Parent of Adult Child with Asperger's Syndrome

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I'm hoping to find other mom's (or dad's) of adults with Asperger's Syndrome. My son was diagnosed after age 20 but I've known he was an Aspie from birth - just didn't have the terminology until a proper diagnosis. I would love to share experiences, frustrations, joys, set-backs and the perspective of other parents of adults. Since AS was only diagnosed in the late 90's, there was no resource for us while raising our Aspie's and I'm looking to network.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Jane - posted on 04/07/2013

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I have an aspergers son who just turned 21.
Why am I in the bathroom crying and typing to strangers?
My once sweet child has turned into a horrible monster. The whole house walks on eggshells afraid of saying something that will set the hulk in motion. This has been 5 years of absolute hell.
I am ashamed to say that I don't like my son.
Today was another screamfest with accusations and threats which started over nothing and I want to move out of my own house.
I know that I am not alone in this as I have a good friend with another monster son but there are some days when I can't take it.
I would be so grateful for suggestions or a cure

Christine - posted on 07/17/2013

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Hi I just joined this discussion. I recognize all your issues - because I feel exactly the same way. I also have a daughter, 30, who was diagnosed with Aspergers 2 years ago - but we've known all her life that she was "different." Brilliant, odd, dresses a bit strangely, trouble making friends, intriguing, clever, wooden with strangers, etc etc...a person of extreme contrasts. How could one girl be so smart but have trouble washing her hair or brushing her teeth? how could she do well in graduate school but not remember to sign up for her final licensing exam? how could she have an advanced professional degree but then be unable to get a job because she couldn't make eye contact in an interview, then be working for minimum wage and even lose that job? How could she get straight A's in college but be incapable of paying bills on time or holding down a job in real life? Of course when she was growing up there was no such thing as an Aspie diagnosis. She was called "gifted" but was treated as "weird" by most people. A beautiful little girl, I remember her having a photographic memory, extreme hobbies (like being able to recite every word of the "Get Smart" TV show), a love of travel, a perfect singing voice, an uncanny sense of direction and almost no friends. I remember feeling so confused. Why wasn't she turning out like our other kids? Why didn't her intelligence and academic achievement translate into more success in the real world?
Now at 30, she has had many academic successes - but so many personal and professional failures. I think about age 18 was her high point. It's been downhill from there. I think she is becoming more disabled as she gets older. Has anyone else seen that?
The hardest part when they are an adult is the sadness you feel when you see the life you imagined for them (or they imagined for themselves) compared with their real life.
I see her life passing her by. She lives in a one-room apartment in another state with a roommate and several cats. She is unemployed and having no luck finding a job, and her unemployment is about to run out. Their apartment is so dirty, I was horrified to see it. She seems not to even notice the dirt and grime. Her teeth are getting bad because she won't brush or go to the dentist.
As many parents of Aspie adults, I also am very worried about her finances. She completely lacks common sense to deal with day to day issues. I do not want to be in the position of having to support her the rest of her life. I (and she) don't think her moving back home is a good idea and I am dreading the possibility. She does have this one good friend in her roommate -- and even one friend, as any parent of an Aspie knows, is a rare commodity. Any suggestions appreciated. Maybe there are no solutions. Just reading this board made me not feel so alone.

