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Chrisesmom
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13 Oct 2006, 3:17 am

I am an NT mom who was blessed with one AS son (my oldest) and one NT son. My relationship with my AS son is very loving and always has been however raising him was a truly trying experience. I am as NT as they come, out going, social, always see the glass half full, and am excited about life in general. I take nothing for granted and live life to the fullest. That being said it was very hard to raise a son who never showed much emotion. I would plan birthday parties to perfection, get all his favorite things, decorate in his favorite theme or have it at his favorite place and in the end would only receive a limp hug and a half hearted smile. No real excitement, no squeals of joy, no jumping up and down, nothing. Not for xmas, or birthdays, or vacations, not even when we took him to disney world. He always seemed so apathetic and needless to say that behavior is not typical of an NT child and I had no idea when he was little what was wrong with him. It was heart breaking for me, I always felt insufficient, as if nothing I did would ever, or could ever please my son. I always wanted to take him places and show him things so that he could experience life first hand, play in the snow, jump in piles of leaves, go to the beach, museums, cars, planes or trains, anything, but my son never wanted to go anywhere. Everywhere we went it was a fight, all he ever wanted to do was stay home in his comfort zone, no jolts, no changes, no surprises. That was just so hard for me, part of the joy of motherhood is sharing these experiences with your child, in many ways I felt robbed as if these moments were stolen from me. From the day your children are born you dream of the day they graduate, get married, etc.... but even in that I was robbed, he quit H.S. took his GED and went to a technical computer college out of state, he did not want to take part in the graduation he said "what's the point" I get my degree in the mail either way. As usual he finds it impossible to understand how and why I attach importance to these types of things. No proms, No senior portraits, no graduation. For him it is all meaningless to me however it would have meant the world. My two sons are five years apart because I wanted to give each child individual attention, my husband and I originally planned to have three, my oldest soon required so much constant hands on attention that after the second we decided for our sanity and for our youngest sons well being that we would just leave it at two. In so many ways his needs just dominated our lives in ways our friends with NT children could just not understand. Just thought I would share my experience so that at least one other mom out there would know she is not alone. I know that having had someplace like this would have helped me feel less alone.



CockneyRebel
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13 Oct 2006, 6:51 am

From an AS point of view, I'm a dignified Englishman trapped in the body of a 32 year old Canadian Female. I really do get excited about events. I just don't see any reason to jump up and down, squealing when I can celebrate my Joy, by having a nice cup of Tea. It would take something that's truly tied to my Personality and Obsessions, such as my favourite Bus to get me jumping and squealing like an NT of my Gender.



Last edited by CockneyRebel on 13 Oct 2006, 11:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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13 Oct 2006, 7:14 am

i'm aspie... and i was an absolute horror to my family.. nay an absolute demon when i was a kid... sometimes i'd throw these violent tantrums and break anything within sight...

funny thing however, was that i'd be on my absolute best behaviour with everyone else... teachers, friends etc... i never made enemies, but got taken advantage of all the time...!

i mellowed out somewhat as i aged, but i can get pretty nasty to my mom (dad died many years ago)... the trouble is, i get extremely impatient with her because of her apparent lack of intelligence... she does the darndest things... and let me tell you.. it's frustrating as hell... think computer tech support for example...!


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13 Oct 2006, 8:31 am

Chrisesmom, your son is not ungrateful, he just hasn't got any emotions about those things. I was actually interested in xmas and birthdays the first years of my life but before 10 years of age that had declined to a minimum of feelings. On the other hand I get tremendously excited over one of my special interests, which is making explosives. I had made my mom very worried about that as a child and even as an adult (I'm 35) she's worried about me for that reason sometimes. I know this is a hard thing to say, but be glad that your son doesn't have a dangerous special interest.


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starling
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14 Oct 2006, 2:22 am

I'm a mom with Asperger's with one daughter who has Asperger's and I feel totally different from you . I cannot relate to what you find important in life for your kids and your story sounds to me like you feel very sorry for yourself, having such a kid who doesn't want to fullfill your needs as a mother.

I like CockneyRebel's answer and it gives me a nice opportunity to compare my feelings: I don't feel like CockneyRebel at all too (Englishman in a Canadian woman), but I can very well relate to it.

At last I'd like to share this poem with you:

On Children
Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let our bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.



en_una_isla
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14 Oct 2006, 12:19 pm

Interestingly I am in the opposite, an AS mom with an NT daughter. I have never been able to fully grasp her boundless enthusiasm for parties, outings, the color pink, barbie, holidays, etc.. It has been a real challenge for me and I've had to try to turn myself inside out to accomodate her.

