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capri0112
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04 Mar 2014, 3:33 pm

I've met a few people who were adopted at birth (my husband among them). But...I have not yet met anyone who was adopted AND autistic. If you are one of them, or if you know someone who is, I would love to hear from you.

In a nutshell, I was adopted at 10 days old, and have been lucky enough to reunite with my birthparents. I was in my late 20's and pregnant with my first child when I met them (they are not--and never were--married to each other). I strongly suspect my birthmother is on the autism spectrum. My birthfather, an engineer, is probably NT...though I haven't spent as much time with him. Plus, he is not American (as I am) which makes him harder for me read.

My original adoptive father physically abused my adoptive mother, and they divorced when I was 5. My adoptive mother remarried, and had a biological daughter with husband #2.

I grew up in a very small, rural Midwestern. My parents, relatives, and teachers did not recognize my problems as anything more than willful misbehavior, and a "lack of common sense" (in their narrow understanding of the word :wink: ). I intuitively knew this was not the case, but it took years for me to figure out what was really going on, and to realize I am not alone. I am grateful to have been adopted, but there are unique difficulties that come with the territory, which compound the issues that come with being on the autism spectrum.

Can ANYONE else here relate?


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Eureka13
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04 Mar 2014, 3:40 pm

I am also adopted. Was adopted at 4 days of age. I suspect both of my birth parents are HFA, at least my mom, who I've met in person. I've never met my father in person, although I've talked to him on the phone (once) and exchanged sporadic written correspondence. Both of them were biological research scientists before they retired. They were both in college on scholarships when my existence became known to them.



babybird
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04 Mar 2014, 4:57 pm

I was adopted when I was 3. My biological father is dead now. My mother couldn't look after me, she already had two sons so I was adopted.


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Marcia
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04 Mar 2014, 5:24 pm

There's a couple at my church, both now retired, whose adopted son is autistic. They adopted him as a baby, and when he was a toddler his adoptive mother noticed that his behaviours were unusual, and after some time of having to convince others within the family and health professionals, he was diagnosed with autism. I have met their son only once. He is now in his mid-twenties, and is very obviously autistic. He went to a school for autistic children once he got to High School age, which was residential, and was home at weekends only. Now, he lives in a nearby town, in supported housing, and attends college.



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04 Mar 2014, 5:29 pm

Adoption added another level of confusion, difference and anxiety to my life, it was awful, a malignant narcissist adoptive mother, a father who enabled her, a golden child sibling who was a natural son, and me, the scapegoat. I had nothing in common with them whatsoever, and these days, they would never be given a child. It was like being a sheep being brought up by tigers. It damaged me and took decades to recover. There was not one day that did not include some form of abuse: psychological, emotional, physical, sexual.
My life was used to "replace" a dead child - that should have warned the authorities, the adopters insisted that my natural parents had been married (no bad blood, my malignant narcissist adoptive mother said!), so I was placed with them at age 1 as my parents had been married. That would raise red flags now, as would her refusal to have her home inspected prior to me being placed there. I have read all the official records, and they were shocking. My aspie-ness was attributed by them to "bad blood". I was suicidal by age 11 and tried to starve myself to death. Grateful? No way. Adoption was absolutely toxic for me. And being told that I should be grateful day after day was just another layer of crap. It was all about their needs, it had nothing to do with mine.



capri0112
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04 Mar 2014, 8:31 pm

Eureka13: It is interesting to know that your parents were research scientists. I wonder if their "science" genes were passed on to you? It was fascinating for me to learn some of the traits I inherited from my bio parents.

babybird: Do you know your bio mom or bio brothers? If so, do you think any are on the autism spectrum? I wonder how being the one child of three who was adopted affected you. My situation was somewhat similar, because when my bio mom had me, she already had two other children (but from a different father, both of whom were both raised by their father's family).

Marcia: Your story reminds me that autism is better recognized these days than back in the 70's & 80's, which is obviously very good. I hope that those all along the spectrum, lower & higher functioning alike, are better recognized & treated in the future.

B19: I really relate to your story.

Even as I typed my original post, I felt almost obligated to say I was "grateful" to be adopted when, in reality, I am not so sure that's the word I want to use.

