How to tell my parents that I might be an aspie?

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SomeoneNew
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29 May 2014, 5:03 pm

Well, I have been browsing the internet recently, looking for something to read, and I stumbled upon a page where someone referred to himself as an aspie. I have never heard of such a term, so I decided to check it out. I am sure you already know what an aspie means, so I won't go into that. After I read about Asperger's syndrome, though,(a brief overview) I was strangely drawn to the topic. So I looked into the symptoms, only to discover I can relate to them like I never could to anything else.
I do really think I have Asperger's syndrome, and reading some blogs and web-sites dedicated especially to aspies, I found some tests to confirm my suspicions. I do know that they are not always reliable, but if of all the ones I did take, all tell me I am most likely an aspie, that's got to mean something, right?
Back to my question, though, how do I tell my parents? I am pretty sure both of them think of mental disorders as something that is 'fixable', my dad in particular. And I am afraid that if it turns out that I don't have Asperger's syndrome, then, well, they'll laugh at me, I guess. I have never been good at telling people about myself, so I am a wreck right now.
You see, I have been having a LOT of problems concentrating lately, and when they took me to a doctor(three doctors, to be exact), one said I should get my head checked out, the other one that I don't eat enough, and the last that I am probably retarded(well, he meant it, I think).
I do not want a repeat of that scenario.
If I am going to tell, then I will probably go to my mum first, but I have no idea how to begin. What if she thinks I am just seeking attention or something? How do I even approach her?
We have friends, who have an autistic boy(I am a female, if you are wondering), and all of my parents' knowledge on autism is based on that little boy who is partially mute and is trapped in his own little world. They might disregard my worries, saying that I am not like him.
There are so many endings to this that I can imagine! Just thinking of it is becoming a real pain.
So how do I tell them? Because I honestly have no idea. And if I do tell, what will happen? What is the usual procedure? How do they diagnose you? And when they do, what help can I receive?
I am starting at a new school in less than two months, and I actually want to make a good impression. If I have a mental disorder, will they even accept me? Because they have so many candidates to choose from, and here I am, an aspie.
I have so many questions, and I would be immensely grateful if you answered at least some of those.
I am 13, by the way.



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29 May 2014, 5:20 pm

Wish I could advise you from experience, but when I was diagnosed it was too late to have the conversation with my parents.

Getting a diagnosis and the route to it will vary depending upon where you live, but a family doctor should be able to refer you to a suitable professional.

Would you feel more comfortable speaking to a teacher (in confidence) before your parents?

Whatever you choose to do, good luck and remember that a diagnosis won't change who you are.

Is there any diagnosed ASD in your family, BTW? Since I've started learning about ASD as a subject (and dispelling many of my own misconceptions about ASD) I've been able to identify several other possible Aspies in my lineage.


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kraftiekortie
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29 May 2014, 5:20 pm

Hi there,

Welcome to the Forum. You'll find many people who think like you.

It seems as if you're applying to something like a British public school. During the admissions process, I don't know if I would tell them your suspicions. After all, you don't have an official diagnosis yet. I probably wouldn't tell the school authorities anything having to do with Asperger's, or with any other disorder--and let the school decide to admit you based purely upon your academic credentials.

Then, later, if you happen to need special accommodations (I don't sense that you will need them, though), you would go get the diagnosis, through your parents, and the school would probably give you the accommodations.

I wish I could give you some good advice about how to tell your parents. Do you have a good relationship with them? What occupations do they pursue?

You mention they have no knowledge about autism or Asperger's, except for the autistic boy. Perhaps, you could print out some basic information about Asperger's, then have your parents read what you had printed.

There will be other people who will be coming in to offer some advice

I wish you excellent luck in your future endeavors.



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29 May 2014, 5:28 pm

Hmmmm ... I was going to suggest if you are at college, go see someone there. Until I got to the last sentence and the part about being 13.

I figured out last summer that I had it (50 then, 51 now), and I still haven't had the courage to see a doctor or tell my mom. So who am I to tell you?