You have to know that in a way he is right... the ceremonies and proms don't matter in the end. All that does matter is your family and loved ones, so in that sense he is actually quite dignified and mature in his thinking.



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14 Oct 2006, 12:20 pm

Oh, and crowds, too... she loves crowds 8O.



Chrisesmom
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27 Oct 2006, 3:33 am

I originally posted this to share my thoughts and have other NT moms share their stories with me, instead what I got was aspie moms who responded from their frustration wondering why I feel the way that I do regarding my experiences while raising my aspie son. These are my truths and feelings, which I believe most NT moms raising an aspie child would have felt. one responder said
"You have to know that in a way he is right... the ceremonies and proms don't matter in the end. All that does matter is your family and loved ones, so in that sense he is actually quite dignified and mature in his thinking".

He was my first child I had spent years dreaming of those moments in his life, the ceremonies mattered to me, they are rites of passage that mark the ending of one phase in life and the beginning of another. And truth be told I believe he will one day regret not having been a larger participant in his own life.

another responder said
"I'm a mom with Asperger's with one daughter who has Asperger's and I feel totally different from you . I cannot relate to what you find important in life for your kids and your story sounds to me like you feel very sorry for yourself, having such a kid who doesn't want to fullfill your needs as a mother".

I felt sorry for him, sorry that he rarely experienced utter joy, sorry that he lacked the ability to feel connected to the world around him, sorry for many things in his life that I watched him struggle with but not for myself. As for the poem that was quoted I think that is some deep philosophical meaning of life dung, and do not define my sons upbringing by a poem some poet spun out.

But my sons successful end result tells me in the midst of all the things I did not understand about him, or him about me, the universal language of love spoke volumes where our words were not sufficent.

But the question still remains ARE THERE ANY NT MOMS WITH ASPIE KIDS?



starling
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27 Oct 2006, 4:25 am

Chrisesmom wrote:
I felt sorry for him, sorry that he rarely experienced utter joy, sorry that he lacked the ability to feel connected to the world around him, sorry for many things in his life that I watched him struggle with but not for myself.


Again I think you feel sorry for you. For having a kid that doesn't supply the ultimate good feelings a woman-mother like you would fancy, like proms and stuff. It's okay to fancy that, but it's not okay to feel sorry if you have a kid who doesn't. That is what the poem is about. You don't have kids as a supply for anything. You don't have kids to make mother feel happy as Prince Prom. You have to take care of hís needs. He doesn't have to take care of your needs!



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27 Oct 2006, 3:11 pm

starling wrote:
Chrisesmom wrote:
I felt sorry for him, sorry that he rarely experienced utter joy, sorry that he lacked the ability to feel connected to the world around him, sorry for many things in his life that I watched him struggle with but not for myself.


You have to take care of hís needs. He doesn't have to take care of your needs!


I think you may have concluded this thread with a healthy dose of reality. Thank you.

* I realize this is the Women's Forum and if someone objects to my comments being here, I will remove them. *


Chrisesmom,

I do feel sorry for you. As many things as there are in your life that your son can't share, there are many more things in his life that you will never share. As a parent, that could cause me loads of pain. I am married to an NT mom with two PDD kids. During our discoveries, we also recognized myself as being on the spectrum. If I had not been involved in artistic pursuits my whole life, I would certainly have had many more problems growing up, just from being wierd ... too wierd, really.

There are times when my wife, as perceptive, intuitive, NT -rrific and wonderful as she is, is 'odd man out' in our house, and all she can do is shake her head, trying to understand how we three spectrumites are communicating with each other. She also goes overboard at times, doing way too much and overloads us with her boundless charm. Even our five year old recognizes the need to manage Mom and her attempts to be the best mom in the world.

I can see what she goes through and I can only help her so much. You see, they already know they have the best mom in the world and she no longer needs to prove it to them constantly. If only she could see this in them, for herself, and be spared crossing those sparkling mountains of pain covered by rivers flowing with feelings of inadequacy.

Good luck to your son.


