You Have ASD, Would You Want to Birth a Child?

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momsparky
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16 Jun 2014, 8:04 am

I thought this was a really terrific article on how autism can be a positive for a parent: http://aquietweek.com/2013/06/16/in-pra ... -spectrum/



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25 Jul 2014, 4:17 am

Sorry to bump this, but that was a very great article. ^^^


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25 Jul 2014, 6:11 am

Oh my God!!

That is SO sweet, and SO true!!

I wish Saint Alan was around to read that. Grandpa, too. Especially Grandpa. I don't think it ever crossed Saint Alan's mind that there was anything "wrong" with him, but Grandpa spent his whole life consumed with contempt for himself and terror about whether he was good enough and what other people would think. I wish I could build a time machine and go back and give him something positive to hold onto.

If I didn't have a baby half-asleep in my lap I would post a long string of fond reminiscences...


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kraftiekortie
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25 Jul 2014, 8:01 am

As I stated many times, I don't believe ASD should preclude one from being a parent. ASD's have attributes as well as deficits.

Moreover, having an ASD certainly doesn't guarantee that you will produce a child with an ASD. It's heritable, but more in a random sense than a Mendelian sense.

Even if a child is born with an ASD, an ASD parent should be able to channel the ASD child's strengths to produce constructiveness rather than destructiveness.



vickygleitz
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25 Jul 2014, 1:07 pm

I am 60 years old,so I had no idea I was Autistic when I had kids. And I knew that I wanted children, was obsessed with children in fact. I also knew that no matter how hard I tried, I was always weird, beyond socially awkward, and confused about so much. I also suspected that part of my issues were genetic, so I consciously picked out a man to love with good genetics. I chose a man who was not shy, had always been extremely popular, athletic, super intelligent and incredibly handsome. What I had to offer him was creativity,persistence, cuteness, cooking and bed skills and the insistence on being 'perfect wife' for that era [ Stepford wives, move over!]

Most of my kids and grand kids are "creatively wired" A couple of them are not. They are all awesome and would be even if I had not picked out the "perfect specimen." [ who also turned out to be alcoholic, addicted to gambling, and was a bit of a sociopath] I am so glad that they "are" and I am so thankful that I did not know I was Autistic.If I had known, there would be a few less incredible people running around, and some great parenting never utilized.

While I was growing up, black issues were a big deal. Even most of the liberal and enlightened white [and black] people,though,tended to believe that it was "wrong" for a black and a white person to have children together. Not "just because." but because "think of what those poor kids will go through. How selfish of the parents." I think that is part of what is going on now. NOBODY who does not want children should have them, no matter their neurology.

But times are ready to change in huge ways. [ we do need, as a group, to push these changes through though] Autistic kids, in general,have AT LEAST as much to offer as NTs to this world.

I am so glad that I was too ignorant to have to make a decision like this, because I am afraid that I would have elected to have no kids.



carpenter_bee
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29 Jul 2014, 7:31 pm

I did not know I was probably on the spectrum, when I made the choice to have kids. I suspected my brother was, but I never saw the behaviors so clearly in myself until my son was diagnosed and I really started having the epiphanies about myself. If I *had* known, it would not have changed my desire to have kids-- no more than I'd advise my brother not to, just because he's on the spectrum. (I'd advise him not to, because he doesn't want children.)

No, if anything, I was more worried that I wouldn't be a good mother (to any kind of child-- that I would have the baby and then change my mind and realize I wasn't up for the job.) Because the first kid really is a huge leap of faith. You just don't know what kind of parent you will be, until you are there.

If you are ambivalent about having children, then it's probably not a good idea. It's trickier for women because if you are getting on in years and you are still ambivalent, you have to make the call at some point. Men have a bit more wiggle-room with that. Although I have found than many men would probably not "pull the trigger" on having kids if it were up to them, but once the kid is actually there, really enjoy being a parent and are glad that it happened. While some people (men and women both of course) think they want kids, only to find out that it probably wasn't the best decision.

