Thursday, September 13, 2007

Ok, don't tell him about this post.

My brother-in-law is autistic. He's never been diagnosed, and I don't know how I should approach him about this. He's thirty years old, and he had always lived with his parents before he moved in with us.

I think it's important that he know, so he can research it and see that he's not alone. That it's ok for him to be different, and that there is a REASON he is different. Right now, I don't think he has a clue, and it's very sad.

Does anyone have any suggestions?


kate said...

I would find a book that discusses the issues you have mentioned and give it to him and ask him to read it-- maybe he will recognize himself in what he reads. I know Mel Levine has some great stuff (like A Mind At a Time) that explain how different systems of the brain work, and how to recognize when one of the systems isn't working optimally, and what parents and teachers can do to help a child compensate for the parts that aren't as strong. I realize he's not a kid, and I don't know if Levine discusses autism per se, but something in that vein. (You would probably find that book interesting as a parent, too.) Or if a book seems too overwhelming, which it very well might, you could find some websites and print a few pages out from there. You could hand it to him and say "I came across this on the web and thought you might find it interesting" and then if he does, recommend some more websites for him to look at on his own.

Or, if he ever brings it up (like saying something like "I'm so stupid/clumsy/an outcast" or whatever) you could say something like, "People's minds work in different ways. I've noticed that you seem to have trouble with, but you know, a lot of people have trouble with that. In fact, I was just reading this article the other day... would you like to see it?"

I don't know, it's a tough one!

Anonymous said...

That's gotta' be a hard situation not only for him but for you. It would pain me to know that about someone I cared about and them not know. I wish I had advice for you. Would it help if your husband talked to him alone? Maybe do some research before hand.

Mrs. Darling said...

I positively have no suggestions. You are in a hard place.

Willow said...

My husband refuses to believe he's got Asperger's just like our youngest daughter. He says his psychs both say he doesn't, but I guarantee he has never told them the truth. (He's good at faking the info on the tests and blind to answering them honestly.) And it's really sad.

E said...

I don't have any suggestions but I wish you the best and I think he should know.

Mindi said...

Wow Meg, what a tough position to be in. I have absolutely no clue because I don't know how close to him you are. If you're very close I'd say you could just sit down and have a heart to heart talk with him, especially since you've dealt with this before, you can tell him that you recognize some of his problems and maybe offer tips to help him. If you're not that close to him, perhaps Tai could do it? Good luck,whatever you decide.