HELP FOR PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH ASPERGER'S & HIGH-FUNCTIONING AUTISM

Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders

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Parents With Asperger Syndrome

Comments from Parents—

I have not been formally diagnosed as I don't particularly like doctors but I meet almost all the criteria for Aspergers Syndrome. My neice was diagnosed autistic two years ago and during my research I heard about Aspergers and all of a sudden it just clicked. I have had trouble my whole life with all of the issues of Aspergers. Are there any other parents with Aspergers or parents of kids with aspergers?

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My child, age 3, is being *tentatively* diagnosed AS. Being that he is very young(most kids are not diagnosed until school-age) it is difficult to say whether the suspicions will pan out. Have you thought about having an evaluation done?
If you have any direct questions, feel free to pm me.

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I'm currently checking Aspergers out as well. My DS has Sensory Integration and he clicks with the Aspergers theme as well. I'll know more when we can get him in for more evals. But there are some of us in your boat it sounds like and hopefully more will chime in as I as well will be lookign to this board for more info. :-) Goodluck!

ETA 4 years later sicne this was bumped:
He is officially DX'd as Autism.
As far as parent's with Aspergers... lots of those around here too. I'm most likely Aspergers although we don't know which for sure. I chose not to go further into the eval process to pinpoint which one because it really didn't matter to me at the time which it was. *shrug*

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I'm a self-diagnosed Aspie. My official dx, years ago, was ADHD, but in comparing the 2, while there are a lot of similarites, the Aspergers symptoms fit me better. Sometimes it's fun.....it doesn't take much to amuse me, give me some kind of toy with a texture to it, and I'm busy for awhile. Somtimes it sucks......the clumsiness and social problems drive me nuts. Dh also has most of the symptoms. Which is probably why we get along so well, we understand each other. Not surprisingly, our youngest son, the only one that is genetically related to both of us, is autistic. It can make for entertaining conversations with his therapists. "What do you mean there is something "wrong" with smelling every object he picks up? Seems normal to me!" LOL

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I was dx'd when I was almost 40. Now 41. I, too, have a kid with Autism.

I was dx'd as "hyperactive" as a kid and put on Ritalin. clumsy - oh my, YES!
Social problems out the kazoo! I don't remember faces after about 2 weeks. I have freinds who will come up and talk to me and I have absolutley no idea who they are until their voice registers.

I didn't smell things as a kid but licked everything. Sticks, stones, cars... my mom kept gingin violet for me because of constant trench mouth! Lineing cars - ain't that normal? is to me.

flourescent lights drive me crazy. The dishwasher turns me into a monster! The sound causes me not to think and I really become strange. On edge, jumpy.

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Stacie, I hate the dishwasher too. Why does it have to be so LOUD? (and really, it's not, it doesn't bother anyone else in the house). The smelling is not something that stopped.......I still do it! I love candle stores, and bath product stores. Nobody looks at you funny if you are sniffing everything, because everyone else is too! LOL

Isn't it strange, you find all these things perfectly normal........then someone tells you they are NOT. But you've been doing them your whole life, so now what?

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Oh candle stores are awesome. I smell there and use a fingernail to scrape the wax on the candles I like the smell off. (gotta get my licks in!) ick, I know. I just can't help myself.

I don't know abuot the dishwasher and what to do with it. You are right, it bothers no one else.

do you have truoble with lighter colored walls? And the light bouncing off them? As a kid, I used to watch walls because of the colors the sunlight and lights in general make on them. I still find myself doing that.

I have a personal question... I hope you don't mind my asking. Do you S.I.B? If so, what? And do know why?

The sensitivies or lack of in my arms and legs has always caused me to brush with a hairbrush. Hard - untill I would "burn" them. I like the feel of the burn and of the scab healing. I don't even realize I'm doing it most of the time... don't leave a stray hairbrush around me! Other times I know I am and can't help it. It is like my ankle comes alive. Hard to describe.

oh well. I know other aspies who do the same sort of thing. Just curious.

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LOL! I've never tried licking candle wax, but it doesn't sound that odd to me. Kind of interesting, really. I'm not trying it though, the last thing I need is another stim. LOL

I'm sorry, but I'm not familiar with the abbreviation S.I.B. If you want to fill me in, I'll probably answer. I'm finding it so cool to find another mom like me to talk to, I'm willing to share.

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S.I.B. - self injurious behaviour.

headbanging, scratching, etc.

Did you you love to swing as a kid? I still do. Go to the park with the huge swings. And swing so hard.

have you ever tried some of the now common therapies? Like vitamins and suppliments, etc.

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Oh, ok, SIB. I'm familiar with the term, my brain just wasn't translating the abbreviation for some reason. I went through a phase of it as a teen, but I rarely, if ever, do it any more. I'm sorry, but that's probably the only phase of my life that I really do not feel comfortable sharing all the details about, so that's all I have to say right now. I did a LOT of crazy stuff, I learned from it, I've moved on. Currently, the closest I come is the compulsion I have to pick at any clogged pores, or little scabs I have. I know it's gross, but it's somehow satisfying.

