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CentralFLM
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11 Sep 2007, 9:25 am

I have a one year old baby daughter, but now I'm reluctant about having kids in the future for two reasons. I don't know if I feel right procreating when I really think that my Aspergers is genetic. I am almost certain that both my mom and dad have it. Would it be fair to have another child knowing that they could have this thing? Also, I am reluctant because I doubt my parenting abilities now. I don't doubt that I can meet my girl's physical needs for shelter and food, but how about her emotional needs. Thank God she has a NT mother. I don't want to do the same thing to her that my parents did or didn't do for me (showing emotional love).
My wife and I are splitting and we will probably have joint custody, but now when there is an opportunity for my daughter to stay with my wife if she has off as opposed to me, I think it is the right thing to do to let her mother watch her. As parents we have to do what is best for the child. Of course she needs to know her dad, and she will, but I feel for her.

What kills me is that I know that I will have a hard time being able to or even wanting to marry again. So I'm sure I'll live in a modest apartment the rest of my life. I don't find enjoyment in things and going out. What a miserable life for a little girl. I know my wife will marry again and have more kids with a different man. This will be a normal healthy home for my girl hopefully. What do I do? I don't want to say she is 50 percent mine and say "me, me, me". As a loving parent I have to recognize and allow her mother's home to be her real home. It makes me sad.



ChelseaOcean
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11 Sep 2007, 9:38 am

NT child of an AS father and NT mother (or at least, my father certainly acts like he has AS, and it does run in his family--several of the cousins of my generation have it).

I just want to say that I love my father, he taught me all sorts of things when I was a kid, he taught me higher math in elementary school, and how to play basketball and pinochle, and how to build furniture. I think it makes him sad that I don't share his current obsessions--golf and military history (specifically the Civil War and WWII, more specifically the Battle of Gettysburg and D-Day). He was never hugely physically affectionate, I guess (actually, now that I say that, I remember that at my grandmother's funeral when I was 14, he patted me on the shoulder and it shocked me because it had been years since he'd touched me), but he always wanted me to spend time with him so he could teach me things--I think I spent more time at hardware stores growing up than anywhere else except school--and I knew he loved me because of that.

I'm not going to tell you what to do with the rest of your life, but please, don't cut yourself out of your daughter's life. Even if she doesn't understand you and isn't always interested in doing what you like to do, it's important for her to know that you want to have her around. I mean, you love her, right? I can tell by your post that you do. You don't have to be demonstrative about it if that makes you uncomfortable; just having her around will do a lot of good.



CentralFLM
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11 Sep 2007, 9:55 am

I love my little girl with all my heart and didn't know love like this existed. I just want to do what is best for her.



mmaestro
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11 Sep 2007, 10:02 am

CentralFLM wrote:
This will be a normal healthy home for my girl hopefully.

Let me tell you one of the world's great secrets that no one ever talks about. There are no "normal, healthy homes." They don't exist. They're a fantasy, concocted by self-help books and TV shows, and NTs are just as susceptible to believing they're not good enough and can't be good enough, because the standard we're all shown is more than anyone who isn't a millionaire can achieve. There's no normal homes, there's just people, muddling along, not really knowing what they're doing, and trying to do the best they can. You're being too hard on yourself. What's best for your daughter isn't something I can know, but as a parent, I'm sure you'll do what every other parent does: the best you can, and in the end I hope she'll thank you for that, and love you for that.
I think what ChelseaOcean says is right on point. Listen to her, she clearly knows what she's talking about.


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shopaholic
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11 Sep 2007, 10:05 am

As an (almost certainly) AS daughter of a (possibly) AS father & a mother who "stayed out of it" I can totally identify with your dilemma.

At 41 I have not had children & have now decided to accept the fact that I am unlikely ever to have any.

Like you I am afraid of "passing on" not only the AS but an unspecified personality disorder which my grandmother had.

If my child had AS I would be unable to teach him/her the social stuff I am still struggling with myself, whereas if he/she was NT I would have no idea how to act!

I am still unsure if my AS is genetic or simply due to the fact that I was never taught how to be social by my parents, who regarded it as unnecessary. (At least, my father did, & my mother just seems to have gone along with it.)

But if your ex-partner is NT she will be able to supply your daughter's social needs so I would not worry about her being deprived of that; and if she does turn out to have AS you will be able to understand that side of her.



ChelseaOcean
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11 Sep 2007, 10:13 am

CentralFLM wrote:
I love my little girl with all my heart and didn't know love like this existed. I just want to do what is best for her.


What's best for her is to have access to as many people who love her as possible (assuming none of them are going to cause her serious harm, which you're not). I can count on one hand the number of times I remember my dad touching me and I'm sure he's never told me he loves me, but I don't doubt that he does, and I certainly wouldn't trade him for anyone else.

My feeling on your AS is that by the time she's 4 or 5, she'll be old enough to know that Daddy's brain works a little differently from other people and he doesn't show love the same way a lot of other people do, but he does feel it and he does show it in other ways, like by wanting to teach her things. I don't know if you'll want to explain that to her or maybe her mom will.

There are no perfect parents, anyway. My mom's NT, but that doesn't make her a better parent than my dad--better at some things, not as good at others. Just do the best you can.



