In my book, Unforgiving, Memoir of an Asperger Teen, I often express the feeling of being disconnected from the rest of my family and my peers.
In the 1960’s, there was no diagnosis for Asperger’s. My parents couldn’t figure out what was “wrong” with me. In their eyes, much of my behaviour was inappropriate. I resoponded differently to social situations and learning environments than my siblings. This sense of being “wrong” while all too common for people with Asperger’s, does not have to be.
In the introductory interview, Stephen Shore describes “the most important thing about my parents”, which is that they accepted him for who he was, and yet at the same time realized that he would face a number of challenges in his journey toward a normal life.
Many of us do not have parents who have this understanding. Some of us have parents who are not educated enough or financially positioned to offer us the kind of interventions and therapies that Stephen Shore enjoyed. Some parents are just too drained, emotionally and physically to offer us the support we need.
So we must learn to love and accept ourselves. Understand this–we can make friends, be comfortable with some people, sincerely listen, pleasantly respond.
And parents please understand, whatever else you do, accepting your child for who they are is the first step on the road to your child’s integration into society.