Page 1 of 1 [ 12 posts ] 

Acacia
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 12 Dec 2008
Age: 38
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,986

02 Jan 2009, 1:00 am

I'd appreciate your perspectives on a slowly developing dilemma that I see approaching...

I myself am the parent in this case. My son (who is 3.5) is the child.

I have AS. I've not been formally diagnosed, but I meet most of the criteria for the common diagnostic tools. Family members agree with me that I am definitely an aspie. This is something I have only come to realize in the past month or so. I'm still figuring out how things work through this new viewpoint.

My son is NT. He hasn't shown any overt symptoms of anything on the Autism spectrum.
He is smart, can be shy initially, and is reluctant in new situations, but he is evenly social, and seeks out other children appropriately. He has no problems with eye contact. He does not demonstrate the fixations and habits that are characteristic of AS. Every once in a while, I think that I notice something strange that could be construed as autistic, but it's fleeting. Nothing consistent. So my son seems to be more or less "normal" neurologically. Again, family members agree with me on this.

As he has grown older, I have noticed increasing problems between he and I that I believe are directly related to my AS traits. The first clues have been in behavior differences depending on who is taking care of him. If his mother (who is NT) is taking care of him, by all account he is generally polite, calm, happy and well-behaved. When he is with me, he changes. He can be fine at times, but then he fluctuates between "bad" attention-getting behaviors (throwing/hitting/breaking things/crashing around recklessly) and almost ludicrous displays of emotion (whining/tantrums/"touchiness"/mopey or very needy). Now... we both spend plenty of time with him. We both try our hardest to be responsive to all his needs. He is our only child, and we give him all the attention and care we possibly can.

His mother and I have a theory about why this difference exists. It goes like this:
My son is getting appropriate nonverbal social cues and conscious attention from his mother. He is getting the AS-style inappropriate social cues and oddly-filtered attention from me.
His "bad" behaviors are his attempts to get me to give him what he needs socially and emotionally. And even as I am right there, trying my best to be present and "with it" around him, there usually seems to be problems. And they are getting more frequent.

He is just getting to the point that he can clearly communicate some of his deeper emotional
needs. We've taught him to say, "I want your attention" if he feels like he is being ignored, in direct response to this issue. It works sometimes. He can talk about feelings like being worried or sad or afraid. So he is increasingly able to use words to tell how he feels. We try and reinforce this. But he is still young, and more prone to act out instead.

My concern is this: that no matter what I try, I will not be able to respond appropriately to him, and he will grow further away from me; because from his perspective, I must seem aloof, distracted, uncaring, strange, etc.
I obviously need to learn some kind of coping strategy to (at the very least) get myself having the appearance of normal emotions and responses. I need to do this for my son. But I'm uncertain as to how to go about this.

Any help/advice/experiences you can offer would be treasured.
Thanks.

-Ian


_________________
Plantae/Magnoliophyta/Magnoliopsida/Fabales/Fabaceae/Mimosoideae/Acacia


Greentea
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Age: 58
Gender: Female
Posts: 5,678
Location: Middle East

02 Jan 2009, 2:05 am

I know this is not helpful, but it was partly due to the fear of what you describe that I didn't ever want to have kids.

My father was always outcasted by my NT siblings. The fact that you're so aware already and your wife is supportive will make the whole difference. My mother found it all too suitable for her that my father was outcasted so that she was in total control in the family. She reinforced it.


_________________
So-called white lies are like fake jewelry. Adorn yourself with them if you must, but expect to look cheap to a connoisseur.


Alisscious
Toucan
Toucan

User avatar

Joined: 15 Oct 2008
Age: 40
Gender: Female
Posts: 263

02 Jan 2009, 4:30 am

It occurred to me that maybe I might have an idea.

He is your son and he will live his life. You are his papa and love him.

He is noticing the differences, as you suspect. Maybe you and his mother could sit and have conversations, in the context of relating to him, in front of him. So he can see the differences and understand how to associate.

He knows and loves you. You might be acting with worries in these situations, he is catching onto it maybe. He sees the difference and tries to associate.

You act even more different, he alters is perceptions and tries to adapt.

Maybe if this might be the case. Then you could find a way to go peaceful and contemplative, while being fully present to him and yourself.

Find a way to just be the loving father who is a human being sitting with his adjusting and curious and brilliant young son.

Maybe *shrugs* No kids, only remember my childhood mis-perceptions,



ThisIsNotMyRealName
Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

User avatar

Joined: 23 Dec 2008
Gender: Male
Posts: 157

02 Jan 2009, 6:26 am

It may not be as you-centric as you think.
It may be that your son is slightly Aspergic - and the combination of both Aspergicities is resulting in these behaviours.
Mild Asperger's wouldn't even be diagnosable until about 7 years old.

