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Kasab740
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24 Jul 2022, 8:55 pm

So, I stumbled on this page, which despite reading several books about adult ASD; this little article has been really eye-opening:
https://goodautismschool.com/autism-lifespan/

First is the low life expectancy of those with general autism (classic and HFA) and "learning disorders", which isn't clear? But if HFA and classic people are both expected to live to an average age of 39, that is shocking.

Another interesting article which claims 36 as the average age. And quotes studies of other ages such as 54.
https://www.vox.com/first-person/2018/2 ... -36-stress

Obviously the criteria for how someone qualifies for a study (how severe the ASD), the study circumstances and other factors, vary. Does anyone know of other studies on this? What are your thoughts on this, and causes of death. etc.



Joe90
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25 Jul 2022, 1:09 am

This has been discussed a million times before. I choose not to throw a panic tantrum this time and just take these sensationalised 'studies' with a grain of salt.


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25 Jul 2022, 4:21 am

I didn't know there have been a million of discussions on this topic. This is the first time I see it. It does sound like an interesting topic.

I guess autistic/disabled people live a stressful life, which probably shorten their lives. Also, disabled people generally have less money and are hence less healthy, which again would lead to earlier death than average. Just my opinion.

However, I feel I will live long because my grandfathers lived long and I have Gilbert Syndrome. Just my opinion.



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25 Jul 2022, 4:43 am

It's a trigger warning topic. I think the mods should add that in the title, as it may cause anxiety for some sensitive members.


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25 Jul 2022, 4:57 am

Ooh! I'm 54 soon! I'd better watch out :lol:

I don't really enjoy my life though, so I'd be happy to die maybe around 70. It's all been a bit pointless tbh.


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25 Jul 2022, 5:13 am

I would say it's because of suicide, and possibly drugs & alcohol used to combat anxiety.

I've read a lot of newspaper articles in my life about people younger than 20 commiting suicide, which is terrible. It probably skews the average life expectancy, while most HFA live much longer than mid-30's. Then you have suicide by alcohol which can happen around late thirties sometimes.



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25 Jul 2022, 6:08 am

Those numbers differ quite widely from each other, so I suspect they don't really know the answer. I rather think that Aspies aren't biologically programmed to die early, but that some will because of poverty (can't hold a job down or handle the benefits system).

I'm surprised it's a trigger topic. I can't see anything to get very upset about. Obviously it would be upsetting to think you were going to die young, but nobody has proved that you will. Even if there's any truth in the statistical analyses, ASD is a spectrum disorder so it's no reason to think it's necessarily going to happen to you.



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25 Jul 2022, 6:12 am

Temple Grandin is 74 years old and she is still living on as usual.

Nikola Tesla died when he was 84 years old.

This is the proof that anyone who's Autistic has the same life expectancy as the neurotypicals.


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25 Jul 2022, 6:20 am

You’re quite right!

Aspergers or autism, in and of itself, doesn’t reduce lifespan. Something that is co-morbid with autism might reduce lifespan.



Kasab740
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25 Jul 2022, 7:18 am

Joe90 wrote:
This has been discussed a million times before. I choose not to throw a panic tantrum this time and just take these sensationalised 'studies' with a grain of salt.


Sorry if I haven't seen all the earlier posts. They matter, for sure. But I think that it is important, and something to keep talking about. WP and other forums don't have a requirement of "Review these 1,000 posts before you post your own topic".

It needs to be discussed, and there is always new information coming out about it - Autism and lifespan. Everything "sensationalist" and "nanny-state", yeah I'm sick of that too, but we can't just say that, 3 years ago, someone posted something about it, so the topic is no longer relevant. It is always relevant. We are talking about how long people like us are expected to live. Is there anything more important than that?



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25 Jul 2022, 7:34 am

The fact is:

Many autistic and Aspergian people live to a "normal" lifespan.

People see these sorts of posts, and assume that THEY WILL, inevitably, have a reduced lifespan because they have Aspergers or autism. This is not the case. I'm 61 years old, and I'm still going strong.

Unfortunately, Aspergers/autism can make people feel depressed, and not as inspired as others. As with, say, nonautistic people who are depressed and uninspired, the lifespan might be reduced because of reduced incentive to live, in general.

What should be discussed----is how to alleviate the depression and lack of incentive in general, rather than post statistics pertaining to the supposed "reduced" lifespan of autistic people. These sorts of "studies" only serve to aggravate the depression and lack of incentive already present in a person who reads these studies.



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25 Jul 2022, 7:45 am

If I live for too long with a crappy life quality in the past, present AND guaranteed the future, I'd rather have a shorter life span than endure more crap. Of course, that's a natural reaction.

If I live too short with an excellent quality of life, then, now and will be ever -- now that's the question.



Also stats are usually skewed.
Was it an average?

How much of those in the stats are actually intellectually disabled autistics who died in childhood accidents like drowning, murdered or neglect?
How much of those all-aged deaths is actually suicide as opposed to, say, health issues?

While there are already studies of the odds of what makes an unhealthy autistic and their lifespan...
I'd rather know, what's the real life span of an average healthy autistic? Then with separated multiple factors.


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25 Jul 2022, 9:20 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
The fact is:

Many autistic and Aspergian people live to a "normal" lifespan.

People see these sorts of posts, and assume that THEY WILL, inevitably, have a reduced lifespan because they have Aspergers or autism. This is not the case. I'm 61 years old, and I'm still going strong.

Unfortunately, Aspergers/autism can make people feel depressed, and not as inspired as others. As with, say, nonautistic people who are depressed and uninspired, the lifespan might be reduced because of reduced incentive to live, in general.

What should be discussed----is how to alleviate the depression and lack of incentive in general, rather than post statistics pertaining to the supposed "reduced" lifespan of autistic people. These sorts of "studies" only serve to aggravate the depression and lack of incentive already present in a person who reads these studies.


This is what I was trying to say.

I'm not expecting people to search the forum first before posting, it's just that these lifespan topics do get brought up every few months, there's actually a recent one a few pages down. I was just saying.

When you really hate your autism like I do, hearing that my lifespan is going to be affected by it just triggers it further, especially when it mentions heart disease, cancer and covid death rates. Suicide is different. It's tragic but is also common in NTs with depression and other mental health disorders.


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25 Jul 2022, 9:39 am

It's worth saying that life expectancy figures can give a misleading impression of mass mortality around that age. One journalist and author who worked in the Congo said he'd seen the shockingly low life expectancy (around 40 years, IRR) and was surprised to meet so many elderly people in the country. The figure wasn't so low because everyone was dropping dead in their 40s. It was so low because the infant mortality rate was very high.

My hunch is that there's three peak ages of death. One for childhood accidents; one for suicide in early adulthood; and one after about 60 due to stress and lifestyle related conditions. Be interesting to see if there's any research on that.


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kraftiekortie
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25 Jul 2022, 10:24 am

People on the Spectrum, without co-morbids or an accompanying genetic disorder, generally don't have higher rates of cancer and COVID deaths.



Last edited by kraftiekortie on 25 Jul 2022, 10:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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25 Jul 2022, 10:29 am

People on the spectrum have a much higher suicide rate than NTs. It's from being forced to live in an NT world, bullying, and being dehumanized by the "professionals".