I realize Autism goes further up the Family Tree

Maria - posted on 07/18/2019 ( no moms have responded yet )

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Hello, all, I've been gone awhile!

My fraternal twin sons are both Autistic, one Asperger's, one more generalized diagnosis of Autism. They are 16 now, and each have their own challenges. They are my only children. My sisters each have diagnosed children as well: in Iowa 1 of 2. In Minnesota 4 of 6, one of the four is a girl. So for my Mom 7 of 10 grandchildren.

Now let's go back a generation. My brother (who has no children) is easily recognized as Autistic by myself and my sisters. His psychologist went through the diagnostics with him and said he doesn't meet the diagnostics. Well, yes, a lifetime of coping mechanisms will help negate some things. But did his Doctor call my Mom and ask if he stared at ceiling fans, if he spoke late in babyhood, then launched into full sentences? Physical stimulation to help him calm down? No, she didn't ask. We all have heard the list of questions.

Anyway, my Brother, Check. My sister with the 6 children in MN married a man who has a sibling who is still mostly non-verbal and institutionalized (don't get me started on that). She and I were talking about my brother years ago, and she said "I realized that I am, too." She commented that she never did get social situations. I deal with OCD and Life-long Depression. My other sister in Iowa seems the most balanced.

Back another generation. My Mom has always seemed a little unaware of social cues, but she was intelligent and covered well. Now she is losing her memory and it seems, her coping mechanisms. Now it all makes sense. Once she turned down a book club, because she didn't want to bother "talking to people who weren't like her." then she asked "is that wrong?" There are anecdotal stories about my Father bouncing in his crib excessively and that he needed a leash or he would run away. (I used a leash on one of my boys for a while, because he would not stay with a parent, he would run until a vertical barrier would stop him. As I said to the raised eyebrows: "I would rather have him alive, and be judged, then have him dead with a life-time of regrets.") Hmmmm, maybe Dad, too.

I wish I could hear the stories of my Grandparents, but, bottom line, it runs in families, and when you have people who marry those who personally or someone in the family has Autism, the odds seem to go up for their children. Oh, I didn't mention my husband, the librarian in charge of the giant on-line catalog for the county. I kid about the fact that our first romantic conversation was about punctuation. But it is kind of true, I am a graphic artist who focuses on type. :) Details, details.

BTW, did you know there is a parallel between the largest number of patent requests and number of known children with Autism. (Parallel causalities as well, hmmm?) Two counties in the country: Silicon Valley in California (computer programming mecca) and Monroe County, where I live in Rochester. It is the location of many tech companies of the past (and present): Kodak, Xerox, Bausch & Lomb. It is said that Kodak hired every Chemical Engineer that graduated from the Northeastern Colleges, my Dad being a non-chemical Engineering grad from MIT and Bodin. He moved here from New England as did his brother, and his college roommate, also an engineering student. Detail oriented, very focused on one subject. I suggested this theory to the Diagnostic Doctor who has seen my boys for years. The response? "Hmmmm," or a minor head-nod with a prominent NON-response.

Generations. Anyway, that is my story, for now. Do you have a family tree that grows a little differently like mine?

Maria :P

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