Do NT Parents Ever Fully Accept Autism?

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Emor
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31 Mar 2009, 6:55 pm

After a recent talk with my Dad I've been wondering, 'Will NT parents be able to accept that they just have anti-social kids without taking it personally?'
I know a lot of NT parents post here, and alike, so yeah. Will you ever accept your child's Autism, or be persistent on improving aspects of their life Autism effects supposedly negativly?
I'm not attacking NT parents, I just can't empthasize with my NT parents who are upset I rarely talk to them. I'm just wondering if there's been a certain point in both your life, and your Autstic child's life where you've went, 'Okay, he/she is anti-social, probably isn't going to change, meh, she/he excells in other areas', or do most of you see that as giving up?
Maybe I should have posted this in the parents area, but I don't know if parents would like teens taking over their designated board.
EMZ.



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31 Mar 2009, 6:58 pm

Some do, some don't. It depends on whether the parents (and their neighbors, friends, family, and coworkers) view ASDs as a defect, an affliction, or just something to "deal with" ... and whether or not they love their children, or simply view taking care of them as a "parental duty."


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ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo
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31 Mar 2009, 7:21 pm

A lot of it has to do with who your family is surrounded by, are they supportive people or do they encourage negativity? My neighbors growing up were wretched people who thought if you hit a kid enough they behave, if they aren't behaving it's means they need to be hit. That is honestly what they believed. "Not behaving" could mean both serious things as well as petty, trivial matters. These are the types, IMHO who do the most harm to us. They encourage the worst in our caregivers. This doesn't help parents become more accepting. It can actually worsen the situation. I think it made me a hundred times worse than I would have been without it.
I hope you are around enlightened people who are well adjusted themselves. These are the people who can handle life's challenges with greater ease. The better adjusted the person, the better they are at handling others, including others who do not conform to their standards.
Rigid types who have fixed ideas about how people should be are the ones who are least accepting. Those who stereotype often don't like it when people defy the stereotype.



DW_a_mom
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31 Mar 2009, 7:27 pm

This actually would be an interesting topic for the parent board, because you point out a situation that can easily be misinterpreted. I don't feel I face the same issue with my son, because he likes being with his family (well, mom and dad - younger sister; not so much), but I also know that isn't always the case.

No one should try to make you something you aren't. But it is difficult to live with a relationship that seems to be all one way. Parents enjoy the little rewards we get from our kids in hugs, smiles, and other intangibles; that is like our payback fpr doing so much for them. If it isn't in your nature to give that, so be it, but I think perhaps you COULD find another way for them to know you appreciate them (assuming you do). If they get that from you, they should have an easier time accepting that you are just you, and that it isn't anything against them.

So ... I have no trouble accepting my son as who he is, but I also get positive feedback from him that lets me know he appreciates having me for a mom. I would expect the two are related.

Parents need positive feedback, too, ya know.


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NathanYoung
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31 Mar 2009, 7:35 pm

One of my workers has a child with autism and he is very positive. He said when he goes to parent gatherings he talks about the blessing of his kid and he gets odd looks. However I do not think it is the case that people with autism children hate their children in general.



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31 Mar 2009, 7:54 pm

Well, quite a few NT parents accept disabled kids of all sorts; why not autistic ones? I can see how they might go through a denial phase at first, but surely the mommy instinct wins through eventually.


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jonahsmom
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31 Mar 2009, 9:42 pm

I will agree with DW--you really could post this on the parents' board. I don't think anyone would mind.

My first thought was that maybe you could find another way to communicate other than talking with them. Just an idea: write them a letter. Say what you said here. Explain to them in written word that you understand that they want you to talk more, but that it's uncomfortable for you. That your wish is that they would accept you the way you are.

My (AS) son and daughter are very small still. But if I try to project myself to their teenage years I can't imagine getting a note like this that wouldn't somehow melt my heart. I don't know your parents, but it sounds like they just want to know you. One of the hardest parts for me when my son was diagnosed (he was non-verbal then) was thinking, "Will I ever really know how he feels or will I always have to guess?"

