It was such a grey day today. Couldn’t find anything to photograph so let’s see what happened a year ago. So back 2020 and guess what was back!!!! After a few really bad storms our lake made a brief appearance.

One of the questions I’ve been asked the most by other parents and a few teachers (but interestingly never by family and friends) is

‘Does Aspergers get better with age?’Even occasionally the question becomes will he grow out of it….”

For every polite question I have trotted out the same answer

The condition will not change but the personality traits may well fluctuate over time. Some traits may become less noticeable while others may become more pronounced.

There is research in this area but I will leave others to discuss that. I will stick to my well trodden line of each child and adult is unique. With Hawklad it is very much on par with my standard answer. Some of the traits have become less apparent as he has got older. Some of his old repetitive behaviours like hand flapping are hardly seen these days. Where’s as some traits like fixation on objects and constant motion have stayed largely the same.

But there are also existing traits which are becoming far more pronounced. Verbal stimming (repetition of words and sounds) has dramatically increased with him. Phobias and social anxieties have increased but how I’m just not sure how much of that is down to the pandemic.

Aspergers is very much who Hawklad is. It’s his personality. It is him. Sadly there is still too often a fundamental misunderstanding of what being on the spectrum actually means. Not enough understanding of what it is to be Autistic. We have such a long way to go as a society.

45 thoughts on “Autism

  1. My favorite (NOT) question is “What is his Superpower?”

    I am totally open to questions, because the more information we can share, the better it will be for our guys. I just wish we didn’t have to dispel so much MISinformation.

    And yeah… is it autism, is it ADHD, or is it just Ben? Autism often has other stuff hanging out with it.

    💌💌💌

    Liked by 3 people

      1. If Hawklad calls it symptoms himself than you should feel no shame for using that word. When it comes to words and definitions about the spectrum for me personally…I always explain it as it is only ignorant when outsiders talk about our diagnoses as if we were not in the room or without our permission. Symptoms is not necessarily the worse language I have heard to describe my diagnoses. I am not so offended by the word symptoms, but I understand why others on the spectrum would be. I have probably used symptoms by mistake in the past to describe my autism. Heh. ;o Like I tell anyone NO ONE CAN TELL ME HOW TO TALK ABOUT MY OWN DIAGNOSES AND MY STORY. If your son is okay with it, others can just deal with it. That is what I tell people when they ignorantly tell me how I should talk about my autism. 🙂

        As much as we like to pretend autism is all bright, I have used words like struggles to describe some of my autism traits or diagnoses as well. I have struggled more so than say my brother in things like school and social outings and I know damn well it is because of my autism, ADHD and other diagnoses. Autism has a lot of gifts, but like any human being we also have struggles and downsides.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I too wince at “symptoms”. I tend to use “traits” whenever possible, and occasionally “characteristics”. But until such time as the medical profession recognise autism as part of a
      neurological spectrum instead of a disorder, I suspect I will continue to wince for some time.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I was thinking the same thing the other day. What traits are still around and which ones are less prominent? There is definitely an ebb and flow.
    My least favorite question that I was ever asked was by his pediatrician who has to be in his 70’s by now. He wanted to know if he dropped a box of toothpicks could D look at the pile and be able to tell how many were there like Dustin Hoffman could as Rain Man. Sheesh. I don’t think the Dr. knew anything about autism from the last decade. At all.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Well, as a person who’s in his seventies and was diagnosed as autistic at sixty, all I can say is I’m still autistic. Some skills I had as a youngster have improved and some have deteriorated. But that applies to so called “normal” and “autistic” traits in equal measure.

      Perhaps I’ve learnt to mask better than when I was younger but on the other hand I now find masking more exhausting than it used to be. And when you get to be my age, it seems that society is more tolerant of “odd” behaviour than it is with the young, so I’m more free to be “me” than ever before.