While my adoptive family was not grossly dysfunctional, they never considered seeking help for me. Instead, they used verbal & physical force to "control" me. Their authoritarian parenting style taught me nothing except how to feel worthless.

To this day, even after telling them about my diagnosis, they act like they couldn't care less that my difficulties do not exist purposefully. Worse, they treat their (NT) bio daughter like she can do no wrong, seeking to spend time with her & her family, while avoiding me & mine.

They are great people for everyone they like, but have no patience or tolerance for anyone that falls outside their idea of "normal." Anyone outside those "lines" is quickly cast aside, as I know all too well.

My life could have been worse had I not been adopted, sure. But the fact is, I did not get the support I needed. Instead I was held personally responsible for my difficulties, for which I continue to pay a very heavy price.


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Last edited by capri0112 on 05 Mar 2014, 8:54 am, edited 3 times in total.

Eureka13
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04 Mar 2014, 10:56 pm

Yes, I totally got the science gene from my birth parents. Long before I knew them, my dream was to go into a field of the biological sciences or biomedical engineering.

I feel lucky in that I had a fairly benign home life with my adopted family. My adopted parents were not at all the academic type, but the worst treatment I got was that they simply didn't understand me. They were of average intelligence, and when my IQ was tested, my high score scared them so badly that they didn't tell me. My adopted father (who lived 10 years longer than my adopted mother) finally told me about it a year or two before he passed away. It came as a shock to me, because I had always thought I was "defective," not "gifted." I had to kind of re-orient my thinking at that point.



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05 Mar 2014, 12:56 am

Adoption is a lottery. And gratitude has to be earned in adoptive families, not imposed. Unfortunately it is imposed, in many cases, by inadequate parents who view the child as a commodity to fill the adults' needs and social purposes. These are the very ones who throw the "gratitude" obligation in your face. The good adoptive parents know that they were the ones who sought adoption, primarily for their own benefit, and the child no more deserves to be obligated to be grateful than any other child, and they recognise the child's losses are not cancelled out by the "gain" of having subsitute parents. It takes enormous maturity to be a good adopter, and most adults in this sick society are unfit for that purpose.

I have often pondered how the two issues (adoption/aspieness) intereacted and impacted on me. There have been a few positives to being aspie; there were none in being adopted, not for me.

Maybe being aspie and being able to retreat into my own inner world from an early age was a bonus. Hard to say. I had to bring myself up really. There was no parental support nor protection, no encouragement, none of the "5A's" - appreciation, approval, attention, affection, acceptance. I had to learn to survive on my own and perhaps that was an unintended benefit. It's hard to say.

The double whammy of adoption and aspergers exponentially multiplies our "degrees of difference" from "normies", and as both groups are more likely to suicide, we have to take great care to nurture ourselves and protect ourselves from new betrayals, and learn how to deal with them when they do happen. All the best to you!



micfranklin
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05 Mar 2014, 9:45 am

I'm an adopted child, and also the oldest of 3 in my immediate family.



TallyMan
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05 Mar 2014, 12:18 pm

I'm adopted too, within a few days of birth.


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Lumi
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05 Mar 2014, 2:52 pm

Thought I was until I saw my birth certificate, if that counts?


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michael517
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05 Mar 2014, 3:00 pm

capri0112, if your bio father was an engineer, will, there you go.

I wanted to say that Hans Asperger himself noticed that children from engineers often have it, but I can't find it.

But I did find these translated sentences from his work ....

Quote:
We are convinced, then, that autistic people have their place in the organism of the social community. They fulfill their role well, perhaps better than anyone else could, and we are talking of people who as children had the greatest difficulties and caused untold worries to their care-givers.


To answer the original question, I am not adopted.



babybird
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05 Mar 2014, 4:17 pm

My biological father was a fairground worker.

My adoptive father was an electrical engineer.

They're both dead unfortunately.


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Nambo
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05 Mar 2014, 7:25 pm

Iam adopted by my birth Mother would you believe!



GivePeaceAChance
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05 Mar 2014, 7:42 pm

the mother who raised me is my biological mother - but she married a man who was not my biological father who took me in (similar but not exactly the same)

I did not find this out until I came out and was thrown out


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