December 4, 2019 19:33
My AS was diagnosed with autism a few years ago.
My BD has always struggled in social situations and recently her GP referred her for adult autism assessment.
The outcome is that she has been diagnosed with autism.
I thought I'd be ok with it. My daughter needs support (she lives alone) and the diagnosis should help her get some support. She herself is quite happy with the diagnosis. She's finally got an explanation for her many difficulties.
I'm not ok with it. Frankly I'm devastated. I had no problem with my son having autism - I could blame his genetic make up. But for BOTH my BD & AS to have it makes me feel it's something I did.
No amount of rationalising is helping. I brought them up very differently to each other (there is a big age gap & they only lived together for one year). I adopted a child who I felt I could parent based on my experience - obviously I'd be drawn to a child with autistic behaviour because it's familiar to me etc etc.
But I'm still thinking it's my fault.
December 4, 2019 20:45
You really shouldn’t think this way at all. Autism is nothing to do with parenting and scarily common, with an estimated 1 in 59 children diagnosed with it in America. The fact that your daughter is happy with the diagnosis shows that you’ve raised a well balanced individual who can see through the challenges she’s faced to look forward to a more positive future with the support she needs to maintain her independence.
December 5, 2019 08:09
Definitely - echo the above. You are probably right that you may have been drawn to your son as something about him resonated with you. Your daughter has accepted this and as you say is glad to have an explanation which means something to both her and others and which opens doors for help. Maybe deep down you feel others - who don’t understand the condition - may blame you? Could you get some counselling - preferably specialist counselling from someone who understands autism and works with parents / families? I have found counselling for myself to be the best thing I did (or one of the best - best thing for me!)
June 5, 2020 19:18
I believe that your love for them is what they'll need most so don't be hard to yourself. You're enough and no one is to be blamed. You're children are gifts and they could bring out a stronger version of you. You can try sensory toys to stimulate their senses like in this one https://kidzgifts.co.uk/news/sensory-toys-it-makes-sense-to-learn-about-them/. Although these are best for younger kids, I think older children and adult with autism could still benefit from the stimuli that these toys could offer.