Asperger's Syndrome Community
Adult Son
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Adult Son

I have a 24 year old son. He lives at home with my husband, myself and our 16 y/o son. Mike no longer works or goes to school. He has no friends or social communication outside of our family. He is extremely smart and always did well at school. He was going to college but stopped after 2 years because we couldn't afford to pay outright and he doesn't want any student loans. I know from his behavior and because I work in the medical field that he has Aspergers. I have a 3 y/o grandaughter with autism a nephew with Aspergers and now my 10 y/o grandson has been diagnosed with Aspergers. I need to talk to my son about getting help. I have tried so many times but he won't listen to me. He brushes me off. He has a problem communicating and I don't want to approach this and make a mistake. Is there anyone out there with experience on how to deal with adults with Aspergers and how I can approach my son with this discussion?
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470168_tn?1237474845
I'm sure there is, but I don't know who.  As you have a number of people within the wider family diagnosed, could you speak with one of the professionas involved with them?  In the UK there is the National Autistic Society who have alot of helplines and information on their website.  Do you have something similar in your country?
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Avatar_n_tn
thanks for your reply, I have found there is not much in our area for Autism support etc. but I do have some professionals I can speak with. I work on the  night shift and was hoping maybe someone on here would respond, but thank you for your consideration and time.    Paula
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Avatar_f_tn
It sounds like your son might be in some form of a shutdown right now.  If he normally has at least one or two friends that he is with, then he most likely is in one.  There are varying types and the only place I can find any information on them is here: http://everything2.com/node/550676 - read the shutdown entry written by: Zifendorf.

I'm 24 and live at home, too.  i think that a lot of people have asperger's and it's harder for those people to handle stress and things, so that's why there are so many people around this age who still live at home.  
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365714_tn?1292202708
I looked up the shutdown article you linked to. Very interesting and well written. I bookmarked it so I can read the rest later.  I think I deal with shutdowns once and a while. Usually it happens with meetings.  I'll listen until my eyes start to unfocus and I’m gazing off in a distance, then I don't remember much afterwards. That's why I prefer to have someone go with me to meetings, so that they can pick up things I missed.

I too suffered a major shutdown when in college.  I believe an online gaming addiction contributed.  I momentarily lost the ability to read text on paper. I could read on the internet and type, but not my art history book.  If I tried to read it, I'd fall asleep.  I also couldn't compose essays. To add to my stress, my daily opinion papers had to be MLA cited and I had to quote various references... That I just couldn't do.

I still get drowsy from reading lots of info. I find that giving spaces between paragraphs seems to help. That's why I put spaces in to break up paragraphs when I'm writing lengthy blog replies.
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Interactions:  I don't like to interact with people if I have a lot of thoughts going on in my head. If I'm actively engaged in a detailed thought process, talking with people will break up my thought.  I may or may not be able to remember it afterwards.  Often mornings are bad times to engage me into any conversation. I'm too busy focusing on my thoughts, perhaps what I want to do that day, etc.

I'm discovering with myself, I can focus on my thoughts or the outside environment, not both at the same time... I can switch between one or the other, but if I am forced to do both simultaneously, then I end up with memory gaps... The memory will form garbled; a mixture of what I saw around me, and my thoughts at the time.

Similarly I can’t talk and concentrate really well at the same time.  If I’m required to talk and do a task, I may start goofing up.  If the task is rather automatic, then I may get by fine.  That may be something to keep in mind,pushpin, if your 24 year old seems to be preoccupied.


I just turned 25 btw, so I guess we are all in the same age group, lol.
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325405_tn?1262293778
Can't offer help on telling him to get a diagnosis.  Sounds like part of it may be also because your his mom in addition to him having aspergers.  I have communication problems with my husband sometimes, about stuff that I know more than he does about, but oh man, it totally hurts his male ego if he has to take advice from someone else.  Also he is really smart, but sometimes he does lack common sense... a lot of times.  

