Thank you, Tony Attwood

March 22, 2010 at 5:39 am 11 comments

     When I was pregnant, I remember visiting Husband’s family over Christmas, and spending some time wandering through the Mennonite general store near his parents’ rural Tennessee home. I don’t remember who found it, but we eagerly agreed to purchase a book entitled How to Train Up a Child. I read that book, took small pieces of it to heart, but left most of it aside as simply too harsh for my tastes.

     Now, nine years later, I’m reading my way through my first Asperger’s book. I know, those of you in the know are wondering why it took me so long. Well, for all these years, I’ve been reading books about autism, because that was, and is, C’s diagnosis. Quite frankly, after a good 25 books on the subject, I quit. I couldn’t take it anymore. And somehow, in the years since I stopped reading, C became more of an “Aspie” than an “Autie,” and I only recently realized I had a whole new set of books to read.

     So it’s time for total honesty here. For years, years, I have known in my heart that somehow our parenting, no, actually MY parenting, is responsible for the part of C’s behavior that is the worst. The demanding, entitled, bratty behavior that we see only at home simply must be my fault –  even though I’d never admit that in public. I do what all of us do; I agree with those who try to comfort me by saying it’s not my fault while knowing deep down that it is.  

     Then I found my new love, Tony Attwood (sorry, Husband). I don’t care if he’s a one foot tall troll with hairy warts covering his face – he’s my new man. Within three pages of reading The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome, I knew somewhere deep in my soul that none of C’s most challenging behaviors are due to any bad parenting on my part. The guilt is gone, and I feel as though I can parent armed with an entire new kind of ammunition: understanding. It doesn’t make any of it easier, but it sure makes me feel better about how I’m doing it. And I’m doing it right. I’m not too firm, not too soft, but just right. I know as I continue to read this book I’ll learn new strategies for helping C navigate his world, and I’ll learn new strategies to help me navigate my own world as C’s parent.

     The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome? $29.95. The weight lifted off my shoulders? Priceless.

Entry filed under: autism. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

You are what you eat Reflecting

11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. goodfountain  |  March 22, 2010 at 7:52 am

    I LOVED that book! Loved it!

    I had a similar experience as you. In fact, I think I may be due to pick it up again and re-read some parts. Unfortunately, I checked it out at library so I’ll have to wait a few days until I can get it again.

    And I totally get about feeling like it’s the bad parenting. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t at least a little bit blame myself for something my C does. Ugh!

  • 2. therocchronicles  |  March 22, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Sounds like a good book! I was just thinking this morning that the Roc’s terrible behavior has to be because of me–the bus couldn’t come fast enough! argh!

  • 3. lynnes  |  March 22, 2010 at 9:48 am

    “The guilt is gone, and I feel as though I can parent armed with an entire new kind of ammunition: understanding. It doesn’t make any of it easier”

    You know, I actually think it does make it easier. I find when I know G is acting a certain way because it’s part of asd and he doesn’t yet have the skills to act any other way, it’s easier to deal with. I know that over time (lots of time) I can help him learn a different way of expressing himself. Before, when I thought he was choosing to act out, it was so much harder to deal with and I was so much harder on myself as a parent.

    I have that book but haven’t read all the way through it yet. I’ll have to dig it out of the stack next to my bed!

  • 4. robinaltman  |  March 22, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    That might be the best review for a helpful type book that I’ve ever read. I’m going to see if it comes in Kindle form right now! If not, I might even get a real paper version. Gasp!

  • 5. Cheryl D.  |  March 22, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    Wow! I just found your site! I’m gonna become an avid reader. Great blog! I feel so bad that you thought you were at fault, deep down! It’s a tough road, and I’m sure most of us do feel some level of responsibility, but for me, those moments are fleeting, thankfully!

  • 6. JD  |  March 23, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    First book I read about Aspergers. It was the catalyst for me to diagnose our 7 year old son. Very helpful. I definitely relate to the bad parenting burden you’ve been bearing. It almost buried me when my son was 3 years old. He is a sweet, good boy and yet constantly exhibiting what appears to be “bratty” behavior,mostly in his (familiar) home environment. He reminds me sometimes of a grumpy old man (but way cuter).

  • 7. Elizabeth Channel  |  March 24, 2010 at 8:11 am

    BPB over here too. (Bad parenting burden). Gotta get this book–thanks for the reminder!

  • 8. tiredmama  |  March 24, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    Wow! Sounds like a great book. I’m so glad that you found it! 🙂

  • 9. Shivon  |  March 26, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    I looooove this book, also “Parenting Your Asperger Child” written by him and someone else, saved my life!!

  • 10. jesch  |  March 26, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    Thank goodness your guilt is gone. That was a heavy load to bear.

  • 11. Elizabeth Channel  |  April 16, 2010 at 9:48 am

    I finally got it and have been reading it this week! Thanks so much for the suggestion! It is a must-read!


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