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Earthbound_Alien
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15 Apr 2021, 10:54 pm

Have your autistic symptoms changed over time?



funeralxempire
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15 Apr 2021, 10:58 pm

I've been less prone to blackout rages since being diagnosed. I believe these were basically a form of meltdown and since I'm more aware of meltdowns as a concern and what makes them more likely I'm able to make them a lot less likely.


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threetoed snail
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15 Apr 2021, 11:24 pm

I had some stereotypical autistic behaviors when I was little that went away after maybe a couple of years, like humming and covering my ears and rocking back and forth. After those went away (or after I learned to deliberately suppress them? I'm not sure), I went through a period where I intensely hated my parents for constantly subjecting me to unnecessary boredom and censuring me for being too moody and whiny. I had fits of rage but I was generally able to control myself physically, which I knew I had to, if I didn't want the original reason for my anger to get worse. That was essentially the basis of my personality and personal experience for the next two decades.

I've since managed to deal with that chronic anger issue. It feels like a very different type of existence. Other than that though, I'm pretty much a 30-something version of my 5-year old self. Same basic issues, same priorities. Always had a very strong tendency to want to be on my own and do things on my own. I remember in kindergarten during break time it didn't even occur to me to go play with other kids. Break time or any other time, come to think of it... I did talk to other kids sometimes, but it was mostly just whoever happened to be next to me. (Maybe it would be more accurate to say I talked at them...) Interacting with other human beings has always been something that I do on a somewhat random basis.

My sensory symptoms and sleep/wakefulness issues are still pretty much the same as always.


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HeroOfHyrule
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15 Apr 2021, 11:44 pm

When I was a kid I was a lot more aloof and "in my own world". I was always told by adults that I had "anger issues" and was misbehaved, but I've realized I just had meltdowns and was so noticeably stressed out all the time that it affected my reactions to everything. Now I'm a lot more calm and "in tune" with other people, but I still get frustrated very easily.


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IsabellaLinton
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15 Apr 2021, 11:53 pm

My limbic system burnt out several years ago so I've had less and less ability to deal with social or sensory situations. I've built myself a pillow fort and I keep a very controlled sensory habitat for myself so I don't have meltdowns. I find that any time I leave the house to interact with "the real world", or any time I have to interact on the phone with "the real world" (customer service, etc), I become very agitated and short-tempered. I don't have patience anymore for dealing with anyone or anything outside of my comfort zone. When we aren't on lockdown I've been able to visit my boyfriend for two or three nights at a time (maximum), but then I have to come home and decompress back into my own world for at least a week. I need to shut down for a week after any type of social or sensory encounter.

I'll add that I've suffered two strokes and I have complex trauma, agoraphobia, and mutism in addition to ASD Level 2. So maybe all of that is affecting me as well, over time.



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16 Apr 2021, 1:27 am

The time I was the most autistic was when I was a teenager (mostly early teens). I did a lot of 'typical autistic' things that were out of character even for me. I don't know if it was just part of being an awkward teenager or what it was, but my teenage years stick in my memory and haunts me to this day.


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Earthbound_Alien
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16 Apr 2021, 2:18 am

Joe90 wrote:
The time I was the most autistic was when I was a teenager (mostly early teens). I did a lot of 'typical autistic' things that were out of character even for me. I don't know if it was just part of being an awkward teenager or what it was, but my teenage years stick in my memory and haunts me to this day.


When I was a teenager I was not really all that aware of things socially..much more gullible and and niave and overly trusting. People would tell me to do things socially, I thinking they were ok would do them, then I would get mocked for it.

I wouldn't say it was out of character for me, it just was me. I wasn't awkward I was socially slow, did not follow trends and could not keep up with things like 'street speak'...I didn't really know what half of it meant.

I just coudln't understand why they were being nasty to me when to my mind I was being friendly. And that is not just my teenage years, I was bullied from infant school, from the age of at least 3. I was the weird kid with the twitch.

When I got older I even asked my mum why they were being nasty to me (when I was about 13 or 14). At 17 I also had to ask how I would know if a man found me attractive. I still can't read it properly to this day...

I was also behind my same age peers physically (I developed late) and that didn't help either, people thought I was a boy.



funeralxempire
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16 Apr 2021, 2:35 am

Earthbound_Alien wrote:
At 17 I also had to ask how I would know if a man found me attractive. I still can't read it properly to this day...


I'm absolutely clueless in this regard. I thought a coworker was 'kinda nice' to me. She shoved her underwear in my pocket two days later. Apparently she had kinda fixated on me for awhile and I was 100% oblivious. We dated for awhile, she was very nice and later married someone who isn't a dork. Actually that's not true, she married a fatter but less awkward dork. And then they divorced.


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MrsPeel
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16 Apr 2021, 3:20 am

Either my autism has got progressively worse over the last 10 years, or my ability to cope with it has dropped off.
Nowadays I reach my stress limit very easily and take an inordinate amount of time to recover.



