vtuking

What are the signs and symptoms of Asperger’s in adults?

Asperger’s syndrome is a developmental disorder characterized by difficu¿lties in communication and social interaction. Not every adult who experiences Asperger’s has received a diagnosis, as many grew up before the diagnosis existed.

People with Asperger’s typically have average or above average intelligence, but they may experience challenges in some areas of their lives.

What is Asperger’s?

An adult with Asperger’s may have difficulty with verbal and nonverbal communication.
In 2013, the American Psychiatric Association classified Asperger’s syndrome under the umbrella of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Autism is a developmental disability characterized by difficulties in communication and social interaction and characteristic patterns of behavior.

Experts typically consider Asperger’s to be at the mild end of the autism spectrum.

A 2019 literature review notes that the estimated prevalence of Asperger’s in childhood is between 0.02-0.03%. Boys are three to four times more likely to have Asperger’s than girls.

Signs and symptoms in adults

In adults, Asperger’s may cause difficulties in the following areas:

emotion regulation and interpretation
verbal and nonverbal communication
social interactions
behavior
Some people may experience only a few symptoms while others will have several.

People who have Asperger’s often learn to adapt to the world around them. Many adults learn to hide their symptoms to the extent that they may appear neurologically typical.

Some potential symptoms of Asperger’s in adulthood are outlined below.

Emotional difficulties

Adults who experience Asperger’s may find it challenging to deal with their emotional responses to situations or events. This can cause the person to react inappropriately or have emotional outbursts.

People may also have difficulty understanding the emotional experiences of others. As a result, an adult with Asperger’s may have difficulty showing empathy.

Communication difficulties

Asperger’s may cause difficulties with the following aspects of communication:

Nonverbal communication

People with Asperger’s may have difficulty noticing or interpreting nonverbal cues, such as:

facial expressions
gestures
body language
Some people with Asperger’s find it hard to make eye contact with others. This can make nonverbal communication even more challenging.

Verbal communication

People with Asperger’s may have difficulties understanding and processing language. They may also show differences in language production. Specifically, they may produce repetitive speech or robotic speech that lacks inflection.

Social interaction

Because people with ASD typically have difficulties with verbal and nonverbal communication, they may find social situations challenging. They may particularly struggle to make conversation or small talk.

Behavioral symptoms

People with ASD typically crave routine and respond negatively to change. They may engage in repetitive behaviors as part of their routine.

People with ASD may also behave differently in response to sensory stimuli. They may display under sensitivity or over sensitivity to sensations such as light, sound, or touch.

For example, a person may intensely dislike bright lights or become irritated by a sound that does not appear to bother other people.

Other signs and symptoms

Some people who have Asperger’s may experience additional signs and symptoms. Some examples are outlined below.

Intense focus

People with ASD often focus intently on a specific topic of interest and may engage in frequent monologues on the subject. Some people describe this type of focus as obsession.

However, the intense focus can be beneficial, especially in a school or workplace setting. Intense focus allows people to concentrate on an issue or problem for prolonged periods, which may lead to greater problem solving skills.

Coordination issues

A 2016 study found that issues with motor coordination are more common among adults with ASD. These issues can cause differences in a person’s gait, or difficulties with fine motor skills, such as when writing or buttoning clothing.

Lack of close friendships

Some people who have Asperger’s have trouble making or maintaining close friendships. This may be due to difficulties in communicating with others or processing others’ emotions.

Some adults with Asperger’s also show a preference for solitary activities over team ones. This preference can make it more difficult for the person to form close connections.

Treatment for adults

The treatment for Asperger’s syndrome and other forms of autism involves helping the person to cope with symptoms and challenges.

Treatment options include the following:

Cognitive behavioral therapy

People with Asperger’s may experience the following issues as a result of the increased challenges they face in their daily lives:

stress and anxiety
depression
social isolation
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that can help a person to work through these challenges. CBT involves changing patterns of thinking in order to change feelings and behaviors.

