Saturday, January 19, 2013

Adults Have Autism Too!

Adults Have Autism Too!

by Stephen Borgman, myaspergers.net

I had the privilege of reading a great discussion at the well respecting professional networking site, LinkedIn.  I am part of the autism research group there, and someone started a thread with the name of the title of this post: Adults Have Autism Too!

I have heard from my professional colleagues who see clients with Aspergers and Autism syndrome the same observation, even plea.  “Do you know of any material out there for adults with Aspergers/Autism?  It seems like everything written is geared toward children!”

Here are some summary points I want to share with you from that discussion, and I would welcome much more input from all of you readers.

  1. There have tended to be a lot of resources for children with Aspergers and Autism, but very little for adults. Thankfully, this is slowly changing.  Dr. Lovet has written a very helpful book (I’m still making my way through it:Solutions for Adults with Asperger’s Syndrome: Maximizing the Benefits, Minimizing the Drawbacks to Achieve Success. I’ve personally learned a wealth of information from the perspectives of adults who have written about their experience of growing up on the autism spectrum, including Dr. Temple Grandin (Thinking In Pictures: My Life With Autism);  Lianne Holliday Willey (Pretending to Be Normal: Living With Asperger’s Syndrome); and John Elder Robison (Look Me In the Eye: My Life With Asperger’s)
  2. The testing measures used to diagnose children are not always as effective in diagnosing adults. A member cited Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen as a leading researcher and psychologist who is developing more effective testing and diagnosis for adults on the autism spectrum.  He has written a number of very good books on the subject of autism and asperger’s, including Mindblindness: An Essay on Autism and Theory of Mind.

I am now going to shift to a different subject.  The point of the above was to point out that there are a great number of persons with Aspergers who have grown up with the condition undiagnosed.  They are now wanting more resources to help them prosper with Asperger’s.  I have done some very preliminary research on the topic, have put together a short list of some of these, and would like to share them with you now.  I plan to keep up my research, dedicated to continuing to find some of the best resources across the web to share with you.

One of the better blogs I have seen written by a therapist and coach who works with people of all ages on the autism spectrum is Ms. Patricia Robinson.  Her blog, Thrive on the Autism Spectrum, is very well thought out and professional.  I find myself going back there time and again to refresh my understanding, and to research solutions.  I highly recommend you stop by and become a regular reader of her blog.

Ms. Robinson’s writing helped me discover another fantastic blog written by Malcolm Johnson, called Asperger Management.  He has worked insenior and white collar management position for a number of years.  His blog has books, his own personal experiences, and advice for fellow Aspergers adults on topics such as business : career development, change, corporate politics, environment, managing people, managing your supervisor, productivity, and work preparation; personal: anxiety and stress, honesty and integrity, learning, listening, memory, personal appearance, and to tell or not to tell; and interpersonal skills: conflict, oppression and intimidation, socialization, and what you say and how.

I also put together a resource for adults with autism in the form of a Squidoo lense, Adult Aspergers Success.

And here is a final series of articles from About.Com that can be helpful as you research different resources for adults with Aspergers.

This is by no means a comprehensive list.  It’s only a beginning.  But I hope that you will also chime in and share your comments and ideas about other resources I can add to benefit the Asperger’s community around the world.

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