Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a condition characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviours, and communication. This disorder comes with many challenges such as increased anxiety levels and communication problems, most of which are very stressful.
Anxiety is a normal part of life; however, research indicates that people with autism experience higher levels of anxiety. It was revealed that up to 84 percent of individuals with autism meet the criteria for clinically diagnosed anxiety disorders. Because of communication difficulties, an autistic person could have severe anxiety problems and a hard time expressing the disorder. Anxiety could present itself through social phobia, excessive worry, obsessive-compulsive behaviour, hyper-vigilance, other phobias, avoidance behaviours, resistance to change, stimming and/or self-injurious behaviour, controlling behaviours, meltdowns.
People with autism can find change very stressful and difficult. Because of the “behavioural information processing and sensory aspects of their diagnosis,” they often prefer familiar environments with a constant routine. Planning changes in their daily routines are very important. Some everyday changes that a person with autism may need preparation for may include: leaving the house (e.g. for school, a dentist or doctors’ appointment), having people over, doing things in a different order, or trying new things.
In conclusion, autism can cause many challenges in a person’s everyday life. Higher levels of anxiety and change in your everyday life can be extremely stressful.
“About Autism.” Autism Tasmania, www.autismtas.org.au/about-autism/common-challenges. Accessed 5 June 2021.