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5 signs you are autistic without even knowing

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is widely discussed in relation to children, but what about adults who have lived with undiagnosed autism?

Signs of autism in adults

It's entirely possible to be autistic and not know it, especially among those who grew up before much was known about the spectrum.

Let's explore some signs that might suggest you're on the spectrum. Knowledge is power, and understanding these signs can be the first step toward self-awareness and seeking support if needed.

1. Struggling with basic social norms

Do you find social situations more challenging than others seem to? People on the autism spectrum might miss social cues that others take for granted, like body language or sarcasm, leading to misunderstandings.

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It might be worth exploring further if you often feel out of step in social settings or have difficulty maintaining conversations.

2. Too involved in hobbies

One hallmark of autism is having one or more intense interests. While it’s common for people to have hobbies, those on the spectrum might engage with their interests at a depth or intensity that seems unusual to others.

If you have a passion that occupies a lot of your time and thoughts, to the point of being an expert on the subject, this could be a sign.

3. Always need to stick to a routine

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A strong preference for routines and predictability is another potential indicator of autism. Changes in plans or deviations from expected patterns can be particularly distressing if you’re on the spectrum.

If you find comfort in sameness and become anxious or upset when routines are disrupted, it might signal a deeper issue.

4. Too sensitive to sound or light

People with autism often experience heightened sensitivity to sensory input. This can manifest as discomfort or even pain from loud noises, bright lights, certain textures, or strong tastes.

If you’ve always found yourself more sensitive to these sensory experiences than others, it could be a sign of autism.

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5. Interacting with people makes you tired

Finally, if social interactions leave you feeling particularly drained, it could be more than just introversion. Many autistic people experience what's known as "social burnout" from the effort it takes to navigate social settings that don’t align with their natural inclinations.

Recognizing these signs in yourself can be enlightening and even relieving, offering explanations for feelings and behaviors that may have always felt inexplicable. If these signs resonate with you, consider seeking an evaluation from a professional.

Understanding your place on the spectrum is not just about labeling differences; it's about embracing them and finding strategies to navigate life more comfortably. Remember, autism is a spectrum, and everyone's experience is unique.

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