How to Work with Adults on the Autism Spectrum?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in adults involves certain qualities that make life particularly difficult for them. Knowing how to work with such individuals can help guarantee that they obtain the best treatment as much as possible. The people around those who have autism in adults need to have more compassion and extra patience to harmoniously live with them. Here are the following tips for working with adults who are diagnosed with ASD.

Respect Their Boundaries

Adults with autism go through sensory overload from stimuli that a lot of people would find comfortable. It’s essential to know that autistic individuals don’t enjoy usual physical gestures like pats on the back or hugs. Knowing that these actions can result in the equivalent of a panic attack for them. Instead, you can use other ways to show your kindness, such as giving small gifts or verbal praise. This way, you can respect their want to have their personal space.

Never Force to Communicate

Autism Spectrum Disorder refers to a variety of disorders. Every disorder has its specific and unique symptoms, which are sub-categorised to make the process of diagnosis more uncomplicated. A few of these disorders share similar traits like the difficulty to communicate. Those adults with ASD on the higher end of the spectrum can speak with an extremely high vocabulary level while autism in adults on the lower end usually produces sounds to communicate. Others may even be non-verbal.

As you work with adults with autism, it’s crucial to use enough time communicating. As much as possible, keep your sentences concise and short. Refrain from using sarcasm since autistic adults will commonly take it literally since they do not understand it.

Be Ready

It can be difficult to take autistic adults to public areas because the outside world usually does not understand the disorder. This task could be distressing to the person since it can make them feel like an outcast to society. Thus, you have to be ready to deal with the emotional outburst that such kind of situation may lead to. Two important methods that must be applied to prevent their panic from escalating would be to use distractions and discuss unfamiliar circumstances with them beforehand.

Stay Calm

Every time an autistic individual feels upset or panic, make sure that their surrounding environment is peaceful and calm. Raised voices will only increase panic and tension. Instead, you should speak with them slowly and give them time to allow their personal space. You can also utilise a distraction with a task they love doing, such as assembling a puzzle.

Take note that adults with autism are usually extremely meticulous. You may attempt to switch their attention from disorganisation to arranging pieces based on size since this can provide a feeling of structure, which can be calming for them.

Keep Things Consistent

Autistic individuals usually have a hard time with any change. Such people would want to know what to anticipate in a new environment and be ready. Keep in mind to stick to a regular schedule and be consistent. Hygiene practices and meals must happen at a similar time every day and should be a routine.


Adults diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are amazing people with a lot of knowledge to give. It’s vital to give these individuals a chance to show their abilities and talents and put them to good use.