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WoodenNickel
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15 Aug 2009, 9:59 am

I'm wondering how families react. I saw a thread about this, but it is buried deep.

My story:

Sibling is clinical psychologist, suspected AS 10 years ago. Very supportive. My wife, on the other hand, does not seem to have adjusted to my formal diagnosis, even though I had done a self-diagnosis of AS. She has Borderline Personality Disorder, which distorts her thinking. On top of that, the psychologist explained how many of my traits were inherited and not culturally transmitted by my family, whom she despises (without a good reason, which does not deter borderlines). She offered to coach me in social intelligence, to which I blurted out, "I don't trust you." In addition to BPD, her social intelligence is low (but a lot higher than mine) to begin with. She cried on the drive from the office and wouldn't respond to my queries about it. She didn't talk to me for 2 days. Now, she's talking more, but not about the diagnosis. This is in spite of the knowledge she's gained that explains a lot of her observations about me.

My daughter was a bit bewildered by my self-diagnosis. She's a very empathetic and well-intentioned NT. I'm not sure what she was thinking. Perhaps it was along the lines of, "Daddy's even weirder than I thought" or "That's why Daddy is so different." She's away now, so she doesn't know about my formal diagnosis.

My cousin's story:

I have a cousin whose AS is far more obvious and was somewhat disabling. Her mother had to have her arm twisted to get a diagnosis and then took it badly: her daughter was not perfect, so her life was ruined. It took her months to come to terms with it. I'm glad to say that my cousin is doing much better.


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LipstickKiller
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15 Aug 2009, 10:36 am

I talked a lot about it with my father (who's a psychiatrist), after my son's dx. My brother was also in the loop. My other siblings didn't think much of it (I think), they're used to me being the weird one and not to hung up about psychiatric diagnosis, since they have a few themselves. I haven't told my mother yet, because she objects to the whole concepts of a diagnosis, and she wouldn't be happy with my father if she knew he paid for it. Also, I think she sees her own social issues in me and my son, so there's a bit of denial going on as well.

I want to tell my aunts and my grandmother, and I probably will. They were great about my son's dx, and although I think they might doubt mine (because my problems were less loud than his) I suspect they'll still be supportive.

My hubby was in the loop all along (with my self-diagnosis and all) and was pretty much in agreement. He did find it tenous how much I obsessed about it though. In about a week we're going to a session together, where the psychologist is going to explain my diagnosis and his findings to my man. I hope that'll shed some light on my quirks.



OddFinn
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15 Aug 2009, 11:36 am

My brothers said ok, we always knew you were like that, so what's the big deal. My children are ok with it. My wife said she wanted a divorce, so we divorced.


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Marsian
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15 Aug 2009, 12:16 pm

My Dad obviously has AS anyway and then my Mum read up on it and most likely, has it subtly herself. It still doesn't go down that well though because Mum doesn't think it's a good idea for me to label myself. Being diagnosed is still better and more comforting than not knowing. But it doesn't really help. I still have all the same problems I had before, it's just that now I know why, grr.



Nightrain
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15 Aug 2009, 1:19 pm

So far, I haven't seen any major reaction. Just one call to a phsycologist whom I apparently won't be seeing and a one time reaction of 'oh that's why you do that'. There's none of the understanding that I was expecting. I told my mom that when I had been diagnosed with ADD and the neurologist made me do all these weird things, like watch tv through sunglasses with holes in them, rub burlap on the bottom of my feet, I hated those things so much. :cry: And she just went on to say that was meant to desensitize me! :evil: What the crap is that about?! You don't try to fix someone's sensory difficulties. You're just making it worse! I don't think they understand at all! It's like they think that one neurologist is an almighty expert! :evil:
Anyway...*cough*



Willard
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15 Aug 2009, 2:03 pm

Discovered at 45, diagnosed at 49, I think my parents were actually relieved to realize that my eccentricities were not due to their parenting. I think my dad may have some guilt feelings about it, but a random genetic glitch is nobody's fault. All things considered, both my parents and my one sibling seemed to take it pretty much in stride. They've known I was different for ages, so it was kind of an "Aaah, that's why you're so weird" epiphany. Mostly I think it was a relief to my folks as well to realize that I could qualify for disability assistance, which given my employment record over the past 35 years, was a real blessing.

My wife on the other hand, who first brought the possibility of AS to my attention, and who works quite compassionately with Alzheimer's patients on a daily basis, is not very empathetic at home. She seems in utter denial that AS should have any bearing on who I am when it comes to life as she thinks it should be.

I expect I'll be taking the room next to OddFinn. :?



dadsgotas
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15 Aug 2009, 3:33 pm

My parents, who cares?

My kids seem to take it the same way I presented my son's AS to them when he was diagnosed: it doesn't change who he is, it only describes him. Same for me: Dad's Dad, whatever we call his Dadness.

My wife occasionally uses it as a weapon - whenever we disagree, it's because of my AS, not because she might be wrong - but more often, it makes her more tolerant of my discomfort in supermarkets, my inability to meet people outside a work context, and so on.



jamieg
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15 Aug 2009, 3:46 pm

after my family learned what asperger is and hearing from many doctors i fit the diagnosis and told definately have they are helping as much as can to get the doctor to actually make what they say in writing to stop people from treating me as a psycho criminal

nurses at the hospital and my doctor office says that if a doctor at least says no question have a condition then you have that condition even if that doctor makes excuses to not actually write the name

psychiatrists where i am do not want to put things in writing that does not give them a excuse to prescribe a entire drug company on you so my general doctor and nurses take things as a diagnosis if a doctor at least says the name



Dragonfly_Dreams
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15 Aug 2009, 10:34 pm

My husband is supportive and in total agreement. Of course, he knew about my research and learning and eventual self diagnosis before I sought out an official dx. Having ADHD he isn't NT himself, so he's open to "weirdness" I guess you could say.

My cousin here on WP *waves* has been supportive and in fact I believe found out a lot about himself in the process. The fact that we talk about it nonstop probably drives my husband nuts but oh well. LOL

My 6 year old daughter is just thrilled that she isn't alone and that "Mama has autism too! Just like ME!" now if she'd just stop asking in public when people do strange things, "Do they have autism too?" LOL

The rest of my family? Who cares what they think. They don't even know I have 4 kids, let alone my new dx. Friends? I don't have any.



Xelebes
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15 Aug 2009, 11:28 pm

I was not the first one in my family diagnosed. So they were very understanding. The only thing that they were not used to was the Tourette's. There is still some friction as to what it exactly means for me.


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Seraphim
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16 Aug 2009, 1:35 am

No support. (Just read my blog.)

I never expected much from my family, anyway. (And I hate thinking that.)


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DarrylZero
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16 Aug 2009, 1:52 am

Outside this forum I've only told 2 people I have AS: my mom and my friend.

My mom...Her first words were, "There's nothing wrong with you. You're normal." I think she's OK with it now, at least after I explained it didn't mean something was "wrong" with me, just that my brain worked a little differently.

My friend...She's good with it, from what I can tell. She says she's concerned, but still loves me and wants me to be happy. Awwwe. I have to say she's the only person in my life who's ever really accepted me for who I am, never judgmental or trying to change me. Platonic :heart: