Have you noticed that you have some odd behavior? That you want to do something else, but are unsure as of what? That you get weird reactions from your friends? Or have you had the feelings that something was different about someone, without really knowing what it was? Autism is not always easy to recognize and has many different ways of expressing itself. If you know the symptoms, you can often deal with them in a better way. This also goes the other way around. If you have autism, and psychologists or health care providers give you information about autism, you can sometimes respond differently to situations or symptoms. To give you some information about autism and the mechanisms around it, we will discuss the symptoms of autism, but also certain mechanisms which could influence autism.

Autism: difficulties with communication

People with autism have difficulties with communication. We often write about invisible or implicit rules regarding social behavior. We have specific rules as to what to say in certain situations or what is normal in communication. When you have autism, these rules are not clear. You often do not know what to say or what people expect from you.

Autism: friendships

Starting and maintaining friendships is difficult for people with autism. You namely find it difficult to work with the social, implicit rules of social contacts, which makes it less easy to build up a bond with someone. Many people with autism therefore often choose their hobbies over friendships. They find this easier than human contact. Oftentimes, people with autism have one hobby which they know everything about.

Autism: flexible thinking

People with autism find it difficult to think flexibly. This was already shown by the flexibly applying social rules posing problems. They also find it difficult to deal with agreements which change. As an example: a young girl goes to school with the school bus for the first time. She would be picked up at 7.41 o'clock. At a quarter to 8 she suddenly is back home. Her mother asks what happened, and the girl said: 'The bus was not there at 7.41 so I came back home instead'. She could not imagine that the bus might come a bit later.

Autism: what is the link with stress, depression, and anxiety?

We have just discussed the core symptoms of autism, but there are also other things which can be caused by autism. You could, for example, really want more friends, but not be able to get them. This can cause you to feel worthless and isolated, which can lead to depression after a while. Looking for new contacts or changes of appointments can also be stressful. It is very useful to learn how to deal with stress in such situations, so that you can meet new people more easily or deal with a situation without excess stress. In extreme cases, social contacts might even be difficult to such an extent that you get anxiety about meeting new people.

How do I handle stress, depression, and anxiety in autism?

You can definitely do this with the help of the online self-help program. You do not need to talk to anyone, while you do work on your stress, depression, and anxiety. People with autism sometimes work well with online self-help because they do not need to stress about starting new contacts with people, and they can themselves decide when to start. You do not need to think of waiting lists, either.

Test your stress, depression and anxiety!

Do you feel stressed, anxious, or depressed? You can always do our free self-test to measure your stress, depression, and anxiety.