This is a really, really important article by Amanda Baggs about how some autistic people lose abilities at various points and not just when they’re toddlers. This is common, but people don’t talk about it enough. Here’s an excerpt.
The fact that some autistic people lose abilities with age is well-documented, but it is not always discussed in clear ways. It is clouded by terms like regression (which implies that loss of skills is growing backwards), functioning level (which implies that all functioning is affected at the same level and that this can be measured in a linear fashion), and more autistic (which implies similar things to functioning level). When autistic people ask organizations about it, we often get confusing answers — for example, when I asked one representative of a major autism organization about being an autistic person who lost some movement skills in adolescence, she said, “Yes, there is such a thing as late-onset autism,” as if I had not been autistic before this happened.
This has been writing itself in my head for a long time. It started writing itself on paper about a year ago or more. I wish I’d had a list of things like this a few years ago, and it’s based on what I’d like to have known. I hope it will be useful to other autistic people. It is intended to give people a list of starting points to understand what is happening to them. It is, though a starting point — more heavily focused on what is going on than what to do about it. This is because there are still more questions than answers, and because answers vary from person to person. I am providing answers that come with more questions. It is also intended to be practical first, medically perfect second — some of the research or opinions linked to from here may be largely wrong, but may be a starting point to looking at other things.
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I highly recommend reading the whole thing.