High functioning autism is not actually an official medical diagnosis, nor is it an official medical term. This term is mostly used when talking about autism or autism spectrum disorder in general. Contrary to what most people think, this is not just found in children, signs of high-functioning autism in adults is also quite common.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be found in all ages, races, genders, ethnic groups, racial groups, and socioeconomic groups. Autism is generally characterized by communication and social challenges, and repetitive behaviors.
What Does High Functioning Autism In Adults Mean?
It depends. If someone falls in Level 1 of ASD, then they are considered to be high functioning. However, sometimes it might be that someone’s behavioral attitudes might be Level 2, and their social capabilities turn out to be Level 1.
There are several factors that lead to an autistic person being labeled as high functioning, and some of the factors are as follows:
- How they communicate with others.
- How well they’re doing at their jobs and whether they are being able to sustain it or not.
- How they handle themselves in social situations.
- How they build and maintain their personal relationships.
- How they try to mask or hide their autistic traits.
The bottom line is that the better a person is able to mingle in a neurotypical society, the higher functioning they will be. Due to this reason alone, many autistic people don’t get diagnosed until quite later in their lives.
22 Signs Of High-Functioning Autism In Adults
For the most part, autism is diagnosed in small children when they are toddlers. But if you are an adult, here are the symptoms of high-functioning autism in adults:
Behavioral and emotional signs
- You display repetitive behaviors and mannerisms.
- You get ticked off when things are rearranged or moved from their ‘rightful place’.
- You tend to speak or make noises where you’re supposed to be quiet.
- You have a emotional outburst or breakdown whenever something unfortunate or unexpected happens.
- You follow a strict and rigid routine everyday, and refuse to budge from it.
- You find it hard to deal with your emotions and respond in unhealthy ways more often than not.
- You react very badly if you have to make any sort of changes in your routine.
- You find it challenging to understand social cues.
- You struggle at building and sustaining friendships.
- You feel intimidated at making eye contact while speaking to someone.
- You talk a lot about a few specific topics that are close to your heart.
- You find it hard to understand idioms and sarcasm.
- You struggle with understanding facial expressions and body language.
- You find it challenging to hold a conversation for a long time.
- You prefer solitude most of the time, compared to socializing.
- You speak in a flat, robotic and monotonous way, which makes it hard for other people to understand what you’re saying.
- You speak in the same tone with everyone, be it your friends, family, colleagues and even strangers.
Other signs of high functioning autism
- You consider yourself to be clumsy who has a hard time with coordination.
- You are often regarded as quirky and eccentric.
- You are hypersensitive to sensory input like pain, sound, light, touch or smell.
- You are extremely intelligent and knowledgeable about certain specific interests of yours, such as, mathematics, history, books, politics, sports etc.
- You want to do things for yourself most of the time, instead of for others.
These are some of the most common traits of high functioning autism in adults, and being aware of these signs can help you understand all of this better.