The benefits and difficulties of being autistic – signs to look out for

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“No two people on the spectrum are the same,” testifies the charity Altogether Autism. The neurodiverse population do, however, have particular strengths.

According to Altogether Autism: “A range of strengths and abilities can be directly related to their diagnosis.”

For example, the ability to read at a very early age is known as hyperlexia.

This clearly would help the person achieve educational success from a young age.

Hyperlexia may be amplified by the ability to memorise and learn information quickly.

In addition, they may excel in academic subjects that are technical and logical, such as science, engineering and mathematics.

Those on the autistic spectrum may also possess an extraordinarily good memory.

As well as the likelihood of being precise and detailed orientated, they tend to be dependable in regards to schedules and routines.

It’s easy to see how these characteristics can bode well for the world of work.

Moving on to challenges, the National Autistic Society notes how autistic people can “display stressed behaviour”.

A sense of “anxiety, anger and frustration” can result from the inability to express one’s needs.

For example, feeling hungry may lead to a person with autism to lash out aggressively.

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In intimate relationships, autism can present its own unique challenges.

Not being able to communicate needs and desires can become problematic in a romantic liaison.

Furthermore, an autistic person may have difficulty picking up on traditional social rules and body language.

At times, this may lead to confusion as they have trouble reading facial expressions and tone of voice.

It can also cause unintended hurt, as an autistic partner may come across as indifferent to your feelings.

Moreover, people with autism may find it hard to make and keep friends throughout their lifetime.

On a separate note, autism can affect the way a person experiences sights, sounds, smells and textures.

Hypersensitivity can lead to “information overload”, which can result in withdrawal, distressed behaviour or meltdowns.

In terms of sight, hypersensitivity may mean “objects and bright lights can appear to jump around”.

Images may be fragmented, and it may be easier to focus on detail rather than the whole object.

Oversensitivity to sound may mean it’s difficult to zone out from background noise, which can lead to difficulties concentrating.

And oversensitivity to touch may result in physical contact feeling uncomfortable.

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