Skip to main content

There is never just one aspie in the family



Many of us know other people in our family who are 'eccentric' but were never diagnosed with anything. They were just difficult, creative, awkward, inventive, rude, honest, loud, quiet, odd, different, or 'You know, like your Uncle Lenny'.
There are others who are still looked on as the only one in their family on the autistic spectrum. It is just them and only them and they are special or all of the above and they don't fit the family mold.

And I guess it might be so. In a small number of families (really, really dull families and a really small number of them), the aspie might shine out with the brightness of a frost-lit star. Yes, they might be a throwback, the only one who is like this and surrounded by grey normality.

Or Aunty Glenys is just pretending to be normal. And good old Dad with his sedate hobby of model trains would have an actual meltdown if you hadn't all learned to leave his damn trains alone. Or your aspie is really the secret love-child of groovy Mr Fairbanks from down the road.

Either way, autistic spectrum disorders run in the family - they do! You might think your aspie is the only one and you have the diagnosis to prove it , especially as no one else in the family has a diagnosis. Your child struggles with real-life things that you never struggled with so they are the one on the spectrum. Your own set of behaviours are completely normal. It takes an outsider to see where the dots connect.

While your aspie child misunderstands questions, you might misread situations: the misunderstood questions are noticed because you are on the alert for your child getting things wrong but when you misunderstand situations, everyone in the family is already used to re-explaining what they meant so no one mentions it.

Your aspie child might come out of school bawling their eyes out and making the biggest, fattest fuss and how embarrassing that is! and how tempting to whisper to those judgy parents that your child is on the spectrum

never remembering your own isolation at school, your absolute quiet, your need to get everything possible right because of how it felt to be wrong and forgetting entirely how your attention to detail at school led to attention to detail at work and how much you still hate to get anything wrong

but you don't make a fuss, do you? So you are different from your child.

Growing up quiet and filtering out the comments from adults about anything you did that surprised them and understanding you had to do things a certain way to be right, which is all part of growing up, then not recognising when you correct your child for the same things.

Just not getting it. Not getting how Granny's outspoken comments in public could point to something more than her age, or that thing she tried to do with the leftover food last week, or the anxiety you feel when you try to manage the situations with her in them so that everything will still be quiet and controlled.

Not everyone can look at themselves and see what they do in a clear light, but it can be too easy to look at the aspie in your family and explain how you see them. Putting the spotlight on someone else does not mean you don't share the same stage.

You have an aspie in the family, does it not seem likely they aren't the first? And how far back do you have to go before you find someone else on the spectrum? It is a very big spectrum full of pretty colours, I'm sure you could identify a few of them if you looked.

And if you do have the first aspie in your family, well wow! That does make you special! And I mean that in a good way. You're special, yes you are!

(That part is sarcasm, in case you sometimes feel you need it pointed out to you.)

((I know, I know, it's completely normal to need sarcasm pointing out to you, isn't it?))

Every child is different and they all need treated they way that suits them. Being on the spectrum is just another part of family life, even if it seems like a great big part. As your child grows, it would be much better to show them the example of how to manage life rather than tell them how they don't manage.

And when you are fishing things back out of the toilet or extricating your child from another adventure, just think how lucky you are to be one of those families where there is always something going on and how dull life would be without it.

Amanda

 A Guide to Your Aspie

 How to talk to your Aspie



My books and writing blog, with free stuff.
Find me on Facebook.and Twitter!

And my fairy blog!

Popular posts from this blog

A Guide to your Aspie

So, you have your new aspie and are wondering what to do with him/her. Depending on size and gender, some of these instructions may need to be followed with caution but we are confident that you will be able to get the best out of your aspie for many trouble-free years to come!

(Disclaimer: we are not responsible for any physical, emotional or financial harm that may come to you when following these instructions. Once unboxed, your aspie is not eligible for our guaranteed swappage and refurbishment policy. Please have a good look at the aspie through the window provided before unboxing).

1. Unbox carefully and without making physical contact with the aspie. Pull down the box using the flaps provided and allow them to step free by themselves.

2. Allow your aspie free rein, to explore their surroundings. For ease of capture, we recommend not unboxing in an area that is too large or too small. Open fields would not be suitable, unless you are a long distance runner. Small rooms are to b…

Spotting an aspie adult

Have you ever wondered how to spot an aspie adult, at a distance, without having to get too close? It would be so convenient, wouldn't it? To be able to detect the aspieness before you are drawn in, before there is any danger of becoming part of their mad world and waking up one morning, trying to work out where it all went wrong and what happened to all your socks.

Bearing in mind there are always exceptions that prove the rule, here is what you should look for.

In the supermarket I often wonder if I have spotted a fellow aspie. Walking along the aisles, it's easier to people watch than shop, usually because I've forgotten what I need. The supermarket is a good open space where you can spot aspies as they grapple with the complex practicalities of staying alive by food shopping.

The walk: Yes, from a distance or as they pass by, the walk is a dead giveaway. It seems to veer towards extremes, either a fast paced booster effect from A to B, or a meandering wander with no vi…

Aspies don't like surprises!

Interwoven in so many of my posts and comments about aspergers has been the notion of aspie reactions to life, the universe and everything. It always seems to be reactions, have you noticed that? The aspie, in defence as usual. This is because we don't often expect the outcomes we're presented with, so we do end up defending ourselves against yet another surprise.


This is why aspies don't like surprises - every blooming day has them and they're very rarely nice. I don't mean that every day I open the post and I've won the Reader's Digest draw or there is a bunch of flowers from a secret admirer on the front step. Neither do I mean that people shower me with unexpected compliments or the cake turns out better than expected.

No, I mean the kind of surprises that are small enough to act like bullets, slipping through the mithril vest of aspergers and into the defenseless heart.

The sort of surprise that happens in conversations with people who should know bett…