Working with undiagnosed autism
Posted on March 28th, 2008 by Debbie
The media does a fantastic job on reporting the benefits of early diagnosis and treatment of autism, but the needs of older individuals have to be addressed too.
I’ve been working with individuals with disabilities for many years. About 10 years ago we had a huge increase of children being diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Many of these individuals were treated with psychotropic medications to control their behaviors. Many did not respond appropriately or learn basic academics. So then they’d get a new diagnosis: Cognitive Learning Disability.
These individuals are 18 years old and older now, and when we review their needs we see key characteristics of autism. Do they have the diagnosis of Autism? NO. But do they have the limitations/challenges of an individual with Autism? YES.
Locating long-term supports for these individuals is very challenging. They often become drop-outs, involved in the mental health or judicial systems, with no opportunity for career success that focuses on their strengths.
Our workforce is missing out on an incredible pool of individuals ready for detail, routine and process!