CentralFLM
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11 Sep 2007, 10:15 am

Shopaholic, I can almost bet that you have AS as genetics. Before knowing I had AS I made the claim that I wasn't held as a baby. I was sure that was why I couldn't communicate with people. However, I have a brother who is 3 years older than me. He has absolutely no symptoms that I have. He had dozens of girlfriends, friends, and partied all the time in school. All he does is talk all day in the field of sales. Needless to say he does not have AS.



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11 Sep 2007, 11:46 am

I am sure you have many things you can teach your daughter and share with her. I don't think you should worry too much. The most important thing is to work out why you have problems enjoying things it is a major symptom of a low mood and could be addressed. AS and offspring is a hard one, I would like to have children in the future but I know it would be very hard for me to have this responsibility, as a female would I bond ok, I am really caring but I just fear the commitment would be too much. I don't think AS people can be excluded from the parenting world everyone has something to give.



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11 Sep 2007, 11:49 am

are you kiddng me? autistic kids are ALOT cuter than normal kids i think. although normal kids are alright! if i ever have kids i want them all to be autistic. i want to give them a good life i never had and would be very active in there overall devloupment. :D


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CentralFLM
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11 Sep 2007, 12:05 pm

I wouldn't wish this asperger life on anyone, and especially not my kids. It's not fun going through life bumping into social walls. It's not fun being the only one not invited to the birthday party or the kid that is left out of everything. It is not fun not being able to communicate at every job you go to and end up being laid off or fired. It's not fun having relatives or people you meet have disappointment in their eyes when you are not responding in a giving way to them. It's not fun having an obsession that leaves you empty and cold at the end. It's not fun being a slob and having poor hygiene even though you desperately want to be normal. It's not fun having your wife leave you because you didn't look at her the right way and are not able to show affection when you so desperately love her.
I'd rather my child be born without a limb than to have Aspergers.



siuan
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11 Sep 2007, 12:07 pm

I think what you're going through right now is a big burden to carry, and likely you're looking at things from a more negative view. I suspect you're being too hard on yourself. What is normal after all? Aspie fathers have a great deal to offer their children, especially when they love their child as much as you love yours. My children absolutely love their aspie dad, and while I have no intentions of ever breaking up our family, if it ever came to that I would want him in their lives as much as possible because I see how important he is to them. Expressing love to your child, or to anyone, isn't always about the cuddly, lovey stuff. When I see my husband intently working to teach our children a new skill, patiently reading them a book and encouraging them to learn to read, or explaining why something works the way it does (like weather or a car) I know these things are very meaningful and important. You have more value to your child than you realize.


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11 Sep 2007, 12:11 pm

your only made to feel different and akward if you are told you are wierd, a nerd or whatever. personally if i had a kid who was autistic i wouldnt tell them that, i would tell them that they are beautiful and very cool. and of course no public school for them. thats a major malfunction for anyone with a disability


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CentralFLM
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11 Sep 2007, 12:14 pm

siuan, has it ever occured to you to leave your AS husband? Basically, what I'm asking is, do you have the same problems with him that I am referring to. There is wall that is up between us and has torn us apart. My stemming, staying up late at night playing games, and just being generally disconnected made my wife lose feelings for me. I didn't know how to make love to her the way she wanted. I am like a robot. Literally at times I would bet her like a dog. She said I was a horrible kisser. How did you get past these roadblocks or are you just dealing with it the best you can?



Sylvius
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11 Sep 2007, 1:24 pm

Being an Aspie makes me more want to have kids. I like Aspies - I think we're great people and society would be better off if there werer more of us. So, if I have kids they're more likely than normals' kids to be Asies, so I've improved society by doing it.



MishLuvsHer2Boys
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11 Sep 2007, 1:29 pm

I have an autistic older son and a non-autistic (NT) gifted son and honestly the non-autistic younger son has been a blessing to our family and for Dylan. Brendon could speak well before Dylan could and helped greatly in getting Dylan motivated to speak and try to learn to take turns, etc. I know the boys love each other and I'm happy about that. I have AS myself, their father is NT and wouldn't trade having both boys for the world even though at times the non-autistic one is not easy to handle, sometimes it's hard even dealing with my autistic son but I wouldn't trade in either for the world, no matter what "label" they have.



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11 Sep 2007, 1:37 pm

CentralFLM, I also think you're being too hard on yourself. you're obviously a loving dad and i'm sure your presence would be positive for your daughter. the only other aspie i know irl is married (to an NT woman) with two grown children - they're one of the healthiest, happiest, sanest families i know. i've seen awful NT parents, so i don't think that AS is automatically a problem for parenting skills, at least not if you really love your kids, as is your case. there is something to be said for consistent, logical parents. obviously you're aware of the pitfalls of being too undemonstrative, but this awareness means it's something you can avoid.
i feel a bit like you regarding the genetic aspect - AS has been tough for me too, and i would be terrified of LFA were i to have kids. it doesn't mean you can't adopt, though.
i wish you and your daughter all the best - I don't have children but i would really love to raise kids one day, and i think being a good parent is one of the finest things you can do.


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