If I buy into the premise that I’m autistic and so are my kids, where the hell do I go from here?

I’m a divorced mom of two young kids residing somewhere on the spectrum. I’d like to be a good mom, partner, daughter, friend, coworker, neighbor but just writing this sentence was exhausting.

Should I get an emotional support dog for my daughter? We are relocating internationally and my oldest kid is using my younger one as an emotional crutch.

Please don’t kill me.

I’m 30 and in a dip. I’m currently a stay-at-home mom. I just quit my non-profit job and I’m in a dip. I’ve taken several personality tests to find my strengths that point me to the next path. I love my family, but my previous occupation was a large part of my identity and I miss that.

I’m interested in advocating for changes that will make it easier for my kids, especially my 5-year-old daughter, if she chooses to have children.  Do most women with young children still want to work part time?

Curious what your thoughts are on quiet quitting (or, doing the bare minimum at work).  Is this the new aspiration of the current working generation?

Is there a reason why autistic males have so much energy and female autistics have so little? Just something I noticed in general and in my own family.

For example, most male autistics I meet even in old age have limitless energy for hobbies and other stuff while most female autistics I know (including myself) have barely enough energy to make it through the day.

I have issues around work, social and dating areas of my life. I’ll keep this short. People have suggested I make them feel stupid and suggesting I don’t hear what they say. Then I would use sarcasm to push people away. One woman said I made her feel obligated to go for coffee with me. I’m falling into a circle of resentment and regret of my incompetence in these situations.

What are some best strategies you can advise me on? Let’s keep this to an email Q&A.

My kids are 11 and 4 who both got diagnosed with autism during COVID. Periodically I think I made a mistake getting them diagnosed.

We are seeing therapists and moving to school districts with better school support for them. They are doing better now than before getting the diagnosis. But my husband and I are exhausted with the financial pressure and endless decision making of which therapy to pursue.

How is the future going to look better? What does a diagnosis really do?! What help do we really get?!

My ten-year-old son is in fourth grade and came home completely stressed out about math yesterday, literally four days into the school year.

It turns out they’re learning geometry, right angles, obtuse angles, etc. It’s not the entire curriculum of high school tenth grade geometry I had when I was in school but it seems above what is considered developmentally appropriate for fourth grade when we were in school.

It’s actually not entirely horrible but my kid is completely stressed out. Maybe it’s the culmination of all he’s exposed to in school, plus having to wear a mask all day and be socially distant, that’s put him at somewhat of a breaking point. Just wondering if this rings true to you.


I made a comparison between my mother and a narcissistic mother which showed various similarities. Then I read the book you recommended and highlighted the areas that applied to my experience. By that, I mean, 70% of the book got highlighted.

Now I’m accepting and one day I will be recovering.

I think my mother is on the autism spectrum. And I know for a fact she suffered her own traumas. But I don’t think being on the spectrum completely erases your ability to feel empathy, no?

©2023 Penelope Trunk