Asperger's Syndrome Community
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Avatar universal

Adult Brother with undiagnosed Aspergers?

I have a brother, who is 52 years old. He was never diagnosed when he was tested because at that point, aspergers had not made it to the USA. It's been the proverbial "white elephant" in the room with our family as we've all been afraid to hurt his feelings by telling him....after it came to our attention from a friend of mine who is an administrator in education and met my brother.

Anyway, I took the plunge and just told him an hour ago. I told him that I've been researching it for some time. He seemed happy that I said something though I know that once he thinks about it, he will be upset...and clearly told him that he will probably be upset with me but that's a risk I am willing to take.

He has been without work for over a year now. He used to drive trucks with his CDL B drivers license but was let go from the last company for taking too long. In addition, he has type 2 diabetes and was living alone for some time. We recently were able to convince him to move to Florida where I live and my parents will eventually relocate.

I am writing for many reasons...where do we start? I figure he needs to be diagnosed. Are there benefits out there for people with this condition? Where can we get assistance? I want to make sure he gets the best support necessary since my parents will not be around much longer and it will be up to me to keep an eye on him. I took the plunge and broke the ice now I need to know what to do next. He is staying in south west Florida near me (Naples) and this is a good time for me to get things rolling. Any kind assistance would be so appreciated.
16 Responses
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I don't know how much I can help you, but I think telling your brother was a good idea.  He probably knows he is "different", and having a reason why may make things a little easier for him, and your family, by being able to accept him & his differences.  I do not know about financial help for an adult with Aspergers.  Maybe they are eligible for some type of disability?  I would like to know that myself, as I have an 11 year old Aspie daugther who will be an adult in the near future, and, of course, I worry about her being able to support herself.  Let us know how things are going.
Avatar universal
you are wonderful to go the distance for your brother, and yes there are several benifits to having aspergers
i have lived with the positives and negatives of this for a long time
i will list a few negs....
1. some people may see me as odd, because i have a very blunt and practical approach to life
2. it is impossible for me to lie to someone, for instance i cannot feed people the stuff that sometimes friends need to hear, like no your husband is not a butthead, and no that dress looks fine on you
3. i see things my way and it is difficult to place myself in others shoes
now for something possitive
1. when i set my mind to something i get it done, thats how i bought my house, finished 4th in my class (paramedic), married who i wanted to, started homeschooling my aspie son, becoming room mom, joining a roller derby team, helping others in the communitte
2. aspie's get all obsessed about things, once we start a project we will finish come hell or high water
3. aspie is more of a learning disibility than a mental illness, so we can function in the real world most times without medication
so i could go on, but i havent the time, your brother needs help finding an outlet, sometimes adults with asp. can turn to drugs or alcohol to feel normal, but once they are re-directed to something positive to obsess about their life becomes manageable again
your brother will make it with your help, find out what he is interested in, a sport or a different vocational field,
aspie people think outside the box, therefore they are not bound by any limitations
you are probably going to have to get him out of his box/ self made prison
Avatar universal
Hello Vincent, I was sorry to hear your truck driving brother had lost his job as he was proberbly happily obessessed with his trucks and concientous and had no idea this was taken for 'slowness'. My boyfriend of 8 years is also a undiagnosed aspie and obessess about trucks in all shape, forms, in books, mags, tapes, DVD's also the railways plus he has a vast collection of models etc.,. You might be able to help your brother to redirect his life into that kind of work again or something else that fires him up. My boyfriend is 'hardwork' and selfish has like your brother lived on his own. His family 'know' there is something but even his well educated father have never confided in me that 'he' is diffirent. He knows hes diffirent and says he is but he doesn't know why or in what why. Everything has to be explained to him, and he doesn't seem to learn from one time to the next. So we go over old ground. Hes clever, has a wonderful head for figures, movements, names, number plates, phone numbers, but all that doesn't really help him in social situations. The aspie doesn't aim anything at the connected partner personally it seems but is intent on getting his own way and cannot moderate touch, strength, behaviour, habits and has to be told 'how it is' and what they can and cannot do. I will stop here and hope this posts to you.
