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Surfman
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01 Jul 2012, 1:16 pm

I think its great that NT's come here to learn to better love their loved ones. Lovely intentions and spirit and very heart warming for me to see.

We aspies need all the friends we can get, even though we would tell you otherwise! We are just avoidant, from fear and disappointments



DenvrDave
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01 Jul 2012, 3:38 pm

I originally signed on so that I could learn firsthand what may be going through my son's head because sometimes he is very un-communicative. Because of this contact, I learned a great deal and became a better parent. My son is more or less happy and thriving thanks in large part to this community.

After some time, I started to develop a very deep empathy and caring for some of the people I met here, and wanted to find ways to help people and give back to the community, and so then I tried to offer advice or at least encouragement. At first it was in the area I know best, parenting. But I don't think I've had much impact in parenting because either I don't relate to the other parents or they don't relate very much to me. So then I tried to befriend members on the spectrum because everyone needs friends, even in the virtual world. However, this has also proved challenging. So then I changed focus and have tried to become more involved helping in my local community and that has also been frustrating. Its very ironic: here you have a guy who wants to help improve the quality of life for others, but hasn't been able to find the right "fit" for accomplishing anything truly meaningful. But I haven't given up. I still do what I can locally. And every now and then I pop onto WP, reply to a few posts, try to spread optimism, offer advice when it makes sense.

If anyone reading this needs a friend, advice, or maybe just a few encouraging words, please send me a message. I don't check in very often any more, but I will reply to all messages eventually.

Sincerely, -DenvrDave



Kinme
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01 Jul 2012, 3:54 pm

My question: how in the hell can NT's understand us when ALL of us are so uniquely different? What exactly are you guys looking to understand? Are there particular things that you focus on in the forums to see how the people you know with it are similar to other Aspies? Do you keep a checklist/diary on how to "get" why the people in your family/friends/lovers act a certain why, or why they do certain things, or is it more a mental list? I can barely understand half the people on here, although, I can relate with the vast majority. Do you guys see yourselves relating with us a lot of the time? I'm curious. Hopefully I don't sound angry in this post; I'm just yapping.



McAnulty
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01 Jul 2012, 4:49 pm

Kinme wrote:
My question: how in the hell can NT's understand us when ALL of us are so uniquely different? What exactly are you guys looking to understand? Are there particular things that you focus on in the forums to see how the people you know with it are similar to other Aspies? Do you keep a checklist/diary on how to "get" why the people in your family/friends/lovers act a certain why, or why they do certain things, or is it more a mental list? I can barely understand half the people on here, although, I can relate with the vast majority. Do you guys see yourselves relating with us a lot of the time? I'm curious. Hopefully I don't sound angry in this post; I'm just yapping.


It's true that everyone here is very different. There are some issues that are very challenging for a parent to understand when we don't have Autism ourselves. For example, eye contact. To me it is difficult to understand how this could be a challenge. All of these social things just come naturally to me, I always thought all these social things were just common sense. I wanted to hear from you guys about what it feels like to be you. Where does something like difficulty with eye contact come from? You know what I mean? So when I see symptoms in my son, and someone on here has the same symptom, I can get some ideas about what might be going on in his head. This helps me learn how to deal with it. For example, contrary to many therapies suggestions, I don't force eye contact on my son. This is a direct result of having listened to opinions of people with Autism on how uncomfortable and sometimes painful it can make some people feel. Without this input, I would have thought to myself, "well, eye contact is important, everyone does it, so let's work on that". Does that make more sense? I don't take every comment as being directly related to my sons point of view, but it just gives me a bit of a better idea since he is unable to explain these things to me.



Kinme
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01 Jul 2012, 4:55 pm

McAnulty wrote:
Kinme wrote:
My question: how in the hell can NT's understand us when ALL of us are so uniquely different? What exactly are you guys looking to understand? Are there particular things that you focus on in the forums to see how the people you know with it are similar to other Aspies? Do you keep a checklist/diary on how to "get" why the people in your family/friends/lovers act a certain why, or why they do certain things, or is it more a mental list? I can barely understand half the people on here, although, I can relate with the vast majority. Do you guys see yourselves relating with us a lot of the time? I'm curious. Hopefully I don't sound angry in this post; I'm just yapping.