As he grows, he'll instinctively come to understand your differences.
If you're able to show unconditional love for him, there's no real reason why he shouldn't come round.
Keep the faith.
Only giving up is failure.



2ukenkerl
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 19 Jul 2007
Age: 59
Gender: Male
Posts: 6,968

02 Jan 2009, 7:54 am

Acacia wrote:
I'd appreciate your perspectives on a slowly developing dilemma that I see approaching...

I myself am the parent in this case. My son (who is 3.5) is the child.

I have AS. I've not been formally diagnosed, but I meet most of the criteria for the common diagnostic tools. Family members agree with me that I am definitely an aspie. This is something I have only come to realize in the past month or so. I'm still figuring out how things work through this new viewpoint.

My son is NT. He hasn't shown any overt symptoms of anything on the Autism spectrum.
He is smart, can be shy initially, and is reluctant in new situations, but he is evenly social, and seeks out other children appropriately. He has no problems with eye contact. He does not demonstrate the fixations and habits that are characteristic of AS. Every once in a while, I think that I notice something strange that could be construed as autistic, but it's fleeting. Nothing consistent. So my son seems to be more or less "normal" neurologically. Again, family members agree with me on this.


Actually, he doesn't sound much different from how I remember MYSELF being(I have to try to remember how I acted with kids at that age). I have heard that social problems may not present until about 6. NTs change, and AS people really don't change in the same way. As for eye contact, I'm sure my problems weren't obvious. I DID realize around 6 or so that I didn't know what color my parents eyes were, so I had SOME lack of attention there, but nobody mentioned it, etc....

In short, he may STILL have AS.



ruveyn
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 21 Sep 2008
Age: 83
Gender: Male
Posts: 31,726
Location: New Jersey

02 Jan 2009, 10:47 am

Acacia wrote:
s to how to go about this.

Any help/advice/experiences you can offer would be treasured.
Thanks.

-Ian


Let your child's mother do the "heavy lifting" until the child is old enough to cope with your AS characteristics. I had similar problems (I am AS married to an NT). I learned after several children not to get to "up tight" or "worried" about it. You will be able to guard your child from harm (your primary duty as parent) and teach him stuff (help him with his school work, for example). Eventually understanding will come.

Don't worry mate. Your kid really loves you.

ruveyn



Acacia
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 12 Dec 2008
Age: 38
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,986

02 Jan 2009, 10:27 pm

ruveyn wrote:
Let your child's mother do the "heavy lifting" until the child is old enough to cope with your AS characteristics. I had similar problems (I am AS married to an NT). I learned after several children not to get to "up tight" or "worried" about it. You will be able to guard your child from harm (your primary duty as parent) and teach him stuff (help him with his school work, for example). Eventually understanding will come.

Don't worry mate. Your kid really loves you.


That actually made me feel better about all this. Thank you.

And thank you to everyone who replied. This is what I needed. Perspectives and possibilities.
I think a broader point of view is what I should keep here. I am getting mired in the present moment difficulties and working things up in my head to utter frustration. But then, I tend to do that. Wonder if THAT is an aspie trait as well?

I continue to welcome anyone else who has had similar experiences to reply on this topic. I want to learn all I can from those of you who have gone before and have some wisdom to share.

Thanks again.

-Ian


_________________
Plantae/Magnoliophyta/Magnoliopsida/Fabales/Fabaceae/Mimosoideae/Acacia


Callista
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 3 Feb 2006
Age: 37
Gender: Female
Posts: 11,395
Location: Ohio, USA

02 Jan 2009, 10:39 pm

Sometimes kids misbehave more with people they know will love them no matter what they do... Resulting in kids who behave fine at school or with Grandma, and let it out at home.

At three and a half, you can expect tantrums. He won't be really good at self-regulation until he's six or seven.


_________________
Reports from a Resident Alien:
http://chaoticidealism.livejournal.com

Autism Memorial:
http://autism-memorial.livejournal.com


neshamaruach
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 21 Oct 2008
Age: 61
Gender: Female
Posts: 929

03 Jan 2009, 4:02 pm

I'm an Aspie mom with an NT child. Her father and stepfather are also NT. My daughter is now 16. I wasn't diagnosed until a few months ago, but as I look back on her childhood, I can see the kinds of things you're talking about.

Please know that this is all perfectly normal stuff. At different ages, kids act out with their parents, trying to figure out where the boundaries are. At the moment, your son is acting out with you. Take it as a compliment. He knows you love him and will not hurt him, so he feels safe exploring the limits of his behavior.

