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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.