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Noam2353
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19 Feb 2020, 9:48 pm

Hi everyone. I'd like to talk to you about the improvement of autism / asperger symptoms, by age. By that, I mean. The older you are, the less the symptoms affect you, and so on.
To be honest, I noticed I'm way more social than I was like even 5 years ago. I'm always social with people I know, but new people kinda frightened me at times ,and I was very shy.
But now I speak to almost anyone, I can make phone calls without being shy or nervous about it. I talk to people, even strangers. I am almost never shy to do most things these days, except very big things.
It happened slowly, but I started talking to people and got used to it and now I'm not shy talking to others anymore.
I just know what to say, how to say it and what's going to happen, so things are a lot more predictable to me now.
Would you say age does it, the older you get, it gets better?
or that doesnt apply to everyone?
I havent done any research on the matter, so I dont know a lot about it, but I would like to find out more.


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SharonB
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19 Feb 2020, 10:17 pm

I think like height, it peaks and then regression occurs. In my case I had stability for quite some time in my 30s and 40s (same house, same job, same relationship) so my traits weren't as prominent. Now with work instability rearing it's ugly head, all my traits are present x2. I will find stability again and my public "symptoms" will decrease.... until the next Life transition.

My ASD-like mom is mid 70s and has no meltdowns b/c she rarely goes outside a well worn track and is very avoidant (she wears ear phones and does her own thing, but tells me I can feel free to get her attention and she will briefly interact). My NT dad handles the stressful items. This is a woman of high intelligence who worked at world-renowned software companies in the 80s --- yeah, she's "improved" (sarcasm related "symptoms"). Her improvement has been accepting herself, not in "symptoms".

Learning has helped me increasingly compensate, but nearing 50 I about about to cross a line to Wisdom and be more selective about when I do and don't.

I was just talking to a woman my age who brought up that she only had guy friends in her youth, same as me, and I mentioned that it's hard now b/c their wives are jealous and that I know have ---gasp!--- more women friends. Without missing a beat she said that the (NT) women have grown up (implying that we didn't change) -- I think the truth is that in all those 1,000s of folks I have interacted with, I have found the few women that appreciate my neurology.

We gain skills, through biofeedback there can be changes, but I find my underlying "being" is unchanged. From the time at 5 months old when I sat happily by myself stacking rings for hours. I can still do that (bigger, more complex toys), I just know now to turn my body and attention towards a family member as needed. Perhaps at age 70, like my mom, I'll decide it's not needed. 8O



Exuvian
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19 Feb 2020, 10:58 pm

Some professionals used to say that someone would "grow out of it" if they were on the milder side. I suspect that improvements are not mother nature's magic wand, but the fruits of that persons own work and adaptability. I've learned various social rules and make mistakes much less commonly than when I was a pre-teen. It shouldn't be that surprising that I'd learn something along the way. :roll:

On the other hand, I cope pretty poorly with stress and some environmental annoyances can make getting through the day my only goal in life. When the weekend rolls around and I stay at home, I see pretty dramatic improvements on that side too. I think I had more energy available (or less stress) in my 20s to keep everything glued together though.



B19
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20 Feb 2020, 1:52 am

It's a balancing act. A mass of experience, a lot of knowledge, and financially established enough to be able to survive the rest of my life from here on. I know how to recognise and assess people, the good ones and the toxic ones, as I didn't when much younger. I have skills I didn't have when young or middleaged. On the other hand, declining health, frailty, experiencing ageism from younger people, and frequent exhaustion, painful conditions and being marginalised are challenges.

Every life stage has its pluses and minuses.



magz
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20 Feb 2020, 3:27 am

I think it's a lot about developing coping strategies to live in the society.
Your mind is still autistic but over time you learn to navigate the world.
Some coping strategies are short-lived and lead to burnout, other are more sustainable and lead to stable functioning as an adult.
You learn all your life.


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auntblabby
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20 Feb 2020, 3:48 am

if i hadn't been able to retreat into the woods, i don't know where i'd be, but i strongly suspect i am not "getting better" but instead am basically settling into "holland."



carlos55
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20 Feb 2020, 4:53 am

I went through a stable patch 25-40 then steadily got worse.

Being older social opportunities outside normal workday become less as old friends go their seperate ways.

Like a muscle that doesnt get used as often social skills start to get weaker and masking skills become less.

