Sudden development of Twitching
I am looking for some advice or insight really so that I might understand what my long term boyfriend with Aspergers is going through. A little background first:
I have been in a steady relationship with a man with Aspergers for nearly two years. He is now 23 years old, and has learnt to cope very well with his disorder over his life (e.g. he has gained a good university degree, is training to be a counsellor, is a talented actor and drummer, is very confident, has a job mentoring students with mental health difficulties, solid family life etc.)
For about the last 5 or 6 months, he has gradually developed a sort of twitching tic like movement. It is similar to the movement one might make when we get a sudden chill, a sudden but short convulsion. I have asked him what he thinks might be bringing those on. He says that it sometimes happens when he thinks of awkward social faux pas he's made in the past, or embarrassing memories, or even seemingly innocuous memories. It is getting more and more regular, and I am slightly concerned that these memories are effecting him so much that it has become a physical symptom.
Is it a common thing for tics like this to suddenly develop in someone with Aspergers syndrome, even when they have been seemingly well adjusted for years?
In general, he seems to really dislike and conciously avoids any kind of awkwardness.
E.g. He doesn't like to watch comedy shows that spceialise in sort of awkward humor (e.g. the british version of 'the office' or 'the royle family'), and he hates being in situations that could be construed as awkard e.g. he doesn't like silences in conversation - is always the first to speak up in a classroom etc, always arms himself with stacks of dvds or comedy shows to keep entertainment flowing when seeing friends, is often the first to bring telephone conversations to a close so as to avoid any pauses or silences in conversation, always wants to be occupied with entertainment - doesn't seem comfortable just to sit and 'be', sometimes cringes at things I say if I'm just playing around or seems embarrassed on my behalf if I blush in day to day life.
This has been the case to some extent the entire time i've known him, but I think its really bothering him more and more now - and its manifesting itself physically in these tics.
I am mindful that I don't want to make a huge issue out of it for him, as I worry that bringing attention to the tics might only make them worse, but I also want to understand them and help him through it if there is any way I can. I also partly worry that I am contributing to them, as sometimes he cringes at things I say, even though it was no way my intention to make him feel awkward.
If any one has any kind of experience or insight in this, i'd love to hear.