Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Could Autism Parents Be Contributing To Narcissistic Adults?

 Cruising on Facebook this morning, and I saw the following headline trending:

  Children who are overvalued by their parents may develop narcissistic traits, according to a study

It made me think. As  special needs parents, everything my son does,we make a HUGE deal of it! You know what I'm talking about. He tried a new food, we do a victory dance. We reward with his favorite junk food. Writes his first sentence, reward and huge verbal display. Ties shoes for the first time, same thing. It goes on and on. Each milestone that some take for granted, we make a big spectacle of it for our son.

Could we be molding him into a Narcissist? You see, many of our children are left out by peers. They are socially awkward, and playing with NT children is hard because they play so differently. This bruises their egos. So it's our job to boost them up, right?

But what if we are wrong? Take a moment and consider this. Our autistic children are very blunt. They are direct and to the point. So, if we keep telling them how great they are, what hard workers they are, and so on, this could backfire on them in the future. It's not hard to fathom how that will play out when our children are around other children.

I have personally heard my son repeat some praises I gave him. When a particular neighbor bully called him the r-word, my son went on to tell him his IQ score and then ask him what his was. (He knew his IQ score from his latest school testing) The instant he was made to feel less because of his disorder, he pulled that sucker out like a

Also, when my son has been teased for being clumsy at sports, he'll spout off, "So I know more about computers and video games than my parents!" (Which by the way is true) This isn't how we want our son to be, and I'm assuming, you don't want your child to behave that way also.

Many of us advocates are reaching out to the world. We want them to know how special our children are. How special we are. But in that attempt, are we too sounding narcissistic?

So, while I think we do need to make the milestones our children reach a big deal, I think that maybe going about it differently, would be best. I'm still thinking of how to do that. All I know is, when my son starts to brag himself up around others, we stop him and tell him that no one likes a bragger.

We need to find the balance between ego stroking and narcissism....


  1. I am at a loss for words to describe how proud I am of your courage to share everyday life. You have so much more going for you than I do at age 59. God is smiling at you, I'm sure.