1. Welcome to Autism Forums, a friendly forum to discuss Aspergers Syndrome, Autism, High Functioning Autism and related conditions.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Private Member only forums for more serious discussions that you may wish to not have guests or search engines access to.
    • Your very own blog. Write about anything you like on your own individual blog.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon! Please also check us out @ https://www.twitter.com/aspiescentral

Featured Grandparents Insulted & Disrespected my Identity

Discussion in 'Friends, Family & Social Skills' started by Joshua Aaron, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. Joshua Aaron

    Joshua Aaron Just a Professional Weirdo w/Autism and ADHD

    Messages:
    1,050
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2018
    Karma:
    +971

    My grandparents (my Dad's parents), a couple days ago, said that I CAN'T identify as Autistic. I'm not sure how this convo came up anymore, but they said, "well, most people with Autism can't/don't talk" "you don't have sensory issues" "you are only pretending" "you don't have motor development delays" like she knows all about me. I even told them to ask my parents if they don't believe me. They said no. Yeah, that's right. They aren't gonna ask my parents about it because they know that my parents are going to give the opposite response from what they are saying. Exactly what I'd expect. They basically said that I looked on the internet on what autism is, and then acted a certain way based off of an apparent list of symptoms that I wanted, and then pretended to act that way. They even said I'd grow out of it. In my head, I was like, "What?!? That's the most stupid crap I've ever heard!" I don't respect or trust them anymore. When I was going to bed later that night, my grandma even hugged me and said, "I love you, I really do." Complete BS, that was. If you truly loved me, you'd respect my identity. I can't believe they could just betray me like this. However, I couldn't expect much else from a pair of misinformed people.

    That whole thing brought up bad memories from middle school. Similar BS happened during that time, the only difference is it being between me and my classmates. That's where my trust issues came from.

    You may be wondering where my parents where during all of this. They are currently in California celebrating their anniversary.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 10
    • Useful Useful x 1
  2. Monachopia

    Monachopia ...spiral out... keep going. V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    497
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2018
    Karma:
    +1,293
    It's a tough one.. Older generation perceptions and unwilling to accept that there's anything wrong with their grandson. Grandparents are quite difficult to persuade any which way, but they DO love you. They may have difficulty in believing something at first, but that is because they don't understand and go off old perceptions of the condition which usually are no longer true.
    Autism is a complicated condition, in that, we are all on the spectrum of different abilities and traits. I didn't have speech or motor development delays as a child, however, social difficulties are something that has been a constant, as well as difficulties in expressing complex emotions. The average person will not know that there is no set rule on what autism is, and it's difficult to tell/explain that to someone who is set in their ways and unwilling to learn.

    The basic takeaway is that, they do love you - but are stuck in a different understanding of what something is. My grandparents were also unwilling to accept certain things, but I knew they loved me all the same. It's just better not to argue with them on the point and not bring it up as much as possible. You know who you are and that should be enough. :)
     
    • Agree Agree x 7
    • Like Like x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  3. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    22,479
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2013
    Karma:
    +27,384
    I sometimes wonder if my own parents would have understood and accepted such a thing had I been diagnosed early or at least while they were still alive.

    As a young child they seemed to be onto my being different in some ways, and even explored it with physicians. But in the early 60s the doctors just blew past me as well. Where it would be another 20 years or more before Dr. Asperger's research would enter the medical mainstream.

    Though occasionally I see the proverbial "not my kid!" mentality of some parents. Grandparents too, apparently. It's a bit sad, but I think @Monachopia covered this rather well.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 3
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Michael Balog

    Michael Balog Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    37
    Joined:
    May 19, 2019
    Karma:
    +123
    I got this same reaction from my mom when I told her about my diagnosis. She wouldn’t accept or believe it and even was saying I would talk to people all the time when we went out. I decided to not publicly put out my diagnosis to my family cause it’s not gonna change how they interact with me and might just cause some kind of tension between us. The only one that is fully accepting is my wife and that’s all that matters to me.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 6
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    5,771
    Joined:
    May 27, 2015
    Karma:
    +13,602
    I'm sorry to hear that Joshua. Unfortunately, I've run into this in real life many times with different types of people. My grandmother used to say there was something 'odd' about me. And that if my parents had disciplined me more, I wouldn't be so willful. What she meant is that I should agree to do everything she thought was appropriate without questioning it.

