New Baby from Unplanned Pregnancy with Suspected Undiagnosed ASD Boyfriend


I am looking for some support or advise for a situation I find myself in.

I have a 4 month old baby, and her father and I separated when she was 2 months old. I am sure he has undiagnosed ASD, which has caused many problems and confusion in our relationship. We met only 7 months before we accidentally became pregnant, and half of our relationship was long distance as I was living in another country, so I have been getting to know him increasingly throughout the pregnancy.

I believe he was diagnosed when he was a young boy, and his family are ashamed so have kept it a secret. He mentioned he went to a special school when he was young, because he was deaf and had speech problems. I believe this is because of his ASD but his mum just says he had gromits and couldn't hear. I think she is trying to cover it up, as when our daughter was born, she had difficulty passing the hearing test and when my ex asked his mother about his deafness as a child, she just 'shooshed' him and said "No, no there was nothing wrong with your hearing". His mother has no idea I know. The first time I met his sister, we were at his parents house, and his sister called him "autism boy" when they were arguing. They are both in their thirties, and in getting to know her, I believe she may have mild ASD also. There was no mention of it since. I am an artist, and when we were first started dating he said to me "I'm artistic too. Oh no... I mean I'm autistic." and then he jumped out of bed and had a shower with no mention of it. I have tried to talk to him about it but he refuses to talk- he says he does not have autism and that everyone wants to put an ASD label on people these days. He says he would never seek a diagnosis and that he has no idea what I'm talking about. I am scared to talk to his family about it as I know they are ashamed. He also has a cousin with aspergers, and they are very negative about him. 

Some of his symptoms include hitting his head over and over when he is excited/ tired/ cold/ nervous, he rocks himself back and for when he is asleep lying down, he gets so anxious about things like walking into town/ going to a coffee shop/ going somewhere new (he says he feels everyone is looking at him when we are in a public place), he made a big fuss about going to any antenatal classes with me or being at the birth (but now I suspect is because of his ASD), he has a jam-packed schedule and has several hobbies including sport, warhammer, and several other hobbies and interests where he is incrediby talented (he can not miss one of these and gets extremely stressed with fitting it all in), its like he has a split personality and full of contradictions- he is so shy and quiet with my family and with people he doesn't know, and is the loudest man in the room with his friends- he loves clubbing (he says he likes to sit in the VIP area and look at the bright lights) and he gets extremely drunk with his friends and is congratulated for being able to down a pint in no time, and yet he won't drink a beer with me, he earns a huge wage as an engineer and never has any money as he gambles on 'stocks and shares' and takes lessons to be a pilot. He refused to go on holiday with me, and when I asked him if he'd like to go for a drink with me he says "I've seen you all day, what do we have to talk about?". He didnt say these things in a malicious way, but it hurts all the same. I broke up with him when he started calling me a weirdo for going for a walk with the baby on my own, and bringing me down when he didn't want to spend time with me and the baby over his hobbies- he once had such an anxiety attack when we were in a busy coffee shop, he just walked out. 

He also has OCD, and needs to turn off every socket before leaving the house, he won't use a public toilet, and is afraid of leaving the house if he feels he might need to go to the toilet, he is squeamish, and says he used to visit the sex health clinic every week although he wasn't having sex- the nurse told him he couldn't catch an infection if he wasn't having sex. He is constantly at the doctors having tests as he thinks he has back/ bowel cancer- no signs in MMR scans, and he is off sick from work for months on end, several times a year, and is always in trouble for it. I believe he suffers from depression too, and this coincides with his back problems. I think he is a hypochondriac, and after we broke up, he went to the doctors and had his appendix removed- I believe this is in reaction to our break up, and when I realised this, I felt so afraid! What if he can't process his feelings so takes it out on his body? How can I know he is safe?