I had a lot of fears when my daughter was small that she would grow away from me because her father was the more relaxed and "fun" parent. My fears were baseless. My daughter and I have a great relationship. From the time she was small, I always encouraged her to speak her feelings, and fortunately, she is good with words and very direct, so I generally know where I stand.

It's important that your son know that you can't always understand his feelings unless he puts them into words, and it's not too early to introduce this concept. It will empower him to know how to communicate with you in a way that works, and it will be a very good bond between you.

So stop worrying...Your son loves you the way you are. Kids can't help it. The hard part as parents is for *us* to accept who we are. The more you can do that, the more confidence you will have, and the more comfortable your relationship with your son will be.


_________________
Journeys with Autism: Reports from Life on the Spectrum
www.journeyswithautism.com


millie
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Oct 2008
Age: 57
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,448

03 Jan 2009, 4:12 pm

Quote:
neshamaruach wrote:
I'm an Aspie mom with an NT child. Her father and stepfather are also NT. My daughter is now 16. I wasn't diagnosed until a few months ago, but as I look back on her childhood, I can see the kinds of things you're talking about.

Please know that this is all perfectly normal stuff. At different ages, kids act out with their parents, trying to figure out where the boundaries are. At the moment, your son is acting out with you. Take it as a compliment. He knows you love him and will not hurt him, so he feels safe exploring the limits of his behavior.

I had a lot of fears when my daughter was small that she would grow away from me because her father was the more relaxed and "fun" parent. My fears were baseless. My daughter and I have a great relationship. From the time she was small, I always encouraged her to speak her feelings, and fortunately, she is good with words and very direct, so I generally know where I stand.

It's important that your son know that you can't always understand his feelings unless he puts them into words, and it's not too early to introduce this concept. It will empower him to know how to communicate with you in a way that works, and it will be a very good bond between you.

So stop worrying...Your son loves you the way you are. Kids can't help it. The hard part as parents is for *us* to accept who we are. The more you can do that, the more confidence you will have, and the more comfortable your relationship with your son will be.


i agree. My son knows I am an AS person and he loves me as i am.

yesterday i asked him why he does not like me kissing him. he has said this for years and i began to worry that he might have some sensory integration difficulties. But no. He told me very clerly adn assertively, "mummy, you ALWAYS kiss me and hug me too hard." i was amazed and shocked that i had been doing this. and i was also happy that he could tell me what the issue was so clearly. (that for me is a kid with a good sense of self.)

I said to him -"oh dear...that might be because i like hard touching and i don't like soft touching or understand it very well."

he says; "yes..YOU do EVERYTHING hard, except for your art and painting."

me: "well...that is my aspergers i think."

"yes it is. you are one of the FReaky People..." he says. ( which is a line from his favourite michael franti song.)

so this morning early, over breakfast, we practiced how i can hug him and kiss him very gently. now it feels very strange and yucky to me. but i am an AS mum and i will learn to do it as he needs it. He said i did really well and he beamed and smiled and it has already made my day.

This is, i believe, a really good example of how we can learn and manage our AS stuff within a family envrionment WITHOUT it having to scar anyone or be deemed a major tragedy or trauma.

don't worry Acacia. Just deal wtih what is, with openness and honesty. Do your best. that is all any of us can do. :wink:
and get a feelings chart to help you with facial expressions (so you can read your son better,) if that is one of your manifesting traits.



neshamaruach
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 21 Oct 2008
Age: 61
Gender: Female
Posts: 929

04 Jan 2009, 12:23 am

millie wrote:
Quote:
neshamaruach wrote:
I'm an Aspie mom with an NT child. Her father and stepfather are also NT. My daughter is now 16. I wasn't diagnosed until a few months ago, but as I look back on her childhood, I can see the kinds of things you're talking about.

Please know that this is all perfectly normal stuff. At different ages, kids act out with their parents, trying to figure out where the boundaries are. At the moment, your son is acting out with you. Take it as a compliment. He knows you love him and will not hurt him, so he feels safe exploring the limits of his behavior.

I had a lot of fears when my daughter was small that she would grow away from me because her father was the more relaxed and "fun" parent. My fears were baseless. My daughter and I have a great relationship. From the time she was small, I always encouraged her to speak her feelings, and fortunately, she is good with words and very direct, so I generally know where I stand.

It's important that your son know that you can't always understand his feelings unless he puts them into words, and it's not too early to introduce this concept. It will empower him to know how to communicate with you in a way that works, and it will be a very good bond between you.

