We support those ignored...
Asperger's and Autism are increasingly being recognised and treatment being developed, yet there are many adults on the spectrum who are ignored because they are also high functioning. They too need help but none is available. This site hopes to bridge this gap.
Who or What is a Hidden Aspie?
Asperger's Syndrome is part of the broad spectrum of Autism. People on this spectrum see the world differently and can appear socially awkward or eccentric. This all stems from biological differences that start before birth, and become increasingly obvious from the age of 3 onwards. This means that an 'Aspie' finds him or herself living in a world ill-suited for their neurological genetic biological differences, and struggles not only with co-morbidities, but also with being accepted within society.
Because of these co-morbities, in particular depression and anxiety, these tend to take centre-stage in the minds of the health specialists, unfortunately at the expense of the environmental challenges that trigger said mental issues.
As it is a spectrum, individuals have different combinations of traits, and experience them at differing intensities. This does not mean that there are different types of autism, but rather that there are different levels of coping being autistic. This is a subtle but vital importance to note. So while there are many Aspies who are high-functioning, particularly in their area of expertise, they are socially isolated and therefore apt to suffer emotional problems. They may appear as being "less" autistic, but are in truth no different from other Aspies in what they have to deal with, nor in how they respond internally, only that they 'present' better (that is they can 'mask' their autism better). As their intellects help them to compensate, many higher-functioning Aspies remain undiagnosed or are only diagnosed later in life. As such they have no support to enable them to flourish either at work or in a social setting, and are unable to understand why.
While there is more focus given to autistics during their childhood, as adults, especially those who can 'pass' in normal society, as adults there is little recognition or understanding. This is even less observed and help provided for Aspies who enter the later stages in life: often alone with no support framework. This site hopes to bridge that gap and provide support and references for those Aspie adults, whether they are those who mask well: High-Functioning, or not. There is help out there.
In 2017 'Autism Canada', The Pacific Autism Family Network, and ARI facilitated a think tank on 'Autism in Adulthood and later life' in Vancouver, BC. Meetings focused on collaboration around common priorities to advance research, knowledge, and solutions for issues related to autism in middle adulthood and beyond. A summary of this international meeting was published in May 2020, in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. They state that "the goal of these discussions was to consider systematic approaches aimed at providing meaningful supports that can ensure a quality of life for seniors on the autism spectrum.
"Over the past decade, there has been a growing interest in adults on the autistic spectrum, and more recently, the challenges related to aging in this population. A two-day Think Tank meeting ... was convened amongst international leaders in the field of autism research and practice. This meeting address(ed) the current status of aging research, followed by discussions regarding priorities going forward. Attendees shared their thoughts and concerns regarding community services, government policies, societal perspectives, and physical and mental health".
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