By Emily Braudaway
Back in 2012 and before, the information known about autism was very little. That has changed and is continuously evolving.
Researchers and scientists have found much more helpful information on diagnosing it in today’s time, but people still need to talk about more of the hidden issues.
People generally understand that individuals with autism have a hard time communicating and interacting with others. There are more issues with having autism than just communication and interaction.
For most people with autism, it involves learning disabilities. It affects students in the classroom a lot. It makes it hard for the students to do everything that a student without autism or disabilities, in general, would do.
These disabilities make it hard to focus in a class, especially when the class is over an hour or multiple back-to-back class sessions.
Another obstacle facing individuals with autism is life expectancy. People do not know about autism that there is a lower life expectancy than people without autism. An article stated that one report says 36, another 39, and another 54. It is not the full age that is the matter; it is the fact that it is anywhere from 20 to 40 years younger than the average life expectancy.
One of the reasons for the low ages expectancy is due to drowning. According to this article, drowning is responsible for 90% of deaths of 14 years or younger kids with autism. Many children with autism are wanderers, which could be dangerous, especially if they are not paying attention to them.
Another reason is that, unless the kid has a great support system at home, it could be dangerous. According to this study, from 2017-2021, over 700 people with disabilities were killed by their parents, relatives, or caregivers. Over the five years from 2014-2018, it was only 550.
Although not all of the disabilities are autism, it is scary that many children get killed because of their disabilities.
For adults, the problem is suicide. Adults without learning disabilities are nine times more likely to commit suicide than adults without autism. According to this study, 36% of deaths of people with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder come from suicide in this study, which is the highest in the high-functioning group. For low-functioning ASD, it is only 11%; together, it is 31%.
The biggest reason for this is because, for people with high-functioning autism, there is a lot of pressure to act like a “normal” human. Since it does not seem evident that they have autism, they work as “normal.”
This causes a lot of anxiety because now he/she is trying to live like everybody else, and everyone wants him/her to be like them. Still, he/she cannot because of autism, and they want to please everyone, which increases anxiety.
It also increases depression because they realize that they will not be good enough or meet the high standards that society places on them. It is entirely overwhelming. This is why it is so exhausting to live life.
People would only understand this if they would have autism. To live in a circle that does not seem to stop.
For low-functioning autism, their hardest thing is that some of those people rely on their parents. The problem with this is the older they get, the harder it is to rely on the parents. It is also challenging since most government programs are either for children (under 21) or for parents with children with autism.
There needs to be more government action to create more of these programs and talk about mental health more for people with autism.
As a society, the world wants to judge people without knowing what their story is. There is a common perception that every person is supposed to be like the person next to them.
People need to understand that not every person comes from the same life story and stops holding people to their standards.