Wednesday, March 26, 2014

In an Asperger's Marriage or Relationship? Grieving the Death of the Dream

An asperger's diagnostician informed me that 80% of children diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome (high functioning autism) have either a parent or a grandparent (likely undiagnosed) on the autism spectrum.

Many parents have a light bulb "aha" moment after the diagnosis of a child.  "AHA!  So THIS explains why my spouse (or parent) has always done such and such.  He (or she) has traits consistent with autism!"

And the relief of finally having a name to go with the confusing characteristics and behaviors is quickly followed by grief.  Please know that this grief is normal, and oh, so common

After going through the grief myself over the past five years, my advice to you is to go with it.  Don't fight it.  The dream of ever having a normal, typical relationship with your autistic loved ones is over.  GRIEVE! 

It's okay to have been in denial.  Don't beat yourself up if you had been denying the symptoms in the past.  You did the best you could with what you knew at the time.  And it's fine to be angry.  But try very hard not to take the anger out on those around you.  Journal.  Pray.  Confide in a highly empathic friend, or seek a good counselor during this time, to help you process all the emotions you are feeling.

Familiarize yourself with the stages of grief:  But most importantly, call this what it is.  This is the DEATH of a dream.  GRIEF of a true loss.

As you are able to better understand what you are truly going through, post-diagnosis, you will grow, and then be better able to take care of the differently-abled people in your life.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

FOUND! A Christian Counselor for an Aspergers Marriage!

Check out this link:

Several good articles for the Christian living with Aspergers Syndrome

The link above has some good articles for the Christian, or Christian spouse of someone with Asperger's Syndrome or high functioning autism (as it is now called).

Best of all, there IS now a Christian counselor and marriage and family therapist who is very familiar with autism and Aspergers!  Go to: CounselorStephanieHolmes(dot)com for contact info.  She has both personal experience in her own life, and professional experience, with autism spectrum disorders.

AND . . . Drum roll . . . This Christian counselor will counsel patients all over the world via Skype, so no worries if her office is too far away.  That may sound iffy, but I vouch for her.  This counselor is legit.  She knows her autism stuff, and seems biblically solid, too.  I recently attended  a large conference where she was speaking.  I am in no way getting compensation or anything for recommending this therapist.  I'm just so thrilled SOMEONE has the skills to counsel women and men in Aspergers marriages.

 C'mon therapists and counselors out there....the future is here!  These Aspergers kiddos diagnosed in the 1990s will be getting married soon, and there will be gazillions of spouses seeking therapists with knowledge of autism.  This is seriously an untapped gold mine in the future of the counseling field. Aspie spouses may be the very best therapists due to their personal experience and wisdom acquired over the years.  So if looking for a field to study or career change . . . consider counseling with an emphasis on autism and families with special needs.