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Does Autism get Worse as you Age?

Outdated

I'm from the other end of the spectrum.
V.I.P Member
....all the talk about "regression" that I see....
I haven't seen much about regression on the net but I've certainly witnessed it often enough for myself. It doesn't happen to all people, or not to the same degree at least, but I had a couple of old friends and some of my relatives that did revert to being petulant children during their last few years.
 

SusanLR

Curiosity's Cat
V.I.P Member
I'm very much aware of the changes age is bringing to me.
1. Loss of Mom. At my age I know I'll never move on past that.
2. Physical/health declines. Mobility issues make me depressed and grumpy.
How can I enjoy life when I've lost the ability to walk and do the things I always liked?
3. The feeling of wanting to withdraw. Encapsulate, I call it.
Just give me some way to live what life I have left away from so many people,
in or next to the woods with nature around me and a small place to live in.

I think quite a few of us have overstayed the time frame they list for autistics.
 

Outdated

I'm from the other end of the spectrum.
V.I.P Member
Just give me some way to live what life I have left away from so many people,
in or next to the woods with nature around me and a small place to live in.

I think quite a few of us have overstayed the time frame they list for autistics.

That sort of peace is all I ever wanted out of life. Fame, fortune, glamour and luxury are all fairly meaningless concepts to me, I was never interested in any of them.

From about the age of 10 I always looked forward to getting older because old people get treated differently. As far as I could tell being old meant I could be more myself without having to make so many excuses all the time. But naturally of course in all those visions I still had the energy of a young man. So in some ways I tricked myself.

One thing I'm incredibly glad of is that I got to explore a fair amount of my country while I was still young enough to do it. I don't see any point in just going on holidays, if you're going to do that then you may as well just buy a postcard and stay home. Places aren't just geological formations, they are environments, they are climates, they are wildlife communities and of course they are also people. To get to really see a place properly takes a couple of years.

As for the shortened life expectancy of autistics (I really hate the word Aspie) I've got a surprise for them. Partly genetics from a long lived family but mostly just out of spite. :)
 

SusanLR

Curiosity's Cat
V.I.P Member
Places aren't just geological formations, they are environments, they are climates, they are wildlife communities and of course they are also people. To get to really see a place properly takes a couple of years.
I so agree on this, and it is the one thing I hoped I would someday get to do.

I've seen a lot of the USA, mainly by just passing through, going to different
places for assorted reasons.
Born in AZ, my parents took me with them on holiday to southern California.
Also, to see the areas of interest in the desert SW.
Again, just on holiday.
Twice to Vegas.
And this was all age five and under, because they were from Missouri, they decided
to go back when I was five.
Good thing I'm one of the people who can remember back to birth.
At least I remember the places well.

I lived in Missouri until I moved to Florida after finishing Uni.
Spent the rest of my life here, but have seen all the southern states from CA
to FL.
Just not in the way I wanted.
I could be a van dweller and do as you said. Live in areas until I really got to know them.
I planned on doing this at my age when I retired.
No family to interfere or take care of, so nothing stood in my way.
Nothing until health problems went from bad to worse the past four years.
It would have been nice though. Glad you go to do it! :walking:
 

Billthecat

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I was a grumpy old man even when I was twelve.

Luckily, still there are jobs with very few human contacts, I take these moments as a mission, then I could focus on my things again.
 

Misty Avich

I prefer not to be referred to as autistic
V.I.P Member
I'm not exactly autistic, I'm BAP (Broad Autism Phenotype) but I still worry that I'm going to start getting more autistic as I get older. I often read things about autism getting worse with age. Does this mean losing your social skills (not meaning dementia), or does it just mean getting more anxious than you were before or more hypersensitive to something you weren't before, stuff like that?
Yesterday at work I seemed in my own world and unusually slow at processing information. It was not like me at all, even when I get depression I don't get like that, but yesterday I just seemed to have brain fog. Even loud noises didn't make me jump, and usually I always jump at loud noises. And although I don't need instructions explained to me in a specific way, I seemed to need to be told instructions in a specific way yesterday because I was just confused and couldn't process the information.
Then I started worrying in case I was becoming more autistic and losing my social skills or something. Can this happen?

