What Is The Hardest Part Of Being Autistic And A Parent?

DepictDave

Active member
I personally struggle to do what my wife calls "picking your battles". I've got 2 toddlers and my autistic brain struggles to let go of the right or wrong way to do things when they're playing up. I need to learn how to balance whether it's worth arguing my point or whether it'd be better just to give them what they want to give myself an easier life. I struggle to come up with specific examples but hopefully you get the idea. It maybe doesn't help that we think my son could potentially be autistic.

Have we got any autistic parents here? What do you think is the hardest part of being a parent and also autistic?
 

Willow

New member
Hi, I'm new to the forum, and have 2 children (one is autistic.) I am on a long NHS waiting list to find out whether I have Asperger's syndrome, but I had no idea I might be autistic until after my children were born.
My biggest fear, with or without a diagnosis, has been that I might somehow mess up their lives. I'm forever reading books and reading articles about parenting and analysing my actions, but find it hard to be sure I am doing the right things. I've been struggling with anxiety and had to give up work because of stress, which hasn't exactly helped. If I had known I might be autistic before I had them, I might never have chosen to have children because I would have assumed I wouldn't be any good at it, but here I am, and I love them and can't imagine them not existing now. I want to do the best I can.
My husband took years to accept my son's diagnosis, and doesn't accept that I might be autistic, so I can't really talk to him about it, (although he is kind enough in most other ways).
I am hoping that if I do get a diagnosis that some sort of extra support might be available, but it feels like a long haul right now.
 
I was diagnosed late in life only after my elder daughter was diagnosed. So I didn't need to weights the pros and cons of having a child. I progressed in stages in my life, at some stage I decided I was ready to get married and have children. I didn't read tons of books because I found it difficult to keep it all in my head and implement all that advice, it was making me stressed and anxious. I just followed my intuition. Of course I was always trying to do my best, be a really good mother and avoid all the things that I thought could be improved from my parent's example. I think in spite of challenges, my (I guess) autistic parents were the best and only parents for me an I am the best and only mother to my daughters. Nobody could do more for your children that yourself, especially with the insider understanding of autism. There is no advantage in internalising ableist stereotypes about autism and second guess yourself. I think being autistic gives an advantage of understanding and empathy for autistic children.
 

Margot

Administrator
Hi Willow, welcome to the forum.
I completely relate to striving to be the best parent as Rosa said. I think support from other autistic people is important in keeping positive self identity.
 

Willow

New member
I was diagnosed late in life only after my elder daughter was diagnosed. So I didn't need to weights the pros and cons of having a child. I progressed in stages in my life, at some stage I decided I was ready to get married and have children. I didn't read tons of books because I found it difficult to keep it all in my head and implement all that advice, it was making me stressed and anxious. I just followed my intuition. Of course I was always trying to do my best, be a really good mother and avoid all the things that I thought could be improved from my parent's example. I think in spite of challenges, my (I guess) autistic parents were the best and only parents for me an I am the best and only mother to my daughters. Nobody could do more for your children that yourself, especially with the insider understanding of autism. There is no advantage in internalising ableist stereotypes about autism and second guess yourself. I think being autistic gives an advantage of understanding and empathy for autistic children.
Thank you, Rosapurple. I hadn't thought that reading the books might be more of a hindrance than a help, you're right that it's difficult to keep everything in mind.
 

DepictDave

Active member
I didn't read tons of books because I found it difficult to keep it all in my head and implement all that advice, it was making me stressed and anxious. I just followed my intuition.

I really relate to this. I struggle to let things sink in when I'm reading lots so I like to mostly learn by doing, and occasionally in a combination of reading and listening.
 

Dimecore

New member
I personally struggle to do what my wife calls "picking your battles". I've got 2 toddlers and my autistic brain struggles to let go of the right or wrong way to do things when they're playing up. I need to learn how to balance whether it's worth arguing my point or whether it'd be better just to give them what they want to give myself an easier life. I struggle to come up with specific examples but hopefully you get the idea. It maybe doesn't help that we think my son could potentially be autistic.

Have we got any autistic parents here? What do you think is the hardest part of being a parent and also autistic?
The hardest part for me is that I'm always worried about what to do, my head just goes blank when it comes to planning activities or what to play with or where to go and it is really stressful and frustrating because I know I should be doing somthing but have no idea what, like a friend suggested a day at the zoo a while back but I dont think I could do that on my own I get stressed about driving especially to strange places and I get stressed when surrounded by strangers and I really want to do better for my daughter but I just cant help it. I was stressed recently and needed a short break so I told my ex about it in Hope's of a short term solution, now shes stopped contact and says I'm unstable and it's no good for our daughter even though she acknowledges we have such a great bond. Now shes telling me I need to go to court if I want access but I have no idea how or where to start and I feel it's all my fault for letting slip that I was struggling... more fool me, lesson learned 😞
 

HayleyB

New member
The hardest part for me is that I'm always worried about what to do, my head just goes blank when it comes to planning activities or what to play with or where to go and it is really stressful and frustrating because I know I should be doing somthing but have no idea what, like a friend suggested a day at the zoo a while back but I dont think I could do that on my own I get stressed about driving especially to strange places and I get stressed when surrounded by strangers and I really want to do better for my daughter but I just cant help it. I was stressed recently and needed a short break so I told my ex about it in Hope's of a short term solution, now shes stopped contact and says I'm unstable and it's no good for our daughter even though she acknowledges we have such a great bond. Now shes telling me I need to go to court if I want access but I have no idea how or where to start and I feel it's all my fault for letting slip that I was struggling... more fool me, lesson learned 😞
Hi, I wanted to add some balance here: if my husband had ever admitted he was struggling in this way we may not be at the point of separating as we are now. It was a brave and honest thing to do, and I'd hate for you to think all people will react badly. Best wishes for your way forward
 

AsdMum

New member
hi I think for myself it’s my children seeing my burn outs it makes me sad they have to witness me crash but on other hand I know it makes them understand burnout isn’t anything to be embarrassed about. I’ve also found I tend to clash a lot with schools as my flexibility off thought can cause issues 🙈
 

Margot

Administrator
I think the hardest part is having to fight for SEN provisions continuously and 'clash' with school about it. The hardest thing for me was to see my daughter crying herself to bed every night, to hear my daughter say "Mum, you said that the doctor [the Educational Psychologist] will help me, it's been a long time and nothing changed..." That really broke my heart.
 

Peebs

New member
Hello all. I am newly diagnosed at 37, and looking for advice from others on exactly this thing! I was a great mum when mine was a baby, because it was much simpler. Although the lack of sleep was dreadful, it was just feeding, changing, lots of cuddling, playing was simple and I got to nap when she did or get work done while she slept. I wrote two hour long shows during her first year! It’s the toddler years I’m struggling with. She’s so full of energy, gets bored, there’s no respite, no nap times. I feel like I’m letting her down, not being fun enough. Luckily her dad is so fun and dresses up and does characters and role play games, but I yearn just to snuggle together under a blanket and read her books.