I have a son recently diagnosed with Aspergers and am in denial about my family situation, but I want to start to take some control back ...where should I start?
The feelings you are experiencing are completely normal. A diagnosis of Asperger’s (high functioning autism) brings with it a mourning process in some cases. Every parent faced with a life-changing situation will need time (some more than others) to sort out the emotions.
Denial is natural. Even if the diagnosis has been a long time coming, you may still feel like someone ripped the rug from beneath your feet. Your first reaction, "not my child," is not just common but expected. Be aware that there are several steps in the mourning process. Anger and depression are other steps of mourning that can come at any time.
The fact that you sense the need to take control shows that you are moving through the process. You are reaching acceptance. Your child needs you and you want to offer him the very best support possible. Here are some ideas you can use to regain control of your home life.
* Finding support is crucial. Autism support groups are a great place to connect with other parents. You do not have to go through this trial alone. Gathering with others living with Asperger’s can give you the strength you need to find acceptance.
* Arm yourself with information on Asperger’s Syndrome. Read books, consult specialists, and contact research organizations. Knowledge equals power. When you know what to expect, your situation becomes smaller than you are, allowing you to conquer what once seemed too big.
* Work together as a family to change your circumstances. Do the things you have been avoiding because of the diagnosis. Get out of the house together, enjoy each other, and don’t worry about what other people think or say.
* Consider going to a counselor. Sometimes we need a neutral, caring professional to talk with about our situation. Couples counseling can also help. Having a special needs child can be tough on a marriage. Group therapy for the family can get everyone on the same page, united and ready to move forward.
* Now you can get down to the business of treatment. Children with Asperger’s usually do very well with a little assistance. Discuss treatment options with your child’s physician, psychologist, and school special education team.
You will find that taking action, even if you have to start out with baby steps, will help you get out of that hole called denial and have you moving along toward a brighter future.
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• Anonymous said... Don't forget your extended support system like the child's grandparent or very close friends. They can be a good sounding board.
• Anonymous said... I remember when my son was diagnosed with Aspbergers. I cried all day, then the next day I read everything I could on Aspbergers. My husband and I fought a lot after he was diagnosed. He felt like nothing had changed, and we should treat him the same way we did our daughter with punishment for bad behavior, ect. Now, after 3 years I think he finally understands. It finally feels like we are working together not against each other when it comes to our son. It's hard, I felt like I was the only one supporting our son and accepting him for who he really was.
• Anonymous said... I think there is always someone in our lives who goes into denial about our children. For me it was my ex husband (her father) and my own mother. I got lots of "she'll grow out of it" "you worry to much" to even having it suggested I suffered from Munchhausen. They did finally come around and she is now the apple of the families eye but it does take time for some people to take it all on board. As the parent who is dealing with it face to face we don't have that luxury. Burying our heads in the sand does not get our children the help they need
• Anonymous said... It's really hard and I know how you feel. My ex husband blamed "my" parenting for our sins behaviour. For years I had to fight not only the professionals but him...right up to the point I got the diagnoses. I'm still not able to give any kind if medication as his dad won't allow it. It's still not 100% but we are now working together. It took about 5 years. Good luck and I hope your husband comes around as you need the support x
• Anonymous said... Janette remember my entire years of experience bringing up a child that was just labelled "a naughty boy" and the only thing that got us through the entire ordeal was our love for him and Gods help without us knowing it. You too will "get through it" there is much help available now, not so in the 1960s and you know this "child" so you know what i'm telling you is positive proof that one can handle these situations. Love Gillianx
• Anonymous said... My "aspie" is 25 and he still needs me as his advocate. The degree has changed, but not the basic need. We're in this for the long haul! He brings so much joy , to those willing to take the time and explore the depths.
• Anonymous said... My aspberger's child also has multiple rare diseases. My husband is supportive I'm his own way but not always in the me or our son need. We both know he loves us but he doesn't handle " sick " well and he is very military minded and has a hard time understanding that our son is not the same child that he was growing up.
• Anonymous said... my son is nearly 8 and was diagnosed at 5..his dad and i separated a year later..he is still in denial and blames our sons behavior on my parenting,i know my x is also asd and his 2 sons from a previous relationship,all in denial...it's so hard..i love my son dearly and find it so difficult standing alone as his advocate sometimes without any support..his dad does not support him financially,his relationship with my son is not consistent but hey we do so much better without his constant criticism,negative energy,and mood swings,angry outbursts and control...life has been much more relaxed and happy without him...yeyyyy
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