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Thank you for this article. I am an adult NT child of an AS father. He has not been formally diagnosed and probably never will be. But it has been strongly suspected by many people in his life, from family to friends to work colleagues. I am just now beginning to understand about AS, as well as deal with all my issues from childhood, now that I have a child myself.

My dad's behaviour was devastating to me as a child. HOWEVER, I'm not sure the AS is to blame. My dad has always been an angry man, and at times he resorted to verbal and mild physical abuse. I have come to a place where I can truly say I have forgiven him for what he did to me. I know he loved me the best he could. But he was either distant and detached, or angry. I have only a few memories of him being warm, engaging, and happy with me. Even now, he never asks questions about me or my life. I have taken this as him not being interested, and now I understand the AS may play a role.

I think what is important is character, not AS vs. NT. I also currently have a boyfriend who may have AS. There are alot of similarities and I strongly suspect it may be the case. He has a very different character from my dad. I don't think he would ever display anger or behave abusively towards me. He is very gentle and humble. He is accountable for his behaviour. There are still alot of relationship difficulties, but I can't fault him for not being a loving person in any way.

That being said, the effects from my father have left me with issues of feeling unimportant, unworthy, unloved, and insecure. I have repeatedly found myself in unhealthy relationships with men who were emotionally detached or even abusive. I have suffered from severe depression, drug addiction, and other self-harming behaviours. I could go on and on. Was it because he had AS, or because he was angry? Or a mixture of both? (Beyond what is my own responsibility for making poor choices, obviously....)

My bf says that his level of connection is sufficient for him. But it is not sufficient for me, and I don't know that it would be sufficient for my child. I am very conflicted in this. I can see how difficulty empathizing could lead to dismissing a small child's behaviour as "irrational" and how being disconnected and not able to verbalize love could have devastating effects on a small child's sense of self-esteem and worth. Then again, I have a physical illness and I know my disability has an effect on her and is stressful for her. No parent is perfect and there must be room for grace. If we are humble enough to accept it and always keep trying to be better. Any feedback is welcome!

January 7, 2010 - 11:52am


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