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ghatti
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12 Nov 2006, 12:21 am

I am an NT mom with an AS daughter, a NT son, and NT daughter. I understand where you are coming from. I always dreamed of being like my mom. The cool mom that everyone wanted to hang out at my house. My AS daughter is 10 and the other two are 5 and 2 respectively. I feel bad sometimes that I don't have a houseful of friends hanging out and that she longs to have friends. I am dissappointed when I walk in the door and here Mommy! Mommy! from the little ones and she sits there reading her book and will maybe say hi mom in about a half hour or so when it finally hits her I got home. But I've learned to change my expectations for her. The way I see it at least I will get those NT joys from the other kids but I've learned to recognize that I need to see my as daughter in a different view. It still hurts at times and I do cry about it and give myself my own little pity party now and then but then I reflect on what she does give me that the others never will. I take my pride in those things. I have a daughter who is incapable of predjudice. Her obsessions have taught me more trivia and kept me learning more.

Because of her :

I have a membership to science museums and go frequently and have learned many new things from these trips

I have looked at the world from another point of view that I would never have thought of before, her's.

I know what the world's largest, smallest, dealiest, ect butterflies are and look like and why we need milkweed and our yard.

I know what Triops are and they are pretty cool to watch!

I have learned to take joy in helping her with her obsessions.

While I would love to give her big parties we have found she much more enjoys taking one good friend to the science institute or the zoo for the day instead. This year it was a weekend in NYC. She begged to see the statue of liberty since she was 4. I feel like I'm failing her sometimes by not having a big party sometimes but in the past we have had difficulty getting people to even come. It was always a disaster anyway. Everyone brought her a "girly" present and she would open it and say "Thanks but I don't like dolls".

I do understand your feeling though. Right now I am on one of my upswings of finding the positive in her nuances. I just finished my own crying jag of why me! Report cards - wanted to celebrate her 100's in every subject. She obsesses over her needs improvement in handwriting and organizational skills comment and would not celebrate. Cried for 4 hours instead. (Both of us - her about the report card, me about why can't she be "normal" )

It's ok to feel "gypped" out of what we feel are are parental rights to enjoy just don't let it ruin your relationship and try to take joy in the little things and realize that sometimes the smile you get is as big a reward as jumping up and down.



Chrisesmom
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12 Nov 2006, 3:32 am

ghatti, Thank you so much for your words of encouragement, they are very much appreciated. My son however is now a grown 22 year old man and like you I too learned to adjust my expectations from him in order to successfully cope with his differences but only after years, and years of frustration. You see unlike you I never knew my son had a condition of any sort I just thought he was a different type of kid. My son has only recently been dx'd. So for many years I keep expecting him to grow out of things and when I finally realized this kid was just always going to be different I leaned to cope. You and your daughter are so blessed to have this dx early that way you know what you have and can work with her accordingly. I wrote just to share frustrations I had not been able to share when he was a child because I did not have anyone who could understand. Now he is grown and we actually have very few difficulties with him of any sort, he is a courteous and kind young man who does not hang out in bars or spend his days chasing skirts, he pays his own cell phone, car insurance and sometimes kicks in for household expenses. He has turned into a young man any mother would be proud of, but getting him here was no simple task. Like you I too have an NT child with whom I have had my fill of NT moments, the proms and dances, sqeauls, giggles, excitement and joy overflowing. God has been very good to me. Since you are still in the process of raising your daughter I wish much luck and success in the worlds most rewarding job. Oh and by the way I did at least get to have the part where all the kids hang out at my house and I'm the cool mom because I have been a youth pastor for 15 years so my house has always been full of kids.



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18 Nov 2006, 3:33 pm

is A N.T. with 3 A.S. Children and 1 N.T. Child 8)


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19 Nov 2006, 5:09 am

My own situation is somewhat strange... my mother was the one who never wanted to go anywhere or do anything, displayed little/no enthusiasm, and so on. I don't think it is the result of asperger's in her case, though... her problems were more on the order of anxiety and depression. I think she could spend decades staring at the same four walls, day in and day out. :roll:

If I had to describe how I was as a child in one word... the word would be curious. Not introverted.... I certainly wasn't, and privately considered those who were seriously introverted to have emotional problems. I think that if your life consists of hiding like a rat in a hole whenever you can, and scuttling around like you're afraid someone will notice you exist when you can't... what kind of life is that? That's not living... that's sitting and waiting for god. You may as well be dead already.

Then as now, I love going and seeing things, observing facets of the world in action, and in learning more. I've no problem with crowds, as it gives me the ability to observe and interact with many different types of people in a special type of setting. Although I am an avid reader, I recognize that book knowledge with no real world experience in the topic at hand is a lopsided and inferior path to understanding. The two should be allied -- the theory and the practice -- for without one, the other is of extremely limited value.

