Waiting for light at the end of the tunnel

I am a 46 mother, two of my children have recently been diagnosed with autistic spectrum condition, my older son who is almost 14 has been under the radar for years before he was eventually diagnosed, my daughter who is 6 has recently had a diagnosis just before my sons diagnosis, I’ve felt as I’ve let them down because I have never been good at explaining the difficulties they had at home, I obviously knew that they both acted differently to my other children but I found it really hard to express to others the difference.

All my life I’ve had similar difficulties with expressive and receptive language although I don’t have anything wrong with speaking It’s more that I find it hard to get to the point, especially in a conversation I try so hard to focus on what the person is saying that I end up homing in on one thing and lose overview of the whole conversation, My brain has a habit of omitting information no matter how hard I try to concentrate, I also have a problem with recognising people when they are out of their environment, I forget faces really easily especially if I’ve only met them once!

I see so many traits of my two recently diagnosed children in myself especially when I was a child and I struggled with social situations all the time. I also feel I live a self destructive life as I am constantly absorbed in interests that take over my life although the interests are hobbies that people often do maybe once every week to relax, I become so self absorbed that it’s hard for me to pull away from, at one time I spent 18 hours just watching YouTube videos and researching and printing facts  about  a particular interest, whenever I am stressed I gravitate to them over and over again and find them very self soothing, and probably the most detrimental thing I do is whenever I do have conversations with people I tend to hijack the conversation and talk about my latest interest even though I know it’s not a good thing to do it’s as if I have no self control when I’m in that situation.I also have sensory issues too many to mention, 

I find myself withdrawing more and more from people one because I enjoy being by myself and two because I feel I feel as if I am wearing a mask all day when I am around people, I find this tiring and feel I don’t have my own identity I have recently asked my doctor to refer me for a assessment fo an autistic spectrum condition, I should receive an appointment soon, I’m wondering if anyone can relate to this or can give me some advice?


  • I can relate to EVERYTHING you said about yourself and what's more I've heard many, many other people on this forum saying these same things. Many others were diagnosed later in life too, as I was, often due to 'hitting a wall' with the overwhelming tiredness you mention and / or because they recognised themselves in their children's diagnosis (among other things - nobody seems to have an answer as to why things become more difficult all of a sudden).   

    Since the relatively recent improvements in the diagnostic criteria, there are generations of us finally receiving answers to things we struggled with throughout our lives to varying degrees but which were missed in childhood. Since we never had these answers ourselves, how could we be expected to 'diagnose' our own children? You, like me and so many others, saw our own traits in our children but how could we possibly have known what that meant? After all, parents expect to see reflections of themselves in their children but who expects that to mean it's something diagnose-able? What you have done is to understand them, and that's worth everything as I'm sure you'll know from your own experiences. I can count on one hand the people who have genuinely understood me! 

    There's advice on this site, in the many Threads as well as on the main site, on just about every topic imaginable, but if you're looking for something a little more related to your personal circumstances just ask! The identity thing, to me, felt a lot like the loss of identity after having your first baby - no longer existing as 'me' but suddenly only seen as 'baby's Mum'. As they grew up, my identity as a separate person from them returned. I'm beginning to think that once I get more used to my Asperger's diagnosis and it 'gets old', I'll similarly regain my identity as still 'me'. Me with children, not defined by them, and me with Asperger's but not defined by that either? That's where I'm aiming anyway.       

  • Hello and welcome. It sounds like you belong here with us.