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binaryodes
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02 Dec 2013, 6:06 pm

Has anyone found that as theyve grown older they no longer actually meet all the diagnostic criteria required to be on the spectrum. This is mainly for people who havent had intense therapy and support. Im not asking whether youve been cured, just whether you meet only 2 of the symptoms in section A. (Section A requires 3 symptoms)



CharityFunDay
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02 Dec 2013, 6:11 pm

I've heard of this happening (purely anecdotally) and tend to take such tales with a grain of salt.

Here's what the NHS has to say on the subject, for example:

http://www.nhs.uk/news/2013/01January/P ... utism.aspx



Sethno
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02 Dec 2013, 7:01 pm

This is recognized, that as high functioning people get older, they learn new coping skills, even new ways of thinking, and how autistic they seem can fade.

On YouTube there are vids of people who describe themselves as having become successful, made careers for themselves, they're independent, have become public speakers like Alex...

But they still ID themselves as autistic. They're just doing better.

It's also been found in the brains of autistic kids (I don't know how) that as the kid ages, the massive, abnormal number of neurons and their random, inappropriate connections to each other, can change. It's been described as the brain actually fixing itself, and as the number of neurons drops closer to normal (tho how close I don't know) and the connections become a little more like NT ones, the kid's symptoms can lessen.

I've told my therapist that I'm afraid the high functiioning autism he and my doctor suspect (and that I've suspected for many years, but never told them), may not be diagnosable now, because I've gotten older and am doing better in dealing with things....and people. I'm afraid what's really going on inside might be masked to such an extent it won't be recognized.

The therapist says that won't happen if the person is really qualified. "They'll see thru that," he says.

We'll see early next year. I'm gonna try again.


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Your Aspie score: 100 of 200 / Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 101 of 200
You seem to have both Aspie and neurotypical traits

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binaryodes
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02 Dec 2013, 7:19 pm

Sethno wrote:
This is recognized, that as high functioning people get older, they learn new coping skills, even new ways of thinking, and how autistic they seem can fade.

On YouTube there are vids of people who describe themselves as having become successful, made careers for themselves, they're independent, have become public speakers like Alex...

But they still ID themselves as autistic. They're just doing better.

It's also been found in the brains of autistic kids (I don't know how) that as the kid ages, the massive, abnormal number of neurons and their random, inappropriate connections to each other, can change. It's been described as the brain actually fixing itself, and as the number of neurons drops closer to normal (tho how close I don't know) and the connections become a little more like NT ones, the kid's symptoms can lessen.

I've told my therapist that I'm afraid the high functiioning autism he and my doctor suspect (and that I've suspected for many years, but never told them), may not be diagnosable now, because I've gotten older and am doing better in dealing with things....and people. I'm afraid what's really going on inside might be masked to such an extent it won't be recognized.

The therapist says that won't happen if the person is really qualified. "They'll see thru that," he says.

We'll see early next year. I'm gonna try again.



This is exactly how I feel - very very well put. Ive been struggling to quantify how I feel about diagnosis. I really really need access to the help it'd provide. My misophonia inability to transition to adulthood social deficits etc. At the same time ive masked alot of the symptoms with coping mechanisms - some are more successful than others.

As a result of this most psychiatrists will just not diagnose me - so im left unable to cope yet unable to access help.

Only the best psychs will see through the masquerade



CharityFunDay
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02 Dec 2013, 7:48 pm

Sethno wrote:
I've told my therapist that I'm afraid the high functiioning autism he and my doctor suspect (and that I've suspected for many years, but never told them), may not be diagnosable now, because I've gotten older and am doing better in dealing with things....and people. I'm afraid what's really going on inside might be masked to such an extent it won't be recognized.

The therapist says that won't happen if the person is really qualified. "They'll see thru that," he says


The therapist is probably right -- any diagnosing clinician will have had years of experience, not with just kids, but with adults, and a good shrink will see through a 'social style' after about five minutes' chat.



Willard
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02 Dec 2013, 8:22 pm

binaryodes wrote:
Im not asking whether youve been cured, just whether you meet only 2 of the symptoms in section A. (Section A requires 3 symptoms)


Nope, at 54 I'm as autistic as I ever was, and sometimes feel that I may actually be regressing after having a sort of 'peak functionality' during my mid-20s to mid-40s. But it's hard to tell how much of that may be an illusion created by my own self consciousness since being diagnosed.

The thing is, because High Functioning Autism involves the inability to read the nonverbal signals of others and a Theory of Mind impairment that makes us virtually unable to imagine or predict what others may be thinking or feeling unless they tell us, we can never accurately evaluate whether or not our social skills have improved significantly. If you can't see yourself as others see you, you can't know whether you seem truly "normal" or not.

You can judge by how others treat and respond to you how well your coping mechanisms are helping you integrate, but that tells you nothing about how you appear to those around you. They may accept you up to a point, but still think you're an oddball freak. You may think you're just one of the gang, because you don't notice them winking at each other behind your back and shaking their heads and snickering after you leave the room.

Coping with a handicap better doesn't, necessarily mean the handicap is disappearing. It just means you're covering for it more effectively.



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02 Dec 2013, 10:14 pm

I don't really think I have... I've gotten over some of my old habits, but I'm still an Aspie at heart.


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pete1061
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02 Dec 2013, 10:30 pm

People may learn coping skills as they get older, but sometimes those coping skills aren't exactly healthy and cloud the ability to diagnose correctly since the criteria seem skewed for observing children.


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02 Dec 2013, 11:25 pm

I haven't grow out of mine as far as special interests are concerned and I hope I never do. I thrive on the intensity of my special interests and I like to celebrate my autism because of that. I also enjoy the intense energy that I get and how it stays even after I do an intense self-made workout. I also enjoy how I can get an intense joy out of the smallest things. I can be very creative as well. I also have a very unique way of looking at the world that I enjoy. :)


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vickygleitz
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02 Dec 2013, 11:30 pm

I was such an incredible actress for decades that I ALMOST fooled myself. But I reached a place where I hit the wall so hard that I could not pretend anymore. Autistic burnout is so REAL. And devastating. Obtaining acceptance, I believe, will prevent most of it.



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03 Dec 2013, 6:37 am

I agree that most people just get better at pretending to be normal. However I do seem to have grown out of my OCD-like tendencies. Almost every ritual I had has faded away. I also cope with change a lot better than when I was kid.



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04 Dec 2013, 9:31 am

Willard & Vicky: I *strongly* identify with your experience with the changing ways AS evidences itself throughout *all* of life's stages - including the Elder Years. My experience:

1. Childhood & Teenage - confusing and frustrating, as there was no real understanding of ASD in my day.

2. Young Adult - good progress toward moving more effectively in life through continuously improved coping.

3. Mid-Life - a steady state of enjoying and refining the learnings of my young adult years.

5. Elder-Life - the normal age-related cognitive declines cause increased "burnout". The ASD coping tools of Cognitive Behavior Therapy become more and more difficult and draining to use as cognitive abilities wanes.

Asperger's is so newly understood that I find very little work, and even less common understanding, of how it presents in Elder-Life.