Being an adult with autism spectrum disorder, Asperger’s syndrome, or high functioning autism can be lonely and frustrating. For many, navigating social encounters can feel like having to play a high-stakes game without being told the rules; rules that all the other players seem to know instinctively.
If you grew up with undiagnosed types of autism, you may have internalized the idea that you were “odd” or “weird.” You may have been a target for bullying, or you may have simply always felt like an outsider without understanding how or why.
You may have found your own ways to cope, whether by avoiding social situations altogether or developing a convincing mask of “normal” behavior. This can also include seeking out special interest groups (gaming groups, for example) where intelligence and specialized skills tend to be valued over conventional social graces.