My son is 14. He has shown signs of something since he was about two. He was diagnosed with arthritis at 11. And he was officially diagnosed with AS at 12. He gets three shots a week. He gets methotraxate and Enbrel. The Endrel has made a HUGE difference in his health. He is not stiff in the mornings. He has more flexibility. If it rains, he can get out of bed. He also used to get multiple mouth sores, I mean we counted 25 one time. He couldn't eat, he was losing weight and he didn't have the energy to be active. He now has not had a mouth sore in about six months (he started Enbrel at that time) and he joined his old soccer team again. He hates getting the shots, but the doctors say doing this now will help keep his spine from fusing when he gets older.
I have a 37 year old brother that has AS. He wasn't diagnosed until he was in his mid 20's. He showed signs as a teen, but no body know what was wrong. He is doing well. He is very active and I think that helps tremendously. He doesn't take in of the drugs that have come out more recently because when he was first diagnosed they would try him on all different kinds of things that didn't work and had terrible side effects.
My son has a great team of doctors and a wonderful hospital that we go to.