Autistics can't tell the difference between right and wrong?

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fairie_child
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14 Aug 2011, 5:09 pm

My mom is autistic and it seems like she can't tell the difference between right and wrong even though she thinks she can. Is that typical of autistics or just my mom? She can't tell the difference between abusive behavior and normal behavior, in herself or other people. How do I deal with her? She can't be my role model. I haven't spoken to her in two years, but if I was to re-establish a relationship with her, what would it look like?



AlbusSeverus
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14 Aug 2011, 5:18 pm

I'm autistic and I can tell the difference between right and wrong.



LostAlien
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14 Aug 2011, 5:25 pm

The only thing I can say with certainty is that we're all different. I know right from wrong (in regards my actions) but I know it took a lot of learning for me to know how to discern people acting right or wrong towards me.

Bear in mind that this is just me, there are other Aspies who may have no such issue but have other issues that I don't have. It's a spectrum disorder so none of us are the same, some of us are similar but none of us are exactly alike.


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JohnOldman
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14 Aug 2011, 5:34 pm

fairie_child wrote:
My mom is autistic and it seems like she can't tell the difference between right and wrong even though she thinks she can. Is that typical of autistics or just my mom? She can't tell the difference between abusive behavior and normal behavior, in herself or other people. How do I deal with her? She can't be my role model. I haven't spoken to her in two years, but if I was to re-establish a relationship with her, what would it look like?


Autism has no bearing on morality. Like anyone without a diagnosis, an autistic person develops morality by building character.

If you think your mother is a psychopath (also called Antisocial Personality Disorder), then failing to see the difference between "abusive behavior and normal behavior" would be typical of that diagnosis.

I suggest you take more care not to insult people who are different and strange. I, for one, find your question very offensive.



emtyeye
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14 Aug 2011, 5:42 pm

I believe my mother is also autistic and I'm S-D Aspie. My mom is sometimes quite verbally abusive and does not seem to see herself that way or is justifying of this behaviour. She also has a stress disorder and is very narcissistic. The stress disorder, which I have also suffered from, can make a person lash out especially if they feel threatened. Narcissism makes a person unable to apologize or ever see themselves as wrong.

With my mom, I stick to listening to her and not saying much and when she gets abusive I just cut off the conversation to the point of hanging up on her or not reading her email or letters. I accept that she is this way and just look for the little island of interaction that is safe and stick to that. If someone is abusive, don't stick around waiting for them to wake up to it or trying to get them to see the light. If they are capable of seeing it, they will come to you later.



buryuntime
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14 Aug 2011, 6:01 pm

Why is everyone here so adamant to dish out that someone is antisocial personality disorder rather than autistic?

A theory of mind problem could cause problems with identifying or recognizing abusive or bad behaviour. Someone with APD would willingly break the law.



MotherKnowsBest
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14 Aug 2011, 6:01 pm

Well I'm a lawyer so obvious right and wrong are well beyond my understanding. :D



Jory
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14 Aug 2011, 6:15 pm

Everyone has a set of ethics, even psychopaths.



Lucywlf
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14 Aug 2011, 6:24 pm

My parents are both undiagnosed aspergers and they are very moral, upstanding citizens and always have been.

Your terminology is vague. What kind of behavior are you considering abusive? Some people think a guilt trip is abusive, others screaming and cursing.

It depends a lot on where, when and how she was raised. My parents firmly believed in the axiom "spare the rod and spoil the chilid" and spanked me when I did wrong. To them Doctor Spock's teaching was drivel that would never produce results. Today spanking, if not illegal, is frowned upon.



fairie_child
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14 Aug 2011, 6:34 pm

Both of my parents were extremely abusive. They used to strip me naked and beat the crap out of me from toddlerhood to about age 8. They withheld food and medical care when needed. My dad often threatened to kill my pets. I told my mom that I'm not speaking to them anymore because of my dad threatening to kill my pets and that is really messed up. She is just really confused and doesn't understand why I cut off contact. She stood by and let her children get beaten and mentally and verbally abused. It's like she can't even comprehend that her children can feel pain. She still has a lot of trouble speaking, often using one word sentences. She recoils from human contact. She has trouble with eye contact.



kittie
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14 Aug 2011, 6:42 pm

I've said it before and I'll say it again: most quirks people ask about here have something to do with being human, not neccessarily being autistic. Some people just don't have a sense of morality, some do, autistic or not.

It's good you've realised your mother can't be your role model and aren't following in her footsteps - do you want a relationship with her again? How would she react if you sent her, say, a clear note telling her of how you feel?



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14 Aug 2011, 6:55 pm

Normal behaviour and abusive behaviour isn't exactly right and wrong. Yes one is right and one is wrong but just because you can't tell the difference doesn't seem you can't tell right and wrong from other situations.

Even non-autistic people haven beaten wife syndrome where they stick to their abusive husbands but they are also mothers who have sat by and watched their children be abused. It's not an autistic trait. If she has been manipulated by her husband then she might not see it as wrong and autistic people can be easier to convince because of the lack of being able to read people.

My own mother is undiagnosed ADHD and seems to lose it at times and become verbally and physically abusive and not be aware of it at times. She's only physically abusive in the rarest circumstances but she is one passively agreesive b***h at times.


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14 Aug 2011, 7:03 pm

There isn't always a such thing as right and wrong. It's all point of view, and nothing more.


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Lucywlf
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14 Aug 2011, 7:15 pm

Where do you live? In my state a family like yours would be supervised by Family and Children's Services and, very likely, you would have been put in foster care at one time or another., especially if your parents beat you hard enough to leave marks.

If you are still living at home (you didn't specify your age), you might want to contact child protective wherever you live.



LadybugQ
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14 Aug 2011, 7:56 pm

MotherKnowsBest wrote:
Well I'm a lawyer so obvious right and wrong are well beyond my understanding. :D


Funny! I like your sense of humor! ;)


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LadybugQ
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14 Aug 2011, 8:00 pm

It seems like you need to put out a bit more information regarding your Mom; does she drink (possible alcoholic?) Is she conditioned to be blind to right/wrong actions? Is her age range approaching that of someone with dementia or Alzheimer's?

It could very well just be your Mom.


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