    People who don't know much about something like autism, may have a few perceptions of it, rather than the actual facts, and tend to think in extremes. Many, don't know that it's a spectrum, and that you can be anywhere on it, from non-verbal to high functioning. When someone doesn't know something, that shouldn't mean they don't wish to know more. It might be good to let them know that that there are different degrees of autism, that a person can have autistic traits and still be verbal and functioning.

    In fact they should give you credit for figuring this out at such a young age, but they can't understand it. You are a intelligent young man. Even if they won't I think understanding what you do about autism places you intellectually well ahead of most people your age. Their refusal to understand it, is probably their desire to see you as perfect and is caught up in their own perceptions of who they think you are. Think of it as a human foible that many people exhibit, not just your Grandparents.
     
    • Agree Agree x 7
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  6. Ken S.

    Ken S. Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    207
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2019
    Karma:
    +998
    My father refused to believe me even after I emailed him a copy of the official diagnosis signed by both the psychologist and the psychiatrist. Instead he blamed my visual disturbances on the medications I am prescribed. I extended the olive branch several times, last being three months ago but I am now done trying. Apparently the saying "Blood is thicker than water" is just hot air.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 5
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    22,479
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2013
    Karma:
    +27,384
    Reflecting more on this it kind of depresses me to admit that my particular grandparents wouldn't have likely been in denial so much as being unable to fundamentally comprehend autism. Probably resulting in them shaking their heads thinking their grandson was mentally retarded.

    As @Mia put it, they'd likely default to thinking in extremes, or falling back on far simpler explanations. :(
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 3
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. NothingToSeeHere

    NothingToSeeHere Asexuowl V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    1,156
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2014
    Karma:
    +2,103
    I doubt my grandparents would have know what autism is, but if they did I'm sure they would never have accepted that I could possibly be autistic. But then my Gran thought that being gay causes AIDs and my Grandma thought that black people couldn't be doctors because it would be "too hard for them", so I don't really care what idiotic opinions they may have had regarding autism. Dinosaurs be dinosaurs, then they go extinct.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. Rexi

    Rexi owo uwu owo Weird&Unusual Atheist Science=<3

    Messages:
    529
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2017
    Karma:
    +594
    What a creepy hug that is! Im so sorry this happened to you, its hard to maintain such a relationship with relatives, and might as well avoid them if its so bad. Its hard to lose connections and go untrusted by people close to you, im confused why theyre not accepting it. Do they believe autism would look a certain way? Thats not true, they really need to believe it has many 'looks'. And in many cases it doesn't even look/seem different unless they know you very well and trust you very much and if you open up about your struggles. Which before a diagnosis I doubt you did but its nice of you to want them to know it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  10. chocoholic

    chocoholic Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    366
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2014
    Karma:
    +367
    They're old and probably unable to get their heads around the diagnosis. Just leave things and enjoy what connection you have with them and the love they obviously have for you.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 3
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  11. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    3,062
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2018
    Karma:
    +5,960
    Old people say silly things.

    So do young people, of course, just different kinds of silly things.

    Demanding people "respect your identity," is going to be a long, frustrating, pointless battle.

    Love yourself.

    Love them, accepting their flaws, or what you perceive to be flaws.

    They can believe and say these things and still love you, they're just not defining and expressing love in the same way you are.
     
    • Agree Agree x 7
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  12. Peter Morrison

    Peter Morrison Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    428
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2018
    Karma:
    +1,303
    You are dealing with a very common, very frustrating situation. I've discussed ASD with friends who ask for examples of ASD, and what they say is "everyone is like that". They are expecting me to say that I can't recite the alphabet in order, or that I can't add 6 plus 3. I have to say that it's hard to explain ASD because it is neurological in nature. The hoops and hurdles that we endure inside our heads never gets seen.

    I know you want the support and understanding of your family, but that may not come for a very long time. If you can find a way to excuse their inability to grasp your issues, you might be a bit happier. We all want everyone in the world to understand us. In life, you are going to run into a lot of people who will not only disbelieve you, but mock you and tease you. Don't let your happiness rest on acceptance. For the sake of family, don't harbor hatred. Your family doesn't understand and they can't deal with the reality. It might be best to develop that shield now. You can still love them, but hate their ignorance. Keep those two separate. You don't have to convince them of anything. Try to let it go and just proceed with your life. No explanation needed. It's your life.
     
