We’ve come a long way since the dark ages when our children were wildly misdiagnosed, and we as parents were blamed for our children’s differences. We now know that autism is not caused by poor parenting. We also now realize that aspects of the Asperger and Autism Spectrum can be very beneficial for our children and our society. But it’s still extremely hard work to raise a child on the spectrum. Parents of children with autism and Asperger face challenges that other parents don’t understand.
“How do I guide my child through the challenges of childhood, so that my child will grow up to be happy, healthy, and productive?”
- Should you push your child to be “normal” and fit in?
- How do you win the support of your school district?
- Should you tell your child you think they have Asperger?
- Is the “Aspie” label useful or harmful?
- How do you know when to ask your child to try harder vs. make things easier for your child?
- What if your child wants to take on more challenges than you think they are ready for?
- What about if your spouse, or your ex, has a completely different parenting philosophy than you do?
- How do you know if your child is being treated fairly at school?
- How can you find the time to juggle all the competing demands in your life?
- How do you know which services are best for your child?
- How do you know if your other children are getting enough of your time and resources?
- And most importantly, will your child turn out to be happy? This is what we all want the most, in the end.
Kristina’s Parenting Story:
Kristina’s son was diagnosed first with PDD-NOS in 1997 at age 7, and then rediagnosed with Asperger Syndrome a couple of years later. The social aspects of school and life have always been an enormous challenge for him. But after years of hard work, he now has an active social life and supportive friends. In 2015 he graduated with a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering, and is now employed as an engineer with a large firm.
Kristina says, “I am so grateful, and so amazed, and so proud of him. I wish I had known back then, that it was going to be fine. Not just fine, but wonderful. He is the light of my life, and he has such a bright future ahead of him. Sure, he plays video games after work, makes nerdy jokes, and doesn’t date very much. But he’s got a professional job, and he’s enjoyable to be around, and he gets out and does fun things with his friends, and most importantly, he’s happy!”