Resource submitted by Lina Bernal, Outreach Coordinator, Retire guide.
As per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, autism affects over 5.4 million American adults, comprising more than 2% of the population. However, understanding how autism presents in seniors remains a challenge due to limited research and evolving diagnostic practices.
Unlike today, when autism is more comprehensively recognized and diagnosed in children, many older adults came of age during a period when autism was less understood, leading to potential undiagnosed cases. This, combined with the diversity of autism’s presentation, can make spotting symptoms in seniors intricate.
Getting a grasp on autism in older adults needs a thoughtful approach. Spotting signs means taking into account various ways it can show up, differences between genders, and the lifelong habit of blending in with social expectations. As we learn more, we’re making the path smoother by offering stronger support and enhancing the lives of seniors who are on the autism spectrum.
There are a number of physical and mental health conditions that affect older adults in the country, but there has been a lack of research on the experiences of seniors who are on the autism spectrum. Because of this, we have created a guide to help individuals better understand what autism looks like in seniors and how it may impact their lives. Our guide covers the following:
– Symptoms of autism in older adults
– Challenges faced by older adults on the spectrum
– Support for older adults with autism and their caregivers, and more.