Whitney - posted on 02/18/2014

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Hello mommies. I hope this is ok that I post something here. I really would like to share insight on all the experiences you have regarding this condition. I am an older sister (28) of an Aspie brother (25) that was diagnosed back in the early 90's (I want to say he was 6). He has completed HS, has maintained a part-time job that a state funded program actually helped him get back in 2008 and just earned is driver's license last year (after a long process of preparing. The anxiety definitely got in his way for getting it sooner). He is still living at home and being supported by my parents, which is what I have been struggling with for years now.
Being the older sibling, I already felt the responsibility to care for him. I was taught that he was different, but I was never taught in detail about his diagnosis. I was always just told that he's just different & we all just need to understand that his behaviors are just the way he is. Not sure if I can blame my parents for that. I know that when he was diagnosed, there was very little knowledge about Asperger’s.
Now I am struggling with the acceptance of how truly debilitating his condition is and I feel there is a growing resentment I have towards my parents (for not continuing to parent him. Even after HS, there was plenty of help he needed but I felt they just thought their jobs as far as educating him done and for enabling him to not continue becoming an independent adult) and towards my sibling (because I feel he is taking advantage of my parents and manipulating them).
He is very functional, but like many Aspies, he struggles with empathy and social situations. He has very inconsistent filter and manners are not always there. But he balances his own checkbook, bathes, dresses and feeds himself (so long as my mother does his laundry & keeps groceries/supplies stocked). My parents even supply him with alcohol and specialty foods he likes and alcohol is probably the last thing someone with a neuro disease needs. He is allowed to be in his room all evening, until dinner is ready, come down, eat & drink everything, then retreat back up to his room when he feels like it. Sure he’ll help my parents with various chores around the home, especially the heavy lifting, but only when he’s asked and they don’t try to keep him engaged to become a more independent person, which I know would help with his self-esteem and happiness. The state does not recognize him as being disable so he doesn’t qualify for SSI, which should help my parents realize he can handle more responsibility. My parents did not even think to research what benefits he would be eligible for until 2-3 years ago, like mentoring programs, food stamps… If I had a child with this condition (which I am aware could very well happen with my genealogy), I would think I would have been looking into what options my child would have as an adult even when they are still a young child. I would think, even more so for a child with a disability, you would have to always be thinking a couple steps a head so that you can try to give your child the best chances for success. Why didn’t they do this?
I recent conflict arose when I finally sought out some help for some focus and anxiety problems I was experiencing. I was tested and come to find out, I was positive for ADD. I am very into eastern medicine and do not like to take pharmaceuticals, but my naturopath encouraged me to understand that this is something that I need to help with this condition. She also stated that I could have very well been struggling with it since adolescences but perhaps because of my brother being the child with the bigger issues, mine were overlooked. I revealed this diagnosis and information to my parents only to receive eye rolls and looks of skepticism.
I seriously don’t know what would happen to my brother if my parents were to die tomorrow. He would not be able to maintain their home or afford to keep the lights on, which brings me to my next issues. Because he is so functional and has proved to be employable, I don’t know why he doesn’t get a second job. My parents enable him to live the way he does which he would never be able to do without them. He saves his money to buy video games and comic books, not to pay bills and buy groceries like adults have to do.
Bottom line, my sibling is going to fall onto my lap when my parents die and I am going to have this privileged man-child that is going to be getting the loudest wake up call of his life because I won’t tolerate it. And to think my parents could have prevented it by helping he continually learn and grow. I know he can do better. I know he can do more. I know he would love himself so much more if could just get the encouragement and parental guidance he needs. He was so proud of himself for getting his license, you could tell he felt that he could accomplish anything now. But soon after, the flame of inspiration died and things went back to the way they have always been and I feel it has a lot to do with my parents not continuing the challenge him. They’ve accepted that they have a child with a disability, but only part of it. Not sure where else to go from here other than to leave the 3 of them to their demented, dysfunctional ways and hope that maybe they will figure it out one day. Until then, I think I need to walk away.

Patricia Grahame - posted on 05/18/2013

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After years of my own research, and after having read so,so,many books and articles on Aspergers, this is the first place I have read things that I find very,very HELPFUL !I can ,(finally !), IDENTIFY with Aspie moms ! You have no idea, well maybe you do, how relieved I am !
I was starting to think of myself as : stupid,unloving,lacking patience,unintelligent, (how can I not know how to relate to my own daughter ! ?),lonely,alienated, forgotten. I am a retired psychologist, having had a private practice for over 30 years,and have excellent relational and communication skills...but not with my daughter! I am a single parent of a 46 yr.old gorgeous, now married, Aspie daughter, classified in middle school, with what was then known as, Learning Disabilities.No one was diagnosing Aspergers back then in the mid eighties. Now,our relationship is almost completely eroded, we have short, strained conversations, very infrequently. I live 35 minutes away from her, and I have never been to her apt.on the Upper East side of Manhattan. I have not seen her in over year. She has huge rage isuues, and, there was a time, she could become violent. She scared and angered me.I was at a total loss.I have long needed some sort of "guide," for communications with her. I need to learn how to "relate," to my daughter. I do not want to lose her. I love her more than anything in this world. I have been suffering from depression for many years now, as I have not been able to heal or resolve this situation. But some things I have read here, make me feel so less alone and give me...hope. Hope at last !Any and all suggestions welcomed ! Thank you all for ...being there !