It's true that everyone here is very different. There are some issues that are very challenging for a parent to understand when we don't have Autism ourselves. For example, eye contact. To me it is difficult to understand how this could be a challenge. All of these social things just come naturally to me, I always thought all these social things were just common sense. I wanted to hear from you guys about what it feels like to be you. Where does something like difficulty with eye contact come from? You know what I mean? So when I see symptoms in my son, and someone on here has the same symptom, I can get some ideas about what might be going on in his head. This helps me learn how to deal with it. For example, contrary to many therapies suggestions, I don't force eye contact on my son. This is a direct result of having listened to opinions of people with Autism on how uncomfortable and sometimes painful it can make some people feel. Without this input, I would have thought to myself, "well, eye contact is important, everyone does it, so let's work on that". Does that make more sense? I don't take every comment as being directly related to my sons point of view, but it just gives me a bit of a better idea since he is unable to explain these things to me.


Thanks for explaining. This reminds me a lot of my mom and her frame of mind in regard to autism. It can be really damaging when a parent doesn't understand and refuses to listen; a lot of them may even think the child is making up excuses when they are disrespectful, etc., so it is good when people come here to get a better understanding. Doesn't mean you can all necessarily relate, which is why it confuses me a bit. Too many emotions and feelings come from eyes, and it's a powerful experience being able to maintain eye contact for me, personally. I can maintain eye contact with my aspie boyfriend, though, which is a statement in itself. I think eye contact can be overwhelming for some of us; the lucky ones who it doesn't bother as much are so much better off.



Rascal77s
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01 Jul 2012, 5:31 pm

DenvrDave wrote:
I originally signed on so that I could learn firsthand what may be going through my son's head because sometimes he is very un-communicative. Because of this contact, I learned a great deal and became a better parent. My son is more or less happy and thriving thanks in large part to this community.

After some time, I started to develop a very deep empathy and caring for some of the people I met here, and wanted to find ways to help people and give back to the community, and so then I tried to offer advice or at least encouragement. At first it was in the area I know best, parenting. But I don't think I've had much impact in parenting because either I don't relate to the other parents or they don't relate very much to me. So then I tried to befriend members on the spectrum because everyone needs friends, even in the virtual world. However, this has also proved challenging. So then I changed focus and have tried to become more involved helping in my local community and that has also been frustrating. Its very ironic: here you have a guy who wants to help improve the quality of life for others, but hasn't been able to find the right "fit" for accomplishing anything truly meaningful. But I haven't given up. I still do what I can locally. And every now and then I pop onto WP, reply to a few posts, try to spread optimism, offer advice when it makes sense.

If anyone reading this needs a friend, advice, or maybe just a few encouraging words, please send me a message. I don't check in very often any more, but I will reply to all messages eventually.

Sincerely, -DenvrDave


Dave I think what you're looking for is feedback to let you know that you're having an impact on people. I think you already understand that many people on the spectrum have severe problems with social interaction. You have to remember that people 'on the the spectrum' will often not know how to give what most people would consider normal feedback. They may not understand your motive. They may not be able to put themselves in your shoes. It may very well be that they do appreciate you but don't know how to tell you or, odd as it might sound to you, assume that you know how they feel. This might be a matter of faith for you- knowing that you are doing something good and continuing to do the right thing despite a seeming lack of appreciation. Just remember what kind of problems you are dealing with here and remember that at least some of the people appreciate you even if they are unable to tell you.



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01 Jul 2012, 5:42 pm

I think it is beneficial and important for NTs to come here, as they can learn something more about us.

ASD and AS are not things you can just describe, and there is no simulator that can allow NTs to experience being an Aspie. You just have to spend time with this kind of people and get to know them. Then, you will hopefully begin to understand, even if only a little.



