Asperger's Syndrome Symptoms in Adults – Overcoming the Top 4 Challenges Asperger's Adults Face
Asperger's syndrome symptoms in adults is a topic less often discussed than Asperger's in children — but it is an important topic because kids with Asperger's syndrome grow up and become adults with Asperger's.
Asperger's syndrome is a form of high functioning autism. Irrespective of whether or not an adult has been officially diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, many adults know they have it…either from the symptoms they exhibit or from informal tests that they may have seen on a web site or in a book.
Many adults did not have the opportunity to be tested for Asperger's as a child and were never formally diagnosed. Therefore, they did not benefit from early Asperger's treatment or intervention. In many ways, this makes it especially difficult for many adults with Asperger's.
There are many unique challenges to being an adult with Asperger's, from social issues to employment to feelings of self-worth. What does it really feel like to be an adult with Asperger's disorder?
The Top 4 Challenges Asperger's Adults Face
A survey of adults with Asperger's revealed that the following issues loomed largest in the adult with Asperger's syndrome.
1. Employment Issues And Asperger's
Employment is a big issue with adults who have Asperger's. In order to be independent in our society, one usually needs a job. A lot of adults with Asperger's want to be independent and live on their own, but to do so they need to be able to pay the bills. And that means getting a job.
Adults with Asperger's are usually very intelligent and capable people, but they need a compatible environment for them to be able to thrive. What they need is usually not compatible with what most work places require. They need control of their environment; co-workers talking, snapping gum, or playing the radio can drive them to distraction. The lights may be too dim or too bright; perfumes or other smells may be bothersome; and in general, there may be too much sensory stimuli in a typical workplace environment to screen out.
Then there is office politics, which is something most adults with Asperger's have problems with, and getting along with others in general. Jobs that require working with the public have their own problems. And even getting past the interview to get the job can be a problem. This is all very frustrating to the adult with Asperger's who just wants to prove that he can make it on his own and feel like he is contributing something to society.
2. Asperger's Syndrome Leads To Feelings Of Inadequacy And Social Anxiety
Often times, adults with Asperger's syndrome have to work twice as hard just to keep up with their typical peers, and often still fall behind. They see their peers getting jobs, living alone, getting married, and having an active social life, and they often feel jealous and a bit bitter if they are having problems in any of those areas. This is not to say that all adults with Asperger's will have these issues, but often issues will crop up in one area or another. There is pressure to compare themselves to others their age, and they always find themselves wanting. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy, anxiety and depression.
They may have a job, but still be living with their parents; or perhaps they have a job and live alone, but still rely on their family for a lot of help with everyday tasks. Keeping an apartment up, cleaning, cooking, and bill paying can all pose challenges, and trying to be social out in the world takes far more energy for an adult with Asperger's than the typical person.
3. Difficulty With Friends And Relationships
Many adults with Asperger's want to have friends, but their lack of social savvy makes it hard to do. Their difficulties picking up social cues and social anxiety get in the way of having friendships. Romantic relationships are even more difficult. Relationships are hard even for people without Asperger's; there is so much communication and understanding that is required; so much give and take.
These are all things that can be hard for someone with Asperger's. They are not impossible, but they can be difficult. Adults with Asperger's are often lonely due to problems in this area. Social groups and activities with other people who also have Asperger's can lessen some of this loneliness.
4. Feelings Of Meaninglessness
A lot of adults with Asperger's are just plain brilliant in some areas. They know everything there is to know about the solar system, electronics or some obscure part of history. They like to think deeply. They have things they would like to do with their lives, goals and dreams. Some of them do accomplish these goals with a lot of work. Others are not so lucky.
Sensory issues, a tendency to get easily overwhelmed, or other issues get in the way of them achieving what they would like to. A large number of adults are on disability and cannot work. Finding things to fill their time can be a challenge.
They get to a point where nothing in their life has much meaning anymore, because all they're doing is trying to survive. They have no activities that make them feel good about themselves and their place in the world. Again, this does not apply to everyone, but there need to be more programs to address these issues.
There Are Ways To Thrive With Asperger's Syndrome
These are four of the main areas of difficulty for adults with Asperger's. Do not despair, however, because there are ways to address all of these issues, especially if an adult can find a support group and good counseling. The future does not have to be bleak for adults with Asperger's. There just needs to be people and programs in their lives who are sensitive to their needs and can improve the quality of their lives. With treatment, adults can overcome the symptoms of Asperger's syndrome and lead a successful and fulfilling life.
These are just a few of the answers you will need to successfully survive and thrive with Aspergers. To find information to help both children and adults with Asperger's syndrome see our solutions page. Also ensure you sign up for the FREE Asperger's Syndrome Newsletter to gain additional information to help your loved one be happy and succeed in life.