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Think DH may have ASD - can anyone share their experiences?(7 Posts)
Posted this in general health too because I'm not sure which section it's best suited to:
Been doing some research about DD2 (7) who we've been having a few issues with of late (very able academically, has a few phobias, hair being touched etc), and I ended up reading some stuff about Asperger's/ASD and it hit me like a train that my husband of more than a decade has a lot of the traits associated with ASD. I don't want to fall into cliché but here are some of the things that have made me wonder:
- he has real difficulty forming relationships
- has v few friends i.e. it's just me and our mutual friends really
- very, very good at his job (particularly the technical side) but has a lot of difficulty forming relationships in the workplace, which makes his working life quite hard
- poor facial recognition - he really struggles to recognise people even when he's met them a few times. He told me recently that he relies a lot on hair to recognise people so if someone changes their hair he finds it really hard to recognise them.
- he is painfully blunt. We met at university where he pissed everybody off by just saying exactly what went through his head and not understanding why anyone would mind hearing anything negative about themselves. I remember, years ago, him saying to me when I was upset about something quite offensive that he said something along the lines of, "well, I don't know why people mind criticism, don't they want to know what their flaws are so they can work on them". He's got better over the years because I've spent so much time trying to help him understand what is and isn't offensive but he's still something of a liability in company!
- finds social situations really difficult (unless there is a 'theme' or topic) i.e. he's fine on football
- is phobic about certain kinds of textures in food - anything sticky basically. He gets really freaked out if the kids are eating stuff like that and get it on their fingers or on the table
- is a bit obsessed with planning and routine. He's quite stressed at work at the moment and his reaction is to want to schedule everything at home down to the last minute
He is, it is fair to say, not that easy to live with. But his view has always been that I'm oversensitive. I think over the years I've come to believe that and have just learnt to modify my behaviour so I'm less upset by the things he says. And to be fair I think he's made real efforts to be more understanding too. But reading some stuff about Asperger's made me think that actually a lot of his behaviour, and the difficulties we have had, would be explained by this. Or maybe I'm jumping the gun? I just really don't know. And also, I have no idea how I'd raise any of this with him. I mean we did have one drunken lighthearted conversation a few months back about how he might be on the spectrum but we've never discussed it again.
But, if it is a real thing, then I think it would really help our relationship. And help him - in his workplace, with the kids etc to understand a bit more about it.
If anyone out there has any experience or thoughts on this I'd love to hear them.
Have name changed so I'm not too recognisable because it all feels a bit personal.
If it helps the relationship - maybe leave some books lying around...?
Mention that parents often recognise traits on themselves and rider family members (IME) once their child begins the diagnosis process...
I think in most healthy relationships we knock the rougher edges off of one another
...and perhaps wish him the best of British luck in persuading any health professional to take him seriously and actually refer for assessment,
Sorry...bit bitter about all this at the moment. My experience is that there is no interest in diagnosing adults.
XP was sent for diagnosis very quickly as an adult (although the appointment took a long time). I think it depends where you are.
If you think he has traits, then subtle hints will not work. Just be blunt. He may not accept it though. (If he is like then DP he will probably think of 1 reason why he does not fit the diagnostic criteria and reject the possibility outright. He might then realise that this in itself is symptomatic of being ASD... )
I think diagnosis, or at least awareness, is a good thing if it is causing problems. Otherwise not.
If you are lucky enough to get a diagnosis on the NHS then there is no support for adults with ASD afterwards so it's pretty pointless. Sorry. I had to pay privately and there's no follow up at all.
I think that it's important to understand that you're probably not being over sensitive to his bluntness. It's very positive that he's put in the effort to be better but putting the "blame" on you is unfair.
I think, even just recognising the possibility of ASD can help your relationship.
My OH has a lot of 'issues', food phobias, misophonia, restricted timetabling, very regulated shopping, inability to empathise etc. It was driving us apart (and me mad) until I read up on ASD for a different reason and realised that, more than likely, he was on the spectrum. After that I found it easier to deal with his 'peculiarities' because I could reason that he couldn't help it and wasn't (as I had previously suspected) doing it just to be different or awkward. I can now look a little more fondly and sympathetically on most of his behaviour and it's helped our relationship enormously.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer, all of you. It's much appreciated. Because I wasn't sure which forum to post in I now have two threads running so it might be easier if I stick to the one that has most responses on it, which is here:
I've taken on board all of your comments though. Still not quite sure what to do about any of it but it's been really helpful to get thoughts from others with experience of this kind of thing.
And crazed thank you - I do find I blame myself for a lot. I find it hard to see any of it clearly/objectively.
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