AUTISM AND PARENTING

This is a tricky, touch subject. Can people with Autism be competent parents? I am split on this. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I think this is a yes and no question…at least, for me. I think I would make a good parent but having said that, am I ready? Um I don’t know. Is anyone ever ready to be a parent? I know my dad, when my mom told him she was pregnant with me, said something along the lines of, “Well…our lives are over”. But here I am, and my parents are no worse off than they were before they had me. I am 27 and am pretty sure my parents are about the same now as they were 28 years ago.

I am pretty sure I am gonna come under some fire for saying this, but I hope when I have a kid of my own, with the love of my life, (you know who you are)…I actually am kinda hoping they have a diagnosis of Autism. HEAR ME OUT! When I say that, I am thinking from maybe a parents’ perspective. I have heard people say, “When you have kids, I hope they turn out like you.” I have personally never heard my parents tell me that, that I can recall. Am I saying I hope my kid(s) are severely Autistic and lower-functioning? Not exactly, but if they are, I am sure I can cope. I want my kid(s) to be on my level or Allie’s level of Autistic. That way, it would be easier for me to relate to them. That’s all.

My parents are neurotypical (“Normal”) people…at least my mom is. My dad I am not sure about, because my dad can be kinda wacky and out there. Funny thing is…my mom is more “in-tune” and more almost sympathetic toward my diagnosis than my dad. It has to be that motherly love and maternal instinct.

My sisters, again both female (DUH!), are also extremely understanding of my diagnosis. My youngest sister has ADHD but not Autism. Actually, I got an invitation in March to speak on behalf of Kennedy Krieger Institute. My sister is presenting with me. I am really happy about that. Sure, she does not have Autism, but Hell…we are about 2 years apart. We grew up together. We lived together for 21 years until she moved to Philadelphia to go to Drexel. So she sorta, kinda gets it from a sibling’s perspective. So to my sister…thank you for doing this with me!

So back to my original point: Can people with Autism be good parents? I think it depends on how severely you are impacted. BUT there are several people without Autism who are unfit parents. So who knows? Who am I to say? As always, comment below and I look forward to hearing for you!

 

-Tom

Author: AuTom Spectrum Blog

I have Autism and am a self-advocate and public speaker. On the side I do stand-up comedy. I live in Baltimore County and have an AMAZING girlfriend

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