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Featured better or worse to be raised by autistic parent

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Pats, Oct 5, 2020.

  1. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    And on a separate note, not knowing I was on the spectrum and not knowing the possibility of my kid(s) being on the spectrum, I would never have picked out their autistic characteristics because it was more the norm in this family. My kids and I have always been known for being so quiet, not smiling, being picky eaters, (aside from one son) being mostly loners or shy or not having many friends. I have one son that was my most difficult because I had no idea how to handle him - he's the only one who shows no sign of being on the spectrum. The others probably are. They were easier for me, I guess because I understood them better. I would never see them as different because we were/are much alike. We thought alike. My oldest son was in fights at school all the time. He wasn't a bully - he was always kind and helpful, but other kids made fun of him and he didn't take that. Never did it cross my mind - well, autism still wasn't really a thing when he was in school either.

    I'm not even sure what my point is here. But when you're on the spectrum you're not going to see any 'different' traits in your kids. Maybe one reason I was never crazy about other people's kids. lol And now my kids raising their kids (couple who is undoubtedly autistic) - I think it'll be easier for them to raise an autistic child because they can be more understanding of what their child is thinking and feeling because they think and feel along the same lines.

    Most tv shows that include someone on the spectrum only has that one person in the family, where that probably is seldom or never the case. No, my generation didn't know about autism/aspergers/high functioning, etc. so if any of us are diagnosed it's way late in life. Only if it's severe would it be picked up on, but everyone on the spectrum - it came from somewhere in your family.
    Although, I wonder how my NT son feels about how he was raised. I think he see things differently than the others do. (We still have a harder time communicating).

    So do you think it's easier, better, helpful, unhelpful, worse for a ND to be raised by a ND parent?
     
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  2. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    It depends on if theyve had NT brainwashing ,IE that autism must be a matter of genocide, if not and they aren't trying to be a NT lackey great !!!!
     
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  3. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I'd have to think about that a bit. But I am definitely sure it is better than being raised by a Giant Gila Monster.

    unnamed.gif

    ;)
     
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  4. Magna

    Magna Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I'm autistic and I'm doing that now (doing the best I can to help raise kids). I also have PTSD so I'm not sure what challenges in childrearing I have are from autism or from PTSD. Parenting is difficult for anyone, NT or ND. However, the challenges I've had are not challenges faced by NT parents unless perhaps the PTSD is a triggering factor.

    My main challenges:

    >Black and white thinking. Catastrophizing. Example: When the kids start to fight and argue, my adrenaline surges through the roof. Massive fight or flight response triggered in me. I envision WW III about to ensue in my own home. I'm off or I'm way way on. No in between.
    > Not able to make quick decisions or decisions under stress.
    > Not able to answer questions they have quickly. "Can I do [ insert activity here ]?" Answering seemingly simple questions like that are very difficult for me. I need to analyze and consider ramifications.
    >Auditory sensitivities with volume and repetitive noises. I can't deal with either.
    >Blunt talk. Sometimes the things I say or the way I say them are offensive (according to what my wife tells me).
    >Just trying to get through the day without making too much of a mess of things.
    >I can't multi-task. Parenting, working a job from home, etc requires serious multi-tasking.
     
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  5. Mary Terry

    Mary Terry Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I'm NT and will swear here and now that raising children is hard for anyone, regardless of parents' or children's neuro status. Raising children is just plain hard, exhausting, conflicting and riddled with parental guilt, no matter what. Some kids are easier than others to raise but all of them can try your patience to the breaking point.

    Just love them, be fair to them, respect them, treat all of them equally, and deal with them when they are out of line so they will understand that there are social expectations and norms, that everyone in life has valid boundaries, and they are not entitled to hurt other people.

    I had a rather bad childhood, father with mental illness, and mother who spent all her time placating her husband rather than nurturing her children (she probably didn't know how else to act) but, somehow, I came out intact, with some useful insight into what children need. That is love, acceptance, encouragement, discipline, and a lot of faith that one day they, too, will grow up and figure this out for themselves.
     
