Most things I've heard and read speak of autism as a set thing - with certain innate characteristics, bio-neurological dispositions, and behavioural traits etc, whereby they're almost spoken about as a definite and concrete phenomenon.
However, my personal experience of autism is that it feels much more plastic and organic - as certain traits have seemed to change over time, and others have seemingly gotten worse with age. For example: as I'm getting older, I find my thinking is notably much more rigid and inflexible than it used to be. So, should I be actively expecting my autistic characteristics to change with age? Or, are the underlying mechanisms still the same, just my relationship (perception?) to it that's changing over time?
Does anyone else have experience of autism being more 'fluid' and organic than is often communicated?
Does anyone know of any books or articles that explore this aspect of autism (e.g. longitudinal / lifespan studies etc)?
I've found the opposite to be true in my case.
As I get older I am getting more flexible and catching up in social skills I never learnt when I was younger.
And by studying autistic traits and behaviour. I am proactively doing the opposite to make myself appear NT.
Good on you! It seems you've got the right mindset - the perspective of a social scientist (curious about the research and making an active point to do the practical) !
I wonder what I'm doing wrong?
Are you actually getting worse, or just getting tired of masking?
You raise a good point. I am admittedly growing tired of masking (passing).
But, I'm also tired of trying. I'm getting to an age whereby I am watching peers far surpass me in terms of life goals. Hell, I'm even watching younger kids having greater life skills and achievements. And, I just feel like I've had to put so much hard work into getting nowhere, yet my NT peers comparatively seem to have less struggle with far greater reward.
So a large part of my problem is motivation. I'm becoming increasingly vulnerable and demotivated with age, and I think that's possibly (negatively) changing my relationship / perception to autism.