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How should I approach my sister about Asperger's Disorder?

My older sister was always been.... different. Our whole family knew it. When she was in Jr High she was diagnosed with ADHD, but never took any medication for it and never had any real treatment. Reading posts on cafemom has made me aware of Asperger's Disorder. I have read many different websites about it and realized my sister shows or has shown every characteristic of AD.
I am not really sure how to approach her about this, or if I even should. She went her entire teenage life depressed and friendless. She didn't start dating until her early 20s and married the first guy who fell in love with her because (in her words) she wasn't sure if anyone else ever would. She lives a seemingly normal life now. Married, three kids, graduated college with fantastic grades. But she still cannot hold "normal" relationships with friends and causes a lot of drama everytime she comes to visit.
I am not sure what to do about this.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 2:46 AM on Feb. 19, 2010 in Relationships

Answers (18)
  • I should add that she was diagnosed with ADHD in the early 90s when Drs were just realizing what AD even was. So the ADHD diagnoses was most likely wrong since AD was commonly mistaken for ADHD back then.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:47 AM on Feb. 19, 2010

  • Tell her about your research and ask her if she agrees to have any of the symptoms. If she answers, yes, show her the information on possible treatments and let her know that you are willing to accompany her to the doctors for an assestment. If she declines, then all you can do is support her decision.

    Answer by alejandra559 at 2:52 AM on Feb. 19, 2010

  • Even is she has it & get a label for her issues, she may not want to do anything about her problem. Does she seem happy with her kids, her husband? Just because he was the first guy who was in love with her doesn't mean it was wrong of her to marry him. I mean I gues you can go "Hey sis, I am concerned you might have asperger's. Maybe you should get help." She might go "no I dont" & be upset with you. Or she might find out she doesnt & she's just an odd person & that's it. who knows.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:52 AM on Feb. 19, 2010

  • OP Thank you for your answers. I just wanted to reply a little to the things that stood out to me.
    She lives several states away from me, so I wouldn't be able to help her much more than listening to what she has to say over the phone. I wish I could help her more.
    I understand that just because he was the first doesn't make it bad. It is more than that. He is VERY controlling of her. He told her what to major in, doesnt allow her to have her own cell phone, doesn't want her talking to her own family very much and when she does he is in the background "supervising". He won't let her be the kind of mother she wants to be. She was very focused on motherhood since she was 10. She knew EXACTLY the kind of mom she wanted to be. He won't let her. She had to hide the fact that she was breastfeeding her babies for a long time, because he told her to stop. He forced her to let the babies CIO even though it killed her.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:02 AM on Feb. 19, 2010

  • OP He won't even let her walk in front of him, he has to be first! I could go on and on about the controlling. But I think you get my point.
    I should add that she is EASILY offended. I think suggesting she look into AD would greatly offend her. That is why I am not sure what to do.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:04 AM on Feb. 19, 2010

  • I know it must be difficult for you to see these things going on with her life but unless she wants out of the relationship, there' s not a whole lot you can do to help her. You may have to just let it go unless you're willing to take the risk of upsetting her. Is there anyway you could possibly get some literature to her on it without her realizing it was you? I know that may be hard since her husband sounds controlling like that but its a thought.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:09 AM on Feb. 19, 2010

  • I sounds like you asked the wrong question. Maybe you should have asked "How to i approach your sister about having a controlling and abusive husband?. OMG! this poor girl.. Bring it up anyway. yes, she might be affended, but at least you would have brought it to her attention.

    Answer by alejandra559 at 3:10 AM on Feb. 19, 2010

  • alejandra:

     Yes we (me and other family members) have definitely brought up how controlling her husband is. Before she got married we had an unofficial intervention. My parents BEGGED her to not marry him. That is when she said, "No one else will ever love her". She always felt like her family never understood her. In fairness, we didn't. We never knew she had Aspergers. She felt like he really loved her, and he really understood her. She needed the structure and he steped in. Unfortunately, he has taken complete advantage of her. We are all sickened by the way he treats their children. He treats them as if they were dogs. In fact, most people respect their dogs more than he respects his kids.


    Answer by Anonymous at 3:16 AM on Feb. 19, 2010

  • OP
    He knows how we feel about him. That is why he restricts her contact with us.

    I would hope that getting some therapy for AD would help her realize how her husband actually treats her. And possibly give her the strength to either stand up to him, or leave. I know she is still depressed. She has been depressed for as long as I can remember.


    Answer by Anonymous at 3:17 AM on Feb. 19, 2010

  • OP again.
    I should make it clear that we have talked to her about his controlling, abusive behavior MANY times over the last 10 yrs.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:18 AM on Feb. 19, 2010

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