Lisa - posted on 07/18/2013

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My son will be 28 in October. He was dx in the mid 1990's . He attended a special school for autistic children until age 12 when he mainstreamed into a regular public school. He was not able to complete any college but did complete HS.
He is currently unemployed but not living at home. He has a roommate.
He wants to be a filmmaker along with 30000 other people who have a film degree or someone in the business. He is talented but....

My biggest issue is that he will not acknowledge his diagnosis and therefore will not take advantage of any assistance available to him. He should be getting SSI because he is unable to keep a job. He should be using VESID to help him find a job. He believes he can be choosey in terms of what type of job he should have. He will not flip burgers or push a broom. I cannot continue to support him financially. I am lost. My husband does not have any tolerance for my son and reacts to him as if he is deliberately doing things to upset him. My marriage is suffering.
Thanks for listening.

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Lynette - posted 10 hours ago

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My God I am exhausted, scared, shattered, horrified and feeling abused and guilty all at the same time. My daughter is 18 and just diagnosed with Aspbergers. It breaks my heart to see what she has been internalizing all this time but at the same time breaks my heart because I just don't have the strength to deal with this. She has taken away all my energy through the years. What do I do? This is gut wrenching

Lynette - posted 10 hours ago

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My God I am exhausted, scared, shattered, horrified and feeling abused and guilty all at the same time. My daughter is 18 and just diagnosed with Aspbergers. It breaks my heart to see what she has been internalizing all this time but at the same time breaks my heart because I just don't have the strength to deal with this. She has taken away all my energy through the years. What do I do? This is gut wrenching

Lynette - posted 10 hours ago

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My God I am exhausted, scared, shattered, horrified and feeling abused and guilty all at the same time. My daughter is 18 and just diagnosed with Aspbergers. It breaks my heart to see what she has been internalizing all this time but at the same time breaks my heart because I just don't have the strength to deal with this. She has taken away all my energy through the years. What do I do? This is gut wrenching

Lynette - posted 10 hours ago

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My God I am exhausted, scared, shattered, horrified and feeling abused and guilty all at the same time. My daughter is 18 and just diagnosed with Aspbergers. It breaks my heart to see what she has been internalizing all this time but at the same time breaks my heart because I just don't have the strength to deal with this. She has taken away all my energy through the years. What do I do? This is gut wrenching

Cheryl - posted on 08/18/2017

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I am sorry for the loss of your Mother. I am sorry that you feel so alone and that you have no one to talk to. That would be my first suggestion. We all need someone to talk to in this life we live. I am the Mom of a 23 year old son with Autism. While he is higher functioning than most, his social challenges confines him mostly to his room playing video games. He was able to get his driver's license and has worked a couple of seasonal jobs. I've noticed in the past 18 months he has started to regress and become more isolated. It is quite challenging for me as I work full time and am a single parent. My son has no relationship with his Dad. Please get some help because it sounds like you are a great fella. There is a whole great big world waiting for you right outside your door with many tremendous opportunities. Believe in yourself, be kind, truthful and love yourself. Sending blessings your way - Cheryl