I will say that I do persist in trying to help my son in the areas that are difficult for him due to his autism. Sometimes he doesn't like it, due to his autism. :wink: As an example, sometimes he will get stuck in a rut in such a way that I see it isn't good for his own state of mind. I will gently push him out of his comfort zone, and normally he will seem like a happier person once I've done it, though the process is tough. I hope he never sees it as me trying to change who he is fundamentally. Really, if someone asked if they could come in and take his autism away I would say, "No!" Without it he would not be the boy I have always known and loved. But do I get sick of hearing about dinosaurs? Well, yeah. Do the constant, sometimes ear-destroying noises he makes sometimes get on my nerves? Well, yeah. But being annoyed by certain traits of a person does not equal not accepting them. Throw any two people in the world in a house together and they will eventually annoy each other. It's just part of living in relationship.



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31 Mar 2009, 10:01 pm

My mother does.

My AS father doesn't ('why doesn't he talk to me?' Uh, because I can't, you moron).

Irony just pours from my life.



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01 Apr 2009, 12:23 am

My father accepts that Autism spectrum disorders are 'real' & in his words "not just an excuse". However he doesn't accept my diagnosis at all. He thinks that the psychiatrist is wrong. Good thing that I don't have contact with him anymore.
As for my mother, she accepts that I'm getting help for problems associated with AS.

I realize this question was mostly directed towards parents but I thought I would say what my parents are like anyway.


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01 Apr 2009, 1:03 am

I think my mother accepts it and doesn't accept it. She has said two different things. She has told me my AS isn't a big deal and then acts like it is a big deal, has told me I don't have it and then all of a sudden I do have it. My mom is confusing so I don't think she fully accepts it. But she doesn't push things on me like get on my back about not having friends or get on my back about me getting up and leaving the table and not staying to visit. But sometimes she parents me over the phone because she doesn't like my Benny & Joon. She tells me to go do other things.


My dad, I dunno, he doesn't really say anything about my Benny & Joon. He just says I'm a funny girl. I think it's a compliment. He's never said much about my condition.

I know my mother goes around blabbing my label but I don't think my dad does.

When doctors said I had autism when I was 2, my parents said I did not and thought it was BS. When I was 12 and my psychiatrist said I was on the spectrum, I was surprised they even bought the diagnoses. Maybe they had to so they could get me through school and get me the education I needed. My mother did say they needed to get power over my school to stop them from trying to put me in a class with violent kids.



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01 Apr 2009, 2:55 am

It will always depend on the parents as to whether they can accept who their child is. All parents have an idea in their head about their child and who he will turn out to be, and it is hard to change that, but most parents come to terms with it in the end. It isn't always about autism or any disability- some parents want their kids to be good at a certain activity or subject but they're not, and it's about accepting the child for who they are.

I'm not NT but I have a severely autistic child and it was tough at first but I do accept him for who he is. I wish I could have a conversation with him sometimes as I'd love to know what he experiences, but at the end of the day he is who he is and I accept him as my child.



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01 Apr 2009, 8:26 am

My mom is pretty accepting of ti. My dad is not so much. My mom kinda lives with the same idea that she just got a trip to Holland.


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01 Apr 2009, 9:04 am

My family always considered me a nuisance, from birth, and always took for granted that ignoring, rejecting and demeaning me was a natural consequence of my being a nuisance.


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01 Apr 2009, 10:35 am

I have accepted my son's autism, and I appreciate the gifts he has because of it. My husband accepts him too. He is a wonderful child, and I wouldn't change anything about him. The only thing that worries me is that I don't want him to feel the isolation and confusion that some austic people do because of their trouble with social skills, and I know that he will spend his life being missunderstood because of his difficulty with language. I am doing everything I can to give him the support and education needed to live an independent happy life and I hope I'm doing the right things for him.

If he ends up living with me forever, that's fine. If he is a loner, that's fine as long as it is REALLY what he wants. I would hate for him to just "accept" being a loner because he just can't relate to the NT world, but if that is really his desire, that's fine with me. I miss being able to kiss him, he hates it, but I learn to live with that. That is my issue, not his. He will hug me, sit on me, play with my hair so I do get some affection satifaction from that and that's OK. He is who he is and he can be a lot of fun.

Some parents I think see their kids as reflections of themselves, and if they are less than their idea of "perfect" (however they define that) they take it personally. That is very unfortunate for everyone, not just the kids.



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01 Apr 2009, 10:55 am

To original poster:

My niece and her husband have an autistic son age 3. They have accepted the fact he is autistic and not fully functional. He is a nice bright kid, but he does not talk and is given to making repeating movement. On the other hand he has no trouble going to his special school and spending the day there. My niece and her husband are doing everything they can to help the kid become functional. So I would say, they have accepted the fact of the child's autism.

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