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To wonder if symptoms of autism get worse with age?

(16 Posts)
rhubarbturtle Mon 12-Feb-18 18:38:10

I am asking because DS has gone from being anxious, slightly eccentric and with some minor sensory issues to having had a full on mental breakdown.

Of course, I am getting no help <hoĺlow laugh> but I am in unchartered water.

Does it get worse, somehow?

ZanyMobster Mon 12-Feb-18 18:40:36

In my DSs case it got worse from about 6 or 7, we didn't even realise know before then, he is nearly 10 now and we are managing controlling the meltdowns a lot better now we know why he has them (diagnosed last year)

NovemberWitch Mon 12-Feb-18 18:41:19

How old is he?

IncyWincyGrownUp Mon 12-Feb-18 18:41:27

Hormones don’t help.

Seeing peers moving on and growing ‘up’ doesn’t help either.

The massive numbers of transitions required as primary achool, then education I general is outgrown causes massive problems.

Having to function in an adult world that isn’t what you need it to be is a huge issue.

So no, it doesn’t get worse, but it can seem that way because life becomes less predictable and manageable.

I’m so sorry you’re going through this.

A1Sharon Mon 12-Feb-18 18:41:33

What age is he OP?
As life moves on and issues change from for example, getting the correct coloured chair in primary, to starting secondary school, things can appear worse, IME. My DS is 13yo and has Aspergers. I think increased stress can make symptoms more exaggerated.

TravellingFleet Mon 12-Feb-18 18:42:00

I don’t believe so, having experienced this myself, but age may come with additional stresses which might precipitate a mental health crisis. You’ve not said how old your DS is, but he is he going through other stressful circumstances?
Is he receiving counselling with an understanding of autism? Any medication?
It may cheer you to know that I have autism, have had a few breakdowns, but are currently well and happy.

Abracadabraapileofbollocks Mon 12-Feb-18 18:42:43

I was under the impression puberty and the growing complexity of demands, expectations and interactions in life is a known problem affecting many conditions.

A1Sharon Mon 12-Feb-18 18:42:48

My DS was originally diagnosed aged 3, and the Consultant said as he goes up through school you will need help more, she was right.

rhubarbturtle Mon 12-Feb-18 18:43:54

He is 19.

In the past he masked very well - I know this brings its own problems - but now people are asking me if he has autism or learning difficulties.

He is on a lot of medication which is another worry.

BarbarianMum Mon 12-Feb-18 18:48:54

I think its quite typical for people to cope less and less well as the demands on them increase. I also think 18/ 19 are a particularly shitty age because you are technically an adult, you are expected to act like an adult but you may not yet have developed the maturity or life skills to do so and you have relatively little independence and self determination yet. I can only imagine that that's doubly the case if you are autistic.

tenpencemixup Mon 12-Feb-18 18:49:53

For us the gap between him and his peers is widening and it's more recognisable. The obsessive traits, anxiety and challenging behaviours come in waves depending on school, expectations, and changes at home. I also agree that general puberty is at play too.

Almahart Mon 12-Feb-18 18:50:54

My son had a breakdown but he was much younger than yours. He’s okay at the moment but we were lucky to have an exceptionally god camhs psychologist and I do know how unusual that is.

I do think though that things always change, when you’re in the middle of it it seems as if it will be like that forever but then you realise things are different.

Perhaps after years of masking he needs some time being himself before he can rebuild.

My DS was on quite a cocktail of drugs, one of which I really hated but once he had stabilised we reduced them

I hope not making it worse by saying the wrong things. I just wants to try to give some support

whatareyoueatingNOW Mon 12-Feb-18 18:57:15

Dh is getting more anxious. Less able to cope with change. Less able to mask

That wasn't true when I met him 19 years ago. And when ds was diagnosed it enlightened us on some aspects of dh but didn't worry is at all, that's not true anymore. I'm worried. Very. As dh ages he is getting worse. So is ds.

Sorry op. My experience is anecdotal

TravellingFleet Mon 12-Feb-18 19:03:33

I think it’s sadly fairly normal for high functioning autistic young adults to have a breakdown. I’d recommend counselling, carefully targeted medication (note that anti depressants will affect neuro-divergent people differently from NT people, so he may need a specialist psychiatrist to prescribe) and living a healthy lifestyle, infuriating as all the healthy lifestyle stuff is when you’re severely mentally ill.
In my opinion, the autism part of autism is fine - it’s the associated depression which is shit, but you have to accept that’s what you’ve got and manage the disability as best you can.

rhubarbturtle Mon 12-Feb-18 19:59:38

The problem is that if they can't or won't engage with the suggested things like being healthy, you are so very limited in what you can do.

TravellingFleet Mon 12-Feb-18 22:21:20

That’s very true. It’s his choice as to whether to engage in this, and it’s very hard to make good choices when mentally ill.

If you like, you can tell him from me that I know all too well he doesn’t believe there’s a way out of the dark, but there is, and eating well, taking exercise, taking appropriate medication and taking part in appropriate social activities helps take you there.

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