At what age are you hit the hardest by ASD?

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Shahunshah
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08 Oct 2016, 6:03 am

Okay so I am 16 and have been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. I have not had much life experience but for me the worst year for myself has got to be last year when I was 15 when I was feeling anxious/Depressed roughly 90% of the time. Now much has improved since then I am at a new school which is very much inclusive of people like me.

But I am also very much curious about this as on forum I notice that their are great many young adults who have struggles in their life and that has made me wonder. Could it be that when you are in adulthood that is when you feel your social deficits and struggles begin to become harder to deal with and independent life hard to manage?

I am interested to hear all responses from anyone particularly as many of you here would have been around decades longer than I have.



Jute
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08 Oct 2016, 6:14 am

You're sixteen and a great deal of the problems that you had at age fifteen were probably as a direct result of adolescence rather than autism. The teenage years can be traumatic for many people, not just autistics. Personally I've never been "hit hardest" by autism at any specific point in my life, it's always been there, it's always been part of my life and I know no other way of being, it just is what it is.


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Shahunshah
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08 Oct 2016, 6:21 am

Jute wrote:
You're sixteen and a great deal of the problems that you had at age fifteen were probably as a direct result of adolescence rather than autism. The teenage years can be traumatic for many people, not just autistics. Personally I've never been "hit hardest" by autism at any specific point in my life, it's always been there, it's always been part of my life and I know no other way of being, it just is what it is.
I do get what your saying but still I do think their is a certain age for most people when their Autism may result in many additional struggles. Personally I like my life with Asperger's but I do think their are moments in my life where it has struck hard.

As for my anxiety and depression well much of it was certainly adolescence but a significant part of it was related to the feelings I had with having AS. Essentially because of my autism I felt as though I was unable to properly communicate with those around me and in some cases became worried about this for days on end.



rowan_nichol
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08 Oct 2016, 6:41 am

Thanks for asking. I will attempt to share my experience and reading in my answer.

Stress points are when social demands exceed ones intuitive abilities to deal with them. These are often the times when a diagnosis gets made
Atwood observes that with the Aspergers sides of the spectrum he has a lot of referrals from boys primary school age and girls secondary school age.

In my history I struggled with Nursery school badly, less so in primary. There were enough things observed as I started primary school I had one visit to the shrink age about 6.

The big stress points were early to mid twenties. I was OK with employment, but had one or two shaky moment and "Words of Wisdom" from my manager, but became prone to spells of mild depression.

Things which create uncertainty in things needed for survival were my stress points. So, times when the organisation I work for was having to cut back were anxiety ridden. Close ones going through difficult times also stressed me.

I have found matters have eased over the years, and I am very greatful for the circumstances which have come together which bring it about.. Eventually found my way to kindred spirits, people who "Get" people on the spectrum and appreciate the honesty which can go with it.



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08 Oct 2016, 6:51 am

The hardest stage for Aspies, or any non-NT, is adolesence. It's a hard stage for NTs too.


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Shahunshah
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08 Oct 2016, 6:54 am

Thanks for sharing Rown_nichol so you would be in your 50s now. Could I ask how was it growing up when Asperger's wasn't even an official diagnosis?



C2V
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08 Oct 2016, 6:56 am

To me it seems to be getting harder and harder as I get older. But I think it may just be my awareness of my impairment is catching up to the impairment itself.


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Kiriae
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08 Oct 2016, 7:06 am

The time when I were 13 year old was really bad. The bullying was worst at that time. I tried to commit suicide.

But ASD problems hit me the hardest during transitions in adulthood. Before I was 18 year old my life was pretty easy. Yes, I was bullied and it was really bad but I had a predictable routine, knew what is expected from me and if I had any serious problem my parents or teachers would help me out.

Also once I got into college I didn't feel much pressure most of the time, same reasons as before. The only problems were my parents telling me to grow up and deal with stuff like doctor appointments by myself and family asking why I don't have a boyfriend and saying biological clock is ticking so I should make a baby soon.

But looking for a college, job and flat is hard.

Those times when you are a new graduate/just got fired/your contract ended and you have no idea where your life is going from now on. You might know how next day will look like but you cannot predict where you are going to be a week, a month, a year from now. And social pressure gets huge because you are getting too old to depend on your parents. You know a huge change is coming and you have to make it happen but you have no idea how to get through it and can't even imagine how it's going to be like.



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08 Oct 2016, 7:59 am

Personally, my school years in general - from about the ages of 6-18. Children and teenagers are very obvious in their bullying and not at all forgiving of differences.

As an adult, those kind of people are still out there but more subtle in their behaviours, and you can always avoid them - you're not forced to spend every day in the same places as them!

Adulthood brings different problems, but to me none have ever been as hard to handle as childhood bullying. As soon as you gain a level of control over your own life, you can avoid certain situations.



