Friend with autistic son: do I tell her I am an aspie?

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LadyMahler
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21 Jan 2008, 10:20 am

A lady I studied my Masters with just moved in across the road from us. In the last five years, I saw her once or twice and heard from my fellow study-colleagues from the time that her son was diagnosed with autism. At the time we studied, he was just a wee baby.

So, now we started hanging out a whole lot! I only got diagnosed about a year ago and I have read up so much on autism, I really "get" her very high functioning, five-year old boy and we are actually very cool with one another (e.g. make faces with one another, play a silly hide & seek games, he sometimes allows me to tickle his face for a few seconds, etc. etc.).

I'm not sure whether I must tell her or not. I am enjoying this friendship with her and on the one side, my old fear is there that at some point, I'm going to be so odd or eccentric that I may just scare her off, on the other side, I don't want to seem like a "been there, done that, know it all", and perhaps make the situation uncomfortable by confessing that, well, her son's therapist is also mine and I actually know what it feels like being autistic. Or a million other reasons which my eternally busy, analytical mind is fabricating...

If you were her, what would you want? If you wanted to know, how would you like to be told? Please remember I'm clueless when it comes to being sensitive for mood, scene and catching the right "cue" here...



Tortuga
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21 Jan 2008, 10:27 am

I think it would be wonderful if you told her. I check out these forums because I want to hear from adults on the spectrum. It gives me an insight into why my son does some of things he does. I've had questions answered here that no one else could answer for me.

In hindsight, long before I became a parent, I knew one adult who had Aspergers. Only I didn't know what Aspergers was at the time. I wish I still knew that person.



momtanic
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21 Jan 2008, 10:53 am

I agree with Tortuga. This site has helped me understand
my son better and I have learned alot about Aspergers.
As a parent, I would be happy to know that there was
someone who understands my son. I would tell her.



aspergian_mutant
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21 Jan 2008, 11:06 am

Just enjoy what you got, it makes no difrunce in your relationship at this time does it?
perhaps it only makes a difrunce to you.
if she comes over now and then, have your articals and your books and stuff like
that on the shelf and walls easy to see, perhaps she will take an interest and ask questions,
If this person has an autistic child then she should take an interest, if she does not
then its a good chance she may have a negative view on the subject or just does not care.
and if she does then you can explain your interest and why past your own interest in your new friend.



ster
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21 Jan 2008, 12:16 pm

not everyone needs to know everything about you. without knowing your friend, it's hard to say how she'd react to such news. around here ( where i live) , there seems to be this false notion that people with aspergers couldn't possibly be high-funcitoning. i work with a woman who has aspergers~i only know this because i shared with her that my hubby has it as well.....at any rate, most of our colleagues don't know that she has aspergers. not that she's embarrassed or worried~just that she operates on a need to know basis. in her opinion, others don't need to know.



katrine
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21 Jan 2008, 1:24 pm

If her she is open minded and you spend a lot of time together, I would tell her - maybe she has guessed anyway?!