Swinging, ohhhhhhhh I love it. My child has one of those big therapy net swings, right in the living room. One of my goals is to lose enough weight to use it myself, it looks SO fun! (it has a weight limit about 20lbs below where I am right now)

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I can understand that. I try not to consciously sib. I stop when I catch myself. And, yes, the teen years were worse for me. About 15-19 was terrible.

Those therapy swings are great! So are the therapy balls to bounce on. I like bouncing too! At age 9 I could bounce on a pogo-stick over 2,000 times without stopping. People used to count me bounce on the street! lol.

What type, if any, fabric or clothing bother you? Synthetics burn. I only wear cottons. Most other fabric really irrates me or smells bad. I can smell oil in some fabrics.

Do you have trouble with the textures of some foods? I have a very hard time with the pulp in fresh fruits. I can't eat it. But, I can drink juice with no pulp or eat fruit that has been cooked.

I wrote something on a board several years on tactile defensiveness, that a freind put on her web site. I'll copy to here if anyone is interested. ? It is about different tactile problems and how I have learned to adapt to the problems.

It is great chatting with other people who are going thru the same thing. It's nice not to be alone.

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I would love, love, love more info on tactile defensiveness. Aidan's not so bad about it, but Nick also has SID, which my mother (his legal guardian) has chosen not to do anything about, since it's on the mild side. He could probably use some at-home work though.

There are no particular fabrics that I don't like, but I do have to feel everything before I buy it. It just depends on each garment whether or not it's going to irritate me.

Food textures---the one that's coming to mind now is rice. If it has a really good flavor to it, I'll manage to eat it anyway, but plain white or brown rice? No way! Aidan is the same way with yogurt-- he doesn't like the texture, but if it's got a flavor he likes (particularly banana or cherry) he'll go for it. It's funny to watch him. He takes a bite, makes a horrible face, then begs for more. OTOH, I absolutely love the texture of pears, but I'm not that fond of the flavor. But I'll eat them, just for that slightly gritty texture! I know there are other foods I've sworn off because of the texture, but I can't think of any more examples right now.

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Sensory Experiences -- A personal story

I'm going to begin this with talking about "frustrations" and the physical bombardment which can manifest them. I know that you know about different senstivities, but I'm going to try and explain how this sensitivies effect the body and the mind.

Let pretend you are in a kitchen. You probably have a window, lighter colored walls and floors and a white fridge. All these lightly colored things reflect light. They create a beautiful array of colors as they "dance" off of your walls. Since most kids with autism have dialated pupils, which means they gather more light than what is considered "normal". Frustrations #1 "Don't you see the prism of colors and aren't you blinded?"

Now, you may have a dishwasher, microwave and a fridge. Did you know that standing beside a fridge is like being really close to a freight train? Microwaves are worse. And dishwashers sound like your in a war zone! Frustration #2: "Why doesn't all that noise bother you, it hurts me?"

Tactile: Did you know synthetic fibrac burns the skin? Did you relize that seems feel like razors? Frustration #3: "Get these closthes of me, I'm on fire!"

Internal: Can you hear the blood whooshing thru your head? Do your ears always ring? Can you feel your heart beat? Does everything you eat feel like a brick? Does milk make you feel drunk or goofy? Does your stomach itch and burn? Can you hear gunshots in your head? Do your arms and legs feel like jello?

Sometimes, you can block all of this out. By "stimming". I dislike that term. It is NOT a stimulatory activity but a very, very, very calming one on nerves that are totally frazled all of the time. "Please let me swing, or rock back and forth, flap my arms". "I can 'feel' my arms then." Please let me spin plates and car tires" Please let me line up my cars. There is no sensible order out there. I can't control anything. Please give me this". "Join me in this. I can see that I don't belong. Make me feel as if I do."

I really do not beleive "SIB's" are that at all. We don't want to hurt ourselves. "BUT DAMMIT-MY BODY HURTS". "CAN'T YOU MAKE THE LIGHTS NOT FLASH". "I'M TOTALLY CONFUSED BY ALL THE SWIRLS OF COLOR!" "WHY ARE YOU TELLING ME NO WHEN I HIT MY HEAD ON THE WALL, THE F...ING PAIN MOVES". You think you have a "temper tantrum". With the screaming and yelling , but you don't. You have a plea in the only way I can tell you. Please put me somewhere quiet, and somewhat dark!" "I CAN'T TAKE ANY MORE OF THIS CRAP! WHY DOESN'T THIS BOTHER YOU?" I wanna tell you what's going on with me, but somewhere between my brain and mouth it gets lost in the noise and color. "DAMMIT, I HATE THIS!"

Picture this bombardment constantly on your body and in it. It never stops, even at night when sleep is susposed to bring a peace to the body. What is peace?

