Five common signs in adults that might mean you have autism

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A consultant psychiatrist based in London, Dr. Jaleel Mohammed, renowned for his expertise in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions, has unveiled five key indicators that may suggest autism in adults.

With over 214,000 followers on TikTok, Dr. Mohammed utilizes his platform to educate viewers on various aspects of mental health. His recent video outlining signs of autism has garnered immense attention, amassing over six million views.

Dr. Mohammed emphasizes that individuals with autism often adhere strictly to routines, experiencing distress and anxiety when these routines are disrupted.

Difficulty changing your routine

The medical expert states:
“People with autism often have a very specific routine: What they do, how they do it and the order they do it in.” He explains that this could be a specific morning routine, whether it be a way you brush your teeth, a particular breakfast you must have, or an order you must eat it in. Mohammed says that people can vary their routine with no problem, but those with autism will feel distressed and anxious if their routine changes.

People think you can be rude or blunt

Dr. Mohammed explains that people with autism can ‘come across sounding very harsh or to the point with their speech,’ without actually meaning to.
“For people with autism, it’s just an efficient way of speaking, they don’t mean to be rude or come across that way.”

Difficulty understanding what others are feeling/thinking

This is also known as the theory of mind; ‘The ability to gauge what other people are thinking or feeling’. In autism, this is often underdeveloped, Dr. Mohammed explains, which can cause people with autism to struggle with feelings of empathy and sympathy.

Difficulty with eye contact

“At its most severe, people with autism avoid making eye contact at all, but most people with autism can make eye contact, but it’s just very uncomfortable to do so,” Dr. Mohammed reveals.

Noticing small patterns and details

If you notice small things that others might not, it may be a sign of autism.

“The brains of people with autism can pick up on very small details and recognise patterns that others don’t see.”

Dr Mohammed highlighted the examples of noticing the order that something has been arranged on a surface, or a pattern / design on a rug or carpet that would otherwise be dismissed by others.

It’s important to recognize that these signs serve as indicators rather than definitive diagnoses of autism. The NHS recommends consulting a GP or healthcare professional for a formal assessment if autism is suspected. Only qualified autism specialists can conduct these assessments to determine an individual’s autism status accurately.

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