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9CatMom 08-19-2006 09:58 AM

Re: Can children with mild Autism grow up to be normal adults?
I have posted similar things many times before. I am a self-diagnosed 41 year old woman with suspected Asperger's. I have managed to live a pretty successful life. I have a Master's in English, plus training in legal office systems. I have worked for four years at my local public library, collecting materials for the Interlibrary Loan. It is an ideal job for me because it utilizes my strengths and is something I can do largely on my own. However, I am looking to find a higher paying, full time job which utilizes similar skills. Another thing that helps me do this job well is a broad general knowledge range, which really helps when looking for music CDs and videos. I know the various genres and listen to a wide range of music, so that helps.

My main problems are shyness, social awkwardness, and low self-confidence. My main assets are a good character, intelligence, and a broad range of interests. My problems are very minor in comparison to those of some AS adults, but are very noticeable to me. I sometimes do and say dumb stuff that embarrasses me. I don't drive, but am working on it.

I think it is very possible for an AS adult to live a normal life. Some go on to live extraordinary ones. The greatest example of someone with AS traits who has gone on to live a successful, accomplished life is English runner and neurologist Roger Bannister. He reported in his book, The Four Minute Mile, feeling out of place when he was going to school Yet he went on to accomplish things I believe would not have been possible for his more "normal" contemporaries. His unique combination of attributes and interests, plus his obvious high intelligence, helped him succeed. His strong sense of character and kindness helped him become a loving husband, father, and grandfather and a loyal friend. By finding common ground in running with friends Chris Chataway, Chris Brasher, and Norris McWhirter, he formed friendships lasting over a half century. Roger Bannister is a great source of inspiration for me. "Nothing is impossible," has become a guiding phrase for my life too.

Some of the things I want to do seem pretty impossible right now, but I need to remember that many of the things I'm doing now seemed pretty impossible to believe just fifteen years ago. Some people didn't even think I was capable of anything, but they were wrong.

strongernow 08-21-2006 04:12 PM

Re: Can children with mild Autism grow up to be normal adults?
My friend has Asbergers syndrome which I think is similar to High Functioning Autism. He is obsessive about his interests only and easily agitated but has a masters degree and works at a job.

smw73 08-21-2006 11:45 PM

Re: Can children with mild Autism grow up to be normal adults?
I'm 33, female, and have mild Autism. I'm happy and have a fairly independent life - I'm lucky that I have good friends who are very understanding of me and my condition. My doctor classes me as a 'well adjusted' example. I'm not married and have never been in a serious relationship. I suppose I could have been - I have male friends and get asked out. I think it's more of a personal thing and decision. You never entirely outgrow Autism, though many people make significant improvement during their twenties, as I seemed to - I was a bit of a 'late bloomer'.

These days, I think that there is more understanding and help available for people with my condition than there was for my generation - in my opinion, it makes a great difference. My family just did the best they could for me at the time - but without all that, I'm sure I wouldn't be as 'adjusted' as I am now. I believe that environmental factors and yes, early intervention, can play a big part in outcome.

School was fine for me, academically wise. I favoured certain subjects, like maths, computers and science - not the usual subjects for a girl. But I believe it's important to allow an Autistic child to follow their own skills and interests, instead of trying to force them to conform to the 'norm'. You can have Autism and still lead a happy and fulfilling life. Sometimes, you may need to make some concessions and adjustments. It can be a bit of a balancing act. As I've said in other posts, I believe that 'quality of life' is most vital - not necessarily trying to make everyone the same as each other.

GatsbyLuvr1920 08-22-2006 12:36 AM

Re: Can children with mild Autism grow up to be normal adults?
I'm a 19-year-old Aspie who is about to start her sophomore year of college next week. I'm quite proud of myself that I was able to survive my freshman year. There was a time when I was seriously considering dropping out for a year to get my OCD (and what I didn't know was Asperger's) under control. Thank God I got my own room and was put on Lamictal. That and having my chemistry class were the only things that saved me. It's hard. Many days are struggles, but I only have a moderate case without severe social deficits, so there are many Aspies out there who are much worse off than I am.

Curious Nana 08-23-2006 04:46 AM

Re: Can children with mild Autism grow up to be normal adults?
Nine Lives-
Where are you in Indiana?

