my father is 85 years old. we have always believed him to be a little different but blamed it on him being an engineer / rocket scientist...with just a 'few extra gears' in his head.
because of some (extra) extremely serious things going on with him in the past year or two---my siblings and i are beginning to get more and more concerned about him AND about my mom and how she is going to deal with him for the rest of their time together (she is 78)...they will be married 60 years this august.
my oldest sister randomly stumbled onto an article about aspergers and now everything seems to make sense. all the signs are there. whereas he has not professionally been diagnosed with AS...we are certain he has it. and it explains so many things we have dealt with all our lives with him. my mother also agrees with us.
BUT we are so overwhelmed. i have ordered books. researched the internet. we are reading everything we can get our hands on...but so much of it concerns children or young adults.
we realize dad is set in his ways and counseling and/or behavior modification will more than likely be unsuccessful at this stage in his life. but any life experiences, advice, contacts for help...would be greatly appreciated. also...we're at a loss on how we help my mother cope? (or leave!)
he is blaming her for everything that HE has done wrong. he does not take responsibility or accountability for any of his bad behavior. he is self-absorbed. cannot concentrate on anything but what he wants to talk about. he is paranoid. sets up booby traps around the house because he swears he's being threatened. (but only when my mom is not there)...i could go on and on but i won't. i guess i just want to find out all i can...and get some much needed support. if possible.
I suspect there are a lot of techies (and trekies, I might add) are walking around without a diagnosis! My step dad had a lot of Aspie traits, too. I also think my bro had some, too.
If they have been married for 60 yrs, an Aspergers dx not going to tell her nor him anything new about him! I don't think that's much of a problem, I think it's the recent developments that matter most.
It's the last paragraph that made my blood run cold! It matches the paranoid behavioir my real biologiocal dad had before he went in for residential treatment for about a year or two. He was difficult to live with. He would call up the sheriff at 5AM and threaten him. Carry his guns around downtown. The paranoid behavior has nothing to do with AS. This is annother issue altogether.
People's impulse controls deteriorate as they age (all seniors have ADHD). An 85 year old shows up for the kids chess club - he was also an engineer - and he was so abrasive that no one goes anymore (because how do you kick an 85 year old out). I don't play - never did - but went to keep an eye on the kids. he asked to play and yelled at me the whole time because I wasn't playing right. He even yelled at a 4 year old (whose mom yelled back at him) and we haven't seen that family again.
Perhaps it is time to take dear old dad to a neurologist - we keep hauling my father-in-law off as he goes into fake dementia every time his stress levels are up. But then, after surviving two concentration camps at the age of 13, we cut him alot of psychological slack. We don't bring him into docs to get therapy - just to make sure that he isn't taking a permanent trip o la la land.
"Perhaps it is time to take dear old dad to a neurologist"--
YES!!! yes. yes....he walked out on the counselor last week. mom was glad...FINALLY he is exhibiting his bad behavior in front of a professional...the counselor commented to my mom: "we have a problem here"...um...duh...he said we need to get him to see a neurologist.
my mom said the lawyer handling his case also said he needed to be tested. but can a neurologist detect aspergers? or just dementia...alzheimers?
dad swears he has the equation to "perfect love"...which will make your eyes cross trying to read it...and preaches "advanced forgiveness" like a newly ordained pastor...but literally hates and ignores three out of five of his grown children. he will help a con man, criminal and swindler....or someone he has never met more than he will his own family. claims he's just like Jesus and no one can stop him.
his “obsession” in the past year is some sort of blood pressure monitor that he claims can measure emotions. This is amazingly ironic; it’s almost as if he subconsciously knows that he has a “missing link” in the emotional department. he’s a retired NASA scientist – his proposal is written in technical jargon – who knows – maybe it IS brilliant and could help others with AS somehow, someway. we just can’t decipher it. we’d love for a clinician to look at his proposal (he’s spending every last cent he and mom have to research and get it patented) to see if (a) they agree he has AS and (b) see it has any merit. (----desperately grasping here----)
enough of my rambling...
it's heartbreaking. sad. depressing. to see my parents spend the last years of their life in such turmoil.
Both me and my husband have NASA engineers in the family - they are strange puppies. One, in his retirement, has become a born again and is obsessed with the family geneology (and showing up unannounced at unknown relatives doors) - the other basically made a fortune selling his satellite company during the telecome craze - and mostly spends his days helping the Jewis Museum in D.C. But he has strange ritual when it comes to eating - all of these caloric formulas.
My mom's family originally immigrated on the Verner Von Braun (sp) rocketship visa program - and the family keeps producing all these odd engineers/inventor types. SO when my son ended up with Apserger - it was no surprise. NASA familes should not meet and marry. My mother's cousin met his wife as the do the math to land the shuttle - their kids are the scariest of all. People think vaccines cause Asperger's - look for the engineering genes.
so far we have not even mentioned asperger's to my dad...and that he may have it.
should we? and how? the counselor he and my mom are seeing said he's not a medical doctor and he couldn't recommend a test for it. (?????)
my dad said he won't submit to a neurological exam because he claims his mind is fine...that there is nothing wrong with him.
he's going to court on may 23 and it may help with his defense. but he can't see that.
if you're completely sober and someone accuses you of drinking, wouldn't you WANT to submit to a sobriety test?
i see where recognizing aspergers early on has it's advantages. at this stage in my father's life...he's pretty much stuck in his ways. will listen to no one. and frankly, i can bet we have another ten+ years dealing with him. (his mother was 102 and his father 96 when they died)
i'm sorry. i should say, i don't intend to sound harsh, like i want my father to die...i'm just saying we are having a very difficult time figuring out how to deal with him...now and forever how long...finding professionals---doctors, lawyers, counselors---who know (or admit to know) anything about asperger's has been a challenge. my siblings and i feel like we're running into roadblocks on every corner and we are convinced it's going to get worse in the years to come.
Are their any other conditions other than Aspergers that you have considered. Does he suffer from Bi-polar as they can get very manic and feel they are 'on a mission'. Does he have any paranoia issues? It could even be a combination of both. The reason I say that is that he is highly intelligent, possible Aspergers, but some of the things in the post sound more relevant to Bi-polar or mental health issues. But having said that, I'm not an expert.
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