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Mum is Asperger


New Member
Ok so with all the info recently on TVs and in the press I have diagnosed my mum with Aspergers- this has made me make sense of her way and actions over the years. I wouldn't dare tell her as she would not accept that but she has upset me so many times over the years with her indifference and her rudeness (I find her embarrassing to be with in public in case she says something offensive about someone) she is also loyal fair and has a very strong sense of injustice- towards herself and gets very angry hid she thinks someone is being taken advantage of- (even if they are not ) she hates small talk/being in groups of people she is not very familiar with and has an amazing memory of facts going back years. She also loves a routine and doesn't like last minute changes.
My point is - I would like to know how better to handle her so that I don't get upset by her and so that I can get the best out of her? That side of things hasn't been shown on to in the press etc.- any tips are welcomed!!!
can you tell why rudeness is a trait of mild high functioning autism ?if she hasn't been diagnosed it could be a personality disorder !
Bad choice, bad choice, BAD CHOICE! DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE diagnose someone from the media alone! it only portrays the side of issue someone wants to see, and it shows autism as something terrible or rigidly restrictive, rather than the occasional wonders it can create. you talk about your mother like she is a burden, and not the person who gave birth to you. Instead of "getting the best out of her" i would reccomend that you get over whatever makes you see her differences as a problem, and love her for who she is, not who you want her to be. so she says offensive things in public, everyone does that sometimes, she might not be aware of it. Are strangers more important then your own flesh and blood?Does looking good matter more to you than loving your family? So she doesn't like meeting strangers, that makes perfect sense. When strangers enter your house without consent, it's a break in. when she meets new people with little warning, she might feel it's a break in of her privacy and personal space. You shouldn't have to "handle" anyone unless they are a wild rhino. You should love and care for them instead. in conclusion, do your research first, get inside her head and then consider what life is like for her, rather than how annoying it is for you. Autism is not a you problem, and you need to step out of your own oversensitive brain and recognize that you're dealing with a HUMAN BEING, not an annoyance. Start talking about autism as a postive thing, something that can bring you two together, rather than a label that will justify thinking about your mother as a bother. I'd even consider that both of you have some form of autism, or a mental condition in your case if not high functioning ASD. Unless your mother is overtly abusive, her habits should not upset you. If they do, that's a problem YOU have to work around. You should love your family, not label them for your convienence.
Ok so with all the info recently on TVs and in the press I have diagnosed my mum with Aspergers- this has made me make sense of her way and actions over the years.

Yeah... Diagnosing someone with a medical condition isn't your job, it's a doctor's. Even if you are a doctor, you don't diagnose your own family members.
Yeah... Diagnosing someone with a medical condition isn't your job, it's a doctor's. Even if you are a doctor, you don't diagnose your own family members.
Sorry if I sound negative about what I think is the Aspergers of my mum - yes I know I have no right to diagnose but it's a conclusion I have come to after seeing so much stuff on tv and in the press and actually it has really helped me understand her a bit better and that she just doesn't edit thoughts that come into her head before they come out of her mouth- from my point of view it has been hard when she is indifferent to certain things in my life that I feel passionate about or family members. She is a very unique women, thoroughly engaging and highly intelligent but also black and white- if I can understand better how to handle her then things can only get better- I just wondered if anyone from this forum has experienced this and can offer some helpful advice- at the moment I just see what it is like for autistic people / potential difficulties etc but not how best to be and have a positive relationship with an ASD person. Please help if you can I do not intend to upset anyone.
The phrase "handle her"....is unfortunate.
What is necessary when you are around your mother
is that you know how to handle yourself, your own
Just some corrections on the term Aspergers first. Your mother isn't 'Asperger'. Asperger was the name of the Austrian Doctor who first identified the condition in the 1940's. 'Aspergers of my Mum' doesn't make any sense either. It would be something like 'I diagnosed my mother as having Asperger's Syndrome, based on what I learned from watching TV programs'.

