For adults on the autism spectrum, the COVID-19 pandemic has been both a blessing and a curse

www.abc.net.au
6 min read
fairly easy
The COVID-19 pandemic comes with positives and challenges, especially if you're someone who has been diagnosed with autism as an adult.
When Jamie found out he was on the autism spectrum at the age of 39, he wasn't too surprised.

"I always knew that there was something different about me," he said.

"I had quirks and ways of doing things that set me apart from others."

His story may seem unique, but being diagnosed with autism as an adult happens more than you might think.

Adult diagnosis not uncommon

Professor Andrew Whitehouse says the "spectrum is as vast and diverse as humanity itself" so there is no one way to experience autism. ( Supplied: Andrew Whitehouse

Andrew Whitehouse is a Professor of Autism Research at the Telethon Kids Institute and at The University of Western Australia.

He often sees adults or people at a later age coming in to enquire if they could be on the spectrum.

"Autism from the mid to late 90s was a relatively unknown condition so for a child who grew up before then, it is probable that they had missed the window to be diagnosed as a child and slipped through the cracks," Professor Whitehouse said.

"Now that autism is much more understood and widely known, they [adults] start to question whether that might explain some of the challenges they've had in their life."

Nicole Hurley, a project manager for Autism Awareness Australia, says it is never too late to get diagnosed.

"I see a lot of parents and grandparents seeking a diagnosis on the back of their child."

"Quite often they have been dismissed because they think that just because they have a house or a family that they can't be on the spectrum and seek the support that they still may need,

"There's still a lot of work that we're…
Neryssa Azlan
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