I don't plan out every step of what I'm going to do and where I'm going to go days in advance, either... there's no sense in that, and it smacks of both control and anxiety issues. You place yourself in the area, and you go after that which is interesting. When you are satisfying an obsession with psychology/sociology "in the trenches" as it were (in the real world), I've found this to be the most efficient way to do it. Although some areas and people are more known for phenomenon of interest than others, one cannot predict the locations/movements with absolute certainty. So, without this sort of 'canvassing about', you miss a great deal of opportunity.

In spite of these things, I have a high need for alone time... I think to mentally collate everything I've done and observed, as much as anything. Studying the whirlwind is one thing, and I do it with gusto.... but I strongly doubt one can exist permanently in it without being swallowed by it. If I completely "go native" as it were, there will be far too many perceptual blind spots added to my field of vision. This would be quite suboptimal.

*shrugs* If I should have children in the future, I very much hope they are at least somewhat akin to myself in outlook and temperament. If they are not, I strongly doubt I will be able to relate to them emotionally. I have a high enough sense of personal responsibility, enough pragmatism in regards to natural selection (the kid would be my entry in the Darwin sweepstakes) and enough compassion towards those weaker than myself to raise them and keep them safe as a duty, yes.

However, I'd like to have some degree of emotional attachment to the child, beyond mere duty.



kotka
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20 Nov 2006, 6:42 am

An NT mom with aspie inclinations, 8-year old AS son and 5-year old NT daughter.

Although I feel like I "get" my son better than I do my daughter, I recognize that I need to provide both kids with a social upbringing--I'm challenged by both of them!! ! My son, for obvoius reasons. My daughter, because it's so hard for me to be social with the other moms (who are all very nice and welcoming, I just can't seem to sustain any sort of conversation with them), though I do fine with the other kids (I've discovered that girl scouts are a good way for a reticent mom to tap into the social world of little girls).

Also, there's a bit of wanting things to be fair involved--although my son is not social, he feels as though it's unfair that his sister plays all day with other kids while he doesn't (his choice...).

and Oh, the birthday party conundrums! My son, who has no friends (except for sibs of his sister's friends and one "fairly odd" though as-yet undiagnosed kid in his class with whom he shares an on-again off-again friendship based on who knows what....it always takes him a while to RECOGNIZE other kids he knows every time he sees them because he memorizes their clothes instead of their faces) wanting a party because he, um, wants presents (embarassing, but at least I can always count on him to tell the truth...). My daughter, the pink princess social butterfly, who wants to invite the world and starts planning next year's party theme, guest list, and colors the day after the previous party and pesters me on a regular basis about how long until her birthday comes.... I finally compromised by throwing a joint birthday party (their birthdays are about a month apart). I invite my daughter's friends and their sibs (most of whom are friends of the family, so it's not as much of a "gimme presents" move--all of the parents involved are aware of my son's AS) and his one sweet odd friend to a pool party, all the kids have fun in shifting groups, presents and cake are had, and they both have an equal party. Yikes for me (my fully NT husband is on social duty that day while I duck into party details), but I feel good about it.

Wow, I've got to learn to write without parenthesis...

On the other hand, to recognize the pleasures of having the AS/NT pair of kids...a recent example, on a trek to Disney, I got to enjoy the full-metal Princess Experience with my daughter one day (while my totally NT husband struggled with coming to terms with the fact that our son was Not Going To Ride Anything Remotely Fun at the Magic Kingdom....); the next day we traded off and I thoroughly enjoyed the full-metal Transportation and Technology Experience with my son (we rode everything--the monorail, train, trams, several kinds of boats, etc., plus explored the "future house" exhibit at Epcot--the day was of course puncutated by meltdowns, frequent and furtive social discussions such as "can little girls who are not "white" be princesses?," and intense negotiations over mealtimes). That day, my husband and daughter did all of the fun rides together.... Pretty much every day, I marvel at what a couple of cool kids we ended up with, challenges and all. Kids are ALL pretty cool in their own ways, aren't they?

And just to reassure, I can totally understand the frustrations that a definitely NT mom would feel over the social shortcomings of an aspie kid.....I'm enough NT to recognize the importance of those experiences! In a way I'm selfishly glad that my daughter is NT, because she'll drag me into the circle of friends-prom-dances-giggly teenager-girly stuff that I secretly think I'd enjoy. And I also selfishly enjoy in-depth discussions about science with my son. It's OK for moms to feel a little bit selfish over the mothering experience, isn't it? I mean, for all the work we put into it, it can't be an entirely selfless act.... At least, I hope not :-)