Autism symptoms tend to decline with age

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firemonkey
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02 Jun 2021, 1:47 am

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Early emerging autism spectrum disorder symptom levels often declined across development, according to an analysis of a prospective population-based cohort published in American Journal of Psychiatry.

However, impairment continued to manifest into adulthood for certain individuals.



https://www.healio.com/news/psychiatry/ ... 0963268474

Masking? Avoiding things you couldn't avoid as a child?


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Mountain Goat
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02 Jun 2021, 3:39 am

If I look at traits I have as I have not been assessed, I would say if anything that the traits are more prononunced then they were at an earlier age. This is due to hitting burnout several times where my abilities to mask some of those traits has been compromized.

As a young child, quietness masked the traits. I did not speak much in school as a young child. I remember watching everyone. I used to watch everyone rather then take part. I did not want to take part. I wanted to watch. (To be honest, school terrified me so I did not want to be there but I did not have a choice).



weirdperson75000
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02 Jun 2021, 7:02 am

That's true.

I recently watched a documentary about high-functioning autistic people and and most of adults appeared to be very normal but as children, many of them were institutionalized or in special education.

As for me, I have never been institutionalized nor in special education but as a child and a teenager, even though I had friends, I was different from other kids : very withdrawn, very anxious, very obsessive about some topics, very noticeable stimming (I'm ashamed of me when I think about it...). Now, 10 years later, I really do appear as a normal guy. :)



firemonkey
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02 Jun 2021, 7:48 am

I think my gait alone, irrespective of other signs, would be a clear sign that something not quite normal is going on. I avoid things far more than I mask to fit in better.


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Fnord
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02 Jun 2021, 8:47 am

When I was a kid, they called me "weird".  Now that I am old, they call me "eccentric".

It is all a matter of perspective ... their perspective.



BeaArthur
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02 Jun 2021, 8:55 am

My executive function is shot to hell, in my 60s. I am also more withdrawn (but that may be a hangover from the pandemic). Note, I was not identified as ASD as a kid. As for masking - if you are withdrawn socially, you have to do a lot less of it!


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firemonkey
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02 Jun 2021, 9:03 am

BeaArthur wrote:
As for masking - if you are withdrawn socially, you have to do a lot less of it!


I'm significantly socially withdrawn.


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IsabellaLinton
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02 Jun 2021, 9:04 am

Mine is far more pronounced.

Maybe I'm just more self-aware?
Maybe it's because I'm home full-time and I can indulge in my quirks?
Maybe because I plateaued 20 years ago, and now I'm in permanent burnout?

When I suffered my first stroke I lost the ability to mask. It just vanished. It's not that I stopped trying to mask or compensate, but the part of my brain that does nuance, subtlety, and higher-order thinking was permanently damaged. Even if I didn't have the stroke, I think my nervous system is destroyed by years of overwhelming input and there's no way I could ever function the way I did at my peak (age 30).



kraftiekortie
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02 Jun 2021, 11:55 am

I was diagnosed with the "old" type of autism when I was 3. Exactly equivalent to "autistic disorder" under the DSM-IV. I had no speech, was oblivious to the world around me, but I was toilet-trained.

As I got older, my symptoms became more "Aspergian." This continues to this day---I learned, at least somewhat, to adjust to my symptoms.



lostproperty
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02 Jun 2021, 12:30 pm

BeaArthur wrote:
As for masking - if you are withdrawn socially, you have to do a lot less of it!


That applies to me. Evolving circumstances, largely of my own making, have resulted in decreasing pressure or reason to venture out of my home and have my symptoms noticed by other people, which in turn means the symptoms become less of a problem to me.

I'm still some way off retirement age yet though, so I'm still fearful that I'll be forced to re-engage with society which won't be good for me and no benefit to society either.



bottleblank
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02 Jun 2021, 1:02 pm

I dunno if "symptoms" decline with age, but having the experience/practice to have learnt a bit more what to look out for and how to deal with it helps. Also the maturity to stop giving a damn and reacting badly less often.

Ultimately I think it's still there, underneath, it's just a case of how it's interpreted by observers and how comfortable you become with having been in a given situation before, which obviously involves more familiarity as you age.



goldfish21
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02 Jun 2021, 8:15 pm

Masking/learning to adapt & overcome - but Also an improvement in diet, IMO. Peoples' tastes tend to mature. Adults eat healthier vs. the junk food, sugar, and dyes so many kids consume as their regular staples these days. This results in improved digestive/gut health, and in turn a better functioning enteric nervous system and reduced ASD symptoms.


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dragonsanddemons
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02 Jun 2021, 8:15 pm

Mine has become much more obvious with age. I did fine in school, but struggled with all the transitions one is supposed to make in life (so it probably became more obvious when I reached those “transition points”), plus long-term (as in, over a decade) depression, burnout, and isolation caused me to lose much of the skills and familiarity I had developed.

Regarding masking, it’s more of the other way around for me - my inability to mask made me retreat more and more into isolation, and stay there when there wasn’t much more isolated to (feasibly for me) get. And WP is still just about all the social interaction I get outside of immediate family.


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firemonkey
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03 Jun 2021, 4:48 am

The latter part of school was awful for me. The expectation that I would go to university vs the realisation I didn't have the independent living skills to cope with university. The resulting anxiety was intense & unrelenting.This was decades before 2e. Decades before the kind of help & support available now. Decades before the autism spectrum. Decades before it was realised that with #ASD adaptive functioning may be significantly lower than a person's intelligence level.


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Misslizard
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03 Jun 2021, 11:36 am

Masking and avoidance works for me.
I hardly ever leave my fortress of solitude.


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Steve1963
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03 Jun 2021, 11:39 am

Same with me. Avoidance first, masking second, and only when I absolutely have to be around others.