Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a condition related to brain development that impacts how a person perceives and socializes with others, causing challenges in social interaction and communication. The disorder also includes limited and repetitive patterns of behavior. The term "spectrum" in autism spectrum disorder refers to the wide range of symptoms and severity.
While the diagnostic criteria have historically focused on childhood symptoms, it is now recognized that autism can persist and manifest differently in adults.
In adults with autism, the core characteristics and challenges associated with the condition can vary widely. These may include difficulties in social interaction, communication, and restrictive or repetitive behaviors. Here are some key aspects to consider:
Social Interaction: Adults with autism may struggle with understanding and interpreting social cues, nonverbal communication (such as facial expressions or body language), and maintaining reciprocal relationships. They might have difficulty making eye contact, recognizing emotions in others, or engaging in small talk. Social situations can be overwhelming, leading to feelings of anxiety or isolation.
Communication: Adults with autism may have challenges in verbal and nonverbal communication. They may have difficulty initiating or sustaining conversations, understanding metaphors, sarcasm, or abstract language. Some individuals may exhibit repetitive or restricted speech patterns, intense focus on specific topics, or an unusual use of language.
Sensory Sensitivities: Many adults with autism have heightened or diminished sensory sensitivities. They may be highly sensitive to sounds, lights, textures, or smells, which can cause discomfort or distress. Conversely, some individuals may seek out certain sensory experiences and display repetitive behaviors, such as rocking or hand-flapping, to self-soothe or regulate sensory input.
Routines and Special Interests: Adults with autism often rely on routines and sameness to feel a sense of security and predictability. They may become distressed or agitated when their routines are disrupted. Additionally, individuals with autism may have intense and specific interests or hobbies, often focusing on narrow topics, and demonstrating extensive knowledge in those areas.
Executive Functioning: Difficulties in executive functioning, which involves planning, organizing, and problem-solving, are common in adults with autism. They may struggle with time management, prioritization, and flexible thinking. Transitioning between tasks or adapting to changes can be challenging for them.
The cost of a comprehensive autism assessment (which can include assessing for other conditions such as ADHD and Anxiety) is between $4000 to $4500.
If you have insurance coverage for psychological services, our team and provide an estimate to determine the amount of coverage by your insurance.