APE – the Asperger Parenting Experience

The Life and Times of one Asperger Parent

Are YOU an Asperger Parent?

Posted by Patrick on 20 September 2007

In my first post for this blog, I am out to capture experiences from parents of children with Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) from all over the world. If you are one such parent, be proud and say so in a comment for this post. Feel free to share an experience, advice or anything else you wish to share about being an Asperger parent, but please do so in a positive way.

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10 Responses to “Are YOU an Asperger Parent?”

  1. cshoresal said

    Well, I qualify as one such parent. But today has been a really bad day and I don’t have anything positive to say at the moment. When I do, and if I can figure out how to get back here, I will.

  2. eccentricfamily said

    Our 8-yr-old son has AS and ADHD. Highly creative. Loves art (especially Van Gogh) and science (comes up with experiments on his own at home). Taught himself to draw in perspective; often draws buildings. Fascinated by locks, mechanical devices, and facts about the ocean. Likes to come up with inventions. Believes he will invent problems to the world’s big problems, and asks me to send his ideas to the President. Asks me to buy him marble so he can make sculptures. Advanced vocabulary and reading. Dives into every new issue of Popular Science and reads articles aloud to me. Memorizes entire dialogues from movies. Notices details that others don’t. Great with pattern recognition, spacial visualization, jigsaw puzzles, building and sculpting 3-dimensional objects.

    This is the same boy who has been asked to leave two afterschool programs because of angry outbursts and punching. Sent to principal’s office several times. His concern for justice is what often gets him in trouble. He wants to right every wrong, no matter the consequences. His struggles in the first two years of school nearly destroyed his self-esteem. He believes in himself now. Knows he’s different from others in some good ways. Has had skilled, understanding teachers, social worker, case worker, and school psychologist.

    Hardest thing for me as a parent is to deal with misguided, unsolicited advice from family members and others who don’t know anything about AS or ADHD, and think they could solve everything with discipline alone.

    I don’t see my son as impaired; he’s more of an exception to the norm. Once, when we read the Ugly Duckling, I told him that in some ways that was his story, too. Some people will make you feel bad if there’s something different about you, and they don’t realize that it’s because you’re actually something more magnificent than they could imagine. You just need to find the other swans and spread your wings.

    There’s a classroom scene in the movie “A Wrinkle in Time” where the six-yr-old savant, Charles Wallace, is asked a question by his teacher, and he remains silent. She knows he never speaks in front of anyone but family, and she’s trying her best to coax him out. The kids in the class clearly think he’s stupid. The teacher looks at him wistfully and says she wishes he would share the interesting thoughts she knows he has. That scene always brings tears to my eyes.

    Madeleine L’Engle was a genius. I hope and trust she’s enjoying life after life.

    It’s often lonely being the parent of an AS kid, partly because you want to talk to others about the great things you see in your kid, as well as the struggles, and only another AS parent can really understand. Agree?

  3. cshoresal said

    We don’t have any of that good stuff, just the anger, violence, and extreme disregard for all things beyond her own self. She likes history, especially US Civil War, so she has fun with that. Sewing the clothing leads to huge temper fits. But we get a break when she goes away to an event. Any ideas for respite care for a willful and unpredictable 16yo? She has no friends, so there’s no one she can stay with for a day or an overnight. Counselors want to medicate her into submission, some recommend institutionalization in the form of a residential school that we can’t afford. And I don’t know where else after that. We don’t want to send her away.

  4. Mary said

    I am 60 years old, and raised two children. One was like me, so we had a very good relationship. The other was the way I wanted to be and I heaped praise on personality plus. My chidren were my everything. While they suffered in some areas, they are 30-to 40 year old adults each with positive attributes and successful adults. Some of my errors included the following. When I was seven a friend was crying hysterically because she got an F on her report card. She claimed her parents were going to beat her sensless. Since I was never presured to do homework and seldom did and still maintained average grades, my mental interpretation of her circumstances was “What kind of parent was so mean they would beat their child for being stupid?” Consequently, I never made my children do homework. One was gifted. One had learning disabilties. Both were required to be self motivated. I did not understand why normal people were different and lazy. It’s a little late now, and my daughter was somewhat angry that I simply accepted that she was not real bright. However, as much as she was and is loved she got the greater gift in my opinion.

  5. g said

    My daughter will be 21 in a week, and was diagnosed at 17. It’s been a struggle at times, but I’ve learned so much from her. She graduates from college in the spring! 🙂
    Your blog is great. I’m in IT too, there’s a link between aspies and high tech I think.

  6. awalkabout said

    The book that’s helped us is Parenting with Love and Logic. Dealing with natural consequences of one’s actions will hopefully sink in to our son, age 12, as no form of discipline whatever seems to work. Sadly the school is unhappy with these choices and we constantly get ragged on for not being supportive enough. We tried the medication route too– the boy ended up with a series of cyclic tics that continue to expand, tho he’s been off the meds for nearly three years. But we don’t have the violence, so that’s a plus. Of course we’re getting to puberty, and we hear that’s when it gets toughest.
    I agree with G– my husband is an IT instructor, and this runs in his family. Must be something to that.
    Great blog. I’ll be back again!

    babs

  7. Stephanie said

    We are looking at post secondary options for our 18 year old, sho has PDD-NOS. Would love to hear any information anyone has on College Internship Program, Brehm, or other structured programs that include life skills/ tutoring/ etc. My son is very high functioning, and needs more help with social skills/ pragmatics. Thanks!

  8. Im a mum of two children one in which has Aspergers. Little man is 8 yrs old and very smart. We dont try to hide his autism we embrace it. I’m very proud of my son his wonderful. Yes there are hard times but we get through them. I love being his mother and would never change him. Thats the way god gave him to me so thats fine with me. 🙂 Anybody need some advice or just a chat your welcome over to my blog A boy with Aspergers. where I share my life parenting a child on the spectrum. xx

  9. Dave Angel said

    This is a great little post – is this site still going as none of the posts are very recent?

    Thanks
    Dave

  10. Heather said

    My son, James, if 14 1/2 years old. As much as I searched, I didn’t get his diagnosis until he was 13 years old. I love him very much but just couldn’t figure out what made him tick. Now I know – it’s now just “spirit fingers” it’s hand flapping!!! I understand him but no one else does. And I am not nearly patient enough to decipher what he is trying to tell me. I wish I could be better. He recently went to a group home when he became violent. In all honesty, he was struggling with any human contact which brought forth the aggressive behavior. I wish he was home. My baby. He’s an amazing kiddo and I feel like I have failed him.

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