Mental Health Support
A range of professional support services for youths and adults with ASDs are available in many areas across the country. The important thing is finding professionals who are trained and experienced with ASD issues and who offer services that focus on empowering individuals to use their own unique strengths, interests and abilities.
Living with a Label
A clinical diagnosis of ASD always involves the person having then to deal with the labels of "Asperger's" or "autistic" or "having an ASD" in addition to any challenges already being faced. Some adults with ASDs have been diagnosed when very young and have lived with this label all their lives. Many have learned to take pride in their differences.
Others are diagnosed late in life and while they may have had knowledge of their "difference," the label will be new to them. Receiving a late diagnosis can allow some individuals to better understand their life events and to access important educational, living, social and economic supports and accommodations that might otherwise have been unavailable to them. Even so, by being labeled, the person may also face more discrimination.
Dealing with Discrimination
There is still a lot of ignorance about disabilities in our society. In addition, very few Canadians recognize social interaction challenges as disabilities. More public education about the nature of ASDs is necessary to combat intolerance and misunderstanding.
Most adults and youths with ASDs have struggled with social isolation during their lives and many have experienced a lot of bullying as children. This can make it even harder to make new friends and take part in social activities as an adult.