Coping... This a hard one. This is a continual coping process. At 38, I reckon I have found a few ways. As, a teenager, once the initial surge of puberty hormones was over, I discovered that I had a bit more freedom to eat what I could handle. By this I mean no one would force me to eat fruit, fruit pulp gags me. I also learned that milk set in my stomach as a ton of bricks. So, I didn't eat those.

I learned as an adult to scatter brightly colored rugs around a light room. It really helps in obsorbing some of the brightness and reflections from the lighter walls and such.

I have discovered that my stomach/intestines feels better if I take a small amount of Vitamin A dialy. Along with my vitamins. I also have a lot less bowell trouble.

I have a great Psychiatrist who I have been going to since 1985! Sometimes I go more than at other times. He has helped me to learn about emotions other than happy/sad/angry sort of thing.

I also take St. Johns Wort herbal blend with Kava Kava, Gotu Kola, Ginsing, Ginger, Kelp. This helps me to remain more relaxed. If things get really bad, I keep a supply of Inderal (beta blocker) for heart palpitations and panic attacks. Which I do have on a regular basis.

I am also hypo-glycemic. And crave sugar to keep my blood sugars up. But, I do have a yeast problem with frequent yeast infections. Did you know that yeast infections burn in your entire gut? And make you silly?

As for the "SIB's" I still feel the need to sometimes just bang my head...but I don't. So I do allow myself to put on steel toed shoes and go outside and kick a tree. Other times I just jump up down or swing...

With my child if he stimms. That's ok. If he head bangs. That is ok too. I look at it as something the body needs to do. I just provide a way in which he will not injure himself. For example - if he does head bang I put a large over stuffed pillow between him and floor. He head will get the sensations of jarring but it won't get bruised. Sometimes, he used to poke his fingers into his eyes. I would give him a hand towell and show him how to put an even pressure on the eyes. Beleive this or not, it callms the eyes. I will also put him in a darker area.

He does from time to time throw raging fits. OK. these are fine too. I pick him and put him in his room. I turn of light. Put on some low "relaxation" cd's. He likes the ocean sounding one. I close his windows and curtains. He usually will not allow me comfort him. So, I allow him time to begin calming down. Once they begin to callm down from the bombardments they are more able to handle intervention by comforting, holding etc.

I hope some of this helps.

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I have an 8 yr old diagnosed with Aspergers. I am what Tony Atwood refers to as "adult recovered" aspie (I believe that i the term he uses- something like that, anyway). As a kid, I could have been diagnosed with Aspergers, but now I don't think I even could be diagnosed- even though some of the issues are still hanging about to a certain degree. One reason to consider diagnosis is services. You may be eligible for things like SSDI income or Medi-care coverage with a diagnosis.

My 9-year-old DS has Aspergers. My DH has it too (although never formally diagnosed). My FIL does as well, we are sure of it. I am about as neurotypical as you can get. I find the "issues" of my DH and son so hard to deal with sometimes, but I try to be compassionate and kind. Our marriage has been really, really tough. We're doing much better now but almost broke up 5 yrs ago). I've found that I need to do my own thing socially or I can't stand it. Namely, if DH wants to be a hermit and not leave the house, then I go places myself.

I can't use my dishwasher - they both can't stand it. DH needs to buy his own clothes because he only wants certain fabrics and brands. Neither of them can stand tags in their clothes - DH would rather destroy a garment removing a tag than wear it with the tag. I can't play my violin or viola when they're home either. My DS is so very clumsy, he can't even catch a ball or dribble a basketball.

If any of you have suggestions to help me, as a non-Aspie, deal with issues in a kind and constructive way, I'd love to hear it. It seems as if the Aspies in my house are wired to be so self-absorbed, and I give and give until there is nothing left of me. Hope that makes sense?

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Well, Aspies *are* sort of wired to be self absorbed. They don't naturally think about how things affect someone else, and it can be difficult for them to do that. Understanding that may help you, but it's not an excuse for them to just do what they want. They also need to learn to think about the others in their environment. Have you ever had a family meeting? Maybe a weekly family meeting would be a good way to deal with some of the ongoing issues? I think you need to talk about these issues that involve more than one person, and to come up with compromises that everyone can live with. If the dishwasher bothers them, maybe you can run it at night as you're going to bed? Maybe DH can take the kids to the park an afternoon a week so that you can play your music, etc.

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Well, yes, Aspies ARE wired to be self-absorbed.

Something to consider-- your dh and ds probably have a hard time reading your facial expressions and body language. I know that's a tough area for me. So you are thinking "well, they should know that I'm angry/sad/frustrated, just by the way I look and act!" But they very well might NOT! You need to tell them "I'm feeling X and I need you to do Y to help me" People with Aspergers are even LESS "mind readers" than neurotypical people. Even if they know what you are feeling, it may not occur to them what it is that YOU need to feel better. They may try what would work best for them........which may very well mean leaving you alone, which probably isn't what you want.

I think Khrisday has a great idea about the family meetings. Get it out in the open, spell out what your issues are, and brainstorm on what you all can do to resolve these issues. And it goes both ways. Get them communicating on what their issues are, and how you can resolve them.

