the more interviews you go to the better you will become and although you may get lots of knock backs don't give up as one day you may find yourself in an interview feeling comfortable and confident and even get the job. I did and I'm still at the same company 17 years later.

Gaining Confidence Socially

To succeed in life you need to ha able to be confident around others. This is hard when you are Autistic but it can be worked on.

If you like sport the look for a sports team or club to join.

Volunteer for a charity.

If you are creative then enrol on an art course. Even if that's not your strength you should try it as art is great therapy.

It will be hard at first but the benefits of doing these things can be great for your future prospects.

Don't Let Autism Define You

  • Don't allow your Autism get in the way of your goals.
  • Play to your strengths and work on your weaknesses.
  • Never let autism define you.

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