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Sep 22, 2021 in 

Understanding The Need For Useful Information For Autistic Adults

Articles for autistic adults that are influenced by autistic adults.

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Cami Daligand

Therapist

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I have started a new blog that is for autistic adults and is influenced by autistic adults. For transparency’s sake, I am neuro-typical but have been reaching out to autistic adults and asking them what they would like to read about, what they want neurotypicals to learn about Autism, and what topics they think we need to discuss. The world lacks a real understanding of autism and this is a platform for the autistic perspective with the goal of helping the world gain a better understanding as well as a safe place for neurodivergent individuals to voice their opinions.

I will be interviewing different candidates (on the ASD spectrum) for each article. The participants can be named or remain anonymous. I have completed the first interview and many important themes arose from it. These topics include: 

 

  • The lack of support for autistic adults
  • Challenges with finances that autistic adults have
  • Types of support wanted 
  • Difference between males and females on the spectrum in adulthood
  • Masking in girls on the spectrum
  • Special interests of adults
  • Making time for special interests,/socializing when juggling work and health (physical and mental)
  • Challenges with executive functioning
  • Professionals taking advantage of autistic adults
  • Organizations offering help, that end up taking away independence
  • Challenges with relationships (romantic and platonic)

To begin with, I am going to discuss the first topic on that list: lack of support for autistic adults which links to other ones on the list. From my research, it seems to me that there is more “support” aimed at children on the spectrum and not much aimed at helping adolescents with the transition into adulthood and adulthood in general. So a few issues arise here: there is a severe lack of information and support for autistic adults and in some cases when support is offered professionals take advantage of the individuals or organizations offering help, take away independence. 

So where does this leave adults seeking support in a world that only accommodates neurotypical needs? The first interview candidate (who would like to remain anonymous), so let’s call them “John” said, “They can either get no help; their autism is not recognized and they struggle through life unhappily and stressed Or, they are institutionalized, living with caretakers who are in control, and have no real agency.” 

I just would want someone specialized in adult autism who could help me with the things I struggle with sometimes, like cooking, cleaning, and money. Someone or some people who wouldn't cost me a fortune or use my lack of knowledge of finances to take more money from me than promised.”

There are not many options out there and the options that do exist are limited or not affordable. When asked if the below options are what John would want as support:

  • Support groups
  • Blog articles with helpful and interesting information
  • Courses for autistic adults about the troubles such as executive functioning and finances
  • Therapy specializing in adult support 
  • Helpful information packs

John responded, “yes, to all”. These are some of the types of services that are needed. Also, some form of a directory that guides individuals to find these different types of support. In the weeks to come, I will be looking at this and the other topics more in-depth. So even though this information does not provide direct and immediate solutions at this stage, I would like to look at what it has done:
 

  • It has started the discussion about an important aspect of adulthood
  • It shows, that for those who might feel alone when dealing with certain issues mentioned in this article, you are not alone
  • It also shows readers that others may have similar thoughts or experiences
  • It has also informed the community about this platform for the autistic adult perspective

I would like to say thank you to “John” for the contributions made to this article. In articles to come, I will be discussing these issues, potential solutions, as well as others, suggested by autistic adults. If you would like to share your thoughts, please leave comments below. If you would like to make any contributions or be interviewed for a post, please contact me.

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