And by all means, get out into social situations alone if you have to. I'm a lot more social than my husband, even though we are both Aspies. I don’t' necessarily know the right way to handle a social situation, but dangit, I want to get out there and try! So I do. And it's handy, really, if you think about it. You don't have to worry about getting a sitter, because your hubby is perfectly happy to sit at home and be a hermit with the kids!

And on some level, you've just got to accept that they are different. Pick your battles. Yes, the dishes MUST be cleaned. So offer a choice-- they can wash the dishes by hand, or they can go outside, or to the store, or as far away from the dishwasher as possible while you run it. But is it REALLY a big deal if they have to take the tags out of their clothes?

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I don't beat around the bush when talking to the guys in this house - I just say it directly. It's been hard making that transition. I am going to try a family meeting, but doubt my DH will meaningfully participate.

Of course, I have to accept that they are different. I know that. But you know what, this might sound heartless, but where is any acceptance for me and my needs? My child goes to his social skills group and to his counselor every single week - that involves dragging my 2 year old along, and DH won't leave the house to take him EVER - he just wants to be alone and do what HE wants to do. My DH not only did not mention Mother's Day yesterday, my family went out to dinner and he stayed home to change the oil in his truck.

I was just using the tags issue to illustrate the bigger picture - they have so many issues with textures from food to clothes, to everything, it is so hard to keep them happy and I'm getting weary of it. We don't have the money to buy the Aspies in this house every single thing their heart desires either. My DH and son have special interests in computers, and DH will buy stuff before I pay the bills and leave me short of money.

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My 6 yo DS was just recently academically diagnosed with AS (in July there will have testing done which will probably result in a medical diagnosis of AS).

Right now I'm going through the grieving process --- that I don't have a typical son. And I worry that my 10 month old DS has autism. I'm thinking about the road ahead.

If anyone has any recommended resources to share (books, websites), I'd greatly appreciate it as I am wanting to get more information.

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Saganaga, these will help:
The OASIS website: http://www.udel.edu/bkirby/asperger/

Here's a site with many links:
http://users.wpi.edu/~trek/aspergers.html

Asperger Syndrome Coalition of the US:
http://www.asperger.org/index_asc.html

You can also do a search for Yahoo Groups or Delphi Forums on Aspergers - there is a very good forum connected with the OASIS website listed above.

HUGS

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Thank you guys for this! My child was dx ADHD this school year after last year dx'd with depression. So much of what you guys are talking about SING at me! I never thought anything about it could be anythign else till DS's IEP meeting today and they were ready to say there is nothing we can do till we started compairing notes and putting some peices together and 3 of them said 'Aspergers' at the same time. Not saying he has it, but it makes so much sense. The website links are also helping give me some other ideas for how to deal with DS. Everything we have tried in the past hasn't worked and it does make sense based on what I have read today. LOL- I have read so much my head is spinning. He is meeting with the new psychiatrist tomorrow- I will definately bring it up.
Now, to get DH tested... lol.

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I was wondering if any of you have tried any diet changes to help alliviate AS syptoms. Any positive results?
We've just started the Feingold diet & I'm looking into a wheat or dairy free diet.

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I just want to jump in here if that's ok, I have two cousins with autism and aspergers and I think I have some pretty bad sensory issues. Smells and sounds bother me that don't bother anyone else. Tags, jewelry and my hair bother me immensly. My mom use to get highly annoyed that I had to have the creases in my socks straight or I wouldn't let her put my shoes on, this at 3 years old.

My dh wears 2 different socks or one inside out and it drives me NUTS!!! One night in bed I asked him to get me socks because my feet were cold and I heard him at the drawer giggling. I yelled, YOU BETTER GEt ME MATCHING SOCKS, he was laughing contemplating getting me two diff socks.

I had an extremely difficult time nursing because people touching me bothers me sometimes. I could go on and on. I know I don't have aspergers, but could I join this thread for support?
Corrie

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just poking in....

maybe some of you moms can help this mom....sort of an allied question to your thread...

http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=149349

tracy

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I'm 29. I haven't been formally diagnosed but doing all the research into my child's AS I kept finding how it described *me*. I'd always wondered what was "wrong" with me and now I know. :)

I cannot hold a conversation. I never know what to say. And when I do say something it's so far off tangent of whatever we may have been talking about.. I get lots of strange looks. lol I will never understand small talk, or skirting around the truth. Phrasing things tactfully. Waaaay beyond me!!

I also have the hardest time recognizing faces! It's so embarrassing and stressful. I can talk to someone for twenty minutes, and ten minutes later I wouldn't recognize them in passing. I have to remember clothes or hairstyle or a purse they are carrying or something..

I'm so glad to have found some Aspies!!

