People who fall into the high functioning portion of the spectrum often live lives just like anyone else who’s not on the spectrum. They are said to be higher functioning cognitively than others on the spectrum. SYMPTOMS: Just like anyone on the Autism Spectrum high functioning people can still struggle with communication, making eye contact, and socially interact overall. Since interacting with others can be so difficult, those who are high functioning often report feeling very anxious prior to a social gathering, and being wiped out afterward because it takes SO much energy to engage with others. Anxiety, OCD, bipolar disorder & depression are the most common comorbidities with HFA, and research shows that OCD and HFA commonly occur together because they both are affected by any abnormalities in a person’s serotonin production. Based on that information we could conclude that all comorbidities can be caused and affected by serotonin changes. I also believe that because people with HFA are more aware of their differences from others they could feel anxious about interacting with people or even depressed about their struggle to connect. Sometimes having insight and awareness into our own conditions can be hard to handle, and could lead to other mental health issues. People with HFA may struggle to understand jokes, or sarcasm from their peers. Therefore they can appear “mature for their age” but they are really just uncomfortable in social situations. They can have delayed initial speech, but later develop functional communication. They can have obsessive actions regarding appearance, cleanliness, fears and social situations, and also shortened attention spans.