Parents with Asperger’s: Part 1 – Negative Stereotypes

Mother and Child Embracing

I hate having to do this, but after searching and searching, I feel it is needed. I have had people ask me some worthwhile resources for parents on the spectrum. I’ve also been doing my best to find reliable sources to draw from to help build some concrete articles. Instead, what I’ve found is not only inaccurate, in many cases, down right brutal. Take an excerpt from an article in USAToday from 2007

Though professionals use the same diagnostic criteria, interpretations make for wide disparities in diagnosis. Ami Klin, head of the Yale Developmental Disabilities Clinic, says some people may have family members with autism-spectrum disorders and exhibit features of Asperger’s, such as “social deficits and a great deal of rigidities,” but these traits are not tantamount to the diagnosable condition.

Forming close friendships and dating run counter to Asperger’s adults’ goals, colleague Tsatsanis says; Klin says he has never known a parent with Asperger’s.

Bryna Siegel, director of the Autism Clinic at the University of California-San Francisco, concurs that an Asperger’s parent would be rare, and she knows of just one short-lived marriage. Recently she does more “un-diagnosing” than diagnosing, she says.

Most if not all have also heard of FAAAS and CADD (or the Cassandra Effect) that suggests that Asperger’s partners (and parents) deprive their partners of affection. As well, it is said we apparently seek out socialites in hopes of them being our mentor. [An aside. They should really meet my husband to see how he works into their frame work. He’s hardly social!] Even Tony Attwood has in previous conferences suggested we are abusive, leave our children embarrassed or unloved, and that our children will hate us.

From my experience with my children, and the few Asperger’s parents I’ve met, this is in no way accurate. I’m sure there are people within our group that are this way, as there are neurotypical people who are also abusive and neglectful. To characterize us, in my humble opinion, as liars [USA Today], neglectful [FAAAS] and abusive [Attwood], is not only cold and heartless, but also cruel and hurtful.

(to be continued….)

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