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Butterfly
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07 Mar 2013, 1:07 pm

My son has been recently diagnosed with mild autism/ aspergers. I have done lots of research and reading on this subject (including this forum) that I am feeling simply hopeless and scared of raising him or what the future holds for him. From what I have read, people with AS seem to be the most unhappy people in the world having to struggle with this world and NTs all their lives. I don't want this life for my son, I don't want him to suffer or witness his suffering for that matter. I am feeling so hopeless and desperate.

Please help me find hope or a reason to stay with him. I want him to be happy and enjoy life (have friends, relationships, family). Isn't it impossible at all with AS, even mild?



goldfish21
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07 Mar 2013, 1:20 pm

It's not impossible.

I've had a pretty good life so far. Yeah, life has had it's ups and downs - and I didn't even realize I was AS until recently.

You're reading all the horror stories online because people share complaints. They don't go online and share every good moment that happens, they share the things that suck because they're looking for help/solutions/treatments etc - much like if you go look up product reviews you're more likely to find every single complaint about a car or whatever than you are going to find rave reviews and praise. People are just so much more likely to voice their complaints than document good things, positive feedback, good times etc.

Stop reading all the negativity and go read something positive. Go lookup all the famous scientists, actors, actresses, artists, musicians, business moguls etc who've all had AS and been wildly successful in their chosen fields *because of* AS and read their stories.

Better yet, go live life and be happy in the present with your son & ignore all this for a while.

Then learn what you need to about AS and roll with it & whatever mix of treatments benefit your son best. It's kinda all you can do.



Mirror21
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07 Mar 2013, 1:21 pm

Well he has a supporting mother and this is a great start. You will want was is best for him thus you will find resources for him early, help him find coping mechanisms and support. A great deal of us did not have that pleasure and are left suffering and ill equipped as adults. Be pro-active and understanding and don't fall for the pitfalls of "he is ill and needs to be cured" and you will do just fine.



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07 Mar 2013, 1:24 pm

How old is your son?

Anyway, you can't protect your child from struggles, and enduring struggles can make for good character if guided properly. You cannot abandon your child, because destabilizing him by leaving him will give him exponential emotional problems on top of what he already has. So please nix that idea Right Now.

There are many unhappy AS people, but from what I have seen in the rest of the world, there are a lot of unhappy NT people, or people posing as NT who have all other sorts of addictions and neuroses and mental issues. So, don't think that being AS is some sort of marker for catastrophe moreso than any other group of people.

Nobody ever said parenting was going to be easy. And you are not given more than you can handle. The question is: Do you want to (handle it)?

When I explained to my boss that my son was Dx'd with PDD-NOS, and that was why I had to take off time to go to meetings and therapies, he looked sad for me and said "I'm so sorry". I honestly didn't understand his reaction. I guess I sort of understand it now, because every day is a challenge but I would say, perhaps no more so than another child with bipolar, schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis, ODD, ADHD, depression or who knows what else you can add to the list of challenges. Nobody is guaranteed an easy path. If an easy path, sometimes that is worse because the flip side is growing up without character or depth.

Not to say I don't sympathize, because my two sons are on the spectrum and I am also on the spectrum. Every day is a circus Haha!

But you can't give up. Because that is the worst you can do. You do on-the-job-training like we all do. And you try to make it work to the best of your ability. Because there is nobody out there who will be a better Mommy to your child than You. And that's all there is to it.



Last edited by mikassyna on 07 Mar 2013, 1:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

League_Girl
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07 Mar 2013, 1:25 pm

I have mild AS and I am very happy. I have a husband and child and a home. I believe Temple Grandin is very happy and Liane Holliday Willey. Even people with depression can be happy.


I have gone through periods in my life where I was unhappy and I have bounced back and forth to unhappiness to happiness. Like I may be unhappy in school because of how I was being treated there and not happy I was having troubles with friends and then be happy when things were going fine in the class and I am working and not having problems at all so I felt normal then.


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Tori0326
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07 Mar 2013, 1:27 pm

I have Aspergers and am now in my 40s with a child that likely has Aspergers too. I'm not unhappy and can't say I've ever really been unhappy in general. I've had my struggles adapting to the world in various ways but it's probably made me a better person for it. I actually kind of like being this way. I'm smarter than most people around me and I see things differently so NTs think I'm pretty clever too.
I think maybe this is a shock to you and you just don't know what to do yet. I'd say relax and take it slow. Learn more about Aspergers/Autism.



mikassyna
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07 Mar 2013, 1:33 pm

FYI I have met a famous actress/celebrity who was AS. In fact I had Thanksgiving dinner with her and her family. What an amazingly loving, supportive and sweet family. Very down to earth. I would have never suspected anything from being around her. Her eccentricities are hyped by the media. Not everybody gets tossed into the AS wasteland as adults LOL



goldfish21
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07 Mar 2013, 1:36 pm