    • Winner Winner x 3
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
  13. Rectify

    Rectify Active Member

    Messages:
    161
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2018
    Karma:
    +212
    I'm sorry you're going through that @Joshua Aaron It's so hard when the people you should be close to are like this. My child's father and his family don't believe our child has it, and say that I made it up. Doctors opinions are futile in situations in which the person doesn't want to learn or understand. But it is a sad loss when others won't accept and learn, and therefore aren't able to support you and in some ways to really know you. I want to say that maybe that is not the case with your Grandparents but when you wrote they said you made it up, well that didn't make me very hopeful on that account.

    I can relate on the trust issues thing but I do hope you are able to work on that and improve it. I understand you've developed it because of your bad, and real, experiences - me too - but problems trusting will bring more heartache.

    I wonder how often this happens @Mia because the school became exasperated by my child not wanting to attend and getting upset about being at school. To be clear my child was nice and respectful to everyone, not nasty or fighting with anyone (except for one incident, long story). Anyway, the school finally said to me it might be Oppositional Defiant Disorder which didn't make sense but that was when we saw a specialist (diagnosis was autism - which I knew nothing about at that time). The point of all this is the wilfulness. My child is mega wilful and stubborn. Unlike me when I was a child, they know what they want and need.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
  14. Starfire

    Starfire Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    896
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2016
    Karma:
    +1,249
    It says on your bio you were diagnosed with PDD NOS at age 8. Don’t you have any paperwork or a written diagnosis you could show them?
    I believe it would be helpful for people of an older generation to have some paperwork from a specialist to satisfy and convince them if that’s what you want to do. We’re living in an age now where simply claiming to be something demands acceptance, even if the evidence suggests the contrary. It would be difficult for them to argue or deny a report from an expert.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  15. Rexi

    Rexi owo uwu owo Weird&Unusual Atheist Science=<3

    Messages:
    529
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2017
    Karma:
    +594
    I wish I had a mom like you, Tify~!
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  16. Joshua Aaron

    Joshua Aaron Just a Professional Weirdo w/Autism and ADHD

    Messages:
    1,050
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2018
    Karma:
    +971
    I'm pretty sure it's somewhere in the house, but my parents are pretty much the only people who'd know where it is.
     
  17. Starfire

    Starfire Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    896
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2016
    Karma:
    +1,249
    So perhaps politely ask your parents to find it for you, tell them why you want it. Show it to your grandparents and ask them to think again in light of the report.

    Also mention that at age 8 a child is extremely unlikely to be able to fool professionals and specialists, and even if you could, why, what would the payoff for you be?

    It may also be not so much that they don’t believe it, but that they don’t want to believe it. They have an idea of what autism is, and in their mind you don’t fit that mould and I get that, it’s a complicated field. Even as an adult after I was diagnosed I still didn’t really understand what it was as I didn’t fit into the stereotype in many ways.

    Try to cut them some slack. The world has and is changing significantly and rapidly around them, and it takes time to catch up and understand things you thought you already understood.

    None of this means they have knowingly or intentionally insulted or disrespected you and I have no doubt when your grandmother said they love you that is the truth. Try to have some compassion, tolerance, and understanding towards them because they are finding it difficult to move with the times that tends to come with age. It’s not the end of the world and enjoy the time you have with your grandparents, one day they won’t be around anymore.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  18. SixTimesNine

    SixTimesNine New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2019
    Karma:
    +23
    I did not know anything about being on the spectrum at the time, but my narcissitic mother-in-law would berate me for not talking enough because it meant that I was being rude to her. (Never mind that she constantly talked over me when I tried to speak). I tried to explain how my childhood traumas made me generally less talkative than other people. Her response was, "I don't wanna hear that crap!"
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
  19. Joshua Aaron

    Joshua Aaron Just a Professional Weirdo w/Autism and ADHD

    Messages:
    1,050
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2018
    Karma:
    +971
    Problem is, as I said, my parents are in Cali celebrating their anniversary.
     
  20. Starfire

    Starfire Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    896
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2016
    Karma:
    +1,249
    Yes I know I read that, you don’t have to do it immediately if that’s what you want to do. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1