Are "they" sure AS doesn't get worse with age?

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EstherJ
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12 May 2012, 3:05 am

Ok, that's just weird.

I'm almost 21, and this year, EVERYTHING has seemed markedly worse....
Or, maybe I just am noticing more. It only dawned on me this year that I might even have Asperger's, however, my psychologist cleared up any doubt.

My OCD has gotten worse - It peaked when I was 10-11, then dropped off, then peaked at 19 again, and now it's how I function.
My stims have gotten worse...I used to just twirl my fingers and rock, but now, only hand-flapping and rocking more, as well as fixating, does the trick for me.
I have had a lot more meltdowns...and they've been more severe. I used to never spin, or pace, when having a meltdown, but I have always banged my head....I remember that broken window.
The only things that have stayed constant have been my interests and my social issues....they're pretty much solidly the same.

Here's the clincher - Did I just find out, and become more aware? I have done things like this all my life, of course, but I thought it was "normal." Am I forgetting some behavior as normal that was really autistic?
I've been soooo stressed, did stress bring it out? But, I've been stressed so much worse as a teen when I was being abused....and I didn't think I did anything abnormal....but then again, I didn't know.

So, I'm not helping the question. But I'm intensely curious - DOES Asperger's/Autism get worse with age, or get worse for a while around 20-25?

Oh dear 8O



helles
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12 May 2012, 3:33 am

Definitely getting better with age, for me.

Just getting to know my diagnosis is helping a lot. Confidence comes with age (or maybe I just don´t care as much what other people think).

But I have noticed other things change from my 20´s to now. I think that It has something to do with increased responsibility and expectations. No more fooling around having fun, being adult means getting a job, pay your own bills, think about insurance and pension and lots of other boring things. All those things might take a toll on your resources so that life seem to be more difficult. - just my therory

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12 May 2012, 4:00 am

Verdandi wrote:
Joe90 wrote:
I hope not. At the moment I feel I am getting better, more mature, my social skills are becoming better, and I can keep certain behaviours under control a lot better than I used to.

So will I lose all this when I get to middle-aged and be severely Autistic when I am an elderly lady???


Some people are relatively static. Some people improve. Some people get worse.


But how will I know if I'm going to get more Autistic as life goes on? I don't want to lose my independence and my self-awareness and the little normality that I have got. What if I get married and settle down, only to realise my husband will soon be looking after me 24/7 because I will deteriorate?

Is AS like Alzheimer's then?


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Verdandi
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12 May 2012, 4:23 am

Joe90 wrote:
But how will I know if I'm going to get more Autistic as life goes on? I don't want to lose my independence and my self-awareness and the little normality that I have got. What if I get married and settle down, only to realise my husband will soon be looking after me 24/7 because I will deteriorate?


This scenario is extremely unlikely unless you have autistic catatonia (and I think you'd know it, as it can be pretty severe and you'd probably have had a dramatic regression as a teenager).

I think some people who are autistic tend to be stable, don't have a lot of shutdowns and don't tend to lose skills, but still have autistic impairments. They're more likely to stay the same or improve (from learning coping strategies) over time. Some people who are autistic are fairly vulnerable to shutdowns, skill loss, etc., may have severe sensory issues even if they otherwise appear mild, and may get worse as they get older. There may also be periods of burnout where things get much worse for a period of time (months or years).

I seem to recall reading that Temple Grandin described something like this.

I think there are also other elements of aging that have an impact. Aging brings with it cognitive decline, and that can impact one's autism. Also, I think some people just care less about various things as they get older and may appear to be more severe as a consequence.

Quote:
Is AS like Alzheimer's then?


No.



vanhalenkurtz
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12 May 2012, 4:47 am

Quote:
Also, I think some people just care less about various things as they get older and may appear to be more severe as a consequence.


This is my experience. My social demands have decreased (no longer married, etc.) & my patience for social demands decreased w/ that. Also, I sense the meter is running, if I keep placating others expectations, my own goals keep receding. I've done so much trying to figure people out & it's diminished returns. I was more optimistic when younger (when I wasted so much time). Topics that fascinated me when a teenager are still in place; the people have come & gone like faucet water. I accept this.


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EXPECIALLY
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12 May 2012, 7:43 am

EstherJ wrote:
Ok, that's just weird.

I'm almost 21, and this year, EVERYTHING has seemed markedly worse....
Or, maybe I just am noticing more. It only dawned on me this year that I might even have Asperger's, however, my psychologist cleared up any doubt.

