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Poppet

I'm 25 and haven't been diagnosed yet (I'm working on setting up an assesment right now), so maybe this is way too premature to begin thinking about... But I am wondering how older aspies (people that were diagnosed or learned of their aspergers later in life, once you were an adult and your parents weren't apart of the process of you figuring it out) told your parents about your aspergers?

Long story short, I want to open up about my issues with my family, but have no idea how to start that conversation. We don't live near each other and they are receptive but sometimes kind of stubborn when it comes to accepting what they percieve as "weakness"... If that makes sense.

 

Any advice? Horror stories? Success stories? Please share.

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Rocco

I just told my Stepmom who accepted it plainly. She knew something was up. My Mom I have been trying to convince I feel. She is in disbelief. She thought because I read at 11th grade levels in 3rd grade, that I was just smart with ADD. And the I was just a "home body"

I was assessed in a seperation psych evaluation in Navy, but at the time I got angry, after multiple misdiagnosis in last 2 years, I didn't believe them. I suppose when people are ready to accept it they will. If they can't accept you or your gift, it is their loss. In my opinion.

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L Lawliet

My family already had an idea something was going on with me as I've always been odd and never really fitted in with them. I told my mum first and she told most other people.

 

I'm glad I told my family because they've been really supportive and made some changes for me. Depending on the area you live and the diagnosis process may depend on whether you tell your family. I had to tell my family because the psychologist wanted to talk to my mum about my childhood and my behaviour growing up so I had to tell my family really :)

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Auletes

I put telling my partens anything off until I had to, because my parents had to fill in questionnaires about me for the diagnosis.

So it was saturday morning, my parents were in the living room. I came there and started: "Mum, Dad, I need to tell you something". The first I got to hear: "You are not pregnant - aren't you?"...

As I wasn't I just told them that I wanted them to fill in some questionnaires about me and left them alone.

The discussions followed afterwards. My mum's first comment was that she thaugth it fitted better for my father. She didn't believe I had it for a very long time, it took her some time to understand.

 

My advice is to be prepared to everything and don't be dissapointed if they don't see your point. I can imagine it's quite distacting for parents when they suddenly here the idea that their child is "disabled", because that's what it looks like when you have no clue about it.

 

I didn't tell  my broader familiy. My brothers know, my mum told them without my knowledge ( :angry: ), but my grandparents don't, I don't have a big familiy but if it isn't kind of very obvious I wouldn't tell the broader family.

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Nesf

I needed to have a second opinion from someone who knew me well before seeking a diagnosis, so I just came out and said to my (step)mum, "do you think I might have Aspergers?" and she didn't know what that was, so I just left her with a couple of links to research it herself. A week or so later, I asked her what she thought, and she said yes, and apologised because when I was little a teacher had told my parents that I have autistic traits, and they had taken me to the GP, but the idea was dismissed because I was interacting with the doctor, and if you could do that you couldn't have autism. She apologised for not looking into it further at the time, but there's nothing they could have done because people weren't diagnosed with AS in the early 80s, and I have no speech delay, so I couldn't be diagnosed with autism.

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vcq14

My mom was actually the one who tipped me off to AS about ten years ago after watching an episode of CSI; I may be the only Aspie diagnosed by Gil Grissom ^_^ It turns out my dad and his sister are both definitely Aspies (as is her husband), and several cousins on my mom's side are quite likely Aspies as well. Having both my dad and I together at the same time drives my mom crazy as we have our own special version of "Aspie shorthand" where the two of us can pick up a conversation hours or days later and know exactly where we left off, while everyone else within eartshot goes "huh"?

 

I grew up in the 1980s and was seen by dozens of school psychologists, none of whom could figure out why I was super-intelligent (top of my class, aced standarized tests, put in Talented and Gifted) but a social train wreck (would not make eye contact, wouldn't interact with other kids, terrified to talk on the phone, spent all my free time around adults and not peers, diagnosed with ADHD and still extremely hyper to this day). I would have meltdowns from overstimulation. This was long before Asperger's was in the DSM-IV and NONE of the school psychologists or doctors EVER suspected autism at that point as I did not present with "classic" autism. Growing up, my mom absolutely did not tolerate stimming or meltdowns and told me to "snap out of it." She also made me work on eye contact and "passing" as NT.

