21 year old son who wont get help.

Catherine - posted on 11/16/2010 ( 8 moms have responded )

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My son who is 21 will not see a Psychologist, because he does not believe in Aspergers. The doctor just says he has social anxiety disorder, but recommended him to a Psychologist. He has always been a little different, responding to things differently, but it has never been much of a problem, until he entered university. He is very bright graduating with many awards, but was told to take a break from University due to low marks. He has many of the symptoms of Aspergers, but not all of them, and I have helped him through some of the things, like eye contact. But if he does not get help, I fear he will never mature emotionally, or leave his room for anything other than work. He seems fine at work, and talks to his peers mostly because they are computer geeks like him. He refuses to open up to anyone else. How do I persuade him that he should get help?

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Becki - posted on 11/24/2010

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I will not be much help, but I can at least sympathize. My 20 year old was diagnosed at 10, but different psychologists and counselors over the years have given different opinions about whether he really has it or if it is "just" a severe anxiety disorder. He has improved with age, to the point that he can communicate with someone he has been around several times, meeting their eyes, letting himself be touched, etc., but he still shows many signs, like "stimming" and having a "meltdown" if his routine is broken. He still follows me from room to room as I move through the house, as if I will dissapear if he doesn't know where I am at all times. My son has been very open to "counselors" that he can just talk to about his problems, but any mention of his diagnosis of either the Aspergers or severe anxiety is grounds for him to change counselors. He is VERY adamant that he is "normal", and resents anyone implying he isn't. I sympathize with your fears about his maturity because my son is still functioning at the level of an 11 year old according to most catagories in the WAIS and WRAT, but feels he is ready to live on his own. I would like to see him become independant, but if he can't even ask a store clerk where the bathroom is, how can I trust that he can do that? Just call me "In the Same Boat"

Sheila - posted on 11/16/2010

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Hi Catherine,

You might suggest joint counselling...tell him your fears, and see if he is willing to "help you." He might not want to see someone on his own, but he might be willing to go if it would mean "helping you out."

Otherwise, I would ask is he happy? If he is happy with his life, if he is making a living wage...if he is content with his job and his peers at work...then, I would allow these differences in what you think he should be doing and what he is happy with (this is only if he is happy...if he complains to you, has a life that he finds lacking, or if he is depressed...then obviously he needs to make sure he faces his own issues.)

So, if he is happy..but not the happy you would want...then it might be a good idea to seek support through a group that understands what it is like to be the parent of an adult with spectrum issues. I don't know if a group like that would exist in your area, but it might help talking with someone who knows what you are going through.

My little guy is only six, so I know the road ahead will be full of challenges and triumphs. I don't know what you are experiencing, but I hope you are able to find the support you are seeking for your son.

Sheila

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Diane - posted on 06/14/2013

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My son is 21 and I KNOW he has Aspergers. Maturity wise he is maybe 11 or so. He has no social life, very few friends, no job, stays home all the time and plays video games, no desire to look for another job (the only job he had they treated him poorly and he quit, worked from 4:30am to 10:30 pm expecting him to keep doing it and refused to pay all the over time they owed him, so he asked me if he could quit and I told him yes because I was afraid he would get hurt around all that machinery being sleep deprived like that). I think he is afrain of another "failure".

The school years were hell. He was picked on and bullied, and of course, the school personnel did nothing. He was diagnosed ADD/ADHD in third grade and was put on different medication throughout the years, but when he got bigger he started spitting the pills out after we thought he took them. I found a huge pile of them under one of my recliners. When I confronted him about it, he said they don't help him at all. In the beginning they did, but there right before the end I could not tell the difference from when he took them and he didn't.

He has no girlfriends, but he does talk to some but mainly trying to talk to them about their bad relationships with their boyfriends. He is almost playing "counselor" to them. That is the extent he has with women.

He is perfectly happy playing with little kids and seems to be totally happy doing so. I fear he will never mature or be self sufficient.

His hygiene habits are atrocious. He misses the toilet and urinates on the floor or the shower curtain, always puts his whiskers or hair shavings in the sink (will not wash it out) or on the floor, will not clean up after himself, spits on one area of the floor in the computer room, spits big wads of phlegm in the bathroom sink and just leaves it in there.........the list goes on and on.

I am about to pull my hair out. I think he has ODD as well, but I'm no therapist. We will have him on insurance only for 3 more years after he turns 22 this July.

Can anybody give me some advice? I am open to any and all advise or guidance you can spare. Thank you in advance.

Lindsay - posted on 11/30/2010

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My brother has Aspergers...and he's going to be 20 soon. He dosnt tell people about it because he dosnt want to be judged or talk down too. Only he can get help at this point if he wants it. No amount of councelling will help if the person dosent want it. Now the fact that he has a job and seems to be functioning well in this enviroment is GREAT....look at that positive. If he's happy and content then thats what matters in the end.

Jane - posted on 11/24/2010

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i feel your anguish i have a son who is the same only he doesnt have a job and has anxiety attact when ever he has to exerts himself he went to tafe this year for two days a week and is going back next year full time i only hope it gets easier for him. his 14 year old brother has asbergers and they are both the sa
me in many was

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It is pretty common for adults with Aspergers to be educated and/or employed below their ability level. He's not alone there. It is also true that people have been living successfully with Aspergers for generations. He is an adult and unless he is doing something to endanger himself or others, I think you should leave well enough alone. I'm not trying to offend you, just speaking from personal experience. :)

Jodi - posted on 11/23/2010

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One of the hardest things is realizing that what you consider "normal" behavior for your son is not what he considers to be normal.. It has taken me years to come to this conclusion. I have two "children" who are 22 and 25, both in need of counseling, but only the 22 year old (with PDD) will go. He works hard to be a better person, to become more aware of people's feelings and to communicate, but it still lacking. He is happy, has a part time job, but no social life with others. We have had to accept that his idea of happiness is not ours and we have to let go.
That being said, my 25 year old has bipolar tendencies and refuses any sort of counseling. We did get her to at least give it a try, but she gave up on it and refuses to go, even if we bribe her. We know she would benefit, but she has made her decision since she was 19 or so and we've had to learn to live with it. You can't force someone to go to counseling if they don't want to. I see so many better things for her if she would go, but she insists that having a full time job and loving work are enough for her. So be it.
Please know that I am not being critical of you. I am just trying to let you see an example of one who will and one who won't. At some point, my husband and I said they are adults and have to make their own decisions, even though we have guardianship of our 22 year old - he's the "easy" one, however. I wish I had a magic answer for you. I just think that if your son is happy (or in denial and claims to be happy), there is not much you can do at this age. Stay strong! I know how you feel.

Marla - posted on 11/23/2010

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your son sounds like mine mine is 15 , a loner, video gamer,computer nerd , he gets on fine at school but not good at comunicating with strangers or asking for help . He too makes eye contact and does not display many of the Aspergery symptoms , . Mine is also immature for his age and not very concerned about having friends and socializing . Have you and your son watched the Temple Grandin biography , I t is so good I wache dit with my son it helped him to understand that some of his quirks are Aspergers and not just " his own thing " maybe recomend it to his doc and if that does not help get a new doc and ask for testing and a referral to a psychiatrist for assessment

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