None of this (I think) has anything to do with ASD. At this point I am way more worried about my kids having depression or addiction issues because of *unaddressed* spectrum issues. I feel lucky that I can relate to my son's thought processes better than perhaps a non-spectrum parent could, and that maybe I can help him navigate his adolescence a bit better than I did, flailing and self-medicating and not having any idea why I felt like such a Stranger in a Strange Land.

As far as how difficult it is to BE a parent if you are on the spectrum? From what I've experienced, and from talking to other (NT) parents, it's all relative. Parenting is a really hard job, any way you slice it. I actually think in some ways it has mitigated a lot of my prior unaddressed spectrum-related issues, like serious executive-function deficits. I have a hell of a time motivating myself and following through with things when it's "just" about ME, and I go pretty easily into a doom-spiral of depression and self-loathing. But now that I have kids? I have no choice (at least, no choice that I could actually live with, other than the one I opt for): I get up in the morning. I do stuff. I work hard. I'm responsible for myself, and for my kids. It's been really, really good for me. I'm a good mom. :)



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11 Aug 2014, 3:17 pm

Yes, and had two, one who is currently being tested for autism. The Monster and the Teeniest of Tinies do annoy me at times, sometimes even frustrate me to no end, but what kid doesn't make their parents tear their hair out?

Most of my parenting problems stem from in-laws who refuse to see the Monster isn't throwing a tantrum to get her way, she's having a meltdown because they're touching her without her permission or whatever they are doing to make her scream that we've told them a hundred times not to do.



little_blue_jay
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12 Aug 2014, 3:22 pm

GiantHockeyFan wrote:

It's hard to understand in your early 20s but your attitude will change over the years.


Depends on the person. I've known since my teens that I would not want children. Hasn't changed over the years at all, I'm now 37 and still am 100% sure I don't want children. NT or AS.


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starvingartist
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12 Aug 2014, 3:31 pm

little_blue_jay wrote:
GiantHockeyFan wrote:

It's hard to understand in your early 20s but your attitude will change over the years.


Depends on the person. I've known since my teens that I would not want children. Hasn't changed over the years at all, I'm now 37 and still am 100% sure I don't want children. NT or AS.


my situation is very similar--i'm going to be 35 in less than a month, and i know now beyond a doubt that i don't want kids just as i knew at 13 that i didn't want them (possibly even before then--i was never interested in dolls or babies as a small child, either). it's almost never wavered; i had a very brief moment of insanity during a LTR many years ago in which i considered having kids, but even then not very seriously and not for very long because i knew deep down he wasn't the one and i didn't want to have his kids any more than i wanted to have anyone else's kids, though i did love him at the time. if i find myself in a serious LTR again in future, i will get a tubal ligation so i won't have to worry about birth control, now that i'm old enough that doctors will take me seriously when i say i don't want children.



little_blue_jay
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12 Aug 2014, 6:40 pm

starvingartist wrote:
i will get a tubal ligation so i won't have to worry about birth control, now that i'm old enough that doctors will take me seriously when i say i don't want children.


That's what I've always said as well! That the best present my future husband could give me was either him getting snipped or paying for me to get my tubes tied! (now to just find a guy who doesn't want kids either... does my town not have any of those??)


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Diagnosed "Asperger's to a moderate degree" April 7, 2015.
Aspie score 145 of 200
NT score 56 of 200
AQ score: 47
RAADS-R score: 196
"Everyone inside the circle is normal. Everyone outside the circle should be beaten, broken, and reset, so they can be brought inside the circle. Failing that, they should be institutionalized, or worse, pitied. Why would you feel sorry for someone who gets to opt out of the inane courteous formalities, which are utterly meaningless, insincere, and therefore degrading? Can you imagine how liberating it would be to live a life free of all the mind-numbing social niceties? I don't pity this kid. I envy him." Dr. Gregory House, speaking of a boy with autism, House M.D.