Red Raid
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16 Apr 2021, 5:06 am

Yes, my social skills have gotten significantly worse with age. My younger brother, who is also on the spectrum, seems to have gotten better with age. He used to have issues with certain colors, loud noises and running away from home but those appear to have gone away.



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16 Apr 2021, 5:53 am

Improvements:
- Greater understanding of self leads to better self-care and thus better coping with sensory over-stimulation, sudden change of plans, sleep, etc.
- More patience and tolerance -> meltdowns became very rare.
- I stim more and feel no shame for it.

Deteriorations:
- My social skills are swiftly evaporating, less energy, less eye contact, less amount of ****s given.
- Energy levels steadily decreased throughout all of my 20s. Somewhat stabilized in my 30s, but still tired most of the time.
- IQ is decreasing and my ability to learn with it. Dropped 10 points in about 4 years.


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ArtsyFarsty
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16 Apr 2021, 6:51 am

In hindsight, I’d say I was my least autistic when I was an at-home mom. Partly because I was able to organize my life how I wanted it, partly because I had little choice but to push through for the sake of three little people who needed me.

Now that my kids are older and I have a job outside the home, I have to work much harder at life. Not just with my executive functioning, but with the level of interaction that comes with having older children (school people, other children, other children’s parents, ugh). I don’t meltdown very often (I’ve always been one to internalize), but I do shutdown on a regular basis.



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16 Apr 2021, 10:59 am

Improvement (from teenage years)
-Maturity for my age
-Less emotional outbursts, in fact hardly none at all
-Less shy, more talkative to people
-Less social anxiety, more able to speak up and join in group conversations
-Don't seem to get obsessions/special interests any more (don't need them)
-Can sympathise much better
-Happier
-Mask less, more confidence

My ADHD seems to have got worse though.


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Dear_one
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16 Apr 2021, 1:18 pm

I think the autism is constant, but the expression of it is steadily changing with my environment and PTSD.



GreenRanger06
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17 Apr 2021, 9:46 pm

I feel like I have learned more about what behaviors I need to avoid, I have also matured. I feel like my mental age is younger than my real age. I act now like a regular teen would act, without the weird rebellion stuff. Maybe I act closer to 20 even though im in my mid 30's.



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18 Apr 2021, 5:56 pm

Stopped around age 6-10

-Being not as antisocial, distant, and opening myself up to some kids at school, but usually still on my own.
-When I was vocal, saying the wrong things, or talking kinda maturely/being a "smart ass" kid, so yeah.
-Not understanding boundaries, personal space, what's appropriate to do/not to do towards people.

Stopped around age 11-14

-Not understanding what autism was, and being officially diagnosed.
-Being antisocial generally. Even though I didn't really have much "friends" during this time, I started to relate more to kids at school.
-Mostly all out of control outbursts, tantrums, conniption fits, me running out of the classroom etc. and episodes are kept to a minimum, or not at all.

Stopped around age 15-18

-Ability to be self aware that I'm perhaps "high functioning" (even though I hate that term so much), and that I'm always going to be autistic yes, but I'm able to mask it better. I was working, volunteering, finishing High School.
-I got rid of quirks I used to do. I used to rub my face anxiously, bite my nails, suck my thumb etc. I stopped doing a lot of that. I have had notebooks full of scribble scrabble, and chicken scratch that I would just doodle drawings and write nonsense words and symbols on. I noticed this is common with some people, and I didn't personally anything wrong with this, but other people found this weird and strange. Whatever. Nevertheless, I stopped doing it, so. Yeah.
-Outbursts, tantrums, episodes were extremely rare now. I had maybe one, once a year, and it was justified or understood, and over family/school issues, and the fact my mother passed away when I was 11, and my identical twin brother who also had autism, passed away when he was 15, so I was dealing with that.

Stopped around age 19-21
-Being more open to experiment and be around people, places, and things. I started to smoke cigarettes, and drink alcohol, and go to social events. Some I'm more comfortable with, than others.
-I didn't care what people thought of me anymore, and I was also coming into accepting the fact I'm black/African-American, and also gay. So I have other things to deal with, and find my identity towards.
-Instead of tantrums, outbursts, episodes, and scenes I would cause when I was younger, I now do those vocally/mentally instead of physically. I took up video blogging, writing, debates, educating myself into politics. I was chatting with strange people more. So yeah.

Stopped around age 22-present (I'm 30 years old as of this post)
-Understanding I'm always going to be autistic, but not let it effect me too much. There are at times to where I feel I'm going to have to do things differently, and career wise, my mood flip flops, but I manage to work things out.
-I began to be more open with myself, and started to smoke marijuana/weed/cannabis/CBD, sporadically, and I feel it also helps me as well. I've done research on how it can help those who are autistic.
-I try to be more aware of society, and not close myself off so much. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to conform, but I also try to have my own image, and be me own person, not fall onto stereotypes or not necessarily faking it until I make it, but I feel sadly we will live in a time to where image is important, and I try my best to be inconspicuous about being autistic, and no I can't change the way I am, but I improve myself day by day. Yes.