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The-Raven
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07 Nov 2011, 9:57 am

I am interested in hearing from fathers with aspergers about how fatherhood has effected them.

I am interested in any thoughts or experience of fatherhood, but here are some general questions to stimulate discussion:

What has been the hardest and most challenging aspects and how did you deal with them?

During pregnancy how did you cope with your partners sickness and vulnerability and dependency?

How did you find your aspergers impacted on your relationship with your child?

Did you find it easy to bond with your child and easy to take responsibility for a new life?

Any thoughts on the topic most welcome :flower:



MountainLaurel
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07 Nov 2011, 10:51 am

Handrewsmom
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07 Nov 2011, 11:05 am

I am married to an undiagnosed father and have 2 children, one diagnosed the other NT. my husband was never fond of babies, but he was absolutely wonderful with his own. He works a rotating shift and on the days he was off and I worked he kept the kids home with him. He bonded with them the moment they were born. I wouldn't say that he overcame some of his idiosyncroses but he learned to cope with them for the sake of his children. He is our sons best advocate, but he does have difficulty understanding teenage girl behavior. But that is a fairly typical trait of most parents of teenagers. To be honest, I was very surprised that he was able to cope with parenting. I have always been a strong person and not needed a lot of emotional support. There were times I had to ask for specific types of emotional support; he was supportive when I asked for it. Of course this is a wife's point of view. Our children are now 11 and 16. As far as parenting at this point, he is strong is certain areas and participates in the activities that he feels comfortable with and I do the rest. It has worked for us.



The-Raven
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07 Nov 2011, 12:45 pm

MountainLaurel wrote:

Are you sure you linked to the right thread?



Last edited by The-Raven on 07 Nov 2011, 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

The-Raven
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07 Nov 2011, 12:50 pm

Handrewsmom wrote:
I am married to an undiagnosed father and have 2 children, one diagnosed the other NT. my husband was never fond of babies, but he was absolutely wonderful with his own. He works a rotating shift and on the days he was off and I worked he kept the kids home with him. He bonded with them the moment they were born. I wouldn't say that he overcame some of his idiosyncroses but he learned to cope with them for the sake of his children. He is our sons best advocate, but he does have difficulty understanding teenage girl behavior. But that is a fairly typical trait of most parents of teenagers. To be honest, I was very surprised that he was able to cope with parenting. I have always been a strong person and not needed a lot of emotional support. There were times I had to ask for specific types of emotional support; he was supportive when I asked for it. Of course this is a wife's point of view. Our children are now 11 and 16. As far as parenting at this point, he is strong is certain areas and participates in the activities that he feels comfortable with and I do the rest. It has worked for us.

Thanks, thats very interesting, nice to know he has found fatherhood relatively easy/natural.



barnabear
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07 Nov 2011, 6:04 pm

I can't particularly comment on how Aspergers has affected my relationship with my children as I can't turn it on and off and see the difference.

All I know is that in the 24 hours after the birth of my first child, I bonded with him. It was like a whole new part of my personality kicked in.

Perhaps Aspergers has helped me experience unconditional love for my child as non-negotiable, I don't understand parents who don't feel the same way. Maybe I'm lucky that way, thinking in black and white. I would think a lot of NT parents would feel the same way.

As parents we all are learners - children don't come with owners manuals. I remember taking my son out of hospital that it was like they were letting inept burglars steal the crown jewels.

I do remember thinking that yes I might be prepared to die for my child, but I really couldn't face another crappy nappy. I have seen many different colours of poo, including blue!! !

Children are inconvenient and costly, but they are also incredible value for money and the best thing about my life.

So don't knock Aspergers and parenthood - there are some ways in which Aspies make good parents, particularly loyalty, commitment and a strong sense of right and wrong.



MountainLaurel
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07 Nov 2011, 7:28 pm

Quote:
An old post on the topic:
http://www.wrongplanet.net/postp4058842 ... t=#4058842

Are you sure you linked to the right thread?


Yes, I was referring to the original post on that thread, not my reply.



The-Raven
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08 Nov 2011, 2:36 am

MountainLaurel wrote:
Quote:
An old post on the topic:
http://www.wrongplanet.net/postp4058842 ... t=#4058842

Are you sure you linked to the right thread?


Yes, I was referring to the original post on that thread, not my reply.

ok thanks.