 

If it weren't for her, I would be much lower-functioning and more like the middle-aged undiagnosed Aspies I'm surrounded by at work, many of whom are much lower-functioning than I am. At least now I am able to verbalize situations that are stressful to me or to let my family know when I need "me" time to recharge.

Edited by vcq14

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MichalBeth7

I was primarily raised by my grandparents who are both in their 70's. I would like to tell them, but I have held off for two reasons: 

1) I am just recently diagnosed, so I am sort of adjusting to it myself as of right now.

2) They are both from an age where children weren't ever really diagnosed with this stuff. They probably would view it as an excuse, rather than a reason (Two very different things.). 

 

I have told my boyfriend, and his family know. As well as a few friends. I plan on waiting to tell my grandparents.

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Poppet

Thank you everyone for your responses! It's very fascinating to hear everyone's different experiences with telling (or not telling) people in your life. I've been reading more about the diagnostic process, and I'm suspecting I might have to have my parents fill out that questionnaire a few people mentioned. I guess that's probably when I'll have to bring the whole thing out into the open, because otherwise I don't know how honest my parents would be on it. They tend to make excuses for my (and my brother's) odd behavior and kind of treat awkward situations like that as if they should be ignored and forgotten about. Like focusing on them or trying to figure them out would only make matters worse. I disagree with this mindset though, I feel like understanding my odd behavior and why and when it happens (and the differences between me and NTs) would only make me a happier healthier person, confident in my own strange skin...

I hope it won't be too difficult to get them to accept it as a label... I like labels, I like understanding things and knowing where I stand in the world. It's the uncertainty and confusion that stresses me out. I'd rather know that I'm different and that will never change than being different and trying to change but failing constantly. Maybe they'll be less disappointed in me and my brother once they understand us a little better.

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myphoria

I haven't told my parents, and I don't think I will. Their impression of asperger's/autism is something like Sheldon Cooper or Rainman, and I honestly don't think they would understand. 

 

My sister has a Bachelor of Psychology, I mentioned to her that females on the spectrum present differently to males, and that they may have intense interests, but these interests mightn't be picked up on as a sign of ASD as they can be considered "normal", i.e. obsessed with shoes, types of literature, t.v shows, etc.

She turned around and said, "Yeah, but it would still be obvious. Like, the girl who's obsessed with shoes would be obsessed with a specific type of buckle and would know everything about the make of that type of shoe and the history of the shoe company". 

I don't know how accurate that is for women on the spectrum in general, but I don't present like that. After that conversation, I knew that anything I said about my diagnosis would be dismissed.

My family have already developed their own preconceived notions about what is "wrong" with me; I don't feel that they would be willing to compromise on these views. Armchair psychology at its worst.

Edited by myphoria

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Poppet

I haven't told my parents, and I don't think I will. Their impression of asperger's/autism is something like Sheldon Cooper or Rainman, and I honestly don't think they would understand. 

 

My sister has a Bachelor of Psychology, I mentioned to her that females on the spectrum present differently to males, and that they may have intense interests, but these interests mightn't be picked up on as a sign of ASD as they can be considered "normal", i.e. obsessed with shoes, types of literature, t.v shows, etc.

She turned around and said, "Yeah, but it would still be obvious. Like, the girl who's obsessed with shoes would be obsessed with a specific type of buckle and would know everything about the make of that type of shoe and the history of the shoe company". 

I don't know how accurate that is for women on the spectrum in general, but I don't present like that. After that conversation, I knew that anything I said about my diagnosis would be dismissed.

My family have already developed their own preconceived notions about what is "wrong" with me; I don't feel that they would be willing to compromise on these views. Armchair psychology at its worst.

 I think it's kind of tragically funny that so many doctors are NTs themselves, and therefore can never truly relate or understand. It's like they look at us the same way a kid might study an ant through a magnifying glass. They find us interesting for a while, but ultimately, they see us as a lesser species and they don't mind eliminating because we're just kind of a pest to the rest of the world... (That's a bit dramatic I know, but hopefully you get what I mean)

It's unfortunate (for everyone, NTs as well) that they don't get it. I feel like so many aspies and other people who are different from NTs are so fascinating and offer so much. We just take a little more effort to get to know than just studying from a safe distance.

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