~2.5 year old's seemingly perpetual crankiness
My 2 year 4 month old son seems to be very moody, much more so than what I've observed in other toddlers his age. There are times he's in a good mood for sure, but there are many times when he is whining about anything and everything and it doesn't seem to be connected to any clear problem (hunger, sleep, wanting a specific toy and being told "no," etc). I feel nervous to take him out when he's in one of those moods, because nothing seems to please him. But there doesn't seem to be a clear alternative. He can be "off" like this for part of an afternoon, or for a full week or even more at a time. He was a fussy baby also, but his moodiness seems to have gotten worse since turning 2.
A complicating matter is that he was recently diagnosed as having mild autism and some mild sensory issues. We're not sure whether this irritability is connected to the ASD, or if it's just him, and also, whether having an answer to that question would really help us at all. But it is just so exhausting to feel nervous all the time about what kid we'll get when we take him out somewhere. The rest of the time he really is a delight to be around. I'd say he's in an off mood maybe 20% of the time.
I'm not sure what I want to know here...is this normal?? If it's not normal, what should we be doing about it? Have you experienced this? Does it get better? Any tips? Looking for solidarity, solutions, words of wisdom, anything.