Sunday, June 17, 2012

Chip Off the Old Block

Happy Father’s Day to all of you dads out there! I sincerely hope your day is filled with blessings.
My dad passed away three years ago, and my grandpas have been gone for years. Steve no longer has grandparents either, and his dad lives a day’s drive away. We haven’t seen him for some time now. Relations are strained.
My husband is just a chip off the old block.
Aspergers is genetic, but is no more predictable in offspring than eye color. My hubby is brown eyed, and I’m green eyed. We have two green eyed kids and one brown eyed kid. My hubby has Aspergers and I do not. None of our three kids do either. But Steve’s family has many Aspies. Only Steve has been diagnosed. His family insists that he isn’t. Not one of them has any sort of medical degree. Go figure.
The  forum has a great forum on Aspie genetics.
Many who’ve posted have parents or grandparents with Aspergers. One person posted that they “wouldn't want to have a child that would have to go through the social difficulties that I did.”
On this Father’s Day Sunday I find that to be a very sad sentiment, indeed.
Having Aspergers, being a nerd, living life differently does not have to guarantee a life of difficulties. Another post said their lack of desire to have offspring came from their own childhood experiences.
I could just imagine seeing my own child spending all his/her time alone because they couldn't relate to their classmates, or spending hours happily alphabetizing things around their room or the house, both of which I did growing up, and my heart would break with guilt.”
My question for this person is two-fold. One, is being alone bad? And two, if they spent hours “happily” alphabetizing things, what would be wrong with that?
Granted, things with my husband have been much easier after his diagnosis. I have been able to learn much about Aspergers Syndrome, and come to understand that Steve’s reactions and behaviors are not intentionally done ‘at’ me. They are simply manifestations of his AS. He is learning, as I am learning, to compensate for many things that are his natural way of being.
To not have the joy of parenthood because of aloneness or of being ‘different’ is heartbreaking to me. Even NeuroTypical children face challenges throughout life.
My favorite parenting-of-an-Aspie moment is captured in Temple Grandin’s movie starring Claire Danes. Temple was home for Christmas after receiving her Master’s Degree. She was sitting on her bed lamenting to her mother that she didn’t think she would ever be able to feel love as her mother did.
Her mother simply said, “I know, Dear.”
Temple’s mother was an incredible woman who refused to let anyone or anything get in the way of Temple living as normal a life as possible. Aspies don’t have to be sad or alone. Not all NT children are social butterflies. Every child is unique and special in their own way.
To all of you Aspie fathers out there, I wish you the very best today. Thank you for being you!
You add ‘spice’ to our world!


  1. I haven't been diagnosed but I've read a lot about it and I feel sure that I do have Asperger's. I also think my mother and 3 sisters have it.
    The problem I have is that my husband and 2 children do not seem to think I have it, but they haven't read hardly anything about it. So I feel very misunderstood.

    1. that is so hard - my hubby's family denies his aspergers - not sure why

      temple grandin's books are awesome - perhaps your hubby would read 'thinking in pictures' - it does such a good job in relating the intelligence of temple while explaining the world from her viewpoint - thank you for sharing and enjoy your 'spice' in life!