What is autistic burnout and how is it expressed?

Autistic exhaustion leads to unfavorable consequences for the person with the disorder, with pictures of extreme tiredness and loss of skills. We explain it to you.

Last update: February 15, 2022

For a world that is designed within a single norm and stereotype, those who do not fit into it are exposed to making an extra effort not to be so out. This situation of overadaptation leads to stress And this is what autistic burnout is all about.

The concept refers to that fatigue in people who have some type of autism. It is a response to a situation of chronic and sustained stress, which can arise from their integration with others.

Why in the autistic?

Depending on the type of autism that the person presents, some live continuously in shared spaces with others who do not have the disorder. Work or school environment is shared.

This implies being subjected to certain stimuli that affect them.such as lights or sounds. Likewise, they are making a permanent effort to be well, to overcome obstacles and be functional to said environment.

Autistic exhaustion is like burnout, that is, the burned head syndrome. In this case, it is caused by all the efforts that people with autism make to adapt to a context that is not designed for them.

They try to imitate behaviors, start conversations at the same pace, go to the same places, respond in the same way and even eliminate stereotypes. Hence, all the energy that is invested in this masking.

The effort of the autistic person to adapt to their environment can lead to fatigue and stress.


How is autistic exhaustion expressed?

Each person has their particularity and exhaustion is expressed in an exclusive way, according to each person. However, in general, some common symptoms are detected, such as the following:

  • Feeling of being exhausted.
  • Greater sensitivity to stimuli.
  • Loss of interest and enjoyment.
  • Changes in emotions, which can trigger sadness or anger.
  • Isolation and self-absorption.
  • changes in behavior and regression in behaviors.
  • Physical symptoms such as headaches, dizziness and gastric problems.
  • Consequences at the cognitive level. can appear difficulties with decision making and memory. There is also slowing.

Interestingly, autistic burnout does not present with all of these symptoms right away. It develops gradually and progressively. That is why it is important to warn them beforehand.

Sometimes, there are situations in which it can already be foreseen that they will lead to a crisis. For example, when there are moves, changes of school or work.



How to deal with autistic burnout?

It is important to work with people with autism and their families in order to provide prevention tools that allow them to detect the circumstances prior to autistic exhaustion. This way there will be regulation and intervention will take place in time.

That they can identify certain signals from their body can be useful to promote rest. This must be endured with psychological support and timely withdrawal.

It is key that autistic people can rest, take their leisure time, slow down the pace of work or study, not try to eliminate repetitive acts and take care of their interests. All these activities allow to find an escape valve. Relaxation and breathing techniques may also be taught to help you stay calm.

Children with autism have to have their moments of relaxation and focus on the interests that generate well-being.

How is real integration in autism?

When we talk about integration, that means thinking of strategies that allow the passage of people through certain spaces to be pleasant and comfortable. It is not just about accepting or promoting inclusion in a group.

Actually, we talk about accompanying each one with their needs and not forgetting that not everyone can function in the same way. Herein lies one of the greatest challenges in preventing autistic burnout and in providing opportunity and quality of life.

As a society, it is also necessary to work towards greater tolerance and inclusion, understanding that many times we are the ones who push people with autism to the limit. This places them at a point of overexertion that no person could sustain for a long time.

Let’s empathize with these situations. We all need a support network. We are subjects and recipients of care and attention. However, in certain clinical conditions, these precautions must be more intensive.

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