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First Published January 24, 11:11 PM

There seems to be a huge assumption that adults with autistic disabilities generally are not parents or should ever have a family.  Why is this so?  Why does so much stigma and ignorance exist?  Well, maybe its best to be wise and properly look into the facts rather than stigmatized beliefs.

Sadly, the positive side of parents with autism and their children is often neglected.  There is a great need to stop discrimination against current and potential parents with autistic disorders.  A website that is trying to help demystify the needs of autistic parents and their abilities is called C.A.P., celebrating autistic parents.  For the Saint Cloud area we have our Aspergers Support Network that meets every Thursday night at the Great River Regional Library.  Just by attending one of our meetings, it can and has helped many understand the world of adults with autistic disorders.  One would be very surprised to see how many adults with autistic disorders that have families of their own in the St. Cloud area.  But sadly, due to a lack of advocacy in our area and other places throughout the U.S., many parents with these disabilities are being taken advantage of, abused, and ignored in family court systems without even taken a glance at the problems and lack of supports to help an autistic parent be a successful parent.  Many parents with autistic disorders are pushed around by those that hold strong beliefs about autistic disorders no matter how many proven facts that are out there to disprove such ignorance.

Now it is true that no parent is absolutely perfect and that being autistic does not mean non-abusive any more than other non-autistic person could be.  This is why it is extremely important to focus on the positive aspects of autistic parents just like any other non-autistic parent.  There are just too many negative stigmas and beliefs against parents with autistic disorders that many neuro-typical parents do not generally have a clue on how difficult these problems can be.

One tremendously important aspect that should be noted is the quote I love to go by…”What’s better to know one, is to be one” in referring to my own autism as a parent and being able to identify autistic traits in others that so called ‘normal’ people tend to fail to see and understand.  Because of this, autistic parents tend to be a great thing for most children that may have an autistic disorder.

Source:  http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-25452-Minneapolis-Mental-Health-Examiner~y2010m1d24-Adults-with-autistic-disorders-are-parents-too-Part-1

Autistic Adults are Parents Too (Part 2)

January 26, 9:58 PMMinneapolis Mental Health ExaminerTina Elliott

Why are autistic parents usually a great thing for their children with autistic disorders?  Autistic parents can identify, understand and work with an autistic child more effectively on their level than most neuro-typicals (normal people) usually can.  Parents with autistic disorders may know how to help the child identify various coping skills that may or may not work per child much more easily because usually they have moments of ‘been there, done that”.  It is also comforting for the child to know they have someone that will understand them on their level much more easily when others may not. 

Even more importantly when things in life seem to get overly political or savvy for those with autistic disabilities, which can be a challenge to many autistic parents, is the advantage of their significant other if they are a neuro-typical.  The combination of both worlds from their parents help to balance and ground the child on all levels more effectively.  Truthfully understanding how those with autistic disabilities see and understand their world is a huge key to success.

But there can be exceptions to this rule when an ex-partner or uneducated family members are involved.  They usually are neuro-typical and refuse to understand the rules or even the actual or possible diagnoses of those with autistic disabilities.  This kind of problem can cause a great deal of distress to the child and adult with an autistic disorder.  Such ignorance, whether its due to a lack of education or unwavering beliefs, can be extremely damaging and judgmental.  Especially to the child with an autistic disorder that is just trying to find their place in this strange world.  Sadly there is a huge misconception when people hear the word autistic and many automatically assume it is the end of the world or even act like their loved may be dying, dead or just plain refuse to accept what these disorders entail.  Those with autistic disorders just see and interact with the world in a much more different way. It really is not that hard to understand.

Being a known fact that autistic disorders are extremely variable, thus called a spectrum, we need to spread the word on what these disorders really are about.  Many parents with autistic disorders are very high functioning and have normal to above average IQ levels.  Doing our part in the St. Cloud area by helping to educate ourselves and others, and look for ways to provide more supportive resources.  We can continually constitute understanding, acceptance and the respect the autistic populace deserves.

Come visit the “Aspergers Support Network” website.  Meetings held at the St. Cloud public library, Thursday nights for adults with Aspergers/High Functioning Autism.

Source:  http://www.examiner.com/x-25452-Minneapolis-Mental-Health-Examiner~y2010m1d26-Adults-with-autistic-disorders-are-parents-too-Part-2?cid=channel-rss-Health



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