20yr Son Struggling in launch

Debbie - posted on 11/04/2009 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My son Brian is 20. He was originally diagnosed with ADHD, OCD, & Bi-Polar, at one time they thought he had PPD, but he only had 8 of 13 factors...no one diagnosed the Asperger's until he was almost 14. By that time the school felt he was already receiving the best treatment so the diagnosis didn't matter.



It does if you are treating for a solution doesn't it? My son never did recieve any social training. He was tormented so bad, that by his 3rd month at High School, Santanna High had to remove him to another school for "his own safety". Kids were throwing and spitting food on him, he was going to the nurse sick and comming home almost daily. So they sent him to a "last chance" school. It took my son becomming violent and striking another student before he was allowed back at "regular" education. He couldn't understand why he had been taken away from school. At least he graduation ( a year held back due to emotional depression that caused him to shut down completely that first year) with his final year at "regular" high school (only half days). He was thrilled to get an actuall diploma and ceremony. (the other school didn't offer one)



He never had a close friend. Doesn't go out and socialize. Plays video games, is a math wize, yes we can do long division in our head. He scored the highest math score on the exit exam the school had ever seen, and passed the first try...unlike the other students being sent there. He was there because he could not "fit-in" socially and they could not control the teenagers at Santanna. They didn't want violance, yet that is what it took for my son to return? Well it is over...and not much was learned.



Brian did learn to drive! We started against his will at 15 to practice. When he turned 18 I took 6 months off work and drove every weekday with him to do erands. We bought a car exactly like his so he could practice in mine. We hired an instructor so he could get opinions outside of his parents. He took online safety, and studied for 6 months before he took the written test...3 times to pass he was so nervous. I almost asked for quiet accomodations when he finally passed it! When he turned 18 we made him take the driving test alone....he passed first time out! The instructor told him to try not to be so cautious...you don't need to stop at the stop ahead lines...lol He drives more cautious than granny, and he doesn't go anywhere without his GPS. Yes he can get lost going around town. We know he will always find the home button.



It was hard however i knew if Brian was to succeed at anything I had to build steps. So we had a car. We have worked on a credit card (pre paid) for 4 years with his own grocery shopping and planning. He does his own cooking and laundry. He was excited to get a job the first time. After the second nite...they said they didn't have anymore hours and he never worked again. It took us 3 more years to get him back into the job world.



Interviews are a nightmare for him. Talking is so confussing and difficult. He gets frustrated so easily. My sister Renae is like him...she says that is why she is working on being a Mortician, so she don't have to deal with live people. Brian went on 5 interviews at different Wal-Marts before he landed his second job. He has been through 4 managers now in the first 90 days...well almost not quiet 90 yet....and the latest manager reprimanded him the first night. He told Brian "Your not Warehouse Service Personnel Material". Brian was almost in tears, and I asked what that meant and he shouted back "I just don't know!" So I let it go and said "Well maybe he just wants you to work faster?" Brian said "Yes, he said that...but I already get done before the others on my shift" So is it quality? I can't reason with Brian for a conversation....and I felt so bad. I am going to try and go back to talk with him before he goes back tonight about it.



Brian tried college. He didn't fit in with the students. He struggled to keep up with the lectures. He thought the teacher was making fun of him. It was just an awful experience. I am pushing for online courses. While it cost more. His interaction is not seen, and I can help him if he runs into a problem. Also the contact will require first and last class. My hope is he will enjoy the course and want to take more regular classes.



How are other families dealing with these issues?



Debbie

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Debbie - posted on 02/11/2010

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Getting my son motivated after graduation was not easy. His money ran out...he finally learned the "gravy train" money was gone. We had to stop giving him the "extras" in order to get him to look for a job. It look him really wanting a video game or two before he caved from his comfort zone and started looking.

Now that he has lost his job, he is in a new rut...he has a fear of suffering the pain of his old experience. We are working with him. THe co-workers were very much bullies and it was a bad environment. Wal-mart was not the place for him.

Aspie persons largest obstacle to overcome is socialization. They should not have a problem caring for themsleves. They just need to slow down and be made responsible for their actions. There are many adults with Aspergers that go on functioning, it is the launching into each new step that they have trouble with. The fear of the unknown.

Learing to drive took 3 years. This was fear related. He could do it the whole time. like most Aspie's he has excellent recall of place. He gets afraid he won't get there correctly. So we bought him a GPS to "ease his fears". Worked like a charm. He was afraid of the car. We let him pick his own car so he would feel comfortable driving what he wanted. We paid for a series of lessons outside of our teachings. We look him on "back country roads", with limited traffic. I took time off work so we could drive at various times in the day prior to his license to get him use to traffic. He had his license permit for a year and only drive 3 times. We had to renew several times, and before we finally bought his car and he drove it.

Talking with him we found by asking him what might make him more comfortable and making a compromise that he had to move forward. We learned this with his therapist. We worked on skills for "deals" to move forward all the time. Such as doing his own shopping and planning his own meals, since he eats different food then us.

He has dreams too, one day he wants a girl friend...just right now he is still not comfortable around girls.

Nancy - posted on 02/10/2010

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My son is 14 and is having similar problems, he is going into grade ten next year, and he is in his comfort zone at his latest school because he has been there since grade 3. We have a special needs school here in Grande Prairie Alberta Canada, and so next year is going to work out just going to be a little scary. Are your kids medicated ? My son has limited social skills, but works with an aide and he will need an aide going into a job situation to combat his frustrations. Congrats on getting your son to drive, my son is scared he will have an aspies moment or an ADHD one. But we are working on it. Yeah I can see how high school can be a bit of a scarey situation but my son has been with some of the kids since kindergarten so they just accept him for him they use him for his brain of course. Are either of your kids able to get on AISH? My son does laundry and making of the meals is a little behind.
Um have either of you watched the movie Mozart and the Whale or Adam it just came out on DVD and it was good my son is a chip off of both those movies.

Kimberly - posted on 01/09/2010

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My Aspie is 19 now and yes we are having similar issues. She was lucky enough to attend a great school that did everything possible to make sure she was ready for life after high school. Unfortunately she has no ambition to go any further. Its a real strain on the other 2 kids and my sweetie, who lives with us. We are currently trying to reduce her comfort level in the house so she'll want to move ahead. We mention getting a job often, increased her home responsibilities and make sure that if wants something specific she has to pay for it herself (she got almost $800 for graduation and she thinks it will last forever) We have looked into group homes also

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