One thought on “The Aspergers Meltdown

  • July 17, 2018 at 9:00 am

    Thank you for your story. I was married to an Asperger woman for 13 years. Shortly after the third child was born, my ex-wife decided that she had had enough stress as a wife and mother, and she simply checked herself into a mental hospital claiming that she had been emotionally abused. She never came home. It was difficult for me but was devastating for my children, aged 4, 6 and 8 years old. Of course, the children and I went through the rounds of so-called therapy. But the therapists simply had no background in what issues “high functioning” autistic people faced, or more importantly, how the autistic mindset effected the development of children – who rely primarily on mothers for socialization.

    Years later, I heard from a very knowledgeable psychologist that autistic people have great difficulty “abstracting”, they simply accept what their spouses/children say at face value. This explanation resonated strongly with my recollections of my ex-wife’s interactions with the children and with me. Much of what neurotypical people say has emotional content that may not be reflected in the words or even if emotions are explicitly stated, the autistic person cannot understand why feelings are important. For example, my son asked his mother why she couldn’t take him to football practice – she didn’t work and didn’t have other obligations. His mother said, quite logically, that my son should get a ride from other moms. She didn’t understand that what my son really wanted was to understand why she couldn’t find the time to be involved in his life.

    My children suffered terribly from a mom who was never there for them; who didn’t have the ability to abstract meaning from their requests. To my ex-wife, the children’s and my requests be to a part of her thought process at all or at any level were simply “being mean to her” and she considered them to be emotionally abusive.

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