“I believe there is a reason for (conditions) such as autism, severe manic-depression, and schizophrenia remain in our gene pool even though there is much suffering as a result.”― Temple Grandin, Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism
A particular friend-mentor-life teacher would occasionally, bluntly, and accurately (sometimes) rephrase my question; or he would put words to a question that needed to be asked. One example: “So, your question is, ‘Is (son)’s Aspergers your fault?” My reaction, usually either cognitive dissonance, or something like a cathartic reaction. This friend and I actually had several discussions about my son’s autism.
Some people would say that our son’s autism is not my fault. So, we should be able to put this issue behind us, right? Uhhhh, maybe. Maybe not. In my head, yeah … I’ve got it all straight. It’s not my fault. In my heart, however, things are bit murky.
My son has sensory issues; so do I: feeling crowded, some fabrics against the skin, certain contexts of noise, etc. My son struggles with self-condemnation, low self-esteem, and anger; and so do I: “I am so stupid … I wish I was different … I am furious!” There is a term, “Low Frustration-Tolerance”: a lower threshold for frustration. My son has this Low Frustration-Tolerance. In different ways, to a lesser degree, I also struggle with the Low Frustration-Tolerance.
At night, I lay awake. I am angry that I cannot “connect” with my son the way I think I should be able to. I ask myself: “What kind of father am I?” I find myself slowly shaking my head … right there in bed … wondering why my son got “all this” from me. Keep in mind that I’ve done a great deal of work on myself, because of my decision to be a psychotherapist. Depression diagnosed? Yes. Secondary PTSD diagnosed? Yes. At one time I was diagnosed with A.D.D., but that was later ruled out. Aspergers? No. It never came up. The criteria / symptoms necessary for a diagnosis related to Autism / Aspergers are not present.
And yet, some research shows that In many families, there appears to be a pattern of autism or related disabilities. There are definitely different factors about “Why”. None of the data, however, totally removes the anguish of the parents; their potential self-condemnation; the possibility of false-guilt. Nor does the data keep the parents of Autism / Asperger kiddos from becoming highly fatigued and unfathomably frustrated with parenting a special needs child. Bottom line for this post? Parents who are on such journeys as these need support from other parents, along with monetary support, supervisory support. My friend I had referred to earlier might say: “So my question is ‘How does this happen? ‘ …” And I would say to my friend, “I’m not quite sure.” But I am sure of this: I want t other parents to know that they are not alone; and that they need others wot walk with them through these experiences.
- Autism Information- Few Essential Facts About Autism (helpthemshine.wordpress.com)
- Being aware … (mumblingsontheverge.wordpress.com)
- Fresh fuel reignites Asperger’s debate (medicalnewstoday.com)