Aspergers Syndrome and the ‘Can’t Love’ Myth

Aspergers Syndrome and the Can't Love Myth

I don’t need flowers, candy, cards or a special day to know that I am loved, especially by my son with Aspergers Syndrome. There’s a myth that people with autism can’t show love. But they can. You just have to notice because it won’t be expressed in ways you might expect. It may be subtle but it’s there and it shines brightly when you pay close attention.

During his high school years, my son was on a class trip. We were encouraged to send notes, letters, and cards of encouragement while the he was away. He must have been 14 or 15 at the time. So Aspergers and teenager, his common form of communication was a few grunts that could be interpreted as a favorable or unfavorable response depending upon the ‘conversation.’ Jonathan’s never been one who writes because the physical act of writing is difficult for him. Imagine my surprise to receive a letter from him! I’m sure it was an assignment, but he’d charmed his way out of classwork before, so he must have wanted to do it. Assignment or not, it was what he wrote that mattered…

Dear Mom and Dad:

I want to thank you for your letters. I know that sometimes I have my rough edges but we always work through them. I just wanted you to know that, believe it or not, I’m proud to be your son and I love you both even if you barely see me. You always encourage me and push me to my goals even though I give up too easy. So to sum up this letter, I just want to say thank you for everything cause I’ll probably never say it out loud.

P.S. I will continue to do my best.

No small talk or unnecessary pleasantries. A touch of humor and straight to the point. Yes, that’s my Jonathan and he loves and appreciates us.

It’s okay if he never says it out loud.

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About Jodi Murphy

I am the founder of Geek Club Books, autism storytelling through mobile apps for awareness, acceptance and understanding. My mission is to use the art of storytelling and technology to entertain and educate for the social good. I am a 'positive' autism advocate, mother of an awesome adult on the autism spectrum, lifestyle journalist, and marketing specialist.

Comments

  1. I started displaying signs of autism at age 2. It was after a physical/sexual abuse. I would not talk as my word “no” did not stop the abuse. I did not cry.
    I still hate physical touch from a stranger. When I go churches that have you stand and shake the hands of “your neighbor” , people are offended when I don’t want to touch them. I really don’t understand why an adult of 50 doesn’t seem to have the right to refuse an unwelcomed touch. I’ve been fighting this since I was 2 and won’t quit.
    I’m really tired of hearing how autistics need to change and not those who insist on touching.

    • We’re so sorry that you had to experience such abuse as a child. You have the right to determine how you want to interact with people, especially when it comes to touch.

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