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  6. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    The question and decision making process I fixed for myself. I used to tell them if they had to have an answer that minute it was no, if they gave me time to think about it it could be yes. :)
    Definitely was not easy - the noise would also send me into fight or flight responses, too.
    Also had PTSD (think most of us do) and I'm sure mine affected my parenting.
     
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  7. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Yes, I agree parenting is not easy for anyone - hope I didn't come off as claiming it was. Actually, leaning more toward maybe raising a child with high functioning autism could have made parenting a tad bit easier since they were more along the same thinking lines as myself. My NT son was harder for me. The other 3 were easier for me to relate to and figure out. I could relate to things they were going through because I understand those particular feelings. And I might recognize when they were going through something because I'd been there myself.
     
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  8. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    After considering it a bit, I don't think it can be generalized by that criteria alone. Many factors come into play and autism may not be be most significant. As examples does the parent love the child, look after their wellbeing, are they capable guardians, etc, are all very key elements and not automatically guaranteed by being on the spectrum.

    Though I do agree it probably is easier, on average, for a autistic parent to relate to an autistic child. Like the old saying goes 'it takes one to know one'.
     
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  9. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I remember my Father saying, "She's like me." We could practically read one another's minds. My Mother often said "you're like your Father" when I wouldn't do girly things like cooking or sewing. Or stay clean at all times when I came home from wading in the swamp or digging for fossils or white clay in the river.

    Both my parents had some autistic traits. Whether they were fully autistic is difficult to say. They functioned in society, held long-term working class jobs, and somewhat fit in. They definitely struggled to raise a large family.

    My parents understood to a certain extent that all was not as they hoped it to be. That they couldn't mould us into what they may have wanted, if things had been different. Athough I think, they may have been more focused and helpful if they had known more about autism.
     
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  10. Giraffes

    Giraffes Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I was unaware of my Autism and my Daughter's growing up, now she has a child it gives me great joy to witness the understanding and consideration she and her partner give to my amazing Autistic Grandchild, so i regret my lack of insight but am so proud of my Daughter for the love and support she gives to her child.
     
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  11. Au Naturel

    Au Naturel Au Naturel

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    It all depends. When I was a child high functioning autism didn't exist. You were just a social pariah. There was no thought of a genetic connection for being a nerd/geek. It was all your fault.
     
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  12. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member

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    It's difficult to answer @Pats.

    Taking responsibility for oneself and a/several dependants wellbeing is a big expectation irrespective of ones biological make up.

    People I've spoken with over the years have done the best they can with the knowledge they've had to date.
    Approximately two thirds; in hindsight, carry guilt over something they could have done better,
    or something they wished they'd known at the time.

    There's a phrase, "I wish I'd known then, what I know now"


    I think some trends change too.
    What was the norm for my mother had changed by the time I was a mother,
    and changed again by the time my own daughter became a mother.

    A quick example, my daughter favours 'baby-led weaning' for her child.

    Me? I think it's too messy :)

    While I understand the reasoning behind its advantages for the baby,
    there are two generations of grandmothers rolling their eyes at three changes of clothes per day,
    - to coincide with three meal times worth of smushed food everywhere :)

    My daughter is steadfast. No amount of suggestion from myself or her grandmother regarding the resulting increased workload from her decision will prevent her from doing what's considered the (new) best for her child.

    ...Even though there didn't appear to be much wrong with 'the best' I or my own mother provided?? :)
     
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  13. Au Naturel

    Au Naturel Au Naturel

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    "Approximately two thirds; in hindsight, carry guilt over something they could have done better,
    or something they wished they'd known at the time."

    I bet it actually approaches 100%. In my case, the number of such cases is staggering and some of those had extremely serious consequences.

    Our children were on "demand feeding." They demanded, we fed. We made a game out of it and had fun. Their feeding cycle eventually matched ours. But we were weird. We also enjoyed changing diapers. I even sang to them while I did it.
     
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  14. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝

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    I have non-ASD kids (they had other issues, though) that chafed under my parenting (as a 2e [autistic + gifted]).

    I believe that if they would have endured or embraced it, it would have promoted better lateral thinking.

