Parent Slammed for Saying Autistic Daughter Can't Be a Psychologist

Commenters slammed an anonymous parent after they told their daughter she would be unable to major in psychology because she is autistic, adding that they always wanted her to study computer technology anyway.

The Original Poster (OP), known as u/PowerfulAd2907, posted about the situation in Reddit's popular "Am I The A**hole" forum where it received nearly 11,000 upvotes and 3,000 comments. The post can be found here.

Influencing a Child's Career

According to a study conducted by Joblist, a job searching website, nearly half of respondents felt that their parents "strongly influenced" their career choice, with 40 percent feeling "pressured" to follow their parents' advice.

The study also found that nearly 65 percent of respondents work in the field their parents pushed for.

Parent criticized for criticizing daughter's career choice
Commenters slammed the anonymous parent for trying to influence their daughter's career path since she was just 10 years old. The poster said her daughter is autistic and lacks "social skill" for the career she wants to have. GeorgeRudy/iStock

Nearly two in three parents said they were disappointed that their child did not take their career advice or desired path.

'AITA?'

In the post titled "AITA for 'picking' my daughter's career for her," the OP said their daughter, 17, has the ability to become "one of the greatest data scientists ever" because she is a "smart girl."

"It's an incredibly rewarding job for her, especially since technology is the way to go for the future and the country we live in is expensive," the post read. "As a computer scientist myself, I've always loved my job."

According to the Joblist study, more than 34 percent of respondents said their parents began influencing their career decisions by the time they were 10 years old, with about one in five saying their parents started to influence them at 5 years or younger.

In the post, the OP said their daughter does not want to go into computer technology, although they've been "influencing" her to since she was 10 years old.

Lack of 'Social Skills'

"She was initially excited but doesn't want to anymore," the post read. "She says that she wants to be a psychologist and now wants to have a business major."

The OP told their daughter she "doesn't have the social skills needed" to become a psychologist and that it isn't a "right fit" because she is autistic.

"Hell, she couldn't handle her brothers well, how is she supposed to deal with adults with psychological issues?" the post read.

Recently, the OP and their daughter sat down to talk about college programs. The daughter focused on the "commerce programs" while the OP said she pushed her to look at the computer science programs.

"At the end, she asked if I would support her no matter what she picks. I laughed and told her not to give me a scare," the post read. "'So it's a no then?' she asked. I told her that she can take her highlighter, highlight the programs she's interested in, and we can discuss."

'It's Her Future, Not Mine'

The OP's daughter said they complain about any program that isn't in the technology field and OP replied that the tech field is "very rewarding" and that she is "smart and capable."

The daughter said she doesn't care if the field is a "gold mine" and that she "hates" computer technology although it's been forced on her for years.

"She says it's her future, not mine, and not everyone wants to be a tech scientist," the post read. "She asked how I feel if my father tried to push me to the law field since it's a rewarding job despite me having no interest in social sciences. Then she stormed out."

The OP said they realize they might have pushed their daughter too hard, but just wanted her to have a "bright future."

Redditor Reactions

Nearly 3,000 users commented on the post, many criticizing the anonymous poster for trying to control their daughter's life.

"YTA. Awww sorry your kid doesn't want to be EXACTLY LIKE YOU," one user commented. "She's her own person, so let her be."

"Let your daughter be who she wants to be, not what you want her to be—that just sets her up for failure and unhappiness," another user commented.

"YTA also autistic people make great psychologists for other autistic people," one user commented. "I wish that I could find one, neurotypical psychologists keep trying to 'cute cure' my autism and it makes me not want to seek help for my problems."

"I work with a lot of autistic people and they have excellent social skills and psychology with its prejudice against ND [neurodivergent] people would really benefit from her expertise," another user commented. "Imagine how much an autistic person would benefit from being cared for by your daughter."

Newsweek reached out to u/PowerfulAd2907 for comment.

Other Viral Posts

In other viral Reddit posts, a mom was slammed for expecting a teenager to watch her autistic daughter during camp and a man was criticized for leaving his wife in the economy section of a plane while he flew first class.

Another parent was slammed for choosing to pay their stepson's tuition instead of his biological daughter's.