Angie - posted on 07/17/2017

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My son was diagnosed with ASD aged 19 and is now 24. As a child he was very hyperactive and difficult to manage. At school he was the opposite. Struggled to settle. Very quiet/passive, only making friends on a one to one basis. I would always worry about him socially but didn't know why. When he reached 14 he started skipping school and started complaining about severe headaches that never seemed to go away. He would complain about them constantly and was worried that he had a brain tumour. The doctor put it down to anxiety but did a CT scan which came back clear. After this came the obsessive intrusive thoughts and panic attacks. He would obsess constantly about being contaminated by family members or close friends. One obsession would morph into another and he would often end up at A and E due to anxiety about his health. I could not see a future for him as he spent all of his time obsessing. He struggled more and more to keep a social life and would spend lots of time in bed. I would ask if he had homework and he would always say no. At parents evening he was not able to recall the name of his class tutor which I found worrying. When I think back there were signs from as young as 6 months old but due to his normal physical developemnet I thought he was fine.
When my son was 19 I became pregnant and moved in with my partner of 10 years. things got much worse. The intrusive thoughts turned into rituals and he would spend all his time flicking light switches and checking door handles. Another ritual was to urinate on the floor in front of the toilet. He Went from showering twice a day to not washing at all. Once we got the diagnoses I was able to claim disability allowance and become his financial appointee which helped. His behaviours took over the whole house and I would sit crying in my bedroom contemplating moving out of my own home. He had dropped out of college and struggled to get a job. Things were at crisis point. He refused to work with anyone from the aspergers support team. Eventually we were moving house and informed his GP that he would not be coming with us. It was after this that we finally got the help we needed. Funding was agreed for my son to move into a residential care home. Unfortunately this did not work out either. He has since developed type 1 diabetes and has no insight into his health or well being. He Thinks he is doing it all but does nothing. He does not believe he has diabetes and refuses to take his insulin. He has been in and out of hospital with ketoacidoses and is now on his second section awaiting a referral to a specialist ASD unit. He has become extremely volitile and cannot be managed in the community. If left to his own devises he would die from diabetic ketoacisos. I don't know what the future holds but I seem to be always searching for a solution. The constant emotional pain of my sons situation is almost unbearable. I find comfort and joy in my 2 younger children but every joyous moment is followed by the stark reality and burden of my sons situation. I try and find solace in knowing that he is now healthy and safe and will never be homeless. I guess the hard part is letting go of the son I thought I would have.

Charity - posted on 07/07/2017

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Hi! I have a 15 y/o son almost 16 that I believe has Aspergers. He is in gifted school and has always been different. It started when he was younger. He used to be a head banger when he was younger when he would get stressed. He has some sensory issues like he hated grass. He outgrew that. He became obsessed with stop signs and exit signs and WWE. So much that his kindergarten teacher, bless her heart took him around the schol to find all the exit signs. He has always been well liked in school but never would talk about friends at school leading me to think there were problems but teachers would reassure me that everyone loved him. Even to this day he has like 5 people that he associates with and would call friends. He is very socially awkward. He doesnt make eye contact with most adults and it takes a long time before a relationship develops and he starts to make some eye contact. He was always so focused on stop signs and stop lights when little that he would make them out of straws and paper. So much that I had to take away all straws when he got them because he would hoard them. His grandpa even got him a real stop sign for his bedroom when he was little. He has since gotten better with that but every year still asks for an exit sign for his room. We have helped him build his own lawn business and this is his next obsession. He has bought numerous riding lawn mowers in two years always looking for something different. He cant keep track of his customers and when I ask him to get ahold of them he usually doesnt. He will contact them if he can send them a text but wont talk to them on the phone. I have to run his business for him. He is a great bowler but he focuses on the small things. He has a bowling ball he loves but has been discontinued. He has searched the internet but cant find one, but I have already replaced it with a new ball and it has taken him a few months for him to use it. He does great during bowling meets but during tournaments for get it. He usually ends up missing a spare and gets frustrated because he wants to do so well and live up to what coaches expect. And when he gets frustrated the noise during tournaments is load because other team chant and never shut up so I watch him get even more frustrated to the point he is almost in tears. He cant be like this in high school. I have no idea how to get him over this hump, but he only wants to bowl. I do lessons and camps to try and help him. I feel like I have to tell everyone he has problems but I dont want to label him. I cant come to terms to have him diagnosed because I am a school nurse and watch kids get labeled all the time, but at the same time I fear for him when he goes to college. Will he manage to socialize and find people to talk to or will he stay in his dorm room all day.? After reading others post, I worry about life beyond college. He is so smart but will he be able to get a job and keep it? He doesnt always make eye contact with us. I doubt he will ever get married. He has no desire to go to school dances let alone take a girl to a dance. I can tell him everyday I love him but he hardly says it back even though I know he does. He NEVER will hug us first. We have to hug him and when we do most of the time he freezes. His brother and sister know he is different and his brother has even said he is socially awkward. We just watched the movie The Accountant and my husband finally can relate to the main character and now sees the Asperber symptoms. One time in middle school, a teacher was explaining to the class about Autism and the different levels and high finctioning. The teacher made a comment that people could have it and no one would know. He even gave them some 1 in some many people have Aspergers and the kids in the class all turned to my son and said they thought he had it. It took him 2 years to tell us that. Anytime we have talked to him about it he usually ends up crying. I dont know if he wants to be diagnosed. I dont want him to fail in life because he is so smart and talented, but I dont know how to support him so that he can overcome things like frustration or the noise during bowling. I tried to get him ear plugs but he wouldnt wear them in fear of being different. I need help ladies!!