I understand those with ASD are more at risk of dementia and heart problems in later life which is not something i look forward to. :(



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20 Feb 2020, 4:57 am

carlos55 wrote:
I went through a stable patch 25-40 then steadily got worse. Being older social opportunities outside normal workday become less as old friends go their seperate ways. Like a muscle that doesnt get used as often social skills start to get weaker and masking skills become less. I understand those with ASD are more at risk of dementia and heart problems in later life which is not something i look forward to. :(

WP and FB have enabled me to exercise my "social muscle" even in the absence of f2f relating. and only the ASD who don't take proper care of themselves put themselves at a faster clip for accumulating diseases. it has been said that failure to take good care of oneself when one otherwise knows better, is a form of "passive suicide."



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20 Feb 2020, 5:15 am

Take your successes and be happy with them. Cherish them and remember them when the dark clouds mount.


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20 Feb 2020, 10:05 am

Some things improved with age, while others did not. I had the majority of my meltdowns when I was younger, as I had yet to learn how to cope with certain stressful social situations. My senior prom is one that I distinctly remember as being particularly bad. My body shut off and I could not respond until the dance part was over. It was like a trance, I knew what was going on, but I could not move from where I was sitting. I have not had many of them since then.

But, i still have sensory issues that challenge me daily. Bright sunlight is still not my friend. It blinds my eyes to the point that I have to almost close them on my morning walks to the university. I still cannot stand train horns at a close (one block) distance. I feel embarrassed when I have to cup my hands over my ears, but it is painful to me not to do so when the train horn is blowing so close to me.



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20 Feb 2020, 10:17 am

I've gotten much better at taking care of my health, so while there are obvious physical signs of age, can can do more physical stuff in my 50s than my 30s. It just takes longer.

I learned a ton about socializing by being in a LTR. And continue to learn. I'm now pretty good at interacting with other drivers. I can now handle our messy 4 way intersections.



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20 Feb 2020, 10:23 am

I am 71 and from my perception, I am like a bottle of wine. I improve with age. Every day I learn new skills, new ways with coping. I have an INTJ personality and I think that is a big part of the equation. I became financially independent in my second year of college. I have worked my whole life and earned money. Because of that I have a great deal of control over my environment. I love peace and quiet, so I build my home in the countryside. I incorporated quiet into the design of my home and it is almost scary sometimes how quiet it is inside the home even when a major storm passes through. I enjoy life.


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20 Feb 2020, 1:10 pm

I've improved tremendously with age. I regressed from NT to Asperger's when I was 4, and I was a problem child at school at ages 4 and 5, having frequent tantrums and not cooperating in the classroom.
Then I caught up with my peers socially by age 6, but still got anxious and tearful. At 7 and 8 I didn't develop as much self-awareness as my peers had developed but I was more skilled at cooperating in the classroom and mingling with my peers.
By age 11 I was rather well-behaved and happy at school but rather problematic at home. But my social skills were improved.
Then I fell behind socially and emotionally in my early teens and didn't seem ready to be a teenager; at 13 and 14 I felt more like a 9 or 10-year-old.
I struggled through my teenage years often making embarrassing social blunders for my age.
But in my 20s my social skills and emotional maturity have improved so much that I feel like a different person.

So yeah, for some of us we can shake off our autism symptoms as we get older. At least in my case anyway.


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20 Feb 2020, 1:19 pm

Noam2353 wrote:
Hi everyone. I'd like to talk to you about the improvement of autism / asperger symptoms, by age. By that, I mean. The older you are, the less the symptoms affect you, and so on.
To be honest, I noticed I'm way more social than I was like even 5 years ago. I'm always social with people I know, but new people kinda frightened me at times ,and I was very shy.
But now I speak to almost anyone, I can make phone calls without being shy or nervous about it. I talk to people, even strangers. I am almost never shy to do most things these days, except very big things.
It happened slowly, but I started talking to people and got used to it and now I'm not shy talking to others anymore.
I just know what to say, how to say it and what's going to happen, so things are a lot more predictable to me now.
Would you say age does it, the older you get, it gets better?
or that doesnt apply to everyone?
I havent done any research on the matter, so I dont know a lot about it, but I would like to find out more.
After five and a half decades of being Autistic, the older I get the worse I get. My symptoms are much stronger and much more pronounced now than they ever were and I even have symptoms that I did not have as a child and as a young adult. I am much more neurologically fragile and vulnerable. I am much more deeply affected by everything and I do not recover as well or as quickly or as completely. Sometimes it is so bad that I sincerely believe that I am reaching the end of my lifespan.


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skibum
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20 Feb 2020, 1:21 pm

BTDT wrote:
I've gotten much better at taking care of my health, so while there are obvious physical signs of age, can can do more physical stuff in my 50s than my 30s. It just takes longer.

I learned a ton about socializing by being in a LTR. And continue to learn. I'm now pretty good at interacting with other drivers. I can now handle our messy 4 way intersections.
What's an LTR?


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BTDT
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20 Feb 2020, 1:27 pm

Long term relationship. 15 years.