What is it like to be a Parent of an Aspie?

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CockneyRebel
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04 Aug 2006, 3:43 pm

Speaking as an Aspie, I'm currious as to what it's like to be a parent of an Aspie, or somebody else on the Spectrum. We've given you our input of what it was like to be a Child on the Spectrum and what would have helped us. Now it's your turn to show us the Other Side of the Coin. :D



ryansjoy
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04 Aug 2006, 7:08 pm

I personally have done this all by trial and error and what I read. I get no input from the schools or therapist. My son does not see one. and I think its all about protecting our children. I find myself being over protective of him.. since they have little social skills and have little skills to tell if someone is a predator I find myself never giving him any space when he can play because I am so afraid of what could happen to him because he has no skills. its a battle of trying to make others understand what is really going on inside his head.. its the battle of getting his own family to understand he is not just a Little Boy and stop making those little boy excuses for his bizarre behavior. I have more than owned up to what is wrong with my son. now its time that others who know him take the time to understand him.. this includes all his teachers! it would have helped me to know that Drs would have taken me serious when i told them when he was 3 that there was something wrong with him.. only to get a baffon moron answer that I needed to be a stronger parent.. that I needed to basicaly brush up on my parenting skills.. i say to them now
:shameonyou: every day is a challange from sun up to sun down.. I wish that people would stop trying to push down my throat how a proper diet will help my son and that I need to try herbal things to control his ADD.. I know that my son has limits and know when the line should be drawn. stop trying to tell us where the line is.. we know this. we live with that child. listen to us as parents and see that we might not want to push our kids into all those social outings that you seem to think they need.. the child needs to know that their best friend is their parents. we shall protect and defend but that does not mean we won't make you do something like clean youir room that you don't like... each day is a battle... and we are prepared to fight tooth and nail to make you less stressed..



beentheredonethat
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05 Aug 2006, 1:31 am

Cockney Rebel:
I am the parent of a 17-year-old Aspie. It would have been an experience to test my sanity, if I were not an aspie myself and didn't understand where he was coming from. When he was 15 he decided no drugs. We didn't agree with him....but we didn't push, and he seems to be doing okay, though I'm on some drugs, and they help me....a lot. However. When my kid is being difficult, he is very difficult, and my wife and I wonder if 17 is too late to consider an abortion (bad joke). When, however, he is exercising his talents (he's studying to be a concert pianist) we sit there in awe. I was a symphony musician, but I have nowhere near my kid's talent. He's also passably good with numbers (not brilliant), and a passably good writer, and in total a terrific kid. That still doesn't stop us from getting into shouting matches over "how could you think I meant that?" and that's when I forget that you have to be very literal with him. Or when he cuts me off....but I cut him off, so I can't complain, or when he doesn't make eye contact, but neither do I most of the time, so again, no complaint, or when he stays up all night and sleeps half the day and says he's bored in high school, because the other kids don't understand his jokes (I understand them, I just don't like them....no, I'm not a terrible father).....and we have learned to leave him alone, because ya know what, he's turning into a pretty neat person, and now if he'd just get a girl friend (this is a parent talking?) I'd be happy. So to sum up, being the parent of an aspie is a test of your sanity......but in the end.....it's all worth it, because sometimes aspies are smarter and more fun than NTs.



ryansjoy
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05 Aug 2006, 8:15 am

i forgot this.. speak to him black and white.. "mom this watch is really nice don't you think I look good in it?" my response should be Yes Ryan that looks nice on you.. stupid mom response.. Gee Ryan thats got your name written all over it! Stupid mommy... because Ryan was in the store looking for his name written all over the watch... think of the little things parents.. Mom I know what a serial killer is... Yea Ry what is it? Its a guy who goes around stabbing and shooting people with a cereal box on his head... No No Ryan thats not it.. Yes it is mom.. that's why the use the word cereal.. Or as of yesterday.. My husband said Ryan there is not enough Tea in China for that one.. Aspie son says Marc don't you know how to spell... there is no T in the word China... or when I really become surprised when he tells me what breast implants are because you know mom I watch TV... I have learned that my son has a great sense of humor! he loves to watch Who's line is it anyway.. he is a very good looking young man and I know that it will be a struggle for him to ever find a girlfriend.. he has little sense of people and his social skills turn people off.. its a struggle to get him to understand that he would have more friends if he would not act so crazy... from reading of the parent of a 17 year old I can see that it gets harder.. :cry: when he was little i knew that i was loosing my mind being alone with a very challanging toddler.. but guess what I still have my mind.. along with the rest of me.



three2camp
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07 Aug 2006, 9:03 am

It's exhilarating and exhausting.

The depth of emotion, the loyalty and affection are exhilarating sometimes - he can give back so much more but when he hurts, it's exhausting. Trying to help him through the painful times can take a lot of effort.

