Autism symptoms tend to decline with age, but support, monitoring remain beneficial

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.



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


Comments

  • MagnaMagna Citizen
    Hmm...that hasn't been the case for me.  It's known that children are generally more adaptable to new environments, changes etc and conversely the older one gets, generally the more difficult change can be.

    As an adolescent and young man,I believe very high levels of testerone played a large part in me being more social and open to social communication (with girls) than at any other time.  

    Also, as a child, even though I had sensory issues, my sensory issues have actually gotten worse the older I've become.  They have not gotten better.
  • Statest16Statest16 Citizen, Mentor
    Autism is neuro-developmental,it's a pervasive developmental difference or disorder so it should get better with age.

    But the PTSD from the horrible realities of being an autistic young person haunt you for life.
  • BenderBender Citizen
    Statest16 said:
    Autism is neuro-developmental,it's a pervasive developmental difference or disorder so it should get better with age.

    But the PTSD from the horrible realities of being an autistic young person haunt you for life.
    I agree, at a certain point the two can become so enmeshed, it's very hard to figure which one is causing what issue. I'm in the same boat.
  • AmityAmity Administrator, Citizen
    edited June 3
    Im wondering about this one.

    Are conditioned coping strategies the best measure for saying that adults appear to experience declining autism symptoms...

    Their definition of an adult is 25, the cut off point for this study.

    Going on the basis of a different development trajectory for people with ASD, I would say that this study would need to be extended to include an older cohort.

    Yes at 25, one is typically finished developing, but I dont know if this is true for ASD folk.

    Also I would find it interesting to know if there are links between increasing Autism symptoms in older age and the use of particular coping strategies in early to mid adulthood.

    Im going by my personal experience of an Autistic burnout, where I literally needed to relearn how to communicate socially as part of recovering. I realised the difference between skills and abilities, and had to choose which skills I had the energy and capacity to re-learn, what I had been doing pre burn out was utterly unsustainable.

    I dont feel that I am isolated in this experience, not based on anecdotal evidence via online conversations with other ASD folk, where there seemed to be a common experience of burn out.
  • BenderBender Citizen
    Amity said:
    Im wondering about this one.

    Are conditioned coping strategies the best measure for saying that adults appear to experience declining autism symptoms...

    Their definition of an adult is 25, the cut off point for this study.

    Going on the basis of a different development trajectory for people with ASD, I would say that this study would need to be extended to include an older cohort.

    Yes at 25, one is typically finished developing, but I dont know if this is true for ASD folk.

    Also I would find it interesting to know if there are links between increasing Autism symptoms in older age and the use of particular coping strategies in early to mid adulthood.

    Im going by my personal experience of an Autistic burnout, where I literally needed to relearn how to communicate socially as part of recovering. I realised the difference between skills and abilities, and had to choose which skills I had the energy and capacity to re-learn, what I had been doing pre burn out was utterly unsustainable.

    I dont feel that I am alone in this experience, not based on anecdotal evidence via online conversations with other ASD folk.
    I agree. I don't remember the exact phrasing, but I'm thinking of Attwood comparing Theory of Mind with a puzzle that in people on the spectrum comes without the picture on the top. If I remember correctly, he was saying that NTs (who have the picture) solve it around 5 years old, while a high functioning autistic person who actually puts effort into it, will have almost completed it sometimes in their '30s. And I've seen plenty of people in their '40s or older who seemingly never even touched their puzzle.

    On top of this, our efforts of making sense, navigate and adjust to mainstream society will usually make some things easier, while generating a whole host of new issues, some much more serious than the problem they were supposed to fix.

    I think it's a bit of a vicious circle and both parties contribute to it.


  • AmityAmity Administrator, Citizen
    Bender said:
    Amity said:
    Im wondering about this one.

    Are conditioned coping strategies the best measure for saying that adults appear to experience declining autism symptoms...

    Their definition of an adult is 25, the cut off point for this study.

    Going on the basis of a different development trajectory for people with ASD, I would say that this study would need to be extended to include an older cohort.

    Yes at 25, one is typically finished developing, but I dont know if this is true for ASD folk.

    Also I would find it interesting to know if there are links between increasing Autism symptoms in older age and the use of particular coping strategies in early to mid adulthood.

    Im going by my personal experience of an Autistic burnout, where I literally needed to relearn how to communicate socially as part of recovering. I realised the difference between skills and abilities, and had to choose which skills I had the energy and capacity to re-learn, what I had been doing pre burn out was utterly unsustainable.

    I dont feel that I am alone in this experience, not based on anecdotal evidence via online conversations with other ASD folk.
    I agree. I don't remember the exact phrasing, but I'm thinking of Attwood comparing Theory of Mind with a puzzle that in people on the spectrum comes without the picture on the top. If I remember correctly, he was saying that NTs (who have the picture) solve it around 5 years old, while a high functioning autistic person who actually puts effort into it, will have almost completed it sometimes in their '30s. And I've seen plenty of people in their '40s or older who seemingly never even touched their puzzle.

    On top of this, our efforts of making sense, navigate and adjust to mainstream society will usually make some things easier, while generating a whole host of new issues, some much more serious than the problem they were supposed to fix.

    I think it's a bit of a vicious circle and both parties contribute to it.



    There was a study on co occurring conditions a few years back

    The study also breaks fresh ground for a group that gets little research attention: middle-aged autistic adults. More than 10 percent of people diagnosed with autism from age 40 to 60 develop a dementia condition such as Alzheimer’s disease within 15 years.

    “There’s a loss of skills as people get older, or an increased incidence of a dementing process, which no one has measured, to my knowledge,” Neumeyer says. https://www.spectrumnews.org/news/autism-diagnosis-often-followed-identification-conditions/


    I often think of the elder members of our ASD tribe, knowing that I might be there too one day and wonder if the increase in exposure to trauma and stress (through being in a medical model of disability world) exacerbates our risk of developing dementia conditions.

    I think Autism and the avoidable co occurring conditions are a perfect example for the need of the social model of disability taking centre stage.



  • BenderBender Citizen
    I would definitely expect, aside from (mental or neurological) comorbids, a higher incidence in stress-related physiological conditions - a lot of people seem to develop digestive and heart or BP-related issues in particular. Or conditions with a high impact on both mental and physical health like eating disorders, immunodeficiency or endocrine disorders.

    In my experience, both our society and the medical profession are very under-developed (to say the least) when it comes to acknowledging the dangerous effects of prolonged stress and helping people minimise the risks.

    In recent years, I actually noticed a rise in suspicious "studies" and shoddy articles (cough cough, often pushed or sponsored by corporatist culture) about the "benefits" of stress and they often distort, misrepresent and cherry-pick valid scientific data to project some credibility. I particularly noticed conflating short-term stress (which can have indeed some positive effects) with long-term/chronic stress which is highly dangerous in all circumstances. I think some of the people and groups that benefit greatly from the status quo are doubling down as awareness rises.
  • firemonkeyfiremonkey Citizen
    Stress can have two adverse effects on me. 1)flu like symptoms 2) derealisation

    Sometimes both occur together.
  • AmityAmity Administrator, Citizen
    Ive spent years trying to help mum make the connection between her untreated anxiety and her blood pressure issues. To no avail.
  • HylianHylian Citizen, Mentor
    I think my symptoms/issues have stayed pretty much the same, at least since I was 11/12. Stress also exacerbates my digestive problems and makes me derealize.
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