How stories are collected

Research Methodology

Prospective members of ASpar are asked to fill in a questionaire, which includes some demographics, and the following open-ended questions.

1. What kinds of behaviours does your parent show that make you think they have AS?

2. How has the AS person affected you and your family?

3. What do you hope will be the benefit to you of joining our support group?

The narratives in this blog are drawn from the group members’ initial responses to these question. They are collected before members actually join the group, so the stories are not influenced by peer pressure.

Pseudonyms are used throughout, and place names and other identifiers are changed to disguise family identities.

The “Categories” buttons will give you an idea of the demographic breakdowns of our membership.

Generally, applicants dont disclose the deeper hurts they have experienced, so the stories you will read are an understatement. The full stories don’t emerge until they begin to trust the group.


Unless our contributors choose to be identified, all identifying information has been altered to protect the privacy of the narrators and their families. Readers should assume that professions and names are always altered. Other omissions, changes and insertions,  are marked in red.  Every attempt is made to substitute data with a near equivalent so that the statistical categories still hold true.

READ MORE ABOUT THIS PROJECT by clicking on the ABOUT tab above.


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9 thoughts on “How stories are collected

  1. My mother is an obsessional gardener and had recently given up work because she can’t cope. For years she worked on check outs and always came telling us stories about run ins she had with customers! She tells us that she only married for money and shows no emotion whatso ever toward her partner or her grown up children (one of which myself). As a child she reports to have suffered from her wayward sisters misbehaving and spent nights after school in a library hours on end. All of her child hood memories are orientated around routines. To this day she is in bed by 10pm/ eats the same foods day in day out/ puts the cat to bed religiously at the same time and wakes him/ feeds him the same time everyday. She has no friends and doesn’t like me bringing people round. She hardly ever leaves the house unless it is to go to a familiar supermarket. She never intiates visiting her son or other family members and becomes upset when they do things. She has the most rigid ways of interpreting the world e.g. Mixed relationships don’t work, any drink is bad, all women in town are promiscuous, everybody is threatened by her intelligence or prolonged eye contact etc etc. She displays many sensory issues- avoids touch constant and never hugs or kisses anyone. She is over sensitive to smell and temperature. She obsesses over her favourite TV programs and takes photos off the TV as if it were her real social life. She throws a temper if you go off her conversation and takes huge defence if you don’t agree with what she’s saying. She often completely contradicts herself when talking her rigid views and when this is highlighted she storms off. The only friend she has is the cat and this is so sad to see…. She sits in all day talking to it as if he were human, I believe this is because he doesn’t judge or talk back. When ever I’d had a tough time she’d never express any connection, emotion or empathy- which was hard but I forgive it. I love her because she created me and I forgive her for occasionally not knowing the skills and communication required as I grew up. she is undiagnosed but constantly at the doctors for a whole range of peculiar conditions, she says she is untouchable of mental health or any type of struggle because she just gets on with it. She sees everyone around as weak and unable to cope. I wish her the very best in life and she deserves happiness.

  2. My dad had asbergers. I have only figured it out since he passed away last year. I knew there was something different about him. My mother wad very disturbed by him and Keller herself when I was ten. Then he raised my sister and I alone. I now feel he did the best he could. I relate to so many descriptions in these stories. It now doesn’t all seem like a big mystery.

  3. As an Autistic parent I can honestly say that both my children were normal. One or two people suggested that they were ‘noisy’ or that in some way were not as ‘they’ might expect children to be but I could see that these people were idiots who were simply expressing their own uninformed views. Many so called ‘neurotypical people’ seem to think that everyone would be aware of whatever they are aware of and speak loudly, aggressively and with anger in their vocal tone. I ignored them, thankfully and kept my children away from rude, critical people as much as possible. This is what enabled me to bring up my children to be ‘normal’.

  4. My dad always averted eye contact with me. I thought it was weird but did not know how to talk about this as a child. His facial expression was pained. He didn’t greet us as he walked in the house after work.He had to retreat to his bedroom or study for about an hour to decompress. He lacked empathy. He had outbursts and said cruel things as well as being physically abusive. My mom described him as wanting to be “safe, secure and alone within the bosom of his family”. He is super smart and hard working.
    It has been a long road for me because I took all his behaviors as indicators that he did not like me. I recall actually feeling that he treated me like an object, such as an appliance, rather than a person. I believe he lacks empathy as most of us know it and is unable to be emotionally reflective.

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