My OCD has gotten worse - It peaked when I was 10-11, then dropped off, then peaked at 19 again, and now it's how I function.
My stims have gotten worse...I used to just twirl my fingers and rock, but now, only hand-flapping and rocking more, as well as fixating, does the trick for me.
I have had a lot more meltdowns...and they've been more severe. I used to never spin, or pace, when having a meltdown, but I have always banged my head....I remember that broken window.
The only things that have stayed constant have been my interests and my social issues....they're pretty much solidly the same.

Here's the clincher - Did I just find out, and become more aware? I have done things like this all my life, of course, but I thought it was "normal." Am I forgetting some behavior as normal that was really autistic?
I've been soooo stressed, did stress bring it out? But, I've been stressed so much worse as a teen when I was being abused....and I didn't think I did anything abnormal....but then again, I didn't know.

So, I'm not helping the question. But I'm intensely curious - DOES Asperger's/Autism get worse with age, or get worse for a while around 20-25?

Oh dear 8O


I wrote this awhile ago but based on the answers here I think a lot of people on the spectrum and those on the BAP go through a phase around this age.

I'm actually feeling better since I wrote this. I guess the phase lasted about 4 years. Maybe it's something doctors have also observed but don't really talk about because there is so much association with mental illness in AS and especially fear of developing schizophrenia for many.

The brain technically never stops developing but the last major changes occur around 21-25. I can see that causing some changes in behavior and thinking style.

I'm able to deal with people now, the sensory issues have lessened but a few things seem to be a permanent change:

-my memory isn't what it once was. My rote memory is still good, but my memory of conversation/daily life is really just different.

-much less patience. I just don't have it.

-I'm actually more ambitious. Also more concrete in my thinking.

You see the same thing with NTs, I just think people with autistic traits experience something a little more intense around this time. So those of you who are going through this, I wouldn't worry.

I was really thinking I was going to lose my mind for awhile but now I'm basically my old self, with some slight changes and improvements in some areas.


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12 May 2012, 7:45 am

EXPECIALLY wrote:
EstherJ wrote:
Ok, that's just weird.

I'm almost 21, and this year, EVERYTHING has seemed markedly worse....
Or, maybe I just am noticing more. It only dawned on me this year that I might even have Asperger's, however, my psychologist cleared up any doubt.

My OCD has gotten worse - It peaked when I was 10-11, then dropped off, then peaked at 19 again, and now it's how I function.
My stims have gotten worse...I used to just twirl my fingers and rock, but now, only hand-flapping and rocking more, as well as fixating, does the trick for me.
I have had a lot more meltdowns...and they've been more severe. I used to never spin, or pace, when having a meltdown, but I have always banged my head....I remember that broken window.
The only things that have stayed constant have been my interests and my social issues....they're pretty much solidly the same.

Here's the clincher - Did I just find out, and become more aware? I have done things like this all my life, of course, but I thought it was "normal." Am I forgetting some behavior as normal that was really autistic?
I've been soooo stressed, did stress bring it out? But, I've been stressed so much worse as a teen when I was being abused....and I didn't think I did anything abnormal....but then again, I didn't know.

So, I'm not helping the question. But I'm intensely curious - DOES Asperger's/Autism get worse with age, or get worse for a while around 20-25?

Oh dear 8O


I wrote this awhile ago but based on the answers here I think a lot of people on the spectrum and those on the BAP go through a phase around this age.

I'm actually feeling better since I wrote this. I guess the phase lasted about 4 years. Maybe it's something doctors have also observed but don't really talk about because there is so much association with mental illness in AS and especially fear of developing schizophrenia for many.

The brain technically never stops developing but the last major changes occur around 21-25. I can see that causing some changes in behavior and thinking style.

I'm able to deal with people now, the sensory issues have lessened but a few things seem to be a permanent change:

-my memory isn't what it once was. My rote memory is still good, but my memory of conversation/daily life is really just different. I think this has more to do with narrow focus.

-much less patience. I just don't have it.

-I'm actually more ambitious. Also more concrete in my thinking.

You see the same thing with NTs, I just think people with autistic traits experience something a little more intense around this time. So those of you who are going through this, I wouldn't worry.

I was really thinking I was going to lose my mind for awhile but now I'm basically my old self, with some slight changes and improvements in some areas.


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Blindspot149
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12 May 2012, 8:13 am

I didn't/couldn't read the opening post so I am responding to the thread question.

My Clinical Psychologist has mentioned that AS can/does get 'worse' with age.

I can confirm this in my case.

I started on Lexapro 5 months ago and Straterra 2 months ago as I was finding it harder to cope.

I have prescription Valium for acute anxiety, but I seem to be needing this almost daily.


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