In spite of the word usage issue, you might be correct. Your mother does sound like she has some high functioning autistic traits. But its rough guesswork at this point and more needs to be done to properly identify if your mother has a condition and what it is. You can learn more about it by reading up about it. You can consider getting a medical diagnosis.
Ela, I think it is maybe safe to assume that whether your diagnosis is right or not, that you understand who your mother is as a person and can represent her behaviours pretty accurately. As such, the description is somewhat familiar as Asperger's Syndrome, which is hard to diagnose in women to begin with, and even harder if the person has been masking (basically, pretending to be like everyone else by hiding their symptoms as much as possible) for many years.

But whether you are right or not, your phrasing is very unfortunate, and I think you may need to step back and rethink your approach.

Asperger's is part of the broader autism spectrum, and as such it relates to the way the person's brain is wired, which in turn impacts on every aspect of the way that person sees, understands and interacts with the world around them. If she is on the spectrum, she is not, for example, rude or indifferent at all, she is being literal and direct. It is how most of us are. You can't fix that because it isn't a fault, it's a fact of an Aspie's life.

The characteristics you describe are therefore not faults, they are how she is wired, and while they may be difficult to understand and rather problematic to handle at times, the only thing you can do is cherish her for the strength of values she has, and learn how not to be embarrassed when she says or does something you don't agree with or that is a bit abrupt or awkward.

Take the issue of her dislike of being the target of an injustice for example. Imagine that she has spent her life being blamed for things she didn't do, or didn't do on purpose, of being the butt of others' scorn. Would that frustration at injustice not make sense? Would you not rush to her defence because of it?

She doesn't edit the things that come out of her mouth because she can't. Most of us are like that and even when someone tells us we may have said something inappropriate, we can't see why it would be. Facts are facts and that's what we deal with. And black and white, yes, that is not untypical for an Aspie, but again, not something you could change however hard you tried.

The first step for you in resolving this is perhaps the hardest, acceptance. Accept that your mum is exactly who she is and respect her for being exactly that. She is not defective, she is remarkable. If she is on the autism spectrum, she has already had a hard life and this is something she will have always because it can't be cured and will never go away. After you learn to accept her as she is, and find that you can respect her, then find ways to support her. Talk to her. Instead of thinking of the embarrassing things she says, focus on the great things she does, and if you find she is indifferent to things in your life, find a new way to approach her. Look for the things she is interested in - Aspies tend to focus on 'special interests' and engage with her on those things. Once inside a special interest, you will find it much easier to connect with her.

And in the meantime, read as much here as you can find on autistic people describing their lives. You may find that your mother is a very remarkable person, experiencing what she does, yet seeming to be almost as normal as you!
Sounds reasonable, even if she doesn't have aspergers, some of the traits are indicative of the spectrum and @Ela, it's commendable to want to learn more and seek understanding.

I would recommend;

1. Proper Research. TV and the press are notoriously inaccurate and dramatic. I have aspergers and am a perfectly functional member of society. Despite what the press seem to think, I don't need to be locked up, I don't solve murders and am not up for a nobel prize. So google aspergers, HFA (high functioning autistm) and read psychological journals on the subject.

2. Don't worry about a diagnosis. If she has managed to raise an intelligent daughter then she has survived life just fine. I don't see how a formal or informal diagnosis will help her in any way and will probably just pee her off.

3. Understand that the upset over her indifference and her rudeness is your problem not hers. You can't give someone offense, you can only take offense. She is what she is and was in the world long before you were, so your only real problem is your acceptance of her. She doesn't need to be "handled", you need to come to terms with the situation.

4. Look out for special interests and time alone. When you do the research, you'll see a common theme is that aspies absorb a lot of information and need time to process it. Social situations drain us. We like to hyper focus on special interests. So let her do this and if you want to spend time with her, figure out what her special interests are and show an interest. Though she might blow you off because neurotypicals often tend to show a surface interest in things.

5. Post questions here. For example, "why did she say..." or "why did she do...". There will be several people here who can offer a number of explanations.

Hope it helps as a start and good luck xx

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