I don't have autistic burnout or alexethemia. I have ADHD, BAP and anxiety, but I'm not feeling particularly anxious about much at the moment. I had depression on Sunday but that went on Monday and I haven't felt it since.
 

Raggamuffin

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Struggles will peak and trough. The condition is a spectrum, and nobody is guaranteed to struggle more as they get older. Living with that assumption would probably bring about a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Ed
 

Atrapa Almas

70% INTJ + 30% ASPIE = 100% HUMAN
V.I.P Member
Its not that we become more autistic.

Its the natural fade in energy and brain capacities that happens to every human.

So you may found that you have less energy to spare masking, as an example. Or less capacity to focus in two things at the same time or filter interferences. Maybe less energy to stay focused on a conversation you dont care to please the other person.

On the other hand, as we grow older we better understand ourselves and the world. So we can stablish good routines, improve the way we eat and rest. We can find a work that focus on our skills rather than on our weakness, we can find people who trully care about us...

So its like building a proper enviroment (selfcare, people, work, savings...) for us as our energy and capacity fade.

This also happens with NT people, but society is more addapted to them. As an example, nobody expects an NT to keep studing at university at 60 years old, they expects them to just do social stuff with what they already learned. Most of us could study at 60 without problems while not doing much social stuff.
 

AO1501

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I've just retired from a high-stress 24/7 job where I was definitely noticing my autistic traits worsening. I presumed with age, but as @Atrapa Almas has said, really because I had far less energy and focus, which is age related, but was resulting in a growing sense that the work I was doing was leaving me behind.

It does happen to NTs too, and I noticed it previously with older colleagues, but just tended to think I was going to be immune to the same thing - until discovering I really wasn't.

How it impacts will depend a lot on an individual's differing skills and sensitivities, so you might not see people all reporting the same things, or even at the same age, but the reality of it seems very 'normal'.
 

Ed#

Weird NT
I'm 61, and I do notice a decline in energy. I was always sort of a low-key guy, but I get tired much more easily now than I did when I was younger. Fortunately, I retired a few years ago, so I don't have to do anything I don't want to do (e.g., drag myself to work). I can take things at my own pace.

There is another part to it, too. As I've gotten older, I have gotten clearer and clearer on who I am, what I like and don't like, and what sort of life works for me. I waste much less energy now than I did when I was younger. I have less energy, but I'm much more efficient with it. (Same thing happens with the brain, btw -- decline in function as you age, but also increased efficiency).

As for whether autism itself gets worse as you age, I'm not sure. I've just recently self-diagnosed, and so I'm in the middle of a steep learning curve.
 

Judge

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
One thing I have begun to wonder about is whether or not age is or can actually impact my ability to mask my traits and behaviors. Perhaps so, not in as much that I have lost the ability at such control, but rather because I no longer prioritize masking. With a social circle as small as mine is, what's the point?

Though that said, it does seem to blow up in my face where my two closest relatives are concerned. The only people I have any real contact with in the world. Admittedly that continues to be discouraging given they relate to me exclusively as kin as they always have, without ever really seeing me as an autistic person. Such is life...
 

Ronald Zeeman

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
68 had stroke at 65 same person lost mathematical ability and some other cognitive abilities for a few months came back with some therapy. other than that same person my autism did not change. Even my typing is improving as some here can attest.
 

Aspychata

Serenity waves, beachy vibes
V.I.P Member
Age has slowed me down, or l just take more time to deal with stress. However being sensitive to noises isn't as bad as it was 4 years ago. Maybe because l live in a quiet place now.
 

Sasha22

No surrender
V.I.P Member
I'm not sure how to separate "symptoms of autism" from "personal evolution". I used to go out a lot more, and to be less picky as to where and how. But I "masked" a lot more (first time I'm using that word, though I'm not a fan of generic terms).

Now I have resolved a ton of my problems, and I try to rely on my black/white thinking more effectively. I think as I have become more aware of my own mortality, I have a lot less time for BS too. I'm alone more than before. I'll be happy to be more social again, but not at any cost. It feels like my figurative backbone is getting stronger - I hope I'm right about that. I have no idea if that's an evolution of symptoms of autism, of just the evolution of me.
 

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