But skip the above anyways. ---- What I wanted to say is, be very careful about telling anybody outside of your family that you have (may) have something wrong with you. This website is littered with examples of how things turned out wrong.

As an example, A co-worker and I were having a late night discussion, he described a third employee as a "high functioning idiot" and I paused and said, actually, I am a high functioning autistic (Aspie), and he just looked at me, and said, yeah, right.

I'm in the USA by the way. Appears things are a bit different in Canada, and even more so in the UK.



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29 May 2014, 5:29 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
(I don't sense that you will need them, though)


QFT.

I was surprised at the age of the OP. Someone who can post like that is very well equipped to excel at academia.


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29 May 2014, 5:30 pm

Thanks for getting back to me as fast as you did :) I would imagine telling my teachers would be even more awkward, and I would probably hightail it out of the classroom before I even go the nerve to step a foot near them.
As for any diagnosis amongst my relatives, I do not think there were any Aspies. Not that I know of. My Granddad was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's, but I don't think that has anything to do with this. As far as I know, there weren't any mental disorders in our family. But I might be wrong.



kr8
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29 May 2014, 5:32 pm

I found out I had some similarities with Asperger's over a year ago, when I told my dad he said why would you care now?
When I told my mom she told me all of the symptons were "normal"

parents want their children to be normal, yet my AQ test showed my mom there was certainly a diffrence, she took it as well...

So, I may not be a "full blown" aspie but parents seem to find it hard to accept that their children might be a bit different.

Best way to tell your parents...I wouldn't know, but why not have them take some of those tests as well.

Oh and I just turned 30...



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29 May 2014, 5:47 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
Hi there,

Welcome to the Forum. You'll find many people who think like you.

It seems as if you're applying to something like a British public school. During the admissions process, I don't know if I would tell them your suspicions. After all, you don't have an official diagnosis yet. I probably wouldn't tell the school authorities anything having to do with Asperger's, or with any other disorder--and let the school decide to admit you based purely upon your academic credentials.

Then, later, if you happen to need special accommodations (I don't sense that you will need them, though), you would go get the diagnosis, through your parents, and the school would probably give you the accommodations.

I wish I could give you some good advice about how to tell your parents. Do you have a good relationship with them? What occupations do they pursue?

You mention they have no knowledge about autism or Asperger's, except for the autistic boy. Perhaps, you could print out some basic information about Asperger's, then have your parents read what you had printed.

There will be other people who will be coming in to offer some advice

I wish you excellent luck in your future endeavors.


Hey,

Thank you for replying. I am surprised someone actually did, but that's another matter.
I do have a good relationship with my parents, save for the numerous arguments we have beein having lately. I don't think that matters, though.
I am applying for a private school in another country, as our family is moving this summer. I will be off to a new start, so I do think you are right about not telling the school authorities. There are 17 places for 29 children, so there is no way I am going to make it there if they think of me as some people do(like michael517 said, a high-functioning idiot).



kraftiekortie
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29 May 2014, 5:53 pm

It really sounds like you want to get in. I hope you get in.

I hope you don't feel bad that you're moving to an unfamiliar place.

If I were in your position, I would be glad that I am getting a chance to experience a culture other than my own. This sort of experience will make you into a more well-rounded person than if you lived only around your own culture.

Is there anything special that you are aspiring to when you become a adult?



Last edited by kraftiekortie on 29 May 2014, 6:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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29 May 2014, 5:57 pm

kr8 wrote:
I found out I had some similarities with Asperger's over a year ago, when I told my dad he said why would you care now?
When I told my mom she told me all of the symptons were "normal"


That is exactly what my mum would say. When I told her about not being able to concentrate, she said she understood me and that was 'normal' for my age. Drawing from experience, I would say it will be near impossible to convince her that something is amiss with me.

She turns a blind eye on anything that she can't actually see. Everything I say, she will 'understand'.



kraftiekortie
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29 May 2014, 6:01 pm

Within this Forum, there are a wide variety of people. Asperger's and Autism comes in all shapes and sizes. There's a (not so old) saying: "If you met a person with autism, you met a person with autism."



