Autism and Isolation

By Yasmine Bakhsheshi, Social Work

As adults living with autism begin to transition out of the classroom it seems that there is more data that shows that those adults are heading towards “social isolation”. Across the spectrum adults with autism are “left out” and excluded from social encounters and gatherings.


This study, Nearly 1 In 3 With Autism Socially Isolated  conveys the experiences of young people who received special education services and are facing a “rocky transition into adulthood socially”. Take a look at the research and let us know what you think. Below you will find helpful information and links to some of the reasons for isolation and ways to combat isolation.

According to the National Autistic Society some of those reasons are:

  • The person may prefer to be on their own and enjoy their own company
  • Adults with autism may want to engage with others but lack the skills to do so
  • Some people with autism find it difficult to maintain contacts due to a lack of understanding of small talk and other conventions of social behavior.
  • A bad experience in a social situation in the past may have been generalized and the person with autism is now trying to avoid a repetition of this negative experience
  • Some people with autism may need a higher level of support for activities than their family, friends and/or careers are able to provide
  • A person with high-functioning autism or Asperger syndrome may live independently, without family, support workers or a social network
  • The person with autism or their family, friends and/or careers may not know about suitable activities in their local area.

The good news is that there are many ways to deal with isolation and lots of resources that can help adults with autism take control of their lives in a positive way such as: If you’re a Certified Autism Specialist or you work with children or adults with Autism you may want to consider these ways of combating social isolation: Encouraging social interaction, Overcoming restrictive routines, Managing anxiety, Social skills groups and Books and other information

“Social Isolation.” -. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2014.

“Study: Nearly 1 In 3 With Autism Socially Isolated.” – Disability Scoop. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2014.
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