    Some of mine were secretly involved with local drug dealers. Their effort at hiding their involvement would have likely worked with an NT parent, but it was glaring to me. And they had no idea how to play to my particular sensibilities. That frustrated them to no end. They tried gas-lighting me. I just changed my response from direct confrontation to passive-aggression.

    My response is for ASD1 parents. The co-morbids of ASD2 parents will require a different type of intervention. (I am skeptical that ASD3s could sustain a marriage. They usually have a guardianship which strips them of sexual consent.)
    ~~~~~~​
    My #8 once asked me why we named him the way that we did.

    "After naming seven babies, you start scraping the bottom of the barrel..."

    (#9 [who is ASD1] got a kick out of that. :p)
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2020
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  15. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I would say, better, because speaking the same language will cause harmony between parent and child. When a child has a meltdown, the parent will know exactly what to do and thus, the meltdown won't last.

    Probably become each other's friends as well.
     
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  16. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member

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    You label your parenting technique in the above example as weird, I'd label it creative.
    It got the job done with a lateral approach.

    I've employed 'singing to' with this particular grandchild on changing nappies (diapers)
    He appears to have some sensitivities during the process.
    Singing soothes or excites, and distracts him.

    A creative approach to getting the job done.

    There's a phrase "There's more than one way to skin a cat"

    I'd apply that to raising and caring for children. There's more than one way to do it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2020
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  17. Moonhart44

    Moonhart44 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    i have wondered this. I also wonder secretly if my mom is ASD, or if anything, gifted. She raised me in such a way that my NT self really responded, and i think seh is one of the reasons i am so high functioning
    (i just drank some coffee wow its really starting to kick in)
     
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  18. Magna

    Magna Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    This may be true. However, if the child's impending meltdown causes the autistic parent to start to ramp up in equal measure, then both will actually increase the high emotions in each other. That's what can happen with me and my autistic child. Maybe it's that we are so alike that we react in the same way at the same time. My NT wife is actually much better in diffusing or dealing with meltdowns. I have to "tap out". My heart, admiration, support and sympathy goes out to single parents everywhere who have or who had no one to "tap out" with.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2020
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  19. zozie

    zozie Active Member

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    My 16-year-old, my 13 year-old, and myself are all on a referral list for diagnosis, all this year. In light of this pursuit and our self-identification as being on the spectrum (and 13 shows signs of ADHD), this new perspective has been a massive support for us this year. So right now, it's a lot easier. We stim; my sense of structure, routine, and tidy house helps us all; and I take care to be clear in my expectations both of myself and them. I also don't constantly beat myself up for not being "better" as a parent, as I have in years past. (single mom since 2009)

    Schooling is harder right now in light of 2020 lockdown, uncertainty, and general stress while we wait for evaluations. But I've communicated with the teachers so at least that train is going in the right direction. I talk to my kids about executive functioning and sensory overload now, whereas before I'd just try to help them deal with the meltdowns. When we get discouraged, as we all do, I am careful to validate the effort. We also explore different solutions to struggles.

    That said, I have very little memory of parenting my kids as babies and young children. It was, without a doubt, the most difficult thing I've ever done. I'm pretty sure I've blocked it out, it was so hard. I was also on high doses of antidepressants, which makes it tough to access a feeling state back then. Things were very numb. I was always exhausted. My marriage was not great. I was always laying on the couch, could not get up.

    My father could probably be on the spectrum, but as of right now he's got ADD and Sensory Processing Disorder diagnoses. This has made me reevaluate my memories of him always locked away in his study when I was a kid. I have a kinder view of him now.

    So, easier now, extremely hard when my kids were little, and none of us seems to be NT.

    Edit: As for it being better or worse, certainly it has taken quite some time to catch things that are out-of-the-norm. But it has also made us closer as a family. We like each other's company more.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2020
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  20. Yeshuasdaughter

    Yeshuasdaughter Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    As an aspie parent I can't say that it's good or bad. I can just say "it is what it is". Yes, if a kid is on the spectrum, it's nice to have a parent that can be supportive and intuitively know what that kid needs. As a kid that can be really wonderful. On the other hand, how would you like to be twelve years old and your mom is suddenly lashing out at you for no other reason than she's overstimulated? Like I said, it is what it is.
     
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