Grief & Autism


Can anyone here share experience of grieving and being on the autistic spectrum?

I don’t label myself as high functioning as in reality my ability to function varies all the time and particular within grief

I am curious about the impact it has on executive function, processing and expressing. I can’t tell what is impacting my complicated grieving process the most — culmination of other stresses, traumatic relationship with the deceased or autism but would certainly like to start unpacking/understanding so I can do things to help myself

Hello @Omi, I’m just giving this thread a gentle “bump” for you - hopefully someone will be along to share their thoughts.

You might also find this guide on grief for autistic adults helpful to read.

Take care,

Hi Omi.
My son has had an Asperger’s diagnosis since he was 8 years old. He is now 26 and we are just in the aftermath of losing my wife, and his mum, in July. To use autistic parlance, he is high functioning - he has a job, drives, plays the guitar, has a decent social life and a handful of close friends who he has known since his school days. The “classic” Asperger’s traits tend to be lack of emotion and outward displays of affection. I have never felt that he was like that - he was an affectionate child and continues to be a caring and sensitive young man. He is perhaps too innocent and naive - not necessarily a failing by any means, but perhaps just lacks a bit of worldly wisdom. As his dad, I see it as my responsibility to guide him and point out some instances where I felt he could be led into poor decisions. The one thing I have noticed over the years is that he often struggles to express himself in social situations and can come across as slightly awkward. He will often respond how he thinks people expect him to respond, even if he doesn’t necessarily feel it, occasionally over-reacting to a situation. This has been apparent since my wife passed away - he is of course genuinely upset and deeply affected by the loss of his mum, but can also come out with unusual phrases or comments that are not necessarily inappropriate, but perhaps just a little bit over the top. Having said that, I am immensely proud of how he has coped with our bereavement. I know his mum would have been too, her “special little guy” :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:
All the best

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