Twilightprincess
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08 Oct 2016, 8:03 am

13 was a really difficult age for me. My social deficits became more obvious, and I had trouble connecting with old friends. It's as though they moved on and were interested in typical adolescent stuff, and I was left behind. I homeschooled so I wasn't bullied too much, but I was very lonely.

Transitioning into adulthood was also difficult. At work, I had to interact with a lot more people than I was used to, and it was really stressful.



kraftiekortie
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08 Oct 2016, 8:37 am

Even though I have little memory of it, it probably was most difficult when I was a toddler/preschool child. I remember a vague yet strong sense of fear/dread. I remember being "stuck." I remember the constant scent of vomit.

It became difficult when I was around 13, too. I used to get thrown out of class all the time. I almost got expelled. I was almost "sent away" to a group home.

It became much better for me when I stopped being a kid, even though there was lots of loneliness. I stopped caring what people thought of me. I became my own man. This is why I advocate independence (with support) at all costs, rather than remaining with your parents in adulthood. I understand this isn't for everybody--but I believe this should be the goal.



rowan_nichol
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08 Oct 2016, 9:40 am

Shahunshah wrote:
Thanks for sharing Rown_nichol so you would be in your 50s now. Could I ask how was it growing up when Asperger's wasn't even an official diagnosis?


I found things fairly straight forward and I have spotted a few circumstanced which helped that:-
Secondary school selected academically, so we were all fairly similar, very little bullying.
Intetsts which kept me out of trouble. Fee thongs get people in as much trouble as this mates.

I did not have any label which I could have lived down to, instead the traits giving me an advantage in the academic field were seen as a strength, and brought successes, but also some flack ad I could never really do the coursework side of things and just had the sort of makeup where I could do well on the exam.



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08 Oct 2016, 9:43 am

My worst was late 20s. Mine is mild so I was able to "pass" as just quirky due to a "normal" personality construct I had created. After years of spending energy maintaining it coupled with years of growing anxiety, I finally cracked and burned out, psychically and physically exhausted. It took me years of healing and gradually building up my energy but o have never recovered to my pre-cracked state. Part of this has to do with aging. I wasn't diagnosed until last year or two so I didn't have a name for what happened to me until recently. I look back and it all make sense. If I had known earlier, I could have practiced self-care and found support and I may have avoided the breakdown.

Because you know you are Autistic, you can learn now how to cope and take care of yourself and avoid being hit as hard at any age. Each stage of life has its own obstacles and problems. These cannot be avoided. But if you learn how to take care of your body, mind, neurology -- how to maintain some balance and keep yourself in generally good health, you can minimize the difficulties that you will encounter from Autism and otherwise. This is true for everyone, but you will tailor these skills to your Autistic needs by noticing your issues and learning how to counterbalance each one.

From my experience, I would have added to that additional daily time to recuperate/decompress and not feeling like having to follow the same lifestyle/life pattern as a neurotypical would (school, marriage, children, 9-5 job, etc.). I would have also had a therapist or knowledgeable non-judgemental person to talk to since I don't have the same social networks as a neurotypical person.

If you want to, knowing that you have atypical challenges, you will learn what you need to do to minimize the effects of those challenges and become progressively better at living your life.



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08 Oct 2016, 9:45 am

My worst was late 20s. Mine is mild so I was able to "pass" as just quirky due to a "normal" personality construct I had created. After years of spending energy maintaining it coupled with years of growing anxiety, I finally cracked and burned out, psychically and physically exhausted. It took me years of healing and gradually building up my energy but o have never recovered to my pre-cracked state. Part of this has to do with aging. I wasn't diagnosed until last year or two so I didn't have a name for what happened to me until recently. I look back and it all make sense. If I had known earlier, I could have practiced self-care and found support and I may have avoided the breakdown.

Because you know you are Autistic, you can learn now how to cope and take care of yourself and avoid being hit as hard at any age. Each stage of life has its own obstacles and problems. These cannot be avoided. But if you learn how to take care of your body, mind, neurology -- how to maintain some balance and keep yourself in generally good health, you can minimize the difficulties that you will encounter from Autism and otherwise. This is true for everyone, but you will tailor these skills to your Autistic needs by noticing your issues and learning how to counterbalance each one.

From my experience, I would have added to that additional daily time to recuperate/decompress and not feeling like having to follow the same lifestyle/life pattern as a neurotypical would (school, marriage, children, 9-5 job, etc.). I would have also had a therapist or knowledgeable non-judgemental person to talk to since I don't have the same social networks as a neurotypical person.

If you want to, knowing that you have atypical challenges, you will learn what you need to do to minimize the effects of those challenges and become progressively better at living your life.



nca14
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08 Oct 2016, 11:45 am

In my opinion my problems were larger in adulthood than in childhood (although I was not bullied in school as an adult, but only as a child or younger adolescent). In childhood there were no occupational requirements. Things associated with job can be very problematic for the person such as I.



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08 Oct 2016, 11:59 am

The year that I was 15 was the worst year of my life. I was constantly bullied and harassed. I couldn't wait for my Grade 9 year to end.


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