We had tried living together, but I could only stay over once or twice a week as it was really full on. He is a very loving guy, in a sweet, childlike way, always telling me he loves me, hitting his head when he is overwhelmed with happiness, and I started to think his quirky ways were endearing and that they made up for his difficult ways. He was very affectionate, and always hugged me, and was lovely about the growing bump, and totally in love with our baby, but there is a definite feeling of detachment there. The pressure of having to move into his tiny flat after the baby was born was hard, he was constantly on the xbox talking to friends, and I felt imprisoned- his mum (who has shown little interest in me before the birth) was overbearingly smothering and in the first day after giving birth, came over and did a photo shoot with her whole family, while i sat in my pjs excluded. She kept asking if she could have my baby on her own at her house in the first week, and when I said no as I am breastfeeding, she said "you can't be like that, she is my grandaughter!"- I didn't feel like I could get away, and he couldn't understand, and I ended up staying at my folks house after 2-3 weeks, and he would visit me. But the visits became less and less and he expected me to rush around after him. I asked him one week if he could please stay over and help with the baby but he said no as he wanted to go out for the day with his friends. He copies jokes and phrases from sitcoms and relays them to me and his friends. 

Since we broke up, he visits me as I am breastfeeding. At the beginning I said he should visit as often as he could, and he only came twice a week. I offered for him to stay over so he could spend more time with the baby, and have has his own room, and for us to go out for the day but he said no. His mother and father came once to visit and she was very cold, and asked if she could pick me up so that she could have her granddaughter at her house but I said its best if she visits me for now- she has not visited since. I feel they are a strange family to communicate with- I have sent several messages throughout my relationship asking for help from his mum or sister but they just say 'oh sorry!i don't want to get involved' and don't reply. When I was four months pregnant, he bought a new place around the corner from his mums- he didn't tell me, he just viewed it with her and they bought it on the same day. I had no choice in where it was, which was difficult as it was out of town compared to the old place. 

I'd really appreciate any advise on how to navigate a relationship with an ex with undiagnosed ASD who refuses to seek diagnosis- I've tried talking to him about it and about being aware of any signs of ASD that our daughter may have but he refuses to talk about that and says she's as likely to have ASD as any other baby. His family are almost ignoring me now, and his sisters baby has apparently started hitting his head like he does. 

Does anyone please have any advise about how I eventually start to date in the future? I don't have dating on my mind at all at the moment, but I am only in my twenties and don't want to be alone forever- am I at risk of hurting his feelings later down the line if he ever finds out Ive been dating (will he do something like get his appendix removed etc??) He has had many other girlfriends before me, all of which have broken up with him, and sometimes he makes me feel no more important than any of them. His one ex contacted him when our baby was born, and when I was upset about it he told me he would never shun her and always had time for his exes as they are all important to him. He has said he is no longer interested in dating and in his words 'I have a baby, I feel I've done that now'

How do I navigate around his family who are in denial about his ASD? He says his mum and dad would beat him up and lock him in his room when he was a boy, but he needed to stop being a 'pansy' so they did the right thing. I'm scared of them ever being mean or abusive to my daughter, although they are all smiles and fake politeness to my face. His mother is so controlling she has gone on every holiday with his sister and her husband since they met- she even went on their honeymoon. She says he is a 'genius' which he gets from his dad (who is definitely on the spectrum and is exactly like him).  She was a bit overbearing when we were together but as soon as we broke up she has not visited him at all at his house and they have not seen him! Seems odd. 

Sorry for the long and rambling message, it is therapeutic to write it down. I am not slating ASD symptoms, only saying how hard it can be as it feels like I have been his carer and ex girlfriend rather than a partner. He has some amazing qualities- reliable, honest, childlike affectionate, but he is tight with his money and controlling tendencies with the me and our baby. When we first became pregnant he was a different guy- we were in a sexual relationship and very in love and he said he wanted to get engaged and be a family- since I found out i was pregnant he stopped all physical affection and said it weirded him out as i was pregnant- it made me very lonely. He also suddenly said i had put a gun to his head and he would not get engaged until he became a pilot (which is unlikely for many years to come). He was very cold and a different guy altogether. Im a bit afriad to ever leave our daughter with him alone as i don't know if he sees her as an object to make him look good or if he can be relied on. He is so squeamish he can't change her nappy and washes his hands as soon as he touches her nappy. 

Many many thanks for any help or advise!