So stop worrying...Your son loves you the way you are. Kids can't help it. The hard part as parents is for *us* to accept who we are. The more you can do that, the more confidence you will have, and the more comfortable your relationship with your son will be.


i agree. My son knows I am an AS person and he loves me as i am.

yesterday i asked him why he does not like me kissing him. he has said this for years and i began to worry that he might have some sensory integration difficulties. But no. He told me very clerly adn assertively, "mummy, you ALWAYS kiss me and hug me too hard." i was amazed and shocked that i had been doing this. and i was also happy that he could tell me what the issue was so clearly. (that for me is a kid with a good sense of self.)

I said to him -"oh dear...that might be because i like hard touching and i don't like soft touching or understand it very well."

he says; "yes..YOU do EVERYTHING hard, except for your art and painting."



Wow, this really brings me back.

About seven or eight years ago, my daughter and I went to Washington, DC together for a week, just to see all the historical places. It was the first time that she and I had ever gone anywhere together without her dad. She wanted to go, but was worried about going alone with me. Of course, I took it completely personally, like it was some sort of comment on my soul or something. When I asked her why she was hesitant, she said, "You hold my hand too tight when we cross the street." So I said, "I didn't realize that. I'm just making sure you're safe. Any suggestions?" She thought about it a minute and said, "Well, if you promise to hold my hand less tightly, I promise that I won't run off from you when we're crossing a street."

Problem solved.

Kids will tell you what they're feeling if you ask them and if your purpose is to hear them out (rather than to convince them of your POV). :wink:


_________________
Journeys with Autism: Reports from Life on the Spectrum
www.journeyswithautism.com


millie
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Oct 2008
Age: 57
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,448

04 Jan 2009, 12:36 am

Quote:
neshamaruach wrote:
millie wrote:
Quote:
neshamaruach wrote:
I'm an Aspie mom with an NT child. Her father and stepfather are also NT. My daughter is now 16. I wasn't diagnosed until a few months ago, but as I look back on her childhood, I can see the kinds of things you're talking about.

Please know that this is all perfectly normal stuff. At different ages, kids act out with their parents, trying to figure out where the boundaries are. At the moment, your son is acting out with you. Take it as a compliment. He knows you love him and will not hurt him, so he feels safe exploring the limits of his behavior.

I had a lot of fears when my daughter was small that she would grow away from me because her father was the more relaxed and "fun" parent. My fears were baseless. My daughter and I have a great relationship. From the time she was small, I always encouraged her to speak her feelings, and fortunately, she is good with words and very direct, so I generally know where I stand.

It's important that your son know that you can't always understand his feelings unless he puts them into words, and it's not too early to introduce this concept. It will empower him to know how to communicate with you in a way that works, and it will be a very good bond between you.

So stop worrying...Your son loves you the way you are. Kids can't help it. The hard part as parents is for *us* to accept who we are. The more you can do that, the more confidence you will have, and the more comfortable your relationship with your son will be.


i agree. My son knows I am an AS person and he loves me as i am.

yesterday i asked him why he does not like me kissing him. he has said this for years and i began to worry that he might have some sensory integration difficulties. But no. He told me very clerly adn assertively, "mummy, you ALWAYS kiss me and hug me too hard." i was amazed and shocked that i had been doing this. and i was also happy that he could tell me what the issue was so clearly. (that for me is a kid with a good sense of self.)

I said to him -"oh dear...that might be because i like hard touching and i don't like soft touching or understand it very well."

he says; "yes..YOU do EVERYTHING hard, except for your art and painting."



Wow, this really brings me back.

About seven or eight years ago, my daughter and I went to Washington, DC together for a week, just to see all the historical places. It was the first time that she and I had ever gone anywhere together without her dad. She wanted to go, but was worried about going alone with me. Of course, I took it completely personally, like it was some sort of comment on my soul or something. When I asked her why she was hesitant, she said, "You hold my hand too tight when we cross the street." So I said, "I didn't realize that. I'm just making sure you're safe. Any suggestions?" She thought about it a minute and said, "Well, if you promise to hold my hand less tightly, I promise that I won't run off from you when we're crossing a street."

Problem solved.

Kids will tell you what they're feeling if you ask them and if your purpose is to hear them out (rather than to convince them of your POV). :wink:


yes. it is the sensory integration dysfunction i suspect. and yes, , if as parents we learn to listen - and this is hard for me in the household with my AS as i get muddled by trying to comprehend things - but still, it is just further great evidence that AS and parenting can be done. and it can be done ok. that's great to hear this from you neshamaruach. hope the knitting goes well :wink: