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An Open Letter To The Future Wife Of My Asperger's Child

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A mother's advice: marrying a man with Asperger's
Daughter-in-law, it's you I worry about when my son forgets to say "I love you."
Practical love advice from a proud mom who's also married to a man with autism.

11. He doesn't understand or exhibit empathy, but that doesn't mean he doesn't care. He just has a hard time putting himself into another person's shoes. But he does care about people and animals very much. He doesn't want to cause pain or make people sad, but he cannot see why anything he does should make someone else angry; he believes people are responsible for their own reactions and emotions. 

12. He says what he means and means what he says. There are no hidden agendas, innuendos or undertones. He's not thinking about spiting you when he makes a decision for himself. He just does what he wants and what will make him happy.  

More from YourTango: Yelling At Your Kid To Behave In Public? You Can Do Better

13. He has a tremendous sense of humor, but a terrible filter for what's appropriate in mixed company. He may make an off-color joke or say something off-the-wall and not realize he was being offensive. Simply saying his name will not work in this situation, and will be met with a simple "what?" He doesn't mean to offend people, he's simply saying out loud what most people think to themselves. 

14. He doesn't see Asperger's as a disability. It's not something that can be cured, nor does he see it as a weakness. It's simply who he is. My son once asked me if he would ever grow out of Asperger's, and my reply to him was, "No, Buddy, you won't. But if you're anything like your dad, you'll grow into it." And we have watched him do just that. My hope is that by the time he meets you, you will see all of the traits I've described as the traits that make him the uniquely brilliant man you fell in love with. And I'm certain he will love all of your quirks too.

15. He loves you ... even though he may not be telling you this in the way you want to hear it. Words are just words to him. In his opinion, anyone can say "I love you." In his mind, he is telling you that every time he fixes something for you, makes something for you, spends days planning to surprise you, sits through a musical with you or wears that scratchy shirt that drives him crazy just because you like it. And the reason I know he loves you (and you should too) is because when a man with Asperger's realizes that he is made even better, happier and more complete by another person, and he allows himself to be vulnerable enough to let that person in. I was that woman for my son's entire life, until you came along. Now his heart belongs to you.

More from YourTango: Old-School Parenting Advice For Kids Today

I'm sad to know that I will someday have to give up the honor of holding the key to my son's heart, but at the same time, I'm certain that with the knowledge and understanding I have just bestowed on you, you will never break it. 

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Tara Kennedy-Kline

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Love Unconditionally, Give Freely, Laugh Openly, Learn Daily, Grow Immensely

Location: Shoemakersville, PA
Credentials: CFC, CLC
Other Articles/News by Tara Kennedy-Kline:

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