Ex husband wants to tell 9 year old son he has autism

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BirdInFlight
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21 Sep 2015, 7:44 pm

No, telling someone may not always feel simply like "Ah, now I just have words to express my experience." In some cases like this one it could very well feel like the world has shattered. Anything where someone knew something about you that you had a right to know but did not know fully -- even if you suspected something -- can be shattering once the news is dropped on you after having been a secret someone else DID have the power to tell you.

It's not the same as, for example, being diagnosed at 50 and feeling relief that some mysteries have been explained. No one was keeping that secret from you.

This has been something kept from the boy and unfortunately it may well be "shattering" but he still needs to be told and should have been told all along.


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On the other hand, friends will never need an explanation, and enemies bent on disliking me will never accept one.

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androbot01
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21 Sep 2015, 7:52 pm

I agree that this information should never have been withheld in the first place. But learning of one's autism is a positive in that tools and support are available. The negative would come from his being stigmatized. But this can be marginalized.



Waterfalls
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21 Sep 2015, 8:20 pm

I think he knows, that's why he's asking the questions.



B19
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21 Sep 2015, 8:40 pm

Waterfalls wrote:
I think he knows, that's why he's asking the questions.


Snap! Exactly what I thought too, Waterfalls. He's giving his mother a chance to open up about it. He may have already picked up on a lot of indirect information from his Dad or school teachers or his same-age peer group already, and/or noticed his own similarity to the "autistic kids" at school and in the neighbourhood.

Children are sponges for taking in information from diverse sources- evolution made them that way..



BirdInFlight
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21 Sep 2015, 9:37 pm

I agree he probably does know.

But he needs that confirmation and information that yes, he has long been diagnosed. She needs to tell him, instead of -- what seems to me anyway -- being a parent who appears to want to just keep it all in a neat box in the closet now that he's been through all the therapies that melted it all away.....[sarcasm]

The mom is in denial -- she needs to face up to the fact that however well he's been therapied out of an appearance of autism, he's still autistic and the chickens are going to come home to roost one way or another.

I feel for the poor kid. I've had 53 years of strenuously faking NT as if my life depended on it. It fcks you UUUP.


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If you have a problem with something I post, something I believe, something I do or say, something in my sig, or something I am stupid enough to share that I'm struggling with and being caused pain by -- TELL ME TO MY FACE so that I can defend myself, instead of see you make a mockery of or a dig about it later.

On the other hand, friends will never need an explanation, and enemies bent on disliking me will never accept one.

ASD Level 1, PTSD. Plus anxiety with panic attacks, mild sub-clinical situational depression -- and a massive case of sheer freakin' BURNOUT.

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21 Sep 2015, 11:54 pm

My mother first came across the idea of autism and suspected I had it when I was eight, but never did anything about it. Having been diagnosed at 21, I wished more than anything that she'd had me diagnosed when I was young, and explained to me what it was; it would have made my childhood a lot less miserable, especially at school. If your son still displays symptoms of AS/autism (as he should unless his initial diagnosis was incorrect: there is no curing autism), then I would tell him. Nine is not too young to understand these things, and you can keep your explanation simple until he's older or presses for more information, whichever comes first. Not knowing I had autism when I was young is one of my biggest regrets.


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Ganondox
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22 Sep 2015, 12:54 am

I agree with your husband and Dr. Freeman. He has the right to know that the children you work with are not so different than him, he has the right to know about the treatments in his past. Most of all, I'm under the impression he actually is still showing signs of autism and you are just unaware, and he has the right to know about his condition so he has a say in his future. 9 years is old enough to at least know.


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B19
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22 Sep 2015, 2:14 am

37 replies and no response from the OP is very unusual.

OP, if you are lurking, does your voluntary work happen to be with FEAT?

http://www.feat.org/FEAT/AboutFEAT.aspx



ConceptuallyCurious
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22 Sep 2015, 4:57 am

My assumption is either that the OP is very busy/has Internet problems or they're not replying because ALL the responses are disagree with her view.



TheNameless
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22 Sep 2015, 6:28 am

ConceptuallyCurious wrote:
My assumption is either that the OP is very busy/has Internet problems or they're not replying because ALL the responses are disagree with her view.


I was thinking the same. No one agrees so she isn't interested any longer.

Just to add though, my eldest son is 10. He wasn't diagnosed until 9yrs old despite constant back and forth to Paediatricians and other intervention. We told him when he got the official diagnosis. His siblings all know he is on the spectrum too.

