How do I tell my son he has Asperger's?

Hi my sons 9 he has Asperger’s and we held off telling him for a number of reasons, I not go into can anyone give me any tips on how to start the conversation. Can anyone recommend any books or website I can maybe use to explain it?

  • By chance, there's a very similar thread (just scroll along a bit, it's on page 2 on my screen) called 'How to tell an 8yr old sibling' which has been given replies with excellent advice that I think would similarly suit your situation. 

  • I can't give any useful pointers about that - but whatever you do, do tell him whenever you can.  I once worked with an Aspie whose parents decided not to tell him of his diagnosis (when 6) because they didn't want him to grow up with a feeling of being different.  When he finally found out, in his 20s, he was hugely resentful towards them for the grief he'd suffered at school.  Your son is coming up to that crucial age, too, when he'll be starting in with secondary education.  I'd say he needs to know before that time.

  • He's probably already realising he's different, and finding it hard to gauge people. It'll be an eye opener for him, I think if I had my diagnosis that young, I'd want my parents to just say "Oh you know that test you did, you came up with aspergers. It's a form of autism, it means you struggle with (enter negatives here) ... But then you can do (enter strengths.) ... I think ending on a positive note is always nice. For me, at least.

  • Hi veroedge,

    If you haven't already seen it, you might find the post-diagnosis page on the NAS website helpful. It talks about how you could talk to your child about diagnosis and even suggests books etc that might be relevant. 

    Hope this helps.

    Heather - Mod 

  • Hello

    My son's school suggested our then 9 year old should see a specialist due to suspected asperger's.  We ummed and ahhed about this for a while and then months later decided to initiate proceedings. We had not yet discussed this with our son as we thought the process would take some time.  Coincidentally, his class had started reading "The London Eye Mystery" by Siobhan Dowd - the main narrator has Asperger's - and one evening he asked his dad "What is autism? Do I have autism?"

    It completely opened up the conversation with him.  He became quite desperate to know when he could see a specialist (and perhaps, temporarily, related a little too closely to the main character in the book so it became difficult to know if the book was reflecting what my son felt, or if my son was projecting what was in the book iyswim).  We decided to go private and indeed got the diagnosis.  It was like a big relief to him - finally there was an explanation as to why he felt so different from his peers.  

    It sounds like you already have a diagnosis, and if so, did your son ask any questions about this?  Perhaps you would like to read The London Eye Mystery first and then see if he would like to read it.  

    best regards