I want to introduce myself as a parent of two boys with ASD. My husband also has a diagnosis (gained after the kids were diagnosed as I noticed too many similarities) of Asperger's. My kids are older than most of the posters here. My oldest is 24 and my younger lad is 21.
There is definitely something genetic with our family. My maternal grandfather was diagnosed in the 1950's with OCD but Asperger's had not even been heard of at that time in Canada. I really believe he was an Aspie. In my husbands family Autism is far more obvious. Steve has a pair of second cousins that are both low functioning and we now have a total of three nephews diagnosed with Asperger's from two different families.
My oldest is CDD Autism or as my DH says worst case scenario autism and my other son is mid functioning.
I recognize many of the challenges talked about in this thread. I can say with age many symptoms moderate - they seldom disappear. I am never quite sure whether I am getting better at living with Autism or if my ASD family has improved significantly. A bit of both I think.
When thinking about social skills and how much improvement I see especially with my younger lad, I believe our decision to get him involved with Drama - dress up, playacting etc. has been of more value than traditional social skills lessons. I would encourage all to look into this option. If nothing else it is fun and can do no harm. For my husband most of his improvement in social skills and believe me there has been a significant improvement from when we were first married, has been from wanting to help the boys. In educating himself to help the lads he has educated himself and worked hard to challenge himself to be more social.
I will post again on this thread and please note I started a thread for post 21 Autism.