Introduction – An Open Invitation

An Open Invitation
You are not alone.
That’s what I would have liked to hear when I was 8 months pregnant and searching for parenting resources within a very particular subset of the population: Moms on the ASD spectrum. If you go search “autistic moms”, you will likely find a wealth of information…for parents of autistic/Aspergers children. There is a sad lack of information for actual ASD moms. But if research shows that Autism can be genetic– wouldn’t that mean that at least some of these children’s parents may be on the spectrum as well? Where are the resources for ASD parents? I kept searching. One of the first pieces of information I found regarding actual Spectrum parents, looked like this:
“Characteristics of an Aspergers Parent—
• Perfectionism
• Regimentation
• Anger
• Abuse”
Source – Mark Hutten, the Neurotypical.com: http://www.theneurotypical.com/parents-with-aspergers.html
Reading this, I was left disappointed and horrified. Was I going to be an unintentionally terrible mom with an unhappy child? What a message for an expectant first-time-mom to find!
And check out this blog:
http://life-with-aspergers.blogspot.com/2009/07/can-aspies-make-good-parents-part-3.html
This post makes a valiant point to outline the positive parenting abilities of an Aspie.
But read the comments from readers. They are mostly from unhappy people with ASD parents–one horrible experience after another. Some actually discouraging tentative Aspie women who are pregnant or looking to become parents–assuming all ASD moms will be the  same!
We DO have spectrum-specific struggles that make parenting more difficult for us and yes, can cause us to make mistakes that unfortunately affect our kids. While these people all deserved happy childhoods, we Aspies are all just trying to cope with the issues of a challenging condition that none of us asked for. If someone tells us “you can’t be a good parent”, it’s not going to help us prevent these issues from interfering with our kid’s lives. One has to wonder, with examples like this being so common, if it’s possible that an Aspie Mom can make things work? The answer is, of course. Anyone can do something better with the right tools and help. So how can we be helped?
To Neurotypicals:
Give us resources. Share your positive experiences as well as negative ones. Share constructive advice about what you would have liked your Aspie parent to know when you were growing up, so we can prevent unintentional ASD parenting mistakes.
Help us to become the best moms and dads we can be instead of assuming that we are simply unable to be good parents. We are just trying to navigate the difficult waters of parenting with more obstacles and fewer coping tools than you may have at your disposal. Understand that we love our kids very much, just like you!
And to Aspies:
Be the best you can be! Parenting is hard for anyone, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Be aware that you may not come across to other people, or your kids, the way you think you do. Hear advice and try new things (your way may not always be the “best” way!). Be willing to change. Know your weaknesses and be aware of how they can affect your child. Know your strengths and how they can help your child!
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2 responses

  1. Hi. I came to your blog from The Mighty. My 9-year-old daughter is “high-functioning” ASD and I’m always trying to understand how she experiences things. Thanks for writing–it’s nice to hear from a first-person/adult perspective. I also wanted to point you to another blog I’ve enjoyed immensely: http://www.stimeyland.com — by an Aspie mom of 3. Good luck to you in parenthood!

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    • Hello Adriana, and thanks for stopping by! That’s the only way I can understand some things myself, by hearing the perspective of someone who has been there. I find some normal behavior as mystifying as others might find some of my behavior, and it’s always interesting to hear it explained. Thanks so much for suggesting that blog, I’m going to check it out and add it to my resources! Bless you and have a great day.

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