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Selena
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12 Feb 2012, 2:45 pm

So much of what I read about aspies/autistics, even what's written by "experts" is nothing but judgment rather than a compassionate attempt to understand our experiences. For instance, I have a lot of empathy, I just don't show it in the ways that NT's do. Also, supposedly a characteristic of aspies is that we always want to have things our own way, but that's not taking into account how often we twist ourselves into pretzels to try to do things the NT way.

I wonder if the numbers of people on the spectrum continue to increase, as the media keeps saying, sometimes calling it an "epidemic", will standards change? Maybe there would be some label applied to NT's and they would be assessed for their lack of honesty, their lack of sympathy for those who differ from them. Perhaps their willingness to gossip about others behind their backs or snark to their faces would be seen as a sign of zero empathy and mental illness. There might be arguments about what caused this type of behavior--genetics? vaccines? bad parenting?



Claudius
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12 Feb 2012, 3:54 pm

Read C. J Cherryh's "Foreigner Universe" series for an example of humans living in an alien-dominant world in which the aliens are very aspie-like.


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Selena
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12 Feb 2012, 4:05 pm

Thanks for the suggestion, I'll have to look for that book.

Just to clarify, as far as what I wrote above, it's not that I'm trying to say all NT's are bad people or advocating some kind of turnabout prejudice against them, just thinking about how language is used to stigmatize those who are in the minority. Obviously a similar point could be made about any other dominant cultural group (white/male/Christian/heterosexual/cis-gendered) and those that dominant group views as "other." Aspies seem to be in a simiilar place now as gay people were when homosexuality was still defined as a disease and listed in the DSM.



Last edited by Selena on 12 Feb 2012, 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Claudius
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12 Feb 2012, 4:11 pm

You are not paranoid if they are really out to get you. Self-defense is not prejudice. I would like to agree with you and give the NTs a break as a group. So far I have been disappointed with the whole group. The only fair and trustworthy people I know are aspies. Can't think of NTs as being trustworthy, based on experience, though it would be refreshing for a change.


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SammichEater
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12 Feb 2012, 4:19 pm

I believe you're looking for this:

http://www.kmarshack.com/_blog/Kathy_Ma ... er_Parent/

Quote:
I have written a lot about what it’s like being married to someone with Asperger Syndrome – the many challenges you face daily. Now imagine what it’s like having a parent with Asperger Syndrome. This scenario is real and affects many children. So this leads us to wonder, what is life like for these children?

It is only realistic to expect that living with an Asperger parent will be a challenge. Many adults who were raised with an Aspie parent are now reporting severe depression and self-esteem problems because they lived with a parent who struggled to nurture them and get to know them. With a lack of warmth, tender affection, and communication, a child can feel emotionally rejected by their parent even though they may have all of their physical needs taken care of.

This is not to say that an Aspie parent does not love their child. That is far from the truth. But the communication and relationship deficits confuse the child and can lead to the child feeling unloved. Remember it is the child’s experience that defines the parenting, not whether the AS parent loves their child.


http://www.empowher.com/aspergers-syndr ... mments=yes

Quote:
Asperger's Syndrome is finally moving into the spotlight. Questions that have perplexed Asperger's (AS) and neurotypical (NT) family members alike are now finding answers. Marriages between Aspies and NT's can improve as more becomes known about how to bridge the neurological gap.

People with Asperger's are writing articles, blogging, and being heard. Their voices have been given a platform that's been long in coming. They certainly deserve this understanding.

One group, though, that seems to be under-represented in all this new information and support, are the neurotypical children of Aspie parents.

There's a certain irony here. From what I've read, this has been the story of their lives.

A cornucopia of material is available, finally, for AS children, and Asperger's / NT marriages, and Asperger's in adults. But their NT child is -- still -- overlooked.

An Asperger's parent might say everything is fine. They're not aware of any problem for their child. However, there's that Catch 22.

Neurologically, they are unable to be aware of it. But that doesn't mean there isn't a problem.

The neurotypical parent's view may be completely different. They'd see the hurt feelings the Aspie would miss. They'd be aware of the emotional distance the child faces. Inevitably, the AS parent would not.

Some NT children of AS parents, now adults themselves, would say that as children they felt unloved. Their Aspie parent wasn't able to be sensitive to their feelings and their needs.

As NT children, they couldn't understand the neurological disconnect. The present generation of NT adults with Asperger's parents had no way of knowing what was wrong when they were small.