Catherine - posted on 06/01/2017

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Take care of yourself. Don't ever tell him that. You are tired and need a break. Get some time for yourself soon.

Catherine - posted on 06/01/2017

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I can hear your frustration. Please let your son know that you love him and you were just frustrated when you said you loved your other son more. It was hurtful because you were hurt. Talk it out and let him know you love him. He hates himself, not you.

Susan - posted on 05/23/2017

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My son is 24 and not diagnosed. Its also NOS, possible bipolar. One on one he is good, His speech is good but unable to read and write above 3rd grade level. He has been in and out of counselors since nursery school. His life is falling apart. I don't know how to help him. I cannot tolerate his screaming.

David - posted on 05/11/2017

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Hi everyone. I'm not even sure how I wound up on this page, but I began reading through everyone's comments and found myself relating to a lot of it. I'm not a Mom. I've never even heard of this website before. I'm a 27 year old bloke with Asperger's in the UK. I've not been diagnosed but it seems obvious enough. I just thought I'd share a little and hopefully give you a little insight and maybe receive some advice in return.

It's hard to know where to start. I've got so much to talk about but I'm terrible with words.
I live at home with my dad. My mum passed away in 2015. I have an older brother that moved out years ago and is a successful chef. I'm almost certain that my brother and father have Asperger's as well, however i'm the only one that it'd probably more obvious with. They're more outgoing than I am and I think a lot of that is to do with how I grew up. I grew up playing instruments and playing video games. My brother plays the guitar as well, but he spent a lot more time out with friends, where as I would sit in my room practising. It's a way of life that has continued more or less to this day. I've had plenty of friends and girlfriends over the years, though since I began to realise that I wasn't 'normal', my outlook on life changed.

Before then I was happy. I was incredibly naive but generally had a really positive outlook on life. I was effectively acting my way through every social encounter I'd have, keeping everything lighthearted and just having a laugh with everyone. It was working. I had so much confidence and would never doubt my ability to do anything I put my mind to.

I remember the night that triggered the change of my mindset from then to now. I was smoking weed with my brother and my friends. It just dawned on me. I have always been different. I began connecting the dots, everything started adding up.

I'm not happy anymore. I feel empty. I feel like everything is fake. People know I'm different now. I sense it with just about everyone I'm forced to speak with. It's painful. I feel so stupid. It's an odd feeling as an aspie, as someone that for the first 20 years of my life strived to be better than everyone at anything that captured my imagination, to know that I cant even begin to imagine what it's like being able to communicate with people like a normal person does. I feel shame. I feel so unbelievably stupid. I feel disabled. I think that's what compounds the issue, that for so long I believed I was so good. I've been depressed ever since I realised. I can still have a laugh with friends from time to time, but it's often short lived.

I apologise if this is hard to follow. I've got a bit of a scatter brain.

I don't get along with my Dad. He finds me difficult, I find him difficult. The truth is there are underlying issues with my dad. From a young age I discovered his porn collection, and thought it was like he was cheating on my mother by watching them (haha). Back then I'd try to get him to stop looking at porn. It just felt so wrong to little 12 year old me. My dad was my hero at that point. It became apparent that he watched a lot of porn. I was pretty handy with a computer from a young age and I was worried that he was addicted to it so I began monitoring his internet usage. He was hiding his browser data but I'd locate his porn stash that he'd be updating day by day. It was a problem. He was addicted. Probably the worst moment for me came one weekend morning where I woke up to hear my dad sat on the computer next to my bed. I pretended to still be asleep and tried to take a peek at what he was on the computer for. To my horror he was looking at porn whilst I was in bed right behind him. I never confronted him about it or anything. I kept quiet. How do you even talk to your father about that? No child should have to. He's still addicted. I watch porn nowadays too, as I'm sure most people do, but it's every day without fail that he's got his computer switched on and downloading. It's just sad. I've learnt that if I ever have children, I'll be keeping any adult viewing habits private at all cost. I've never told anyone this, and I've been known to overreact at times...have I overreacted to that? Is it normal that that has made me lose so much respect for my dad?