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01 Jul 2012, 6:33 pm

I don't think NTs really have to "understand" us. Not directly anyhow.

What they have to learn really just boils down to flexibility--being able to understand that other people are not necessarily like themselves, and that the usual assumptions may or may not apply; being able to drop those assumptions and gather information about somebody instead of trying to fit them into pre-made patterns.

Once an NT understands that, their natural facility with connecting with others comes into play, and things are about as good as they can be between any two human beings.


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Callista
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01 Jul 2012, 6:37 pm

DenvrDave wrote:
I originally signed on so that I could learn firsthand what may be going through my son's head because sometimes he is very un-communicative. Because of this contact, I learned a great deal and became a better parent. My son is more or less happy and thriving thanks in large part to this community.

After some time, I started to develop a very deep empathy and caring for some of the people I met here, and wanted to find ways to help people and give back to the community, and so then I tried to offer advice or at least encouragement. At first it was in the area I know best, parenting. But I don't think I've had much impact in parenting because either I don't relate to the other parents or they don't relate very much to me. So then I tried to befriend members on the spectrum because everyone needs friends, even in the virtual world. However, this has also proved challenging. So then I changed focus and have tried to become more involved helping in my local community and that has also been frustrating. Its very ironic: here you have a guy who wants to help improve the quality of life for others, but hasn't been able to find the right "fit" for accomplishing anything truly meaningful. But I haven't given up. I still do what I can locally. And every now and then I pop onto WP, reply to a few posts, try to spread optimism, offer advice when it makes sense.

If anyone reading this needs a friend, advice, or maybe just a few encouraging words, please send me a message. I don't check in very often any more, but I will reply to all messages eventually.

Sincerely, -DenvrDave
You offer two very useful perspectives--that of an NT and that of a parent of a child on the spectrum. We need that. Just put your two cents in, your viewpoint, your side of things. The more ideas we can collect, the better!


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MomofThree1975
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01 Jul 2012, 10:11 pm

I signed up to learn more about ASD so that I can help my 3 yo son. My husband has 2 family members on his mother and father's side who were severly affected by autism. They are in their 40s now. I don't know if they had received better help back then things would have been better for them (they are both mute) but I want to make sure that I give my son every chance to reach his potential.

So now, I read stories about people with ASD and what work and what didn't work for them. I ask questions, so that I can put myself in my son's shoes, and I try to approach my son with an open mind. I learned I have to parent him differently, I learned he is very bright, and has a ton of potential. I also learned that there is such a wide variety of traits and severity with ASD.

I also spend a lot of time in the parenting section, I get support there and ideas about different approaches to everyday challenges.



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01 Jul 2012, 10:48 pm

I like having NTs around here, and wish there were more. I feel like most of the NTs around here are also around 40+, and mostly just parents of children on the spectrum, which I don't like, because I wish I could interact with more NTs my age who understand what it is and all that, and talk about autism related topics with them.

I also wish I could just tell everyone I have autism without having to worry about their reaction or having to explain it to them.



greenheron
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02 Jul 2012, 12:12 am

I come here to speak to, and listen to, people who are like me and have gone through what I have gone through. I always hope that I will read a complaint and know the answer that may help the complainant.
It also is a place where I can be entirely myself.



ApplesOranges
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02 Jul 2012, 12:39 am

Because I love my husband madly and am extremely lost. I want to understand as much as I can so that we can save our marriage and learn how to communicate better.



WorriedWife
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02 Jul 2012, 12:48 am

ApplesOranges wrote:
Because I love my husband madly and am extremely lost. I want to understand as much as I can so that we can save our marriage and learn how to communicate better.




That again is why I am here - Hubby and I have been through so much in the past 10 years and now understanding it was mostly because we didn't Know he had AS, has made a huge difference already in our communication and relationship. I will do whatever it takes to understand what he is going through and have already read many of the books suggested on this site.

:) WW



Verinda
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02 Jul 2012, 4:50 am

Me too. With hubby and my sons.