ASD and Lower Life Expectancies

People with ASD have lower life expectancies than the rest of the population. In 2022, the average life expectancy was approximately 72 years old. But for people on the autism spectrum, the average life expectancy ranges from 39.5 years to 58 years. 

This disparity is influenced by several factors:

1.    Comorbid Genetic and Medical Conditions:

  • People with ASD are at higher risk for various genetic disorders linked to shorter life expectancy.
  • People with ASD are more likely to experience neurological disorders (e.g., epilepsy, sleep disorders, gastrointestinal issues).

2.    Mental Health Challenges:

  • People with ASD face a higher risk of mental health issues (e.g., anxiety, depression, psychotic disorders), and this increased risk contributes to a higher likelihood of suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

3.    Stress and Societal Expectations:

  • Existing in a world not designed to meet their needs is stressful for people with ASD.
  • Societal expectations (e.g., eye contact, nonverbal communication) can be challenging or even impossible for some people with ASD, leading to chronic stress.

4.    Treatment Approaches:

  • Some treatments (e.g., applied behavioral analysis, or ABA) may inadvertently cause trauma due to an emphasis on compliance and eliminating ASD behaviors.

Reports from individuals on the autism spectrum:

Rob C. states:

"I remember a time when my anxiety had a significant impact on my health. It all started during a particularly stressful period in my life. I was constantly worrying about various aspects of my life, including work, relationships, and finances. The anxiety seemed to consume my thoughts, and I found it difficult to relax or enjoy anything.

As the days went by, I began experiencing physical symptoms that I couldn't ignore. I started having trouble sleeping, my appetite decreased, and I felt constantly on edge. The constant state of anxiety took a toll on my body, and soon I started experiencing stomach pains, headaches, and muscle tension. I also noticed that I was more prone to getting sick, and my energy levels were at an all-time low.

It became increasingly clear that my health was deteriorating due to the effects of anxiety. I realized that I needed to address the root cause of my problems. I sought help from a healthcare professional and was diagnosed with anxiety-related health issues, including high levels of stress hormones and imbalanced neurotransmitters."


Michael L. states:

"From my earliest memories, I've grappled with a persistent feeling of not quite belonging. The subtle nuances of social interactions often eluded me, leaving me feeling isolated and out of sync with those around me. It wasn't until later in life that I received a diagnosis of autism, which shed light on the reasons behind my perceived differences.

Despite the clarity the diagnosis provided, navigating the world remained an arduous task. Simple social conventions that came naturally to others felt like insurmountable obstacles to me. The desire to be understood and accepted for who I truly was became a constant yearning, as I struggled to find my place in a world that seemed designed for those who saw it differently.

In the midst of this struggle, I found solace in my special interests and the comfort of routines that helped me make sense of the world. Yet, the longing for genuine connection and understanding persisted. It was through my journey that I came to realize that my differences were not shortcomings, but rather a unique perspective that I had to offer the world.


Jason D. states:

"I struggled with showing empathy, particularly when it came to understanding and connecting with the emotions of others. This challenge became especially evident when my best friend went through a difficult breakup.

Despite my sincere desire to support my friend, I found myself at a loss for expressing meaningful empathy. I often felt tongue-tied and uncomfortable in emotional situations, unsure of the right words or actions to convey my support."


Available Classes with Mark Hutten, M.A.:

==> Cassandra Syndrome Recovery for NT Wives <==

==> Online Workshop for Men with ASD level 1 <==

==> Online Workshop for NT Wives <==

==> 1 on 1 Coaching Sessions for Struggling Individuals & Couples Affected by ASD <==

==> Online Workshop for Couples Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder <==

==> ASD Men's MasterClass: Social-Skills Emotional-Literacy Development <==


Downloadable Programs:

==> eBook and Audio Instruction for Neurodiverse Couples  <==

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