Saturday, December 22, 2007

Welcome to AspieMama!

Hello and welcome to the AspieMama blog! My husband and I are expecting our first child in February (a boy!), and this blog will describe my experiences as a parent who has Asperger’s Syndrome. I also hope to share useful information for other Aspie and Autistic parents. I think that parents on the spectrum have unique needs as parents, possibly including some questions that I have: “How do I play with my child?,” “What will I talk about with my child?” and “How will I make myself get off of the computer?” :) (just kidding!). I hope this blog will be a useful place to share information and provide support to other parents, as well as feature some entertaining stories.

While the blog will describe challenges that I’ve had due to Asperger’s, it will also be a positive and hopeful place. I think that Asperger’s can be a gift, and I would not change it if I could. Welcome again, and thanks so much for visiting!

7 comments:

NervousMom said...

This is a great idea. I too have been curious about how parents with Asperger's cope with the socialization of their child, among other things. I haven't had a chance to do any extensive research, but so far I haven't found anything else like this on the net. (I did find one book by an Aspie mom with 3 daughters. Do not recall the name.)
My daughter is 18 months old. I was diagnosed with Asperger's when I was 5 months pregnant. (This might seem odd, but it really did make sense.) That led to many long nights of worrying (and talking to several specialists) about my daughter. I do not want her to feel as left out as I always did when I was a child. So far she has shown no signs. Even though it has been hard for me to socialize (and find parents with kids for her to play with), "Parents as Teachers" and our local YMCA have been a help. Both have structured classes or activities (some free) to which my husband or I can take my daughter. She gets to interact with other children. The nursery at the Y has been amazing. The caregivers have already taught her so much about handling situations with other children that I had no idea how to help her deal with.
Anyway, I hope you can get a discussion going at this site. It would be nice to hear from others about their experience.

AspieMama said...

Thanks for your message! I have many of the same questions that you do. The structured activities you mentioned sound like a good idea.

The blog is kind of just staring out, so I hope that it does get some discussions going! We have a unique situation as parents, and I think that sharing what has worked for us about various topics will be very helpful.

Thanks again for posting, and I hope you'll come back soon!

AspieMama

Anonymous said...

Hi. My dad is 94, and growing up in my family was a nightmare. His idea of fun was to take us to the bush nearby and make us learn the names of all the trees, then parrot them back to him.We had hardly any social life at all, only people older than him that he had met through professional associations.We seldom had holidays - why would you want to go anywhere when you had a house to be in? Most of the time you fel he just wasn't with you at all, then he would want attention and praise for something he had done, but we never got any.We got attention only if our grades were not good enough in school.He talks about other people he has known through the years, and how bad or how great they were, but he doesn't know us - his grownup children - at all. I was talking about retirement, and he asked me if I had any interests. He knows nothing about me.He does everything differently from other people, and always the hard way. He counts things, he makes ridiculous lists.Aspergers parents need to find out what normal is, then for goodness sakes, forget about how you want to do things, just treat your kids like normal people do!!!I had to teach myself how to interact with other people because he certainly didn't.You have the advantage of knowing you have this disorder so at least you can attempt to normalise your family life.

Anonymous said...

I am a son of an asperger mother and have an asperger sister. I wish you the best of luck in parenting. I think the fundamental thing is to realize that there are some things you won't be able to do for your child- you will not be a partner for unstructured play; much of the social interaction in stories, tv, and movie, you will have a hard time discussing; and you will have a hard time reading your child's emotions (assuming you have an NT child). The worst thing my mom did was probe too much about my emotions with suggested answers (largely along the lines that all my troubles were my dad's fault for working so much).

My mom also tended to make my social calendar based on the parents she got along with-- this tended to have me playing with kids I was not friends with and undercut my relationships with my real friends because I could not go to their houses and they could not come to mine.

Because my mom was a very literal reader, she also tended to choose books that were not age appropriate-- much sci-fi and fantasy had a very dark edge to the NT mind.

My mom's lack of ability to read social cues made it particularly hard for her to manage conflict between siblings-- she could not discern aggressor from victim and that was very problematic... being attacked unprovoked and then getting sent to your room for fighting is very traumatic for a three year old.

I also had trouble because my mom felt my aspie sister was the normal one. So when my sister was arranging her dolls when she came home from college my mom thought nothing of it. When I was found to have a pack of cigarettes and a flask of whiskey (pretty normal things for a teenager in the early 80s), I was shipped off to a psychologist. While my sister bather once a week in high school, I bathed every day and my mom acted as if I was the odd one.

All that said, you have the advantage of knowing about your condition. I would encourage you to involve trusted relatives to provide some of what you won't be able to provide. I would also urge you do your best to explain your condition to your child as best as you can for his age level and to re-explain over the years. The sooner your child understand your condition, the sooner your child will be able to know that all those things that you actually can't do and can't understand don't mean you love him any less. It will be much better for him to learn that all along than to realize it half way through his life.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

My mom is Asperger and the advice I would like to give you as an to-be-parent with asperger, is to please not see your child as a friend. Treat him/her as a child as much as you can.

I have suffered quite a lot from this even though it made me grow up faster; but I guess that would be my only advice for the day.

Is your spouce an asperger too?

I know it's not possible to ask some things, even though these things are the most important ones...obviously I haven't come over my youth yet. Sorry about that sharing but I grew up just with her and it sucked to be the adult over and over again.

Daniel.

Anonymous said...

This forum is very helpful and I am happy to have found it. I am a 39 y/o, NT male and my wife is a 39 y/o Aspie and we are pregnant with our first child. My wife is 9 weeks along. I hope more people post their stories. I will spare my details for now but will share if it is pertinent. I feel fortunate that for the last four years of our marriage, we have known of my wife's AS, and have been able to deal with it relatively successfully. I am confident that this will help both of us when the baby arrives. I liked the advise in an earlier post about discussing the parent's AS with the child (whether the child is an Aspie or NT) throughout its life and from the beginning in age-appropriate ways. That makes sense to me.

Unknown said...

http://dsq-sds.org/article/view/1057/1243

This is a great piece of writing..you might enjoy it.

So how is parenting panning out for you people?
Its a ling time since you have conversed and I am curious about your progress.

My son who is on the Autistic Spectrum and his partner who has AS are now 13 weeks pregnant. From a theoretical point of view they are now choosing pregnancy over termination. Phew! However, the support I give them needs to be supportive and I would like some feedback about how parenting is and what as the parents you are!!!! would have been supportive to you. Did you find groups or have you gone it alone? Have you been able to dismantle some of the myths about AS and parenting? Where are your children along the AS?