Erica
Mama to Ethan 7 AS
and Willow 4

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I'm a self-diagnosed Aspie. My official dx, years ago, was ADHD, but in comparing the 2, while there are a lot of similarites, the Aspergers symptoms fit me better. Sometimes it's fun.....it doesn't take much to amuse me, give me some kind of toy with a texture to it, and I'm busy for awhile. Somtimes it sucks......the clumsiness and social problems drive me nuts. Dh also has most of the symptoms. Which is probably why we get along so well, we understand each other. Not surprisingly, our youngest son, the only one that is genetically related to both of us, is autistic. It can make for entertaining conversations with his therapists. "What do you mean there is something "wrong" with smelling every object he picks up? Seems normal to me!" LOL
LOL I know! I drive my husband crazy when I find some little knick knack I have to have because I crave the color or the texture or just *something*.

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Eep! I totally forgot about this thread! Anyways I've been doing more research and I firmly believe that I do in fact have Aspergers. Actually I really have no doubt. It really explains alot about my kidhood and who I am today.

Does anyone else have a problem with empathy? I was telling my DH last night that I don't 'get' other people's problems. When someone is upset about something I am usually thinking about how it will affect me. It makes it very hard in parenting because when the kids need something or are upset about something that is infringing on 'my territory' (so to speak) I get really upset and cannot understand their side at all. It really makes DH mad and I can see it is starting to upset my child too. I AM trying but its hard.

I can so relate to all the stuff you've said. It would take me ages to list all my 'quirks' but a few noteable ones you've mentioned
- Noise. I can't stand little noises. I will lay awake at night panicking if there is water dripping off the eavestrough outside. My husband likes to have music playing all the time and it drives me nuts. I often have to turn it off and it makes him mad but I just can't take little noises. When I was younger we had a fish tank in the living room and I had to have the tv on full blast because all I could hear was the damn fish tank! I have to sleep with white noise because every little noise drives me nuts.
-People touching me. Sometimes I just can't stand to be touched! It makes it really hard with parenting because there are times when I have to forcefully push the kids off me and it makes them cry but I literally cannot stand to be touched sometimes. It makes my skin crawl. Lots of stuff makes my skin crawl.
SIB - From about age 12 to age 20 I was a cutter. I would cut my body with razor blades or knifes. Especially when I was upset about something. I stopped 6 months after my marriage when an incident occurred where my husband and I were in a big fight and I got really upset and went out to the living room (it was about 1 am) and started cutting my arms. He caught me and threatened to take me to the psych ward if I did it again. I still have to struggle not to do it.

There are so many other issues I couldn't discuss them all. Just a couple of other questions. Does anyone else have problems with telling too much personal information? I seem to say totally inappropriate things in social settings and I don't realize it until I really sit and think about it. It is really embarrassing. How do you do with making friends? I don't really have any. I have two - one from highschool and one from college but we don't live near each other, only talk on the phone usually. I have started many friendships since the kids were born, we'd make playdates but after a few times they don't want to get together with me anymore. I really don't understand what I'm doing wrong.

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I have the opposite problem with empathy. Sometimes I put myself in someone else's shoes too well. I over empathise. I also lose myself in other people's emotions. Most of the time I don't know what's mine and what is someone else's. But there are oftentimes when I too don't understand other's people's problems. It's not until the conversation is over and they've left that it hits me what they were trying to say and then it's too late.

Noise- noise really bothers me. Especially my child's vocal stims. I cannot concentrate and get completely overwhelmed trying to listen to someone speaking over any sort of noise-especially tv, radio or a/c units. I lose it when there is too much competing noise and it all gets jumbled. My husband can read a book while watching tv and listening to the radio while holding a conversation with me. That drives me absolutely to meltdown. It feels like being in a vaccuum.

People touching me-I have this too. I hate light touches, I have to rub them away. I like firm, hard squeezy touches. They help relax me. A stray hair on my skin somewhere overwhelms me and I MUST get it off. I can't concentrate on anything else but that hair.

SIB- I haven't given in to this urge in a long time. I too was a scraper (scraped until I bled) and a cutter. There was a time a year ago I had a complete meltdown and all I wanted to do was punch this bathroom mirror and use the pieces to cut my wrists. It obsessed me and it took all I had to fight it. I just wanted the emotional pain to stop, and physical pain heals..

I am totally the open book! It drives me very proper and 'hip' neighbor and perfect strangers to distraction. I've tried to learn from her about what is appropriate to share, how to phrase it.. I just don't get it.. How do you do small talk?

What you said about having friends sounds just like what I've gone through. I see people hanging out with GROUPS of friends. They have several friends that they are close to and they hang out. I never had that. I have acquaintances, or people who like that I'm kinda quirky and strange, but they aren't friends. We don't hang out or share our lives together.. I've kinda resolved myself to not ever understanding or having that.. I also sabotage things like that when I do get it. There have been several times that someone has tried to get close and it stressed and worried me so much to have to keep up the "normal" that I eventually just let them wander away to search somewhere else.. I get in my "wanna be alone" zone and it could last a day or weeks and NT's don't get that..

