Penelope, I wrote to you 2 years ago that I’m not convinced I have autism. I don’t think my wife has autism. She fits with other women really easily and is socially very comfortable. We can put her choice of me down to a moment of weakness.

It wouldn’t be something I would want to avoid knowing. I have some of the signs but by no means all, and the ones I have are synonymous with other conditions, i.e., an anxious attachment style.

Since then, I had a conversation with my sister. Turns out she was diagnosed with Aspergers (when they used to allow it as a formal diagnosis) some years ago. We both agree that our dad had autism.

Thinking about it now my brother is also almost definitely ASD. And I suspect, so is my daughter.

It’s quite a revelation.

I have done more research and digging into myself which is leading me down to a formal diagnosis. It seems you were probably right although my symptoms are certainly on the mild side.

I think I am the least obvious of my family (to me at least) but it has been a fascinating and illuminating journey thus far.

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  1. Penelope Trunk
    Penelope Trunk says:

    The best way for you to learn about Autism is to figure out why you are not more mild than the rest of your family. The defining thing about autism is that we see it in other people but not in ourselves. So, everyone in every family thinks theirs is milder. It’s a cliche.

    I can tell you that families are pretty consistent in how autistic everyone is, but autistic people are cruel and lack self-knowledge so in most families people gang up on one person and decide that is the person who will absorb the shame everyone else feels for being autistic. It’s unconscious. But just because some family members *feel* elevated by stepping on the backs of others doesn’t make reality different: the genetics are all the same and they are all similarly functioning.

    Autism is a disorder where you don’t know what you have and don’t have. Which is to say that if people could judge themselves accurately then they wouldn’t have autism. So, most people who have autism say they don’t have it.

    Work hard on understanding how you and your sister are similar. That will help you understand Autism better than any book will. Your wife has autism too. It looks totally different between men and women. If you want help, you can call me. Because I’m always on a warpath when it comes to this topic. Because I’m autistic :)

    Penelope

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