He is self aware enough to understand that he doesn't experience the world in the same way as others. I'd be doing a disservice to him as a mother to lie to him about who he is.



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22 Sep 2015, 8:01 am

B19 wrote:
I'm curious about you, mother of 9 year old. What kind of climate did you grow up in? Were important secrets kept from you? Were you particularly pressured to conform to "normal" by parents whose particular concern was "whatever will the neighbours think?" Were you driven to "stamp out" signs and behaviours associated with your boy's difference as quickly as possible? Is your non-profit dedicated to the same goal of 'correcting' or eradicating autism? How did you actually achieve this with your son? Do you think Autism is a disease or something else? What are the aims of your non-profit? What role do you play in it? And finally, have you met and spoken to any adult people to learn about Aspergers Syndrome from source (which I am assuming your son had?) Which
professionally written books on the ASD spectrum have you consulted and learned from? What has been your principal source of information about ASDs?

So many questions! However it is best to start at the beginning, with you, and then your son. It would give us a more complete picture with nuances that are not yet transparent here.


You don't diagnose aspergers at two. I'm guessing he was diagnosed with autistic disorder, but now presents as mild aspergers because at that age you can't make an accurate prognosis at all.


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22 Sep 2015, 8:33 am

Despite OP doesn´t answer, I´ll add my twitter.
He is 9 years and is beginning to Wonder, what autism is.
At 9 the view of the world starts crystallizing and the self image is well under way. You compare yourself and questions arise - and believe me, he has allready felt, that he is different somehow.
You owe it to him to tell him - give him an explanation, but, like Alex said: Find him some examples of successful people with AS, - some strong, positive models to compare himself to.


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22 Sep 2015, 11:11 am

I'm wondering whether this was actually spam. I tend toward the suspicious anyway (character flaw) but what hit me right away in the OP was the extensive list of the doctor's credentials and the specifics, which read almost like a bio, combined with the "ZOMG my son was CURED" behind the words. It just read like an "it happened to me" ad, with the standard "I was a skeptic"...stuff ("should I tell my son...I respect this amazing outstanding doctor but...and now that my son is just NOT autistic AT ALL any more..." Paraphrasing here).

Again, could just be me being suspicious. But you know...dropped the bomb of my-son-was-totally-cured-and-now-has-no-symptoms, psych's bio, disappearance. Oh well...if it is for real, hopefully the OP got something out of it, and maybe other parents reading this site. It was in that spirit that I initially answered, and there have now been quite a few insights which hopefully can help somebody, at least.

OP, if you're for real, good luck going forward from here.



B19
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22 Sep 2015, 3:16 pm

NowhereWoman wrote:
I'm wondering whether this was actually spam. I tend toward the suspicious anyway (character flaw) but what hit me right away in the OP was the extensive list of the doctor's credentials and the specifics, which read almost like a bio, combined with the "ZOMG my son was CURED" behind the words. It just read like an "it happened to me" ad, with the standard "I was a skeptic"...stuff ("should I tell my son...I respect this amazing outstanding doctor but...and now that my son is just NOT autistic AT ALL any more..." Paraphrasing here).

Again, could just be me being suspicious. But you know...dropped the bomb of my-son-was-totally-cured-and-now-has-no-symptoms, psych's bio, disappearance. Oh well...if it is for real, hopefully the OP got something out of it, and maybe other parents reading this site. It was in that spirit that I initially answered, and there have now been quite a few insights which hopefully can help somebody, at least.

OP, if you're for real, good luck going forward from here.


Another possibility is that the OP's hidden agenda was to promote ABA so that we abnormal people might 'come into line' and stop objecting to it. The professional she referenced pushes ABA as 'the' solution too, as does FEAT, which pushes all the one-sided one-eyed stuff about it and distorts it to edit out issues of validity and so on. They just pick and promote what suits them and varnish it in self-serving ways. They have links with Autism Speaks because their aims overlap and also solicit money from various organisations, state bodies and private donors.

So what is really strange here is that the OP would not seek advice from her 'professional' friend first, and then support people in the non-profit she works for, discuss it with her husband, and consult authorative specialists (Attwood?) Why does she come seeking advice from the people she direspects and regards as so inferior to herself, unless she is playing some hidden agenda game - or just bored and wanting to wind us up and waste our time. These people are like fundamentalist Christians - they never stop pushing their beliefs on others.
Sorry lady, I have no wish to be converted by you. Don't come back here again please.



androbot01
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22 Sep 2015, 4:49 pm

Sometimes I think these posters are students doing research.