::hug I'm so glad to find I'm not alone!

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dropping in on your thread...looking for a little help

http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?p=1749136#post1749136


tracy

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my child has as. i suspect i do as well.

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I see myself a little in this thread, I always thought I was shy and quirky :LOL. I can't hold a conversation about anything really unless it's the kids. Maybe I am just out of the loop who knows.

My ds does the licking of things, I mean everything. He will lick dirty windows, cars, the floor, rocks, the worst one is when he picks up tossed out gum on the ground and puts it in his mouth :gross. We have tried to tell him it's dirty but it doesn't get through. I personally have always thought he had adhd/odd, we are getting him evaluated soon.

Noise doesn't bother him, he actually seems to crave loud things. If the microwave is on he has to be right infront of it. The tv has to be very loud, the computer volume when he plays a game has to be loud. He talks and yells very loudly. I on the other hand can't stand all the noise! I can handle the dishwasher being on but loud voices, tv etc drive me bonkers. It makes my head hurt and I can't think at all.

If I'm trying to type something important out for dh's work I can't have anyone talking to me, the kids have to be quiet in another room. I freak out and lose my train of thought and I can't even type at all.

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The other parent
Hi, I am new to this forum. But with good intention, and wonder. I maybe adopting a kid who could have Autism. The father of the kid has mild Aspergers. Does anyone know how likely the kids chances are of being autistic?

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ShaggyDaddy
wow, a very old thread with a new question.

It has been proven that Autistic parents have a higher chance of having autistic kids. It is heavily debated, but statistically a kid has a greater chance of being Autistic if 1) he is a boy, and 2) if he has autistic people in his genetic line.

For instance, in my family: Me, my brother, my mother, my father, my child and some of my nephews all have forms of Autism. Only some of the women in my family are affected, but almost all of the boys are. 

This is of course anecdotal, but in general Autism is genetic and it is more frequent in boys.

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Since autism is more rare in girls (or is it really? Or does it just present differently?) are your chances for another kid with autism raised if you have a female kid with ASD?

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Since autism is more rare in girls (or is it really? Or does it just present differently?) are your chances for another kid with autism raised if you have a female kid with ASD?

good point, I did not specify.. boys are more likely to be diagnosed, not necessarily more often autistic.

The genetic research is very incomplete and there is really only theory at this point. Really anything anyone says is anecdotal at this point.

But to speak to the question to is he going to be autistic... the answer is nobody can really know.

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Hi, I am new to this forum. But with good intention, and wonder. I maybe adopting a kid who could have Autism. The father of the kid has mild Aspergers. Does anyone know how likely the kids chances are of being autistic?

Autistics are more likely to have autistic kids, but of course not always. Research is inconclusive. Anecdotally, my father was (undx'ed) autistic; he had a neurotypical son and an autistic daughter (me). I have, of my biological kids, one autistic girl, one very neurotypical boy, and one possible/maybe/likely autistic girl. My neurotypical brother has an autistic daughter as well.

So, you should probably keep in mind the possibility...

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From my own observations, experience and research... it really just seems to be much more difficult to diagnose in females. A lot of it seems to be a difference between external and internal expression... if that makes sense. IE, males are more likely to act their frustrations out, while females are more likely to internalize it. Hopefully that doesn't sound offensive, I'm usually the very LAST person to make gender distinctions, but that really seems to be the case.

As far as the original question goes, I just don't think there would be any way to know at this point. How old is the kid?

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Brigianna-- You posted while I was typing. :)

I would just like to say... I am in love with your senior title!!!!

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From my own observations, experience and research... it really just seems to be much more difficult to diagnose in females. A lot of it seems to be a difference between external and internal expression... if that makes sense. IE, males are more likely to act their frustrations out, while females are more likely to internalize it.

This is certainly anecdotally true in my family.


Brigianna-- You posted while I was typing. :)

I would just like to say... I am in love with your senior title!!!!
:lol thanks... most people don't get it.

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Hi, I am Sheila, new to this board but not to MDC.... my 12 year old son was Diagnosed with aspergers (sp?) 2 months ago. My 6 year old son is being tested now (thru the school) . My Dh has not been diagnosed I don't think he would go for the testing but I am about 100% sure he has it... I think he has some other issues as well- maybe depression... and anger issues. He totally can't read clues. He is a very challenging man to be with. We alsomost split up last year and in a lot of ways I kind of wish we had gone thru with it.

Anyway- about the dishwasher- we got one with a timer feature and I can set it to go on in the middle of the night when I am sound asleep, it is great! I don't know what I've got but the dishwasher, floresecent lights kill me!!! I especilly hate the lawn mower and the snow blower and the way my Dh starts adn stops them each like a million times. Each start and stop feels like an ice pick tp the head...

I am glad to have found this forum. I have 3 kids, all with differnt things going on... Oldest DS (12)with Aspergers and disgrphia (illegible hand writing at age 12) middle kid (DS age 6) had speach delays and he has something going on, so I am glad they are testing him and my DDd is 2 and she freaks out in stores, has to be carried all the time- at 30 lbs! And she has sensory issues as well as being non verbal. She gets help from Birth-3.

