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NT Children of Parents with Aspergers: Looking for Information?

By HERWriter
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NT Children of Parents with Aspergers: Some Information for You LoloStock/Fotolia

Six years ago, I wrote an article for neurotypical children of parents with Asperger's syndrome. I wrote that some NT offspring of AS parents have grown up feeling unloved, that their parents were not able to tune in to their needs and their feelings.

As children, they blamed themselves for a disconnect between them and their parents. Often as adults they have continued to suffer from the lack they experienced in childhood.

The response from neurotypical kids to that article "Asperger's Parents and Neurotypical Children"was substantial, and still ongoing, six years later. So much so that I am writing on the subject again.

I received 154 comments and replies. Some were posted as recently as last month. Some readers used the Comments thread at the end of the article for a time as though it were a forum where they could talk to each other about their experiences.

When I started researching for today's article as a follow-up to my first one six years ago, my online research was interesting. That is to say, disappointing. Again.

Material about these NT children was surprisingly sparse six years ago. It's still challenging to find anything written from their perspective, or about their experience.

One differences I noticed was that my original article from 2009 was showing up as the first item in my Google search. And in second place came an Aspergers forum page that ripped my first article and my intentions apart.

Some comments by people with Asperger's syndrome responding to my first article were in much the same vein.They told me that I was attacking them all, which was not true.

They said that lots of Aspies were good parents, that they themselves were good parents. That plenty of NT people are bad parents, too. All of that is undeniably true.

But really, that's not my focus. This has happened too many times to these kids.

So often, they find their feelings and their needs pushed aside.

Add a Comment60 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Thank you for writing on this topic again. I'm (an NT) married to an NT who was raised by a likely Asperger's mother. I was the first person in my husband's life to start articulating how dysfunctional his childhood family unit was and still is. I've met a lot of resistance from other family members in my efforts to address issues openly, and have been researching for help/support/understanding for the siblings for the past 4 or 5 years. I'm almost always "in trouble" so to speak.

December 29, 2016 - 8:54am
HERWriter (reply to Anonymous)

You've taken on a huge task. I know it's not easy.

I wish you and your husband great happiness, and healthier family relationships.

December 29, 2016 - 5:30pm
EmpowHER Guest

I suspect that my ex has Asperger's. As a result of a series of false allegations, and intense and groundless fears on the part of my ex, I see my daughter 4 days/month. This is typical in most western countries. My fear is for my daughter who, as a result of my arrest and alienation has become very reluctant to speak to her desires. Almost any question as to what she wants is met with "I don't know." At times she speaks so quietly that I cannot hear her. She has asked for more time with me since she was very young, but this has been repeatedly refused by the courts, so I don't blame her for her silence. I am looking for any information on how to support her.

December 18, 2016 - 7:45pm
HERWriter (reply to Anonymous)

I'm afraid I have no knowledge or information to offer your particular needs. Perhaps you might find something helpful in the links at the end of my article.

Good luck!

December 29, 2016 - 5:34pm

Hi All,

First thank you for all sharing your experiences, it is so valuable to read this and know that I am not alone, selfish or crazy as some folk seem to think.

I'm 40 and have just realised that my mother 73 may have aspergers which would explain a hell of a lot in regard to family life and outcome.

I've always felt like I have parented my mother and been walking on eggshells in good child mode to keep things ok for her to prevent her emotional sad weeping outbursts. I have felt guilty all my life that I have not been able to connect with her and even guilter now as my parents are divorced and she is living in a nursing home with myself as her main support. I still feel huge resentment and frustration that I continue to care for her as a child and can not leave the country (I returned to my home country to check on my mother's health and have been obliged to remain as there is no one else to help her. My sister simply isn't able to deal with her). I feel like I have had enormous parts of my life devoured by 'this', I even left the country to escape her hopes for me to be a check out chick on finishing high school.
I know she 'loves' me but she has no idea how to express this and everything seems to be on my shoulders to support and comfort her through life. Recently her sister passed away (whom I am not very close to) and all I could think was dear god what will I say when it's her turn I have sooooo much resentment and frustration I can't remember the good things. SO I really tried and I thought of a few things but my childhood was numb, I'm sure my father was in numb mode to survive until his children were 18 and he could finally leave.....
I don't want for this to be the story of my relationship with my mother for the rest of our lives. I want to want to visit her and not feel like I am her employed carer. I want to be able to have some kind of connection or relationship even if it isn't deep. The disconnect is so huge for me and it's a real struggle to take care of her how I would like to as I block myself all the time feeling the burden lumped on me and that makes me feel even worse about myself.
I have done a great deal of work on myself to break through the emptyness, depression, anxiety etc and it's helping but I really am not in a great place as a single 40 yr old woman. It's all beginning to make sense but where do I go from here. How can I best help myself to lead a full filling life on all levels including having a loving relationship? And how can I salvage some kind of relationship with my mother before her time comes?

December 10, 2016 - 7:27pm
HERWriter (reply to Nutritionista)

You are dealing with big questions. It may take some time to work out the answers you seek. 

For what it's worth, speaking as a 61-year old woman, the fact that you are single at 40 should not cause you to lose hope for love in your future. You aren't old:) and you have time to change, to grow, to question, to learn new ways of relating to people. 

Your mother is probably not going to change at this point. You can't change her, but you have the right to protect yourself and take care of yourself. It will be an interesting journey!

December 29, 2016 - 5:43pm
EmpowHER Guest

OMG - I read your two articles after finding out after strong suspicion that my dad has autism spectrum (formarly aspergers). When you wrote "they don't expect to be heard, they don't expect to be understood. They have no frame of reference for it" it was like holy smokes - this person actually gets it. Thank you for writing this (and I apologize if I mosquoted you slightly I typed on my phone and can't go back right now to read exactly how you worded it)

September 9, 2016 - 4:05am
HERWriter (reply to Anonymous)

lol Yes, I do get it.:) And no, I don't mind if the quote isn't exact, you certainly caught the spirit of the thing. And, you know all about what that's like anyway.

Happy adventures ahead.:)


September 9, 2016 - 10:58am
EmpowHER Guest

The Aspie's saying they are good parents. Plenty of NT's are bad parents. This is so typical of a NA person. They think they are right! They would totally argue to the death about being a good parent, b/c what they base it on is their actions. Feeding, sheltering, clothing, playing with them, taking them to the dr. etc. I can tell you from being a child raised by a AS parent, he was abusive as hell and will flat out curse you down if you suggest he wasn't a good parent. They see things differently. They cannot GET that is is more than those things, it is actually feeling emotion around your child, the warmth ( that they cannot get). It is the energy that NT parents project. That is something an AS person won't get. Unless they are on Oxytocin and have it balanced to a good level, that helps them bond. Don't stop what you are doing, and keep in mind what you are dealing with. AS people are going to get fired up.... that is what they do when someone doesn't agree with them. Of course they will they cannot see outside of themselves.

My daughter ( unfortunately) has an AS father. He didn't get diagnosed until after she was born. You can ask her how she feels around her DAD..... she will tell you. Something big is missing.

August 9, 2016 - 3:00pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I know what you mean! I remember once suggesting to my AS Dad that we seek family counseling. He yelled so fiercely that the walls shook, "We don't need counseling! We're fine!" One of many clues that something was very, very out of place. Fortunately I've been of the mind to at least continue seeking out help for myself! My heart is with your family!

August 14, 2016 - 10:39am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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