A 2018 review found that CBT can also help to alleviate anxiety symptoms in people with both ASD and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Speech therapy

A speech therapist can help people with Asperger’s to address issues with robotic or repetitive speech. The therapist can teach people how to speak with inflection and how to moderate their pitch.

Peer support

It can be helpful for people who have Asperger’s to connect with others who also have ASD. Peer support can take place online or in person at support meetings.

Medication

Prescription medications may help to alleviate co-occurring conditions, such as:

depression
anxiety
OCD
Vocational therapy

Some people with ASD may benefit from vocational therapy. This type of therapy helps a person to secure or maintain employment or work on other career-related challenges. It also allows them to explore their options in relation to further education and volunteering.

Causes

There is no single known cause of ASD. It is likely that there are many causes, including genetics and environmental factors.

Factors that may increase a person’s risk of having Asperger’s or other forms of autism include:

being male
having a family history of ASD
being born extremely prematurely
Complications

Some potential complications of Asperger’s in adults include:

social isolation
difficulties in romantic and family relationships
difficulties at school or work
In comparison to the general population, people with ASD also tend to have higher rates of co-occurring conditions, such as:

anxiety
depression
gastrointestinal issues
OCD
attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Research indicates that depression is one of the most significant co-occurring disorders in people who have ASD. Depression may occur as a result of difficulties in a person’s personal or professional life.

Diagnosis

Getting a diagnosis of Asperger’s or ASD as an adult can be challenging.

Because Asperger’s tends to be at the milder end of the autism spectrum, the symptoms can be difficult to recognize.

Also, many adults have been living with Asperger’s syndrome their entire lives, meaning they may be competent at hiding the signs and symptoms from others.

There is currently no specific test or diagnostic criteria for diagnosing Asperger’s syndrome in adults.

Some people may wish to take a self-assessment test for adults. Although this is not a diagnosis, it may provide important insights that a person can discuss with their doctor. Some people may prefer to skip the test and go straight to their doctor.

A doctor may arrange a referral to a psychologist or psychiatrist. These health specialists will:

ask about symptoms, both in adulthood and childhood
observe and interact with the person
speak to family members, with permission
When to see a doctor

People should see a doctor if they believe that they may have Asperger’s syndrome or autism.

Getting a diagnosis as an adult can be challenging. However, a diagnosis can increase access to treatments, such as therapy and medication.

Summary

Asperger’s in adults typically causes issues with communication, emotion regulation and interpretation, social interactions, and behavior. People who have Asperger’s may also experience other conditions, such as depression, anxiety, or OCD.

Nonetheless, many people with Asperger’s do very well in academic and workplace settings. They tend to have average or above average intelligence, strong verbal skills, and superior problem solving skills.

Adults who believe they may have Asperger’s syndrome should speak to their doctor.

vtuking

28 Comments

  1. Reply

    This is really good to know

  2. Reply

    Very important

  3. Reply

    Thank you for this information very helpful

  4. Reply

    Good to know

  5. Reply

    Great piece

  6. Reply

    Thanks for the information

  7. Reply

    Thanks for the information really helpful

  8. Reply

    I love this

  9. Reply

    That’s good

  10. Reply

    Nice to know

  11. Reply

    Nice to know

  12. Profile photo ofChukwucee

    Reply

    Life saving information

  13. Reply

    Great article

  14. Reply

    World class information

  15. Reply

    Really

  16. Reply

    Nice

  17. Reply

    Thanks for sharing
    May God bless you for this.

  18. Reply

    This is nice

  19. Reply

    wonderful

  20. Reply

    Good write up

  21. Reply

    Noted

  22. Reply

    Thanks for this knowledge

  23. Reply

    This is good to know

  24. Reply

    nice exposition

  25. Reply

    Asperger in adults cause more of breach in communication and environmental interaction And expose the individual in being vulnerable

  26. Reply

    Nice
    Thanks for sharing this article

  27. Reply

    This is informative

  28. Reply

    Thanks for sharing this update

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these <abbr title="HyperText Markup Language">HTML</abbr> tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>