Here is a tough situation than happens more in communities than we’d like. You hear a lot about children on the spectrum and the importance of early intervention. But what happens to all the kids that have grown-up and are now young adults entering an adult system that offers no support? What happens to those who’ve never had intervention or very little?
First there are many adults on the spectrum who’ve had no treatment and they may have gone undiagnosed until their adult years. Many have been so misunderstood in their young years with no treatment options available. Unfortunately, what can happen is chaos, someone who can’t integrate with society, has no reasoning skills, communication, limited social skills, and some are genius.
Because of this some adults on the spectrum have so much learned behavior, which can turn your life upside down in ways you can’t even imagine. This behavior comes out of survival trying to fit into a world that doesn’t understand them, and they can’t understand you.
There are even times with some intervention that individuals can wind up in a situation that fails them, because the supports they may have had often disappear once they hit the adult system. And in many communities, there is very little if any support for adults on the spectrum. There have been situations where individuals on the spectrum are seen as compulsive liars, but it isn’t really, because all they are saying and doing is what they believe is expected. What is socially called for. Also some of the ‘lying’ can also come from a difficulty of seeing other people’s perspective in a situation, and where the lines become blurred, it’s not so much lying as giving only the facts that support their version of the truth. And this truth at times can differ greatly from the reality of the situation.
Quite often this is a result of them misinterpreting social cues and misunderstanding other’s perspectives, and their interpretation of the truth. If you’ve ever found yourself in a situation like this I’ve heard from people how it was similar to a nightmare, and in a few instances they considered that adult dangerous when they were directly involved at the receiving end of these events from an adult on the spectrum. And unfortunately communities may just assume this individual is psychotic. This is very sad especially since you may have been unaware that adult or youth was even on the spectrum, but you knew there was something not quite right.
This is an unfortunate situation that doesn’t have to happen if supports are in place for adults as well to receive intervention. Society has failed so many of the kids and many of them are now adults. Many individuals who are high functioning have learned to sympathize and there is a big difference between understanding sympathy, predicting outcome, and saying the right thing that resembles them understanding our perspective. In other words behaving how they think it is expected. Quite often they are always off onto the next thing, and won’t even realize the necessity of communicating this.
The problem is when someone untreated gets in a position of power, and unfortunately this can happen more than everyone realizes, you can in some instances be asking for trouble. They can be a great asset if they are managed, receiving intervention and working under someone who has authority in their life. But unfortunately, this is just another example of the system failing.
There are many kids who were fortunate to receive ongoing intervention and intensive therapy who are now young adults and contributing members of our society. Those are the lucky ones.
In recognition of Autism Awareness month I will be offering a very special giveaway. Two signed paper back copies of THE FORGOTTEN CHILD. One ebook in reader’s choice of format and One Audiobook.
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