It's exhilarating to hear his take on life - the descriptions he uses, the explanations, the solutions he can develop are amazing. But, then there are the times when he just doesn't understand and it's exhausting to try and explain things, to help him learn and grow. Sometimes, it's almost like learning a new language when trying to talk to him and find the words he can hear.

The patience required can be exhausting but, when it works the results can be exhilarating. Sometimes just trying to understand why he does _________ can be exhausting, but once we understand, then there are the days when we have peace.



ster
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07 Aug 2006, 9:15 am

three2camp~ditto.......



flowermom
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07 Aug 2006, 10:48 am

I am the NT mother of a five year old girl with AS. She is bright and sweet and loving. I really enjoy how inquisitive she is about everything. She loves all kinds of information. We go to the library and check out stacks of books about different subjects she is interested in - everything from mosquitos, to marine mammals to the human body, etc, etc, etc (lol). I learn along with her. She also likes to be out and about and trying new things. She tried snorkeling on a recent vacation and would fly across the pool on a rope swing with the other older kids. Everyone was amazed. She has a real zest for life! I am stunned by her vocabulary, conversation and insight into things, sometimes it is like having a conversation with an adult. She is KIND - to everyone - will play with any and all children who she meets, younger, older, boy or girl it does not matter.

The difficult part for me is watching her struggle when other children reject her. We hear, "stop following me" at the park a lot. She came home crying from preschool because the other girls would not play with her. She did learn that, "girls like princesses and barbies" and she changed and stopped talking about dinosaur bones and egyptian mummys. Eventually some other children accepted her, but I hated seeing her squash her own interests for this. But, I guess this is reality and she must. The other day when I dropped her off at camp and she ran up to another girl and started talking to her and tried to hold her hand - the other girl pulled her hand away and turned away from her. Ugh, I felt like someone punched me in the stomach watching this.

I also find it difficult figuring out what therapies are valuable, which are not. We do a variety of things designed to "help" her, but do they? I want her to have the best chance to have a happy life and so I do what the professionals tell me, but I wonder, as I drive from OT to social skills group to the psychologist, is all this really necessary?!

I worry about her future and if she will get teased at school, and if others will understand her and take the time to learn what an amazing, wonderful individual she is. I wonder if I am making the right choices for her. I know this will be a long journey and I hope every day I am doing an okay job preparing her for the world.



MomofTom
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09 Aug 2006, 4:16 pm

My son is three years-old and already it is a relief knowing that I can relate to my child, as I am an Aspie myself. However, I find myself in a tug-of-war with the parenting skills used on me and trying not to repeat them with my children. There are times when I want to haul off and smack him, like my parents did to me. His big thing now is hitting, kicking and head-butting when we try and verbally discipline him. HE DIDN'T GET THAT FROM US.

Talk about a paradox! Our big Rule #1 in our house is "NO HITTING PEOPLE".

Onto the more enjoyable side of ASD.....it pleases me to no end that my son can already count to 200 by himself. He has a knack for rhythm. He is a visual learner. I am also pleased that he gets along with his one year-old sister so well.

Our goal with getting him into early interventions and Preschool has helped him immensely. I still worry about his social situation as he gets older. Knowing firsthand what it is like to go through that kind of hell, I am more than willing to assist with medication/anger/depression (if he wants it), homeschooling (if his situation warrants it), and explaining things to him, instead of scoffing at his lack of understanding of the world around him.

We only want for him to be happy and function independently in the world---not to be 'normal'.


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aspiesmom1
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11 Aug 2006, 1:43 pm

Our son is 11, nearly 12. He was dx'd last spring. I would have to say that since his dx, things have gotten immeasurably better.

For years, we knew our ds had issues, but we just couldn't put our finger on what it was. He was the first kid in his school to go on in school suspension in kindie. (For dropping the "F" bomb in the cafeteria - apparently the noise got to him).

Once we got a dx, then we had something to work with. After much late night reading, I learned alot about my son, and most of his outbursts were related to sensory issues and schedule issues. A little work to resolve those and we have many more good days then bad now.

He handles crowds fairly well, but we let him stim when need be. No meds, no therapists, no aides at school. He gets a velcro schedule at school as that is his big issue needing to know what's next and changes throw him for a loop. He is also permitted to leave the room if it gets too loud.

He also has to have someone stand at the bus stop with him morning and afternoon, to be sure he doesn't get beat up. He's been beaten badly by kids less than half his size. He won't make any effort to fight back, but will hit his little sister no problem.

He doesn't "get" the world, but has learned not to let on when he's out alone. He goes for runs, rides his bike, and I don't worry about him. But he won't bathe anywhere but his own bathtub. He is an enigma.

Every day is interesting, and I learn something new - maybe about astronomy, or chemicals, or whatever piques his interest that week.

I wouldn't trade it for the world.


