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Can Adults Suddenly Become Autistic?

Reina enjoyed writing essays even when she was only a pupil. She works freelance writing web content for various individuals and industries.


It always breaks my heart to see teenagers with autism getting a meltdown. My nephew and niece are teenagers, and they both have autism. I feel worthless because I couldn't do anything to help them.

If I could have all the money in the world, I would probably spend them all on research to find a cure for autism. I'm even thinking of taking up clinical psychology instead of journalism. That would be more valuable for my family and the world.

But I'm not rich. I barely even had money to buy myself a loaf of bread when I was entering college. I'm only a poor, wretched creature struggling to get a shot in the digital world and hardly successful. Sometimes I doubt if I am on the right track.

Sometimes I think I might even be autistic. I feel like I exhibit many of the symptoms of autistic people. That is why I decided to do a little research about it. Here are my discoveries.

What is Autism

Autism is a mental disorder with a wide range of symptoms and causes. Its medical name is Autism Spectrum Disorder, shortly called ASD. It develops as early as infancy but often gets overlooked until the teenage years or adulthood.

Better Health gives a technical definition of this illness. It is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects how the brain processes information. The CDC calls it a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain. Scientists are still studying to figure out the real cause of autism.

Anxiety and depression are common triggers of an autistic meltdown. I found this video on YouTube of a little girl with ASD. She's having tantrums on a Monday because of the change in routine from the weekend.

I felt like crying watching the video. I can sense the anxiety in the little girl. I can remember myself when I was her age.

Parental Responsibility

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a developmental disability. People with ASD will have problems with learning, movement, and communication. They will also have problems with paying attention.

It's not easy to spot people with ASD. They will look just like everyone else. Some people without ASD may even bear some of its symptoms. As for Better Health, it is not unusual for autistic people to reach adulthood without a diagnosis.

Children begin showing signs of autism before the age of three. These symptoms could last a lifetime, but they may improve over time. Some may go unchecked because of financial reasons or sheer neglect. Adults don't suddenly get autism. It was just left undiagnosed.

Doctors also find it difficult to diagnose ASD because there is no laboratory test to determine the symptoms. They will have to study the child's behavior and development. That requires a lot of cooperation with the parents.

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Signs and Symptoms

Autism Spectrum Disorder has varying symptoms. Children with ASD will generally have problems with social communication skills. They will also have restricted or repetitive behaviors and unusual interests.

Here are some examples of restricted or repetitive behavior of children with ASD:

  • Lines up toys or other objects and gets upset when order is changed
  • Repeats words or phrases over and over (called echolalia)
  • Play with toys the same way every time
  • focused on parts of objects (for example, wheels)
  • Gets upset by minor changes
  • Has obsessive interests
  • Must follow certain routines
  • Flaps hands, rocks body, or spins self in circles
  • Has unusual reactions to the way things sound, smell, taste, look or feel

Common characteristics of children with ASD might include the following:

  • Delayed language skills
  • Delayed movement skills
  • Delayed cognitive or learning skills
  • Hyperactive, impulsive, or inattentive behavior
  • Epilepsy or seizure disorder
  • Unusual eating and sleeping habits
  • Gastrointestinal issues (for example, constipation)
  • strange mood or emotional reactions
  • Anxiety, stress, or excessive worry
  • Lack of fear or more fear than expected

Children with ASD may not always show all these traits and behaviors. The CDC provides this list of signs and symptoms only as a guide. It is necessary to see a doctor for a diagnosis.

Autistic Meltdown for Adults

It would be more difficult for adults to cope with autism than children. Little girls with autism have mommy and daddy at their backs watching over them. It's a lot harder for the grown-up woman.

Watch the video above to learn what is an autistic meltdown. The woman in the video shares her experience and describes common signs of an autistic meltdown.

Common signs of an autistic meltdown are similar to having a panic attack. These could include the following:

  • hand flapping
  • head hitting
  • kicking
  • pacing
  • rocking
  • hyperventilating
  • inability to communicate
  • isolation or withdrawal

It's terrible for a grown-up woman to have an autistic meltdown. People will not understand her. She could easily get mocked, bullied, and ridiculed. That will only make her even more depressed and feel defeated.

When to Call Your Doctor

Sometimes you would recognize symptoms of autism in your behavior, especially when you have relatives diagnosed with autism. In this case, you may want to talk to a mental health professional to get an assessment. You will be relieved to know the results either way.

Getting a diagnosis of autism can be helpful for grown-ups who have been struggling with feelings of anxiety and isolation. It could help them to know themselves better and understand their behavior towards the challenging situations in life. You'd be grateful to see your therapist in moments of stress.

Seeking help for a mental disability is not a sign of weakness. It's an act of courage and strength. Understanding yourself is the path to healing. People should not be afraid to see a doctor if they think they are becoming autistic.


  • Autism and adults - Better Health Channel
    The Better Health Channel is an authorized provider of health and medical information but the Victorian government. This article talks about the behavioral conditions of autism in adults.
  • What is Autism Spectrum Disorder? | CDC
    Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. CDC is working to find out how many children have ASDs, discover the risk factors, and raise awaren

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Reina Mendoza

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