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29 May 2014, 6:07 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
It really sounds like you want to get in. I hope you get in.

I hope you don't feel bad that you're moving to an unfamiliar place.

If I were in your position, I would be glad. I am getting a chance to experience a culture other than my own. This sort of experience will make you into a more well-rounded person than if you lived only around your own culture.

Is there anything special that you are aspiring to when you become a adult?


I have no clue as to what I want to become. It really is touchy subject for me. I just can't imagine committing myself to anything for more than year. For me, it has to be something more than just another job. It has to be something I enjoy. And I haven't come upon anything that fits that description. I am still looking.

I do agree with you about experiencing a new culture. I am not in my home-country right now, either. And it does give you a new perspective in life.

The only thing I am worried about is people, I guess. Here, I was lucky to make two close friends, and I am afraid we will drift away from each other. I have had that problem with so many people already. I can't just keep friends. It's frustrating, but I will try to make the best of it.



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29 May 2014, 6:19 pm

I think you could still keep in touch with your friends. Skype comes into mind. Of course, there's always email.

I could understand a person of your age not being committed to a career; nothing wrong with that.

Do you have any "special interests?" What I mean is: is there something you're so interested in that you feel irritated if somebody tries to take you away from that interest?

From what you write, you seem to be a sensible young person. You're ahead of the game already.



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29 May 2014, 6:30 pm

Well, I have an unhealthy obsession with numbers and dates. That's not what you mean though, is it? The only thing that comes to mind is reading. Maybe I could be a critic? Actually, no, I couldn't be. I also like to write, but I don't think I will ever have the courage to publish something of mine.

I do use Skype and I even corresponded with a friend of mine who moved away last year by email. That didn't last long.

It just doesn't seem like I know them anymore. It sounds weird, but that's what I feel like. She still writes me emails, and I do still respond, but there is a rift that was not there before. The same happened with my previous friends. Except they weren't really friends, just acquaintances. They stopped talking to me after a while.



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29 May 2014, 6:50 pm

You're very young. With more education, you could improve your writing dramatically, to the point where it's publishable (who knows? Maybe it's even publishable now). If I were you, I would continue to develop my craft, and never fall victim to a lack of confidence without good evidence. Good writing, frequently, has a positive correlation with "experience in life."

You could actually practice being a critic! You could, for example, post something in "Rotten Tomatoes," if you especially like (or especially dislike) a movie.

An obsession is unhealthy if it keeps you from having friends and enjoying life with them. There are some people with Asperger's who have "special interests" which keep them from making friends. This is because all these people want to do is talk about their "special interest," and nothing else.

It sounds like you might be very good in math, and perhaps in history. I would cultivate those abilities. There will always be a need for good accountants, and good actuaries. I wish there was a great need for history teachers and professors as well (as history is sort of my "special interest)."

I would also try to cultivate other interests which might lie outside of numbers and dates. A "special interest" is healthy if you don't feel a desire to constantly talk about them with your friends, unless your friends are interested in what you are talking about.

A great thing to talk about with friends is the "culture shock" you experience when you begin to live in a new country.



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29 May 2014, 7:12 pm

Now that I think of it, I do talk about history a lot. I don't know if it annoys anyone, though.

I think there is a great need for history teachers, because of all the three I had, the first one scared me away from the subject, and the second one was dull. There is a great need for good and sensible history teachers, and not only for history, but for all other subjects, too. My first ever history teacher frightened me so much, I didn't go to school for a whole moth, feigning illness. I was 9, and very easily impressed. Still am.

I don't think I could ever be an accountant, as I can't imagine sitting in a cramped little office(or maybe not so little) and doing paperwork day after day. I'd go insane. Perhaps the job involves more than the paperwork, but I wouldn't know. I never even considered it.

The 'cultural shock' is a great topic for a conversation, but I don't think I need to think of those when my friend is there. She seems to have a constant need for teasing me for my fear of birds, chickens and geese in particular. She is just as shy as I am, except more confident in herself and her abilities. I hope some of her confidence rubs off on me, too.