      As for the Dr, I don’t think the medical profession will change until they stop pathologising autism. It might seem hard to believe but the medical profession didn’t cease classifying homosexuality as a disorder until less than fifty years ago. I wonder how long before the same happens with autism? Hopefully not another fifty years

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, as a society we absolutely have a long way to go. Even with my son’s diagoses that don’t include being on the autism spectrum, he lives with sensory issues, attention and organization challenges (ADHD), learning disabilities and anxiety with the occasional panic attack. I can see how some things are less in the forefront than when he was little (he’s 18) – he used to be perpetual motion, and when he was 12 and 13 his anxiety ramped up into panic attacks with puberty (when kids tend to become very self-conscious normally). I see some things probably won’t change much from here on out, while some hopefully will as he becomes an adult. But what I keep reminding him of are his superpowers. His out of the box way of thinking and his kindness and empathy. And more recently, his height. He’s got almost 7 inches on me and is great for reaching things on the top shelf.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. We really are all so different, but most seem to be more the same. I know how different I am. I’ve known all my life I’m not quite the same as others. I know because of how really “Normal” react to me. Thankfully I know how to be in company and when it is wise to leave. You see my mind fidgets from the moment I wake with all sorts of ideas over and sometimes over… I think if my mind was more fidgety it might cause a problem, but as it is I thrive on knowing I can be distracted, it’s not against any law, but I also know I do not have to act on the distraction or even let others know I am distracted. It’s acting skills and learning how to look attentive. I used to hate adults that would say “Look at me when I am speaking to you”, but now I’m fine and no one asks me. I’ve known of one other person who says her autism distraction is even more like she is seeing your face, seeing your face, seeing your face, seeing your face, seeing your face, seeing your face, seeing your face, seeing your face, seeing your face, seeing your face, seeing your face, seeing your face, seeing your face, seeing your face, seeing your face, seeing your face, seeing your face, seeing your face, seeing your face, seeing your face, seeing your face, seeing your face, seeing your face, seeing your face, seeing your face, seeing your face…
    You get that right?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That sounds like me, I am often like a wave of noise and visual inputs that just keep on coming, but when I am quiet there’s usually one of three reasons: 1) I’m tired. 2) Someone’s upset me. 3) I’m plotting something.

        Like

  5. Yes, this is very true-autism is always there, but traits tend to fluctuate. I see it in both my spectrum kiddos (and pinpointing more and more in myself as my anxiety over being out in society-socially and otherwise- is becoming more pronounced and not really for pandemic reasons). But…back to the kids…so much of parenting them becomes being observant of and supportive through every shift- and combating foolish questions. 🙄 I don’t mind much when it comes from a genuine desire to understand, but I hate the presumptious ones- like “HOW do you do it?” ( parent autistic children). Ummm…I don’t know. Because I just do. God gave them to me and I love them and I understand them! I have also gotten that “superpower” question many times, usually with the assumption they must surely be math geniuses a la Rain Man. 🙄 Maddening! Oh, and for my daughter and myself, we get fewer questions and more rude comments such as “But girls don’t get autism!” and “You don’t SEEM to have anything wrong!” ( umm…masking.) Oh, and my favorite- “But you TALK!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I had a teacher say the TALK line. I strongly suspect Hawklads society phobias are not pandemic related. I’ve never been tested but I suspect I would be on the spectrum. As I’ve got older I rock back to front much more pronounced now. Plus my society phobias are growing. Been praying for you. 🤗

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep. They say once your child is diagnosed, you often start recognizing traits in yourself and/or your family. Totally get what you describe. Thank you so muc for the prayers, friend! They are much aporeciated! 🤗

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Autism is something I know very little about, but of course I was aware of it when I worked in customer service. I was told one day that a dad was going to bring his son up to the departures gate and had been given permission to look at an aeroplane so he might gain confidence to fly. I was to meet them and escort them on board. I can remember being nervous that I would say or do something wrong that would upset the boy, so I didn’t say too much. His dad was so nice and the boy seemed fine. I think they did travel but that was when I realized what a daunting thing Autism is. And why I follow your blog and feel for you both so much. Maybe people don’t ask those difficult questions because they are afraid they won’t know what to say to the answers.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. thats interesting..i have never heard an autistic person ask if they will grow out of it. I wonder if thats common and i just haven’t run into it as a nurse.I believe its a great question actually, and shows a deep intellect.

    Liked by 1 person

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