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High functioning autism in adults

(11 Posts)
Mistlewoeandwhine Wed 12-Aug-20 12:51:07

Hi, has anyone got any book recommendations for tips on how to deal with life for high functioning autistic adults? DH is nearly 50, classically autistic and whilst he has a good job, he struggles with self organisation, reading the room, social
conversation etc. I know he can’t “fix” who he is but it does impact a lot on my quality of life too. If I could find a way to give him some tips and help on how to deal with everyday life it would help us both.

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picklemewalnuts Wed 12-Aug-20 14:03:46

What is driving your question, OP? Is he frustrated by challenges, or are you feeling frustrated with your marriage/life? Does he want to read up on things, or is he happy as he is?

Also, formally diagnosed or not?

I ask the above because it makes a difference.

Please be careful how you answer- there are a lot of autistic mumsnetters/Mumsnetters with autism who find partners discussing the challenges they face disablist.

My husband believes himself to have autism, and it's been a struggle for us. I do sympathise with your question, honestly!

Mistlewoeandwhine Wed 12-Aug-20 14:24:23

I think he feels angry with himself for things like forgetfulness, not knowing how to prioritise things etc. He tried to get a formal diagnosis but the dr said if he was functioning normally at his age then he didn’t need one. Instead he got antidepressants. I think I am not as understanding as I could be at times either and truthfully it is disablist of me.

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cariadlet Wed 12-Aug-20 14:42:16

I would go back to the dr and push for a diagnosis. I was diagnosed in my early 50s and found it really helpful. I had thought that the dr would be a bit dismissive because I don't "seem" autistic and I appear to be functioning really well (in a long term relationship with dp, we have a teenage dd, own our house outright and I'm a full time teacher); I thought at the time that I functioned ok and just made the initial appointment out of curiosity.


It was only the reading I did while waiting for the assessment, a lot of self-reflection/ self-analysis and the actual assessment process itself that made me realise how much my autism impacts my life.

I would have a long talk with your dh and come up with a list of your dh's difficulties and situations where your dh struggles, and then go back to the dr (maybe together) with your info and a determination not to be fobbed off.

Gumbo Wed 12-Aug-20 14:49:19

I would go back to the dr and push for a diagnosis.

I agree with this. I was diagnosed at age 49; it really helped me understand a lot about myself and explained so much about my life. Get your DH to do an online test which will give him an idea of how far he may/may not be on the spectrum (it's obviously not a diagnosis, but it may help his case if he takes the result to the doctor).

I only got myself diagnosed because I was having to put DS through a diagnosis. The good news is that we really understand each other a lot more; the bad news is that DH honestly doesn't get it and has made little effort to try to find out about us and what may make things easier for us hmm...

Collidascope Wed 12-Aug-20 14:56:33

I bought Luke Bearden's "Autism and Asperger Syndrome in Adults" for my husband and he loved it. He's undiagnosed but it explained so much of his behaviour.
So many autism books seem to be for the parents of kids with autism as opposed to adult who have it.

Northernsoullover Wed 12-Aug-20 15:13:52

Sorry to derail your thread OP but those of you that got diagnosed in later life what were the clinchers if there were any? I ask because I struggled a lot through school socially and many other little things.. I did see a GP and I had a late diagnosis of ADHD. Then my two children were diagnosed with ASD and it made me wonder..

picklemewalnuts Wed 12-Aug-20 16:24:07

My husband won't go back to the GP. He went once, psyched himself up to be really honest, and was just given the phone number for the mental health service. It's a communication disorder fgs, he wasn't going to go through it all again on the phone with a 'random'.

We just work on the basis that he is, and immediately everything is easier. It takes the pressure off having to pretend about things he doesn't actually care about. It allows me to draw his attention to things that are not as they should be, and he doesn't take it personally. I can say 'such and such isn't one of your strengths, we need to look at that again' and he'll accept it rather than feeling criticised.

Gumbo Wed 12-Aug-20 16:46:03

@Northernsoullover the only reason I went for a diagnosis was because I was having to fill in the endless forms for DS after the high school said they believed he had Aspergers - and when I was working through the forms I was baffled by the questions thinking, "doesn't everyone do/say/think like that?" Which made me question myself, and it gradually dawned on me that clearly it was me that was 'different' rather than the form. I read up on it all, did some online tests and presented my findings to the GP smile

Chocolate4me Wed 12-Aug-20 16:50:45

Things like forgetting things, my OH can be like this.. I've had to drop his phone and lunch to his work on many occasions. For him what works is having the same routine, so making his lunch the night before, putting his wallet and keys in the exact same place, for me to not interrupt him while he is gathering things or trying to do something. Allowing extra time for getting things done, pre planning where he is going so he knows the route and timings etc. Helps ease alot of the anxieties.
I am a very flitty person, I hate routine, never know where my keys are, and can jump up and decide to jump in the car for a last minute trip no problem. We are complete opposites, but we have to just accept and allow for that and laugh and joke about it.
My OH doesn't have a diagnosis, but our son does and he can relate to alot of the issues. Hope someone can advise you of a good book or site, perhaps some joint therapy for you both so you can see how to make his life easier, and he can understand your frustrations

Mistlewoeandwhine Wed 12-Aug-20 21:44:19

Thanks. I think he’s definitely autistic. He thinks he is too. I was hoping there might be a book with ways to help him ie things to help him not to forget important things. He’s on antidepressants as he was finding life very overwhelming.

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