You say you've done a lot of reading on the subject.. online or books as well? If so, which book(s)? I've read a few I'd recommend anyone here read, yourself included:

"The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome," by Dr. Tony Attwood

"Asperger's from the inside out," by Michael Carley (Autobiography of a guy who was diagnosed in his late 30's when his 4yo son was diagnosed. He already had a decent career & life going, then went on to found a nationwide support group in the USA called GRASP)

\"Look me in the eye," by John Elder Robison (Autobiography, he's lived a pretty wild and interesting life.. had a job designing custom guitars for KISS, another engineering electronic toys for Milton Bradley, and currently owns a successful high end auto service shop.)

And aside from others stories, I bet many of us here could share countless positive memories of all kinds of things about our lives, friends, family, sports, careers, education, as well as success stories of other Aspies in our lives. It's not all doom and gloom, just different. :)



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07 Mar 2013, 1:51 pm

it's not impossible everyone varies. Everyone has different skill sets and abilities. To put it into perspective, i have mild aspergers, and graduated cum laude from a solid university. I however can't hold a job, and have terrible spatial skills. I hate going to places alone as well.
i have no friends or a gf though =(
To contrast, there are people with downs syndrome, who live independently, and have friends.

I also knew a guy with mild aspergers who was a bouncer at a club, he seems to enjoy his life, and works at barnes and noble. I think he graduated from college also. He is an ass though, never talks to me..but that's for another day.


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Callista
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07 Mar 2013, 2:01 pm

Hey, don't freak out, okay? Your kid is still the same kid he always was. He loves you; you love him. Okay, so you might have to turn mother-bear a few times when the world won't accept him the way he is, but in my experience, very few parents find it hard to defend their own children.

I wrote a couple of blog posts about this, and I think maybe they'll be helpful to you.

To the Parents of Spectrum Kids

Raising a Child with Autism in an NT World

My advice? Go and look through your son's baby books and early photos. Remind yourself of how much you love him and how much he loves you. Remind yourself of all the little things you love about him--his quirks, the funny and endearing things he does. Remind yourself of how amazing it is that you get to nurture a new life, see him learn and grow. You're family. You'll get through this; that's what families do. And if the world tells you that he's tragic or not quite as good as anybody else, you can punch the world in the face and tell them that he's your kid and he's just as good as any other, and if they want to mess with him they are going to have to go through you.


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elsing
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07 Mar 2013, 2:05 pm

Hello

I will assume your son is young. I envy his generation, there is an answer to the questions I know had asked myself, why am I so abnormal, why is there no one else like me, why do I behave this way why cant I just be normal. He will never have to listen to someone say just make more friends, just be more confident, just talk to people without anyone ever explaining how, and not being able to express why it is just not that easy as hopefully the people he will likely confide in will know his issues.

I agree with the advice about looking for the positivity, there is plenty.

Frankly if I could choose to be NT I wouldn't want to be (I am not diagnosed but my psychotherapist is pushing my case to be diagnosed with my GP) , not sure if I could choose to have been diagnosed young. I ask myself would I have used it as an excuse, would I have met my supportive partner of 11 years would I have have gotten a degree, perhaps I would have learned to make friends as at least people would have been more aware. There are pros and cons for this.

There is nothing you can do but cherish your son, embrace his uniqueness and show him the love and support he needs as there is more to him than his diagnosis, he is a person with his own personality too.



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07 Mar 2013, 2:09 pm

I'm an Aspie and I'm very happy to be alive. I also like to celebrate my Aspieness on and off WP. :)


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07 Mar 2013, 2:18 pm

movik wrote:
From what I have read, people with AS seem to be the most unhappy people in the world


Only if the AS comes coupled with parents who couldn't care less. From your post I see your son is not eligible for the title of most unahappy in the world.

Even having had the family from hell, I can't say I'm unhappy.


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07 Mar 2013, 2:29 pm

Moondust wrote:
movik wrote:
From what I have read, people with AS seem to be the most unhappy people in the world


Only if the AS comes coupled with parents who couldn't care less. From your post I see your son is not eligible for the title of most unahappy in the world.

Even having had the family from hell, I can't say I'm unhappy.


I agree.


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07 Mar 2013, 2:33 pm

Yeah, we Aspies are tough. :)

Give us a family to back us up, and the world better watch out!


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movik
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07 Mar 2013, 2:34 pm

thank you to everybody for their replies. i wish i could talk to you in real life. i reallly need this positivity that you have given me.

and yes, my son has just turned 3. and i love him so much that it hurts.