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High Functioning Autism and Mental Health

Lido Wellness Center Blog

High Functioning Autism and Mental Health Seeking Counsel and Support

October 18, 2023

The term “high-functioning Autism” is not a clinical one in use anymore. It once was more common, and some people still use it as a way to help themselves have a deeper understanding of the broad spectrum of autism. All that said, we will use it in this article to refer to someone who seems to have fewer apparent communication and behavioral difficulties than someone with severe autism symptoms.

For those with high functioning autism, the colors and patterns of their processing approach to the world may differ from the typical, but the beauty of their story remains undeniable. Here we will explore the world of high functioning autism and mental health, with a look at the importance (or effectiveness) of counseling for autism and the support that can truly make a difference.

Understanding the Intersection of Autism and Mental Health

Autism and Mental Health: These two facets of human existence often intertwine in intricate and unexpected ways. To truly comprehend the significance of mental health help for individuals with high-functioning autism, we have to unlock a some of the unique challenges they may face.

The Silent Struggle

It is difficult to keep from generalizing in looking at this topic. So there will be a bit of that. However, individuals with high functioning autism often grapple with heightened sensitivity to their environment, social challenges, and a profound desire for routine and predictability.

This combination might not even be apparent to those on the outside. Many people with less severe symptoms of autism have learned their needs and may even have an understanding where it may clash with social situations. But that doesn’t mean they don’t feel it. Sometimes this disparity between how they process the world and the unpredictability of situations can lead to heightened levels of anxiety, depression, and social isolation.

Many individuals with high functioning autism employ a practice known as “masking” to navigate social situations. This involves concealing how they might feel about certain situations to fit into social norms. While masking can be a valuable coping mechanism, it can come at a cost, leading to exhaustion, burnout, and a degree of stress.

Statistics of Interest:

  • According to research, autistic individuals who frequently engage in masking behaviors are at a higher risk of developing mental health issues.
  • The prolonged use of masking techniques can lead to a phenomenon known as “autistic burnout.”

Counseling for Autism: A Beacon of Hope

In the journey toward mental well-being, counseling for autism emerges as a powerful option. Like a lighthouse guiding ships through the fog, counseling provides a steady and reliable source of support for individuals with high functioning autism. Here are some of the ways counseling for people with autism can be helpful.

1. Understanding the Individual

Counseling for autism is not a one-size-fits-all approach. It is a nuanced process that takes into account the unique needs and challenges of each individual. A skilled therapist can delve into the depths of a person with ASD helping them unravel their thoughts and emotions.

2. Navigating Social and Emotional Challenges

One of the primary focuses of counseling for autism is helping individuals navigate social interactions and emotional regulation. Therapists work with their clients to develop strategies for managing anxiety, depression, and the sensory sensitivities that often accompany autism.

3. Embracing Neurodiversity

In the realm of counseling for autism, the emphasis is not on “fixing” or “changing” individuals. Crucially, it is on celebrating neurodiversity and helping every person thrive in a world that may not always understand their unique perspective.

4. Building Coping Skills

Counseling equips individuals with high functioning autism with valuable coping skills. These skills empower them to manage stress, communicate effectively, and cultivate healthy relationships.

There Is Hope and Joy

People on the autism spectrum and those who love them know that their story is expansive. There are highs and lows. But the full story of high functioning autism and mental health can be one of hope, resilience, and the triumph of the human spirit. Through counseling for autism, individuals with high functioning autism can find the support they need to navigate the complexities of their world and embrace their unique place in it.

In the words of John Steinbeck, “We are lonesome animals. We spend all our life trying to be less lonesome.” Counseling for a person with autism offers a path to bridge the gap between the world and the individual, a path toward connection, understanding, and healing. And with help and connection each of us may come to realize, again in the words of Steinbeck, that “You’re not as alone as you thought.”

Embrace the Journey to Wellness at Lido Wellness Center

At Lido Wellness Center, we understand the intricate interplay between high functioning autism and mental health. Our commitment is to be your steadfast companion on this unique journey, offering compassionate and tailored support to help you thrive.

If you or a loved one is seeking counseling or mental health help in Newport Beach, we invite you to take the first step towards a brighter, more fulfilling future. Reach out to us today at 949-541-8466 and let us be your beacon of hope.

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- Alumnus, Lido Wellness Center

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