Autistic Adult Women, Support, and Entreprenuership - UpperRoomPrints

Autistic Adult Women, Support, and Entreprenuership

As someone with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) myself, I understand the unique challenges and experiences that come with being an adult on the spectrum. That's why I want to take the time to talk about autism in adults, including employment, support, and entitlements, as well as the specific challenges faced by women with ASD.

I was diagnosed with Autism as an adult (at age 40 to be exact), I want to share my personal experiences and provide helpful information for other adults on the spectrum. I will be discussing autism in adults, including the signs and symptoms of ASD, the challenges of getting diagnosed as an adult, employment, support, and entitlements, and the specific challenges faced by women with ASD.


What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects communication, behavior, and social interaction. While many people associate autism with children, it's important to remember that adults can also be diagnosed with ASD. The prevalence of ASD in adults is estimated to be around 1.7% of the adult population in the United States.

It's important to note that ASD is a spectrum disorder, meaning that individuals with the disorder can experience a wide range of symptoms, and the severity of those symptoms can vary widely as well. Some individuals with ASD may be able to function independently, while others may require significant support.

While autism is often thought of as a disorder that affects mostly boys, there are many women with ASD. Diagnosis challenges for women can be particularly difficult due to gender bias and differences in how ASD manifests in women versus men. Women with ASD also face unique experiences, such as difficulty with social communication and a tendency to internalize their emotions.

Adult Female Presenting ASD signs
Research shows that females with ASD often go undiagnosed or are diagnosed later in life than males with ASD. This is partly because females may present with different symptoms than males. Here are some signs of female adults with ASD that are late diagnosed:

  1. Difficulty with social interaction: Females with ASD may have difficulty with social communication and may struggle with social skills such as making eye contact, interpreting social cues, and making and keeping friends.

  2. Restricted interests: Females with ASD may have intense interests in specific topics, which can be all-consuming and difficult to discuss with others who do not share the same passion. However, their interests may differ from those commonly associated with ASD, such as trains or math.

  3. Sensory sensitivities: Females with ASD may be hypersensitive to certain sensory stimuli, such as loud noises, bright lights, or strong smells. They may also be hypersensitive to touch, finding certain fabrics or textures uncomfortable.

  4. Masking: Females with ASD may develop coping mechanisms, such as masking or camouflaging their symptoms, to fit in socially. This can make it difficult to identify their ASD symptoms and may result in a delay in diagnosis.

  5. Anxiety and Depression: Females with ASD are at an increased risk of developing anxiety and depression, which can also make it harder to identify the underlying ASD symptoms.


Employment and ASD
Finding and maintaining employment can be challenging for adults with ASD. In fact, the percentage of employed adults with ASD is much lower than the general population. If we are able to work than accommodations in the workplace, such as flexible schedules and quiet workspaces, can also be helpful.

One question often asked is, can someone with autism run a business? The answer is yes! Many adults with ASD have found success as entrepreneurs, leveraging their unique talents and interests to create successful businesses.

Autism acceptance and support are crucial for autistic adults to thrive. It's important for individuals, communities, and businesses to understand and accommodate individuals with ASD. Autistic adults are also entitled to support services, including therapy, vocational training, and disability accommodations. However, accessing these entitlements can be challenging, and it's important to seek out resources and advocates to help navigate the system.

In conclusion, autism in adults is an important topic that needs more attention and awareness. Adults with ASD face unique challenges in employment, support, and entitlements, and women with ASD face even more specific challenges. By increasing understanding and acceptance of autism in adults, we can create a more inclusive and accommodating world for all individuals on the spectrum.

If you want to learn more about autism and support Upper Room Prints, an autism-run business, visit our website at

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