Children assume, and internalize, that there is something wrong with them, that it is somehow their fault when their parents can't show them love and affection in non-verbal ways they can understand.

To compound the situation, Asperger's was unheard of at that time. Who knew?

Many offspring of Aspies are dogged throughout their lives with depression and low self-worth.

In their early lives their thoughts and feelings weren't acknowledged so the ability to develop healthy relationships later in life was stunted.

They don't expect to be heard. They don't expect to be understood. They have no frame of reference for it. And though they don't have the Asperger's neurological profile, some never learned how to fully express and receive love and affection for those around them, and so the ripples of isolation spread.

Resources:

Frequently Asked Questions About Asperger Syndrome
http://www.kmarshack.com/therapy/asperger/faq.html

Families of Adults Affected by Asperger's Syndrome
http://www.faaas.org/

Asperger Relationships
http://autism.lovetoknow.com/Asperger_Relationships

The Stonking Steps
http://www.thestonkingsteps.com/asperger.htm

About.com:Adults and Asperger Syndrome
http://autism.about.com/od/aspergerssyn ... ltdxas.htm

Adults with Asperger’s Syndrome (from ASpar)
http://iamweiser.wordpress.com/2007/05/ ... syndrome...

Please, Learn About Asperger Syndrome And Give Hope to Non-AS Spouses
http://www.faaas.org/doc.php?25,140

Visit Jody's website and blog at http://www.ncubator.ca and http://ncubator.ca/blogger


Someone made a thread complaining about what it was like to live with aspie parents several months ago, but I can't find it.


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Claudius
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12 Feb 2012, 4:34 pm

I am an aspie parent. I am estranged from my younger son who will not talk to me. The older son just renewed our relationship after years of estrangement, and we are on fairly good terms now. All this came about as a result of a nasty divorce while they were still young. I didn't react as they expected me to, and they have still not understood my behavior. I am in my third marriage and from my perspective NT children with an aspie parent suffer mainly from the destruction of marriage that often results when one spouse is NT and the other aspie. I didn't find out about Asperger's until I was in my 50's. My third wife, who I met before I knew I had Asperger's, is also an aspie, and we are still together after many years. We trust each other and for good reason. I am her second husband, her first being NT, and as usual, untrustworthy.


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Last edited by Claudius on 12 Feb 2012, 4:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Selena
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12 Feb 2012, 4:36 pm

I guess it's true that families run by aspie parents constitute a mini-society of aspie dominance and that is an interesting point.

However, I have to disagree with a lot of what the article you quote says. Several statements in that article draw on stereotypes about aspies. The article seems to assume that aspie children receive compassion from NT parents while aspie parents fail to provide it for their NT children. Many adult aspies would argue that they did not feel loved by their NT parents and this statement: "Many offspring of Aspies are dogged throughout their lives with depression and low self-worth", could equally apply to aspie offspring of NT's. The "severe depression and self-esteem problems" of NT kids of aspie parents also occur among the aspie children of NT's yet those symptoms are usually viewed as part and parcel of being aspie, not as a failure of the NT parents.

My point in bringing up the idea of stigmatization was not to say that aspies should do to NT's what they have done to us, but to look at how the dominant culture re-inforces its dominance through the language of mental health. The article you posted is actually an excellent example of that process.

Maybe if there was less judgment of aspies, neither they nor their NT children would feel isolated.



Last edited by Selena on 12 Feb 2012, 5:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dizzywater
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12 Feb 2012, 5:05 pm

Wow, how insulting. I'm a good parent, but then apparantly I would say that because I don't know any better!

There is an NT version of the scenario of an NT in an Aspie-like world out there.

In the Star Trek movie where Kirk and Spock are starting their careers it showed the Vulcans looking down their noses at Spock for his human traits, while they feel superior in their emotionless logic and in the film the vulcan kids were bullies towards him, which seemed very illogical for them! I didn't like that part of the film. I felt it was not in the character of a logical race to be snide condescending bullies.



Selena
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12 Feb 2012, 5:29 pm

I wonder if what we call NT traits are simply dominant culture traits. A lot of what aspies talk about as NT behaviors seem to be indistinguishable from what any group in power does to maintain its sense of primacy while keeping some group of "others/not us" powerless.