Avatar universal
My brother is 59 and has Aspergers's Syndrome. I am two years younger and I understand very well what you are saying. Years ago, I got my brother to go to a psychologist that I was seeing regarding self-image and anger issues. The doctor told me later that he felt my brother had Aspergers. I began researching it like mad. I had already done a lot of research on ADD because both of my kids and I have it and I also felt my brother had it too but he fits  the description of Aspergers very well. When he was in the 3rd grade, he began methodically reading the encyclopedia and when he got to the F volume he became very upset because it was missing. He is extremely bright in some ways and clueless in others. My father died at 50 over 35 years ago now and my mom is in assisted living with alzheimers disease. It is very difficult for her to talk. She went into assisted living last August and my brother has not been to see her or call her since he was there to see her place after the move. My family and I along with my mom are the only ones he has and it is overwhelming to be the responsible caretaker for both of them. My brother still lives in mom's house which we will need to sell this Spring to use for her care eventually but I am dreading it. I need to help him find a place to live. I can only do so much because he has a mind of his own, a lot of anger issues with me and my mom about past issues. He has always lived at home and there is no agency or organization  or church there to help. The psychologist does not see any point in telling him he has Aspergers and I disagree but I have been to chicken to do what you did. I have a fear that it will make things worse. The  rooms he occupies in the house, (four bedroom split level - big house)  plus the garage are wall-to-wall stuff/junk. I could go on and on. I saw  your message on the Internet and thought "finally! someone who knows and understands what I am going through! Sometimes I despair at the prospects for his future. He has a job which he will probably be able to retire from in about 3 or 4 years. My brother also has Type 2 diabetes as do I. I have been told it is the Scandinavian heritage that is the factor for us. He does not eat properly at all though I think he believes he does. Would you ever consider corresponding by e-mail? Librarian69
Avatar universal
It's amazing to read your comments - I have a 49 year old brother whose story is so similar...
He's always had a hard time making and/or keeping friendships, and has had very few romantic relationships - he can strike up a connection  because he's very talkative and knowledgeable about topics that he cares about, but he alienates people quickly with his odd behavior.
He was somewhat functional and independent in his 20's and 30's, but right around 40, he got laid off from a job that he liked and has never been the same. He moved back in with our parents and things have just gone down hill since then. He hasn't had steady work in years, has no friends, has nothing really to call his own...
My parents have the resources to just throw money at the problem - they are retired and now live in Florida most of the year, leaving him to take care of their house in our hometown, and sort of leaving me to take care of him, which is very stressful because he's not all that pleasant to be around. He interrupts, talks too loud, doesn't understand most types of humor or the subtle meanings in most interactions. And he's really, really messy and unorganized - except for whatever new hobby he's obsessed with. It's like dealing with a 12 year old who ignores most everything you say.
I've tried over the years to talk to him - to suggest therapy, work resources, social outlets, but to no avail. I am now getting increasingly worried for the future - I will of course take care of him when the times comes that our parents no longer can, but I don't really know how I will handle it...
It sound terrible, but he's so clueless and inconsiderate that it's hard to be around him for very long - and that makes me so sad. I try to deal with him on his level - but all he really does is take...
I do think that he has Asperger's, and it's actually helping me handle the situation better, but I haven't talked to him about yet (if I ever do). I think I need to find a support group/therapist for me first and then go on from there. Finding resources for this problem in older adults has not proven to be very easy.
Avatar universal
Hi Vince,

Your post was very interesting to me as I have a 48 year old brother that lives in the Louisville area and this describes my brother's case almost exactly. I thought one of my brothers may have posted it.
We also are desperate to find some help and a possible support group in the Louisville area. We can find only children info and young adults sites. If you hear of anything I would appreciate hearing from you.
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