How to deal with highfunctioning autism in adults

How to deal with highfunctioning autism in adults

Most people are familiar with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but many don’t realize that there is a condition called high-functioning autism (HFA). HFA is a form of ASD characterized by milder symptoms and higher functioning.

Individuals with HFA may have difficulty with social interactions and communication, but they can live independently and hold a job. They may also have sensory processing issues, making everyday activities like shopping or going to the dentist challenging.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with HFA, there are things you can do to manage the condition. Here are some tips:

  1. Learn as much as you can about HFA. The more you know, the better equipped you’ll be to deal with challenges as they come up.
  2. Develop a support network of friends, family, and professionals who can offer guidance and understanding.
  3. Having people to talk to will make dealing with difficult situations easier.
  4. Work on building social skills. Many books and websites offer advice on how to improve social interactions. You might also consider joining a social skills group or attending therapy sessions.
  5. Consider your sensory needs and make accommodations accordingly. For example, if loud noises bother you, wear earplugs or headphones in noisy environments. If certain textures bother you, carry around a soft object to help calm your nerves.
  6. Limit your exposure to stressors as much as possible. This might mean saying no to social events or taking breaks during work days. It’s important to listen to your body and take time for yourself when you need it.
  7. What is high-functioning autism?
  8. High-functioning autism is a term used to describe people with autism who can live relatively independent lives. While they may need some support in certain areas, they generally have average or above-average IQs and can hold down a job and live independently.

People with high-functioning autism may have difficulty with social interaction and nonverbal communication, but they can often function well in work and school settings. They may also have repetitive behaviors or interests, but these typically do not interfere with their overall functioning.

How does high-functioning autism differ from other types of autism?

High-functioning autism is a form of autism that is characterized by milder symptoms and greater cognitive functioning than other types of autism. Individuals with high-functioning autism often have difficulty with social interaction and communication, but they can live independently and hold a job.

There is no official diagnosis of high-functioning autism, but the term is often used to describe individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or Asperger’s syndrome. ASD is a broad diagnosis that includes individuals with various symptoms and abilities. Asperger’s syndrome is a form of ASD characterized by milder symptoms and higher functioning than other forms of ASD.

High-functioning autism is not a separate diagnosis, but it is often used to describe individuals who fall somewhere in between ASD and Asperger’s syndrome on the spectrum. These individuals may have some social interaction and communication challenges, but they can live independently and hold a job.

What are the symptoms of high-functioning autism in adults?

While autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptoms can vary greatly from person to person, people with high-functioning autism tend to have less severe symptoms than those with other forms of ASD.

Most people with high-functioning autism can live relatively independent lives. However, they may need some support to help them cope with the social and communication challenges of the condition.

Some common symptoms of high-functioning autism in adults include:

• Difficulty understanding nonverbal communication, such as body language or facial expressions

• Trouble making eye contact or reading facial expressions

• Difficulty understanding the emotions of others

•Seeing the world in a very literal way and having difficulty understanding sarcasm or jokes

• Obsessive interests in areas such as music, movies, trains, or sports statistics

• Trouble with change or transitions

• Rigid thinking and an aversion to change

• Sensitivity to noise, lights, or smells

• Repetitive behaviors such as rocking, spinning, or hand flapping

How is high-functioning autism diagnosed in adults?

A diagnosis of high-functioning autism in adults can be difficult to obtain. Many adults with high-functioning autism do not seek a diagnosis and are unaware that they might meet the criteria for an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

There are a few reasons adults with high-functioning autism might not seek a diagnosis. Some adults may not be aware that they have ASD. They may have always been considered “different” but never realized that their differences were part of a larger condition. Others may be aware of their differences but may not want to be labeled with a mental health condition.

Adults with high-functioning ASD who seek a diagnosis often find it difficult to obtain one. The criteria for ASD are primarily based on childhood behaviors, so it can be hard for clinicians to diagnose ASD accurately in adults. In addition, many clinicians are not familiar with the symptoms of ASD in adults, which can further complicate the diagnostic process.

If you think you or someone you know might have high-functioning ASD, you can do a few things to get started on the path to diagnosis. First, educate yourself about the symptoms of ASD in adults. Second, reach out to a mental health professional familiar with ASD and ask for an evaluation. Finally, consider seeking an Autism Specific Diagnostic Interview (ASDI) specifically designed to diagnose ASD in adults. This will help you identify whether or not you or your loved one meets the criteria for ASD.

What are the treatment options for high-functioning autism in adults?

There is no known cure for autism, but several effective treatments can significantly improve the symptoms and allow affected individuals to lead happy, healthy, and fulfilled lives.

The most successful treatments for high-functioning autism in adults are tailored to the individual’s specific needs. Some people with high-functioning autism may only require limited intervention, while others may need more intensive support.

The most common treatment approaches for high-functioning autism include behavior therapy, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, and social skills training. These interventions can help individuals with high-functioning autism develop new skills and cope better with their challenges.

Medication may also be prescribed to help manage specific symptoms such as anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder. However, it is important to note that there is no single “autism pill” that will magically cure the condition. Medication can only treat specific symptoms and must be combined with other interventions for maximum effect.


In conclusion, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to how to deal with high-functioning autism in adults. However, the tips and strategies outlined in this article can provide a starting point for dealing with this condition. As always, it is important to consult with a mental health professional to get tailored advice for your situation.