As discussed in the previous post, as the number of children diagnosed in the U.S. soars, some researchers wonder if the incidence of autism has always been at around the same level but has mostly remained undiagnosed. The recent final installment of a four-part LA Times piece looks into what may have happened to those undiagnosed adults as well as people whose lives improved after receiving an autism diagnosis later in life.
The Times piece notes that autism can come along with other challenging conditions, such as depression, anxiety and attention disorders. A person with autism may be unable to work due to difficulty interacting with other people and may need to apply for Social Security disability benefits.
The first part to receiving help comes from knowing something is wrong, and many people experienced relief when knowing that their problems were caused by autism that had been undiagnosed.
One woman who was profiled in the article was diagnosed recently with autism and is now 49-years-old. Her 83-year-old mother worries about what will happen to her once she has passed away. The woman has a brother who will help look after her and she receives a disability check, but her mother worries that she won't be able to balance her checkbook or know when not to trust people. It is likely that many people with autism are undiagnosed and have been living with their parents their whole life. Once these older parents pass on, these middle-aged children will need help.
Source: Los Angeles Times, "Autism hidden in plain sight," Alan Zarembo, Dec. 16, 2011
Comments: Leave a comment