We talk a lot about kids with autism, but sometimes people are not diagnosed with autism until they are adults.
I started thinking about this after I attended an Autism Speaks conference. At the conference, I attended a talk led by a panel of people who had been diagnosed with autism as adults.
If you or a loved one is a teen or a young adult who struggles with social situations and making friends, or sensory issues, it might be worthwhile to look up the characteristics of autism. Many of the people on this panel struggled in junior high and high school but had no idea their struggles were due to autism. They said that life eventually got better for them, but those school years might have been easier with a diagnosis and help.
Characteristics To Look For
I encourage you to look up the characteristics of Asperger’s Syndrome and high-functioning autism and see if they describe you. See if those characteristics describe some of the challenges you have. If so, reach out! Someone can help you with these challenges. Reaching out might lead you to a diagnosis and some help. Or, it might lead you to learn that you do not have Asperger’s or autism, and then you can rule those out and look at other ways to get help for your challenges.
You do not have to struggle alone. There are so many resources available to help!