Diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder as adults, those learning to cope later in life face different challenges than kids

Aug 10, 2019 by

Carie, now 44 and living with her parents in Tinley Park, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in her early 30s. Linda knew something was different when Carie wasn’t meeting typical age benchmarks before starting kindergarten.

“She would come in and sit on her Sit’n Spin for a long time. … It was the only toy that was her favorite,” Linda said.

Thirty years ago, adults who had certain peculiarities were more likely diagnosed with Schizotypal personality disorder than ASD, according to Dr. Louis Kraus, medical director for Easter Seals Therapeutic Day Schools in Chicago and Tinley Park. The nonprofit has provided disability services for individuals and their families nationwide for 100 years.

“The diagnosis has always been one of process and change over time,” Kraus said. “I don’t think there’s any knowledgable person in this area that would say that there weren’t more people undiagnosed a generation ago than there are now.”

First described by Dr. Leo Kanner in 1943, ASD affects 1 in 59 children, according to 2014 CDC data, a number that has risen steadily over time.

continue: Diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder as adults, those learning to cope later in life face different challenges than kids – Chicago Tribune

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