The-Raven
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08 Nov 2011, 2:42 am

barnabear wrote:
I can't particularly comment on how Aspergers has affected my relationship with my children as I can't turn it on and off and see the difference.

thats very interesting, maybe it means men with aspergers are not so different from their NT peers in terms of parenting? I certainly find parenting is an area my aspergers has its biggest impact and that I mother very differently from my NT peers and from whats expected. Maybe the fathering role is more suited to aspies than the mothering role?

Quote:

All I know is that in the 24 hours after the birth of my first child, I bonded with him. It was like a whole new part of my personality kicked in.

Perhaps Aspergers has helped me experience unconditional love for my child as non-negotiable, I don't understand parents who don't feel the same way. Maybe I'm lucky that way, thinking in black and white. I would think a lot of NT parents would feel the same way.

As parents we all are learners - children don't come with owners manuals. I remember taking my son out of hospital that it was like they were letting inept burglars steal the crown jewels.

I do remember thinking that yes I might be prepared to die for my child, but I really couldn't face another crappy nappy. I have seen many different colours of poo, including blue!! !

Children are inconvenient and costly, but they are also incredible value for money and the best thing about my life.

So don't knock Aspergers and parenthood - there are some ways in which Aspies make good parents, particularly loyalty, commitment and a strong sense of right and wrong.


Thanks for your interesting reply.

how did you find fatherhood impacted upon your relationship with your spouse?

Did you fall into your new caring roles easily (the change from a couple to a family) and be able to negotiate the different jobs/chores/tasks?



barnabear
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08 Nov 2011, 5:45 pm

Quote:
how did you find fatherhood impacted upon your relationship with your spouse?

Did you fall into your new caring roles easily (the change from a couple to a family) and be able to negotiate the different jobs/chores/tasks?


Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction.

I found it instinctive to protect and provide for our child. My wife obviously took prime carer role since for example I found myself unequipped for breast feeding. My role was to care for my wife.

I also developed the skill to tune the baby out at nighttime, a necessary skill for holding down a job, much to my wife's annoyance.

All parents are essentially exhausted for the first 9 months or so until the baby starts going through the night. My mantra was ....

Don't stand if you can sit
Don't sit if you can lie down
Don't lie down if you can sleep

Anyway my role was to provide for the financial and physical security and for the basic needs of the family. I could also change nappies etc as required. I seemed to spend a lot of time loading baby equipment, strollers etc into the car and strapping baby into car seats etc. I was and am the chauffeur. I was also quite happy to take the children for outings to give my wife a bit of space.

A sense of humour is essential.



The-Raven
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09 Nov 2011, 9:25 am

barnabear wrote:
Quote:
how did you find fatherhood impacted upon your relationship with your spouse?

Did you fall into your new caring roles easily (the change from a couple to a family) and be able to negotiate the different jobs/chores/tasks?


Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction.

I found it instinctive to protect and provide for our child. My wife obviously took prime carer role since for example I found myself unequipped for breast feeding. My role was to care for my wife.

I also developed the skill to tune the baby out at nighttime, a necessary skill for holding down a job, much to my wife's annoyance.

All parents are essentially exhausted for the first 9 months or so until the baby starts going through the night. My mantra was ....

Don't stand if you can sit
Don't sit if you can lie down
Don't lie down if you can sleep

Anyway my role was to provide for the financial and physical security and for the basic needs of the family. I could also change nappies etc as required. I seemed to spend a lot of time loading baby equipment, strollers etc into the car and strapping baby into car seats etc. I was and am the chauffeur. I was also quite happy to take the children for outings to give my wife a bit of space.

A sense of humour is essential.

thanks :)



red_ryder
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20 Jan 2012, 2:28 am

I’m not diagnosed, but I either have Aspergers or am severely introverted. My wife can testify to it that a major plus of an Aspergers dad is that I’m always around to help out with the kids. I have no social life, so I go straight home after work and watch the kids if she wants to get out and meet her friends. I’m always home for the weekends and I have no problems playing the silly games that kids love.

I often hear from my wife or my mom about other families where the dad or mom is never around - either busy with work or more commonly out socializing. The poor kids get left alone with babysitters. My wife appreciates me very much for being home all the time.



compass
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20 Jan 2012, 12:37 pm

Interesting question.