Can you suggest to your son that he volunteer work someplace?  Or maybe not suggest, but just mention.  Libraries are always looking for smart volunteers.  Museums also look for volunteers.  Yeah, I know volunteering doesn't pay money, but at least it might get him out of the house and socializing.  Sometimes those positions (like shelving books) do indeed pay money.  Or filing jobs or data entry.  If you're good at the computer, there's a whole lot of jobs where you don't have to interact with people a lot.  If you have problems interacting with people, whether you are aspergers or just have difficulty in that area without having aspergers ... well, I always found those types of jobs easier.  Or if he doesn't want to stick to one job, he could try going to a temp agency.  I did that for a full year after graduating college.  I requested only certain work assignments, not others.  After doing a receptionist job once, that fiasco was just not going to happen again and I'm sure the companies were glad not to have me do that either.  At that point in time I was living outside of DC near the metro system, and there were so many work opportunities, even temping, that I had employment almost every day.  

Another idea... if he doesn't want to go in debt going to college, is some colleges offer free tuition to full (and sometimes part) time employees.  I worked at this college when I was living in Florida, Nova Southeastern (NSU), and I only worked 20 hours and they still offered me free tuition.  I already had a degree, but I took a class for fun because it was free. Sure, these colleges that offer tuition free or reduced rates may not be the best colleges (NSU was pretty much a degree factory which took practically everyone), but it's better than not going at all, and you still learn.  Colleges also have jobs that may  not require interaction between people.  Colleges generally have at least one if not several libraries.  They need people to maintain databases, keep files, and some colleges have like stock rooms full of paper and office supplies for all the workers.  And people who deliver the intercampus mail between offices.  I have worked in several colleges since graduating... really lots of job opportunities if you are looking for work that doesn't require a lot of person to person interaction.  Plus like if you cant' get a job right away, many colleges have their own temporary worker pools.  I have done that in the past as well.  

Does your son drive?  I didn't drive until I was 23, and I prefer taking public transit whenever possible.  Or ride sharing.  I don't know if the not driving is a deterrant for him finding a job?  There are a lot less options if you are restricted in where you can go.  

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Avatar_f_tn
it is wonderful that you are helping him!!! my mom and dad still think that aspergers is not a real issue
i have learned to not say anything to them and turn to my husband and my friends for support
atleast with your relationship with your son he has someone to help him when he is ready
at 24 i was similiar to your child, the 4 yr university told me i was better suited for a tecnical college, so i went through voc rehad and got an emergency medicine degree, it was easy compared to the other school
maybe you can talk to him about going to see a behavioral specialist, then he can goto voc rehab, and they will help him pay for school
this is definantly not a hopeless situation, i have been around this kind of stuff for a long time, i believe that you can work this out, may take sometime!!!!
by the way if you are on the east coast i can help you find a medical professional that can help, well i might be able too.
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Avatar_f_tn
My 23 year old son is very much like yours. He's not going to school, or work.  He's constantly on the computer, gaming, or blogging with his so-called 'friends' that he's never met.  He refuses to bathe, brush his teeth, groom himself or clean up after himself.
I don't know where you live, but I recently found a support group that had a woman there from the County Dept. of Rehabilitation that suggested that I start there.  There's a lot of resources that they offer, including Independent Living.  I love my son, but I want him out of my house.  I've had enough of his verbal and emotional abuse, especially since I've been advocating for him since he was dx'd at 12.   He has an NT 20 year-old sister who is doing well and we advise her not to live in our home because it's not a good environment for her.  She's been thru college and an Internship and is ready to take off in her career of choice.    She's also tried to help him, but nothing anyone suggests is something he cares to listen to.  He wants to be left alone by everyone, but live here for free.  I don't think so!  I sure don't get to.    He almost didn't graduate HS, and he went to Community College where he took 8 classes.  Out of those 8, he passed 3, dropped 1, failed the rest.   I can't afford to pay for failed classes.   I'm lost too, and it's a shame that there isn't more help for people like us.    I hope you find help, please continue to share here.  
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242606_tn?1243786248
Two on-line family resources that you might find helpful are available at:

www.aspergersyndrome.org

www.autismspeaks.org
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