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gigliokansas
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12 Aug 2006, 6:18 pm

I love my daughter very much. I would not change a thing about her. Unfortunately, not all people in this world view bright people who are a little "different" with the same respect and interest that I do. So, I encourage my daughter to be an individual while arming her with the tools to protect herself in this world. We have gone through some rough times while she was in middle school, but she learned to speak up for herself and protect herself. I will not always be there to protect her, so my goal is to help her protect herself. I don't do a lot for her, but tell her how to interact with people to get what she wants to out of this world. I got involved with school officials when I needed to to get their attention. Teachers have been very supportive and "look out" for her without giving her special consideration. She was diagnosed when she was 13. We have given her basic advise, for example "join clubs and activities you are interested in to have something in common with people to talk about". She will be a Junior this year in hight school. She is an A student, taking all honors and AP classes. She has the skills to make friends, though she is very selective about who she calls her friend. She is confident and knows what she wants to do with her life. I believe she will be very successful and happy. I am very proud of her.



LadyMcBeth
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19 Aug 2006, 3:08 pm

We found out our son had aspergers about 2 years ago, he is 21 now and I really wish we had known about it earlier in some ways and in some ways I am glad we didn't know. I think he managed school well but we did have a lot of trouble with bullies and stuff like that. We were always just so proud of how smart he is but never could quite understand why other kids were so mean to him and still don't. He is sweet and trusting and I think he attracts users and losers who make themselves feel better to pick. I am pleased when reading this board that aspies go on to lives and families of there own so that gives me hope. I know he will meet someone eventually when he gets a job and gets established. I just pray that its a good person. My son does really well he has a full scholarship to college, he holds down a full time job. He doesn't have friends other than online but he says its because we live out too far and we don't allow him to go off without letting us know where he's going. lol I don't feel like thats unreasonable but oh well. I am really amazed at all the stuff aspies have in common and I plan to tell him about this forum so he can maybe talk to others in the same boat. :)



cedarwater
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19 Aug 2006, 7:08 pm

My 17yo was just diagnosed also. I wish I had known earlier as his life (and mine) would have been much better.
When he was growing up we went thru rages (anger management for them), then school phobia which led to depression. Finally after a couple of years of therapy and a couple of therapists we landed on AS. It has explained his entire life!
Now that I know neither one of us are crazy or spoiled brats life is much easier. I don't fear for his future any longer and he has been making plans instead of deciding that when it was time to grow up and move out it would be time to end it all for himself.
I can now appreciate his sense of humor and remember his joy at discoveries before the school system stamped that out in him. He is now a cycnical young man but it's also something I love about him.
I love that I'm the only one who will ever see him dance (and boy can he dance). He was raised by a family of women (I'm single and my mother and sisters lived nearby) which I think gave him better social skills training than most kids get. Probably why the dx took so long!
I'm just happy to know his relief at having found out he's not alone (he posts here as well) and that he can have a future.



LadyMcBeth
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19 Aug 2006, 7:20 pm

Yes I know what you mean by the school beating it out of them, the first few years were really tough on my son as far as teachers, after 3rd grade actual school went better but the bully situation grew worse. It was heart breaking, it was so hard to send him off to school each day to be bullied. We were at one school that was just horrific it was a very small school. I remember praying "Lord some how get us out of this school" and I was looking into homeschool and we got transfered so we went to a base school and it was soooo much better because the teachers had control of the kids and the kids were not allowed to bully. Then we moved to a city and it was bad once again. Now he is in college and doing really well people don't pick to much any more.



TubbyChef
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20 Aug 2006, 8:35 am

It's interesting and extremley exhausting. My son is very dependant on me, yet very 'selfish'. When I was a kid I was very selfish but hugely independant which I thought was fair enough - but my son expects me to do most things for him, and to stick to his timetable - e.g staying up til midnight every night :? .

On the plus side, I feel happy that my son won't be easily influenced into taking drugs or smoking/drinking, or feel pressured into doing crazy things. He's always known the difference between wright and wrong and has no interest in hurting other people with mind games, unlike most 'normal' people I have encountered :x .



luvRaspie
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21 Aug 2006, 8:01 pm

We love our daughter to death and would move heaven and earth for her. However, she is what I've seen described here as a "mean Aspie". She can be difficult to say the least. Like many in the AS community she's very very smart..the problem is that she gets pissed off at school and refuses to do her work. We've gone every route imaginable to try and make this happen. She's pretty much on a grounding loop. Her school is great but I'm afraid that after school she'll just end up doing nothing with her life and the tremendous gifts that she's been given. Yes, I said it GIFT. Sure she looks and acts different but what I wouldn't give to have half of her smarts. I know she'd much rather fit in and have tons of friends. I wish I could make that happen for her, since I can't I wish she could focus her super hero like smarts. Know what I mean? BUT she refuses.
All I can say is thank GOD for manga. She at least has something to relate to others about. She gets to go to a manga group at the local library.

When she isn't grounded that is........ :(