Pros and Cons of High Functioning Autism

High Functioning Autism does come with some beneficial benefits over the other types of autism. Generally, High Functioning Autism suffer with difficulties with social interaction. This usually does not adversely impact their ability to interact with others on a daily basis at a basic working level.  Although they may be labeled as being overly serious or earnest, and to be lacking in the ability to converse in "small talk" conversation.

They may also have difficulty with initiating romantic and friendship relationships, ultimately they end up being rejected, because potential partners see them as being either too "nerdy" or too intelligent. This can ultimately lead to low self esteem and loneliness, which will further impair their chances of finding meaningful relationships.

People with narrow horizons may wrongly label High Functioning Autism people as "oddballs" or worse, and High Functioning Autism people may also become the target of bullying. This can be especially true during the teenage years. Young, intelligent High Functioning Autism people will usually do best if they seek out the company of their intellectual peers, while avoiding those in their age-group peers.

People with High Functioning Autism have difficulty with things such as job interviews because of the proven crucial role of body language during job interviews.  The lack of eye contact in a setting like a job interview may be perceived by the potential employer as a sign that the candidate is either "not telling the truth" or is "uninterested in the job", and this then leads to a cumulative difficulty in finding employment.

Attending social and business events to network is also proven to play a crucial role in job hunting, but events such as these are the type that High Functioning Autism people usually avoid due to their unease with the complex social interactions required. Difficulties with these pre-employment factors, may ultimately contribute to comparative poverty.  Intelligent High Functioning Autism adults can usually find a good job, this is easier if they can specialise in their area of interest at a university level. Once the High Functioning Autism sufferer is in a good job, their talents may lead to promotion, and then they may be in a new job with different duties that does not fit in well with their personality.

Some people with High Functioning Autism may also have some minor difficulty with motor skills and coordination, especially in informal social situations, or even in sports (they may have been "the last to be picked for the sports team" as children, and labelled as "clumsy"). This may be a partial explanation for their preference for order, and neatness, using neatness to compensate. Some may also learn a complex and habitual movement (termed "Stimming") at which they become proficient, e.g. pen spinning, while otherwise being prone to clumsiness.

Also, people with High Functioning Autism do not lack empathy (although they may have difficulty expressing it), and can enjoy films and stories with emotional content. Some may even gain the bulk of their insight into why people behave the way they do, through watching movies that provide a forceful and musically-cued "capsule lesson" in human emotions (e.g. melodramas).

Some people with High Functioning Autism can prove to be extreme procrastinators, while a small minority may be unusually sensitive to sudden, or annoying noise.

Benefits of High Functioning Autism

Alongside the problems addressed already, the sufferer of High Functioning Autism may also benefit from some of the more positive aspects of autism. As an example, they may have the ability to focus intensely, and for extended periods of time on a difficult problem. They often will have an enhanced learning ability, although this probably will not be used in subjects that they have little interest in. They most often will present no problems, if they are in a supportive, well-resourced educational institution, and will usually do well in their studies if they are stimulated by good, and caring professors and teachers.

People with High Functioning Autism will often have an intense and deep knowledge of an obscure or difficult subject and a passion for pursuing it in an organised and scholarly manner.

They are usually intelligent, gifted, honest, hard workers when interested in a task and excellent problem solvers. People with High Functioning Autism tend to become excellent scientists and engineers or enter other professions where painstaking, methodical analysis is required.

Speech and diction can be unusually precise in some individuals with High Functioning Autism. Some may be unusually adept at wordplay and use language in inventive ways.

For more information about autism and the autistic community be sure to check out the resources available at answers-about-autism.

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