Friday, November 28, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Can diagnosis lead to understanding?

AnniesMailbox

By
From page B5 | November 18, 2012 |

Dear Annie: I’m in my 30s. Four years ago, I was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome after a two-year career ended in disaster. It was my mother who suspected what was wrong. It explained the problems I’ve had — no friends, no social life and the inability to hold down a job, among others.

I knew there was something wrong with me. I couldn’t figure out what to do at parties or dinners, or why I never had a girlfriend, and I stopped getting invited to get-togethers because I would sit by myself. Even my one friend thought I was weird. Eventually, she stopped speaking to me, too.

Since the diagnosis, I’ve hated myself less, but I have a lot of regret for not having been a better friend. I may have appeared apathetic, myopic, hostile, selfish or self-absorbed. I regret that my grandparents may have perceived me as uncaring and ignorant. I know it wasn’t my fault.

I’ve joined some autism support groups and have met people, but a lot of us are constrained by phobias, tics, medications, etc. Nowadays, there’s a lot more that’s known about Asperger’s, and we’re no longer seen as freaks. But it’s still hard. I haven’t told most of my family about my diagnosis.

My grandmother often makes nasty remarks about me. I’m tempted to tell her the reasons for my behavior, but why should I have to explain? She shouldn’t say such things to anyone.

— New York

Dear New York: We agree that Grandma shouldn’t say unkind things, but don’t you think you’re being a bit unfair to her, as well? You are withholding information that could make her more understanding and could improve your relationship. It sounds as if you have been angry with her for a very long time. This could be an opportunity to get past it, which would help both of you.

————

Dear Annie: For six months, I have been mother to the most wonderful three children through our state’s foster care system. “Sharing the News in Pa.” inspired me to write down the “dos” and “don’ts” for adoptive and foster moms.

Don’t ask, “Do you have any children of your own?” Likewise, do not refer to the biological parents as the “real parents.” It’s a little jab to our hearts.

Never ask why the biological parents lost custody. It’s none of your business. Those parents are suffering. And without them, these terrific kids would not exist.

Please don’t expect your parenting techniques to be applicable to children who have been traumatized, destabilized and neglected.

Please don’t assume that we are doing this for financial reimbursement from the state.

Please do not be judgmental if the parents don’t know more about the child than you think they should. One month before our children were placed in our home, we were presented with 600 pages of medical records, and that didn’t include everything.

Do consider hosting a shower. Not for the gifts, but for the ritual that recognizes the couple as excited, expectant parents.

Do be patient with us. Our three school-age children moved in all at once. It was a tremendous adjustment.

Do offer to babysit or help as you would with any new parents.

Please recognize these children as the strong, resilient, resourceful and intelligent kids they are. Ours have survived circumstances that would throw most adults into a downward spiral.

— Massachusetts

Dear Massachusetts: Thank you for your excellent advice. People often don’t know how to respond to those who adopt or take in foster children. Your suggestions will help them out tremendously.

————

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Email your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

— Creators Syndicate Inc.

Comments

comments

Special to The Enterprise

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Shop-local focus highlights Small Business Saturday

    By Bob Schultz | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Looking for the gift of life

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    The artistic process of a neighborhood legend

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Davis MRAP didn’t go far: Woodland

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    Bob Dunning: MRAP your arms around this

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

     
    Holiday shopping in full gear

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    Tell us your Putah Creek stories

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    Gorilla death prompts S.F. Zoo changes

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Explorit: Water expert will speak Dec. 15

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A3

     
    Ceremony Tuesday celebrates MU bus terminal

    By Dave Jones | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Enterprise holiday decorating contest is back

    By Kimberly Yarris | From Page: A4

    Free bike clinic, ride set Sunday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Locals come through for families in need

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Travel the world at Logos Books

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Dormant-season pruning tips offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Junior high students set walkathon fundraiser

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Horse owners needed for online survey

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Sierra Club calendars on sale Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Chamber of Commerce lays out 5-year plan

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Flyway Nights talk focuses on sea otters of Elkhorn Slough

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Shakespeare folio discovered in France

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    Students come together for sustainability

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    Workshop will answer financial aid questions

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Holiday gifts galore available at crafts fair

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    Wolks share their unique perspective on Davis

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Christmas Bird Count workshop planned Wednesday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Watch, then make, a holiday floral decoration

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

    .

    Forum

    Behavior straining friendship

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Cheers and Jeers: Thankfully, no jeers

    By Our View | From Page: A6

    Many thanks for a great benefit

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    It all started at the bookstore

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    What can we do to help?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    What if we really need it?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

     
    Tom Elias: Utilities look to soak small users

    By Tom Elias | From Page: A6

    .

    Sports

     
    Seahawks shut down San Francisco

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Aggies out-Fox Utah State after dramatic Les shot to forces overtime

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Defense, depth lead Aggie women to home win

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Youth roundup: 10 titles for the Diamonds Level 3 gymnastics squad

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B4 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    Mumbo Gumbo plays for post-Thanksgiving dance party

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

     
    ‘Horrible Bosses 2′: Fire ‘em all!

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    Sonata evolves into more sophisticated car

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    John Walter Neves Jr.

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, November 28, 2014 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B3

     
    Comics: Friday, November 28, 2014 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: A10