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I don't know what I've got but the dishwasher, floresecent lights kill me!!! I especilly hate the lawn mower and the snow blower and the way my Dh starts adn stops them each like a million times. Each start and stop feels like an ice pick tp the head...

Fluorescent lights....the ones with the electronic ballast are MUCH better than the old kind. They are coming out with more of the electronic ballast kind now. The old kind, in addition to the annoying flicker, also emits high levels of electromagnetic radiation...some of us can feel that.

Lawn mower... DH has a cordless electric kind. MUCH quieter, and the sounds are at a somewhat higher frequency, than the loud gas-powered ones, especially w/ the house windows shut. Now if I could only get all the neighbors to use an electric one, too :p When we had a smaller yard, we had a push reel mower. Now THAT was great, it sounded like a librarian... "shhh, shhh, shhh..."

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

My name is Ida, and I'm a Norwegian, 21-year-old aspie.

I also have Cerebral Palsy (extremly mild, diagnosed at age 1), and I was always a bit eccentric as a child. But I'm still very intelligent. I said my first words at 6 months, spoke fluent Norwegian and recited the alphabet (forewards and backwards) by age 1, spoke English at 3, taught myself reading by age 4, and by age 6, I had read and memorized the bible.... I started walking at 5, and had my first day of school at age 7... And most importantly: I was always smiling, and seemed happy.

So, yeah, my parents thought I'd do pretty well in all areas of life, even though I walked funny, had no friends at primary school, and was bullied by everyone, including teachers. I gave up on public schools in highschool, and dropped out. I was also diagnosed with PVL/partial blindness, Asthma, and a wierd stomache decease during teenage-years.

My parents and family thought the bullying was due to my intellect, and that the teachers may have found me threatening, since I was way past curriculum. And they knew that it would all be better as soon as I got into the late teen ages, and that my physical challenges would not stop me from finding the perfect boyfriend or bearing and raising children.

That sort of happened. Nearly three years ago, 18 years old, I moved into my own appartment. Then I met my fiancé (been together for 1 year and 11 months now). Today, I take highschool-level internet-courses. I love school, and I plan to home-study for many years, before ending up with three PhD's. We also agreed that we would have kids someday.

But my familiy quickly changed their opinion regarding me, when I got diagnosed with AS, 1,5 year ago. First thing my mother said to me on the way home was "Now I don't like the idea of you having children anymore, because you don't have feelings..."

I think that's the most hurtfull thing she's ever said to me! I mean, she has always been so positive to everything, and now she turned all negative because of a label, a name? If she thought I could have children before, why is it different now? I am the same person!

I read your article "Parents with Aspergers" and got the impression that you think aspies should not have children. I've also read, that since Aspergers is inheritable, many aspies would be great parents, since the kids are most likely to experience the same kinds of problems as them. And since I am a girl, and grew up without having the diagnosis, I have learnt the importance of showing my affection to people, and even though I struggle sometimes, I surprised the psychologist with my insight in the social protocols.

Anonymous said...

I may have a longer response later to this, but for now( in short) I'd like to say that while this article applies to some on the spectrum, it does not represent us all. I have been given many, many compliments about my parenting from many different people. I parent an NT, child with mild autism, as well as a nonverbal ASD child. I'm not perfect, as no one is, but I do not feel that I am not an effective, loving, attending parent. My teenaged NT daughter concurs.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I both have Aspergers and while we have certain deficits, like all successful couples, our abilities complement each other's. I find your automatic assumption of abuse disturbing. Many autistic people have been bullied, which causes even more reason than non-bullied parents to consider carefully words and actions with children.

Parenting has certainly been difficult, but I have stretched my own abilities considerably. Yes, I may need earplugs and tinted lenses at time, but I understand my children's sensory issues very well due to that and keep stretching their limits by doing things I wasn't able to do myself a few years ago, such as going to sensory gyms and restaurants. I know that I have gained a great insight into myself, and as my children are a special interest to me, I spend a great deal of time journaling about them and thinking about what we can do to help things go smoothly in our household.

mcsleepy said...

Thank you so much for this article. Everything in here perfectly characterizes my father and all he has put me and my family though.

We have reconciled many things since I've left home, but his disorder remains. It is frustrating and heartbreaking, but somewhat comforting and empowering to pinpoint the neurological problem which was not my own yet which shaped my entire life and being.

B Collins said...

How can a parent anticipate their child's needs without theory of mind?! Just because you lack it doesn't mean you lack biological attachment to the person you made. You read books, broaden your response arsenal and respond with trial and error. Baby is crying, this cry sounds this way, solve cry with play. Oh, it was boredom, she needs stimulation. Find out age appropriate stimulation for baby. Solve that specific cry in the future with stimulation. Ditto for affection, hunger, thirst, sleep. Suggesting a parent would just say fuck it and not try because they don't think the same is some offensive Bologna.

mcsleepy said...