Until I was married, I had no interest in babies. When my daughter was born, not only did I bond with her, but due to circumstances I became the primary parent - meals, diapers, laundry, Girl Scouts, soccer, etc. Mom (NT) worked evenings and weekends and I worked flexible hours. I'm still close to my daughter.
Fast forward 20 years, different wife (NT). When my son was born, I again bonded with my child and due to different circumstances I again became the primary parent.
Fast forward 10 years, different wife, yet again. Son (dx AS) is now teenager and he spends 50% time per week at my house. I'm as close to him as I am with my daughter. I think there's far less stress for him at my house than there is at his NT mom.

I never developed any interest in babies other than my own two.



John_Thompson
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28 Jan 2012, 9:44 am

Non-diagnosed. My wife wanted kids, but none showed up. She wanted to adopt; I suggested a second cat. NOT what she wanted. I was scared to death... would I have sufficient empathy, would the kid hate me when they got older? Went to China and brought back a baby girl.

We bonded instantly. Taking care of her became the most important thing in my life. Five years later we got a second girl, also a baby. I never quite understand their feelings, but I love them. Older girl is in college now; younger girl is 14. They are absolutely wonderful: I say, and believe, Mom should get all the credit... I just tried not to undo her good work. They know Dad is different, but he's stable, sober, dependable, and loves them. Compared to a lot of their friend's parents parents I seem to stack up pretty good.

Today: My wife passed away back in December. One girl is in college; I have to raise the other from 14 to adulthood. She's very social and involved: church, friends, basketball, band. Also very smart and sensible, which I again credit to my wife. I'm okay doing taxi service, academic support, etc. but I'm dreading the first teenage-girl emotional stuff. As I said, I have to avoid messing up my wife's good work.

It's lonely not having anyone to talk to; I'm totally unequipped to find new friends or socialize. My wife was the one adult I could talk to about stuff. Even if she didn't share my interests she would listen, laugh at my jokes, just have fun with. Never quite knew why she married me, but it seemed to work for 32 years; 37 if you count the time we were dating.

Sorry to unload... at least the first part is about kids.



The-Raven
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28 Jan 2012, 5:23 pm

John_Thompson wrote:
Non-diagnosed. My wife wanted kids, but none showed up. She wanted to adopt; I suggested a second cat. NOT what she wanted. I was scared to death... would I have sufficient empathy, would the kid hate me when they got older? Went to China and brought back a baby girl.

We bonded instantly. Taking care of her became the most important thing in my life. Five years later we got a second girl, also a baby. I never quite understand their feelings, but I love them. Older girl is in college now; younger girl is 14. They are absolutely wonderful: I say, and believe, Mom should get all the credit... I just tried not to undo her good work. They know Dad is different, but he's stable, sober, dependable, and loves them. Compared to a lot of their friend's parents parents I seem to stack up pretty good.

Today: My wife passed away back in December. One girl is in college; I have to raise the other from 14 to adulthood. She's very social and involved: church, friends, basketball, band. Also very smart and sensible, which I again credit to my wife. I'm okay doing taxi service, academic support, etc. but I'm dreading the first teenage-girl emotional stuff. As I said, I have to avoid messing up my wife's good work.

It's lonely not having anyone to talk to; I'm totally unequipped to find new friends or socialize. My wife was the one adult I could talk to about stuff. Even if she didn't share my interests she would listen, laugh at my jokes, just have fun with. Never quite knew why she married me, but it seemed to work for 32 years; 37 if you count the time we were dating.

Sorry to unload... at least the first part is about kids.

sounds like you are having a tough time, I cant imagine loosing someone after so long and how much it must hurt. I hope you find a path through it all and everything goes ok with your girls.



gorillatoez
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30 Jan 2012, 4:58 pm

That's very sad about your wife. I hope you're doing ok. I believe parents are the foundation on which we build ourselves and it sounds like your daughter have had v good and strong foundations. I agree that you sound like you stack up well against other dad's- my dad doesn't have AS but what I love best about him is that he has always been such a solid and dependable force in my life. Always willing to pick up late at night from the pub or a party, always fixing things for me such as a broken door handle or boarding over a hole in the wall. he's no DIY expert but would always have a go at making things good and safe for me. Don't underestimate how much that can mean!

Do your daughters have any aunts or older cousins or close female friends that they can get the female input from? Isn't there a saying that it takes a whole village to raise a child?