Autism Aspergers: What Do You See In The Crystal Ball?

Here are some questions many parents have when they find out their child is diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum is, “Will he get married?”  “Will she live on her own?”  “Will s/he be able to get a job?”

Is there a crystal ball you can peer into to predict how life will be for your child in the distant future?

autism aspergers prognosis

There is not a lot of great consistent research out there regarding outcomes for individuals on the autism spectrum, but I’ll share what I’ve found with you.

What Is the Prognosis for Autism Spectrum Conditions?

Well, my first question to you is whether you want to use the term “prognosis”.

 

 

 

The definition of prognosis is as follows:

1. (Medicine) Med

a.  a prediction of the course or outcome of a disease or disorder

b.  the chances of recovery from a disease

2. any forecast or prediction

source (Free Dictionary)

I don’t need to tell you that labeling the autism spectrum as a disease is something I don’t agree with.

However, I do thing that the 2nd part of the definition: any forecast or prediction, is a helpful one is this case.

In other words, many parents and families want to know, “What is the forecast or prediction of how this child on the autism spectrum will function in society?”

Autism Spectrum Facts Regarding Prognosis

I found the following autism spectrum facts documented Wikipedia’s article on Aspergers:

  • up to 20% of children may no longer meet the diagnostic criteria as adults, although social and communication difficulties may persist.

 

  • the outcome is generally more positive than with individuals wity Aspergers than for those individuals with  lower functioning autism spectrum disorders

 

  • up to 20% of children may no longer meet the diagnostic criteria as adults, although social and communication difficulties may persist.

 

  • children with AS may require special education services because of their social and behavioral difficulties although many attend regular education classes

 

  • individuals with Aspergers  also deal with an increased prevalence of comorbid psychiatric conditions, such as major depressive disorder and anxiety disorder, that may significantly affect prognosis

 

  • Adolescents with AS may exhibit ongoing difficulty with self care, organization and disturbances in social and romantic relationships; despite high cognitive potential, most young adults with AS remain at home

Prognosis As Compared To Whom?

 

Michelle Garcia Winner, pioneer of social thinking, has a great way of explaining strengths and weaknesses to individuals on the autism spectrum.

A) We have to compare ourselves to the general population accurately

Each of us has characteristics/talents/gifts that we are better at than the average person.

Each of us has traits and characteristics that we are as good at as the average person.

And each of us has things/growth areas that we are not as good at as the average person.

B) We have to show up for our own lives

It’s key that we take responsibility for our own lives.  For individuals on the autism spectrum, there can be some difficulty in this area do the challenge with being able to see others’ perspectives.  Without being able to adopt another’s point of view, the world and others can seem very unfair when they don’t comply with our way of thinking.

However, the more quickly any individual realizes that s/he is responsible for her/his own life, the more progress s/he will make.

Here Are Some Strategies for Your (or Your Child’s) Best Possible Future

Develop A Realistic Picture of Yourself: Your Strengths, Your Weaknesses, and Your Potential

It may be helpful to get neuropsychological testing to better ascertain areas of strength and challenge in terms of learning and emotions.

Develop A Personal Growth Plan

Parents, check out autism resource supports in your area.

Get your children involved in early intervention programs.

Reach out to a qualified speech therapist, occupational therapist, psychologist, counselor, social worker, or ABA therapist.

Parents, educate yourselves regularly about the different types of help available to your child.

Become a regular reader and student of my blog (subscribe to my newsletter at the end of this post!), as well as other great autism spectrum websites.

Associate with Positive Role Models

It’s so important for us to associate with people who are hopeful, positive, and optimistic.

Not wishful, pie-in-the-sky Polyanna types.

But not pessimistic, defeated, giving-up-on-life types either.

I encourage you to read about famous people with Aspergers.

Don’t give up on life!

The key is that each individual on the autism spectrum become the best person that s/he can be as compared to him/herself.

I hope this article gives you the hope that you can do just that: become your best possible self!

[photo credit: Renato Guerreiro]

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Comments

  1. Joanne Smith says

    Please sign me up for your newsletter. I have had a one on one session with Brian King and just like Brian………….YOU GET IT!!!
    Nice writings, thank you for the inspiration……keep it up.

  2. says

    Great article Stephen. You covered the facts and what parents should do for their child’s future. Just received your first subscription. Thanks! :)

  3. says

    The kids are more classic autism than Aspergers. Twenty-four and twenty now and we are on the brink of completing the conservatorship filing to take away their adult right to speak for themselves in medical and money matters. My wife and I are still wishing they would use this opportunity to break from two decades of being nonverbal to tell the judge we are nuts and they don’t like what we’re trying to pull.

  4. says

    Jeff, as you so well point out, the autism spectrum is definitely that: a spectrum. The key, for each child, verbal or non-verbal, is to be able to put forth their best effort in comparison to themselves and themselves alone.

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