Autism Spectrum Disorders
Symptoms during adolescent and teen years
- Most symptoms persist through the teen years. And although teens with Asperger’s can begin to learn those social skills they lack, communication often remains difficult. They will probably continue to have difficulty “reading” others’ behavior.
- Your teen with Asperger’s syndrome (like other teens) will want friends but may feel shy or intimidated when approaching other teens. He or she may feel “different” from others. Although most teens place emphasis on being and looking “cool,” teens with Asperger’s may find it frustrating and emotionally draining to try to fit in. They may be immature for their age and be naive and too trusting, which can lead to teasing and bullying.
- All of these difficulties can cause teens with Asperger’s to become withdrawn and socially isolated and to have depression or anxiety.1
- But some teens with Asperger’s syndrome are able to make and keep a few close friends through the school years. Some of the classic Asperger’s traits may also work to the benefit of your teen. Teens with Asperger’s are typically uninterested in following social norms, fads, or conventional thinking, allowing creative thinking and the pursuit of original interests and goals. Their preference for rules and honesty may lead them to excel in the classroom and as citizens.
Here is teenager explaining who he is and how he feels in everyday life. By Alex Olinkiewicz
Many teens with Asperger’s syndrome also have coexisting conditions and may have symptoms of these conditions also. They include:
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
- Anxiety disorder.
- Depression, especially in adolescents.
- Nonverbal learning disorder.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
- Social anxiety disorder.