@B Collins,

Aspergers parents can fulfill the basic needs of an infant, but they lack a certain nuance and sensitivity in matters of communication. Certainly a baby is much simpler than the blossoming mind of an adolescent. The lack of "normal" interaction can stunt or distort social development.

Aspies also often retreat to their comfort zone, or shut down, when stressed by medium-to-large problems, while on the other hand over-react to very small ones. At best, this stress is sensed by the child and leads to a family mood of insecurity and eggshells. At worst, the child can be neglected for stretches of time.

Aspies have such a difficult time with stress that they can be unreliable emotionally. At times disappointingly joyless, while at other times inappropriately jubilant, they always seem to be out of stride with the rest of the world.

The often limited, skewed world view of an aspie can also harm the child's social life. Aspergers people will often not accept that anything is wrong with them, and even take pride in their introverted ways. This can foster general distrust and shyness in the child.

Aspies can foster inexpressible guilt in the child for any unpredictable outburst or even practical jokes that the aspie themselves have no experience with because they were too busy just trying to get through their own days most of their lives. They will take personally things which normal people will respond to more socially, and in so doing teach the child to repress themselves, or rebel in destructive ways.

I am almost 32 and my Aspergers father is still getting the hang of "acting normal", rolling with the punches so to speak, and he still is a bundle of head-shaking confusion.

Source: Personal experience

Cali said...

Thank you for this. As the child of two Aspergers parents, it hit home. I wrote a reflection on my own blog, https://callan.wordpress.com/2016/10/16/shaped/

My child has been rejected by his peers, ridiculed and bullied !!!

Social rejection has devastating effects in many areas of functioning. Because the Aspergers child tends to internalize how others treat him, rejection damages self-esteem and often causes anxiety and depression. As the child feels worse about himself and becomes more anxious and depressed – he performs worse, socially and intellectually.

Click here to read the full article…

How to Prevent Meltdowns in Aspergers Children

Meltdowns are not a pretty sight. They are somewhat like overblown temper tantrums, but unlike tantrums, meltdowns can last anywhere from ten minutes to over an hour. When it starts, the Asperger's child is totally out-of-control. When it ends, both you and the Asperger’s child are totally exhausted. But... don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. At the least provocation, for the remainder of that day -- and sometimes into the next - the meltdown can return in full force.

Click here for the full article...

Parenting Defiant Aspergers Teens

Although Aspergers is at the milder end of the autism spectrum, the challenges parents face when disciplining a teenager with Aspergers are more difficult than they would be with an average teen. Complicated by defiant behavior, the Aspergers teen is at risk for even greater difficulties on multiple levels – unless the parents’ disciplinary techniques are tailored to their child's special needs.

Click here to read the full article…

Aspergers Children “Block-Out” Their Emotions

Parenting children with Aspergers and HFA can be a daunting task. In layman’s terms, Aspergers is a developmental disability that affects the way children develop and understand the world around them, and is directly linked to their senses and sensory processing. This means they often use certain behaviors to block out their emotions or response to pain.

Click here to read the full article…

Older Teens and Young Adult Children With Aspergers Still Living At Home

Your older teenager or young “adult child” isn’t sure what to do, and he is asking you for money every few days. How do you cut the purse strings and teach him to be independent? Parents of teens with Aspergers face many problems that other parents do not. Time is running out for teaching their adolescent how to become an independent adult. As one mother put it, "There's so little time, yet so much left to do."

Click here to read the full article…

Living with an Aspergers Spouse/Partner

Research reveals that the divorce rate for people with Aspergers is around 80%. Why so high!? The answer may be found in how the symptoms of Aspergers affect intimate relationships. People with Aspergers often find it difficult to understand others and express themselves. They may seem to lose interest in people over time, appear aloof, and are often mistaken as self-centered, vain individuals.

Click here to read the full article…

Online Parent Coaching for Parents of Asperger's Children

If you’re the parent of a child with Aspergers or High-Functioning Autism, you know it can be a struggle from time to time. Your child may be experiencing: obsessive routines; problems coping in social situations; intense tantrums and meltdowns; over-sensitivity to sounds, tastes, smells and sights; preoccupation with one subject of interest; and being overwhelmed by even the smallest of changes.

Click here to read the full article...

Unraveling The Mystery Behind Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

Parents, teachers, and the general public have a lot of misconceptions of Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism. Many myths abound, and the lack of knowledge is both disturbing and harmful to kids and teens who struggle with the disorder.

Click here to read the full article...

Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism

Two traits often found in kids with High-Functioning Autism are “mind-blindness” (i.e., the inability to predict the beliefs and intentions of others) and “alexithymia” (i.e., the inability to identify and interpret emotional signals in others). These two traits reduce the youngster’s ability to empathize with peers. As a result, he or she may be perceived by adults and other children as selfish, insensitive and uncaring.

Click here
to read the full article...

My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content