In another thread on this forum, someone made reference to Harro's cycle of socialization. I wasn't familiar with the concept so I did a little quick internet research and found that Harro outlined two cycles: one of socialization
(http://www.library.wisc.edu/EDVRC/docs/ ... zation.pdf),
the other, which can free people from the first, of liberation
(http://www.library.wisc.edu/EDVRC/docs/ ... ration.pdf)

The mechanisms of the socialization cycle apparently include stereotypes, mental health institutions, stigmatization and self-hatred. The principles of liberation (if I understand correctly, I just read this today) start with introspection--something aspies are already fairly good at, and then move into what this forum does, which is finding support among others who are like us and from there to "critically transforming institutions and creating new culture."

I realize that aspies aren't perfect people, but buying into the idea that we have a disease ultimately reinforces the frustrations we experience. All of the literature I have seen about how difficult aspie parents or aspie partners are tends to speak only from the NT perspective--there isn't a lot of writing, except in a few blogs and forums like these, about our perspective.



CosTransform
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12 Feb 2012, 5:54 pm

Now if aspie parents raise an aspie kid(s) .. do they feel loved and reciprocated ?

Edit: Started the thread: Aspie parents raising aspie children, outcome?



Last edited by CosTransform on 13 Feb 2012, 9:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Selena
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12 Feb 2012, 6:01 pm

Good question.

I don't know but I would guess it depends at least in part on whether the aspie parents were diagnosed (either officially or just self-diagnosis) and how they felt about their condition. As with any minority group, there can be members who are so indoctrinated by the dominant culture that they are full of self-hatred which they turn on others like themselves.

Any aspie parents with aspie kids out there? Or aspies who were raised by aspies? What are your experiences?



Claudius
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13 Feb 2012, 9:53 am

Well, I was not diagnosed until after two divorces. I was unaware of my Asperger's until years later. So my knowing didn't have an effect. However, I can say that once I did find out, I did not feel any self-hatred or other negative emotions. I actually felt relieved to know I wasn't the only one who was like me. It explained so much, why my first grade teachers wanted to put me in a special school for retarded children when it later turned out that I was gifted, my lack of social skills, why I was excluded by so many people because I wasn't like them, why I take such joy in "teaching" people about things I am interested in, and why they tended to avoid me after one of my "lectures." I wish I had known at an early age so I could have avoided certain career choices (like changing my major from Physics & Astronomy to a health profession that requires me to interface with the public on a daily basis) and might have realized the enormous difficulty I was going to face in marriage with NTs.

So much emphasis is placed on therapy for the young Asperger's, but no one is really talking about people like me that struggled with it for many decades without knowing what was tearing up their lives.

By the way, I discovered my condition as a result of reading Elizabeth Moon's "The Speed of Dark" which is told from the point of view of a high-functioning autistic. It was so much like me that I had to find out more.


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Selena
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13 Feb 2012, 11:52 am

I didn't find out until late in life either. I had taken a couple online tests for Asperger's when trying to figure out what was going on in my life and put a name to it, but the tests are geared toward more typically male aspie characteristics. I wish there was more info out there both about the different ways Asperger's can manifest in women/girl's, and more help for older people just discovering they are aspie. In spite of all the media attention to the spectrum, there's not a lot of useful information readily available, most of the articles I've seen barely scratch the surface.



Claudius
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13 Feb 2012, 6:44 pm

My wife has Asperger's so I am familiar with some of the differences. Mainly, she is more adept socially than I am, and I have read that to be the case when comparing male/female differences in Asperger's.


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13 Feb 2012, 8:16 pm

One of the many reasons I never want to have children. I would never want to put a child through dealing with me as a father.


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Claudius
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14 Feb 2012, 7:57 am

As an aspie parent, I had no problems with my children until my now ex-wife, an NT, decided to have a prolonged affair with another man (an NT) because I was not romantic enough, and did not enjoy dancing. After the divorce, the children lived with me, and when I later re-married (an aspie) they decided they didn't like her and after one confrontation with her in which she was shoved to the ground (two days after leaving the hospital from lung surgery) did not like it when I came to her defense. They moved out to live with their mother. Now, years later, my oldest son has re-established relations with me, my ex-wife has apologized for her behavior, and eventually I expect everything to be more or less normal.

The point is, I disagree that aspies are necessarily poor parents. The problem occurs when and aspie marries an NT, and the marriage falls apart. If there are children, they may not appreciate the way an aspie reacts to certain situations.


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