Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), more commonly known as autism, is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects sufferers’ communication, language, social relationships and behavior. The term spectrum refers to a very large variability in the effects of different symptoms.
Although it is usually recognized at a very young age, there are more and more people who are diagnosed in adulthood and realize that they have autism spectrum disorder. Diagnosis is sometimes more difficult in adults than in children because some symptoms may overlap with other mental disorders such as anxiety, attention deficit disorder, or depression.
POSSIBLE GENETIC ORIGIN
People with ASD have difficulty communicating and interacting with other people, limited interests, and repetitive behaviors; or symptoms that affect your ability to perform at school, at work, and in other areas of your life. Although the hypothesis that it is a genetic problem combined with environmental triggers is gaining traction, in reality it is not known exactly why it occurs.
People who suffer from it are more likely to use all of their abilities and skills with appropriate therapy. It is important that treatment is tailored to the specific needs of each patient. All treatments should be based on early detection of the disorder and diagnosis for individualized treatment.
Tendency to hide it
“It is very important that there is awareness of autism and work to break the social stigma surrounding it. Identifying autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in adults can be more complex than in childhood, but it is important to provide appropriate support, says Cristina Sanz from the Psychiatry, Psychology and Psychosomatic Medicine Service at Dexeus University Hospital.
According to the specialist, many people with ASD experience symptoms since childhood, but some may not have been diagnosed due to a lack of knowledge or understanding about the disorder at the time. It can even occur differently between men and women. Women tend to mask their symptoms more, which can make detection and diagnosis more difficult.
Dr. Sanz, in turn, emphasizes that “some people with ASD may have developed compensatory skills to deal with their social or communication difficulties in certain contexts, which may make diagnosis more difficult.”
THE IMPORTANCE OF DIAGNOSIS
Diagnosis of adults with ASD is usually made when the level of impairment is important for the development of adult life roles, even if it was not as important in childhood and adolescence or because there is no current knowledge about it at the time There was a disturbance.
If this condition is not addressed in a timely manner, the support they need in their development will be reduced. Psychologist Cristina Sanz, coordinator of the ASD department at Dexeus University Hospital, explains that the consequences of a late diagnosis lead to greater impact on emotional and mood problems, as well as social conflicts and lack of communication.
“Not all people with ASD traits develop the disorder as such; In fact, in some cases the symptoms may be subclinical, but if the person has difficulty carrying out everyday tasks, feels impaired by dysregulation in the emotional area or suffers from difficulties that arise in various contexts, we can assume that this is the case “It is likely that ASD exists,” the expert concludes.