MrsBlack 08-25-2006 06:38 PM

Re: Can children with mild Autism grow up to be normal adults?
I printed out everything in this thread and my husband and I read it and I bawled my eyes out with joy. Thank you all so much for contributing to this thread.

(My son Tyler is 5 and has mild Autism.)

Hugs to you all!

- Kim

9CatMom 08-25-2006 07:21 PM

Re: Can children with mild Autism grow up to be normal adults?

Wishing you and your family the very best!

robinhett 08-26-2006 12:46 AM

Re: Can children with mild Autism grow up to be normal adults?
I am a single mom of three, one has autisim and the other asberbergers. I have read about how Bill Gates and Thomas Edison have (or had as the case may be) asbergers. Children diagnosed with either of these disorders (asbergers or autisim) can be what they want to be. This is what I beleive and will raise my children to do. God made them special and I know or at least I have faith that my children will succeed in what they put their efforts into.
Loving mom

9CatMom 08-26-2006 08:28 AM

Re: Can children with mild Autism grow up to be normal adults?

It is interesting that you mentioned school plays. I read that quite a few introverts and people with Asperger's act in school plays as a way to open up. Runner Roger Bannister acted in plays as a teenager. He too, was very shy and I suspect he had a degree of Asperger's. Acting wouldn't be an option for me, though. I can't act my way out of a paper bag. I was always uncomfortable with the idea of being someone else, no matter how attractive that might have seemed in the short run.

9CatMom 08-26-2006 08:35 AM

Re: Can children with mild Autism grow up to be normal adults?

I agree. I take inspiration from the story of Roger Bannister, the first person to break the four minute mile. His contribution goes far beyond athletics, however. He also became a physician, a researcher, and was successful in marriage and family life. From reading his autobiography, The Four Minute Mile, I see a lot of Asperger's traits and descriptions of difficulties growing up faced by AS kids. He felt he was an outcast growing up, was very academically oriented, and was made fun of for his studious ways and atypical interests. Those same traits that set him apart in his teens, however, made him very successful in his twenties and beyond, and have kept him young and vital in his 70s. Though he has not run since a car accident in 1975, he still is physically active, walking every day. His story is an inspiration to me.

Kolby 08-28-2006 11:59 AM

Re: Can children with mild Autism grow up to be normal adults?
Wow, I haven't really been on the boards much so it's nice to come back and see all the responses. How wonderful!

My son who is 4 1/2 is doing very well. Yes, he still has communication issues but he is really doing well. He has almost lost all his sensory issues.
He doesn't cry all day unless he is tired. But I can understand what he is communicating about 75% of the time now. I just love him so much and know that he is going to do well in what ever he does. He does love to act out all movies. He has a ball doing it. So maybe he will want to act.

He has become very social and talks to kids and plays with them. His Ausitic support school has sent him on his way to a regular school with just some therapy.

He has really come a long way and I'm so greatful. Thank you all for your responses. And no matter how my son functions in this world, it doesn't matter anymore.

Kolby's Mom Michelle

9CatMom 08-28-2006 07:26 PM

Re: Can children with mild Autism grow up to be normal adults?

Good news about your son! Good luck to you and him in the future!

Majia62 08-29-2006 08:48 AM

Re: Can children with mild Autism grow up to be normal adults?
Michelle: Everything depends on the support Kolby will receive in the future. The tendency from anybody who 'fails' to make 'contact' with Kolby is to place the blame on him and the answer to the 'problem' "Kolby needs meds".

It is important that you find people compatible with Kolby. That they share the family approach to Kolby, you are giving a lot of love, paciently learning how to respond to his way of communicating at the same time you are increasing his communication skills.

You have to find people who share your approach towards Kolby, any other beliefs, position on meds, etc. because people in position of authority can easily persuade you that Kolby's 'problems', 'behaviours' can be solved with the 'right med' when all the time is the worker, teacher, doctor, etc. who is failing.

To blame the disabled (child or adult) and to loudly to ask for meds to "improve their quality of life" is their 'motto when they don't want to spend time leaning to know Kolby and his particualr way to communicate. In another words to make it easy for all caregivers, teachers or whoever is working for Kolby to care for him. Best wishes!

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