The term "high-functioning autism" is not a recognized medical term or diagnosis. It's a colloquial term that some people use to describe persons with autism spectrum condition who can speak, read, write, and handle basic living functions like eating and dressing. They are capable of living alone. Some work with their hands, play music, or create other art. Many are very intelligent.
People with high-functioning autism are capable of many things, but they need help with certain tasks. For example, someone with high-functioning autism might be able to cook for themselves but might need help cleaning up after themselves or going shopping for food.
High-functioning autism people are usually able to communicate their needs and desires to others. They may have problems understanding others' feelings but often try to avoid causing pain by avoiding certain topics or situations that might cause others to feel uncomfortable.
Some high-functioning autism people develop close friendships with others who understand them well enough to accept them as they are. Others prefer to stay alone most of the time.
High-functioning autism people can live long lives thanks to improvements in health care. Some adults with high-functioning autism even go to college or get jobs that require training or education.
There is no cure for autism, but there are ways to manage its symptoms.
High-functioning autism, as previously said, is not a medical diagnosis. It is more of a categorization of a person with ASD who has a reduced level of severity on the autistic spectrum. Those labeled as high-functioning used to (generally) come under the antiquated diagnostic categories of Asperger syndrome or PDD. They are now grouped together because people with high-functioning autism can show an ability to learn certain skills through practice and repetition. Thus, they are able to achieve some degree of independence from others.
High-functioning individuals with ASD may have problems with social interaction, verbal communication, nonverbal communication, and/or repetitive behaviors. However, they often perform above average in areas such as math and science.
People with high-functioning autism make excellent scientists because they are good at analyzing problems and coming up with solutions. They tend to love learning new things and possess an innate desire to understand how things work. In addition, they are not distracted by minor setbacks or errors, which allows them to keep working on projects without being penalized by multiple attempts. Last, but not least, they are very logical and methodical, which means that they usually approach problems from a correct perspective.
In conclusion, high-functioning autism is not a disease or disability; it is a set of characteristics associated with ASD. There are many people with high-functioning autism who go on to lead full lives.
However, not all children are diagnosed at that age, and many proceed into adulthood undiagnosed. The most difficult aspect of high-functioning autism is that many parents and even some professionals are unsure what to look for. This is mostly due to the ability of high-functioning autistics to blend in and adapt to settings. They often go to great lengths to fit in and appear normal, which can lead them to avoid seeking out help.
The key factor in determining whether a child will be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder is the presence or absence of social deficits. Symptoms such as repetitive behaviors, difficulty communicating with others, and preoccupation with certain topics are common to everyone and do not necessarily indicate a need for diagnosis. However, if a child shows significant delays in developing social skills and communication abilities, then he or she should be assessed by a professional who has experience with autism spectrum disorders.
Many factors may cause a parent to believe that their child does not have autism. Perhaps they feel that their child is performing well enough academically or behaviorally to justify leaving the diagnosis blank on an assessment form. Or perhaps they just don't know how to identify the condition. If this is the case, it may be helpful for the parent to seek out information from other families who have been through similar experiences.
When children do not receive a timely diagnosis, they miss out on important services that could help them develop socially and intellectually.
Not all people with autism have bodily tics or a difficulty to sustain social relationships. People with high-functioning autism typically exhibit symptoms that were not previously connected with autism, and assisting professionals must continue to advocate for the acknowledgment of the autism spectrum's wide variety of behaviors. Individuals with high-functioning autism can possess extremely strong senses about other people's emotions and can be very insightful about others' intentions. They may also have an ability to read other people well, but this is not always the case. People with high-functioning autism often have trouble maintaining friendships because they are unable to understand why others don't want to be around them.
Those who have high-functioning autism can learn social skills through education and experience. There are many support groups available for individuals on the autism spectrum as well as their families. These include groups designed specifically for teenagers and adults, and there are also general interest groups where anyone can join in. Attendance at these meetings provides opportunities for discussing issues related to autism, as well as learning from others who share similar experiences.
Individuals with high-functioning autism can benefit from therapies that focus on social skills development. These treatments can be group activities with other people on the spectrum, or they can consist of one-on-one sessions with an expert.