About

What happens when a guy and a girl who both have Asperger’s Syndrome have a baby? Honestly, I have no idea! Our journey with little Izzie has only just begun.

My name is Gillan Drew & my wife is Lizzie. On 19 June 2015, missing the two-hundredth anniversary of Waterloo by ninety minutes, Isabella Amelia Drew entered the world. A bit of a mouthful, so we already call her Izzie. Which rhymes with Lizzie. And we have a puppy called Ozzie. I’m only just realising how difficult I’ve made my life.

So read on, and let’s discover parenthood together.

(I am also the author of the book ‘An Adult With an Autism Diagnosis: A Guide for the Newly Diagnosed‘, available from Amazon at Amazon UKAmazon US, or from your regular book supplier.)

12 thoughts on “About

  1. Hello! I just found your blog today by Googling “attachment parenting for Aspies”. I am a mom with Asperger’s and have one child with Asperger’s and one with no ASD at all. I am trying desperately to learn how to “attach” with my adolescent/pre-adolescent children when I have very little instincts in this area. Things were relatively okay when they were little but now that they are getting older, my deficiencies are obvious in their behavior and attitudes and the emotional drift is heartbreaking. Are there any resources you recommend for the “how-tos” of attachment parenting of older children that are explicit for us EQ-challenged parents? (bullet point lists with examples for every parenting situation would be nice 🙂

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  2. Just read your excellent book – it’s the book I always wanted to find, It’s as if I’d written it myself…. On p138 you write “There has been surprisingly little research done into autism and sex”. I would highly recommend “Love sex and relationships – what people with asperger’s really want” by Sarah Hedrickx. A top quality survey which answers a lot of questions.

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  3. Read your book, An Adult With an Autism Diagnosis: A Guide for the Newly Diagnosed! Good read with helpful content.

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  4. Do you have any references, preferably for professional or scholarly articles that discuss adults with autism being able to parent?

    My son with ASD and his girlfriend had an “oops” baby. The girlfriend (now ex) has disabilities as well but the primary issue is an extremely overbearing mother who has told her from infancy how much she cannot do and focused her on the negatives. Her mother also had her declared a disabled adult so her mother is also her guardian. And she is trying to become sole guardian of my grandson, claiming he is too disabled to care for a child which is absurd! My son is trying to get full custody of his son and I believe could be very capable – especially if his son ends up being on the spectrum as well. Neither of us want the child growing up with such overbearing negativity.

    Most of his issues stem more form just being young and having not parented before. Unfortunately the guardian ad litem for the court case is married to a stereotpe that people with autism aren’t able to parent. I’m trying desperately to find other “official” opinions to refute that but everything seems geared towards a neurotypical parent with an autistic child.

    Any suggestions at all?

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    • Hi Sandi,

      It’s unfortunately an area that hasn’t received much research as 99.9% of academic study seems to be on children with the condition. Parenting, sexuality and indeed adults with autism in general are vastly underrepresented in the literature.

      I gave an interview for one of the few articles on autistic parents here:
      https://www.spectrumnews.org/features/deep-dive/unexpected-plus-parenting-autism/

      There’s another interesting article here: https://www.verywellhealth.com/autistic-adults-as-parents-4147325

      In terms of academic articles, the best place to search is JSTOR (www.jstor.org) which contains articles from millions of academic journals (searching is free but you have to pay to see the articles), or perhaps Google Scholar (www.scholar.google.com). I haven’t been able to find anything particularly relevant, I’m afraid, but you might have more luck.

      In your situation, I wouldn’t hesitate to contact the National Autistic Society for advice, the Disability Law Service (www.dls.org.uk), or the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.

      Frankly, judging a person on their diagnosis rather than their strengths and weaknesses as an individual is the very definition of discrimination, but while it’s illegal in employment, education, housing, and in access to goods and services, I’m not sure how it’s defined in terms of family law. I do know that, if possible, judges prefer to keep children with their natural parents, but of course that’s no guarantee.

      While there is nothing in law to say an autistic individual can’t be a parent (my wife and I are parents, after all), there remains plenty of prejudice. Perhaps if your son took a parenting course and read all he could on parenting, it would show the court his willingness to learn and his commitment to his role. Furthermore, if you stressed that you would be assisting him – after all, none of us parents without the advice and support of a wider network of family and friends – that would also go in his favour.

      But, of course, I’m not an expert. If there’s anything more that I could do, or anything you think I might be able to help with, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

      All the best,
      Gillan

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  5. Hi Gillan, I have just finished your book, “An Adult with an Autism Diagnosis: A Guide for the Newly Diagnosed” as my 36yo son has just informed me he has received this diagnosis. Reading your book was so helpful, and has also helped me at 67yo, realise that I am probably also on the spectrum. Thanks for articulating so many aspects of life in such a readable and relatable way. Regards, Lyn

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