I've had so many arguments with my dad over the years since. When I was a teenager we would lock horns now and again. My poor mum shouldn't have had to put up with it sometimes. I always got the blame and to be honest, rightfully so a lot of the time. My parents would try and involve me in things as much as possible, trying to get me to go out more and what not. I never thought about it at the time, but I wanted to stay in so much literally just because it was easier than facing social awkwardness.

Reading some of the comments of here talking about some of you having to walk on eggshells around your children. I'm sorry you're going through that. I've been on the other side of that, especially when I was a teenager. I think it's important to know that they might seem like little devils right now, but there's a thought process behind their actions. I'm not saying they're actions are justified at all, but there's more to it than they just fancy kicking off. I found a lot of it for me personally was born out of frustrations with myself.

I'm due to graduate uni (finally) in a few weeks. I'm pretty scared about venturing into the real word, but I feel like I need to do it. I'm miserable because I've achieved nothing. I mean, I won a national competition last year at uni, and that was great and all, but being good at stuff isn't important to me anymore. I need structure and more than anything I need love, otherwise what's the point?

I'm sorry I've rambled so much here. I'm not even sure if a lot of this has made sense. I'm stopping here because I really need to sleep, but hopefully I've made at least one point that one of you can take solace from...though I feel like I just spoke about myself for most of it.

Thanks for reading if you got this far :)

MoM Of 2 - posted on 05/01/2017

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I have 2 sons Brandon 24 diagnosed with autism at age 2yrs. and our oldest Brett 27yrs diagnosed with high functioning Asperger's at age 7. He has gone to college, got a degree in psychology even though my husband and I asked him constantly to look into computer classes because that is what he liked. THEN when he graduated from college with a Bachelors in Psychology he decided that he wanted to go to a different college and proceeded to get a degree in COMPUTERS! Took him months to find a job because he thought everything was below him but then finally accepted a job that pays a whopping $14 an hour so he doesn't make enough to move out and get his own place.
We walk on eggshells around him because when he blows up he upsets our son Brandon that has full on autism and then he begins to destroy things and self abuse. Brett doesn't care.
I'm so tired of dealing with Brett's tactics of manipulating me and telling me that I love Brandon more than I love him...at this point, he's right. Who would have thought that dealing with a child with full on autism would be easier than dealing with someone with high functioning autism. I'm at my wits end.
Brett also does not have any real friends. Only people he calls friends are some computer gamers that he only talks to online. He's never had a girlfriend...but that's no surprise since he is overweight, eats with his mouth open, hardly brushes his hair and doesn't care that his clothes are wrinkled. Mind you, it's not from lack of teaching....my son with autism has better hygiene than Brett.
I don't know what to do.

Pat - posted on 03/27/2017

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Our son was diagnosed when he was in his late 30's. I'm getting a better understanding how to cope with his behavior through Asperger Experts website.
I, too, am looking forward to networking or finding a group in the Las Vegas, NV area.

Pat - posted on 03/27/2017

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My son is over 40 yrs old, lives in another State, high function and yes, he loves me but finds me the obstacle in his life, especially when he was growing up - until after he graduated from college. While he was in the AirForce, he then started to appreciate me. Continue to love him, though there'll be time you'll hate his behavior - don't mix those two feelings up. How was your Christmas 2016. Good? Whatever ... make 2017 a better year than last year.

Louise - posted on 03/07/2017

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Trisha, Stop comparing your son. A friend once reminded me, they are really doing their best. Enjoy and appreciate all
your talented son is doing.

Wishful1thinking - posted on 03/06/2017

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I knew! My son had something different going on as a toddler! I could see he was brilliant! He could do the math in his head in his head at a grocery store!! I would watch his every move ! I also have a daughter only a year younger and she seemed well ahead! And today still is and social !, where my son! Is not ! Has a couple friends chooses not to go out! Doesn't work!:( which adds stress on me! High IQ ! Feels everything beneath him but, I'm a single parent and I don't get to live a life because my 22 yr old son functions low and amazingly frustrating when my other child says, mom go! Live your life as she goes to college , travels and excels! My son could but wears false confidence and so smart that it holds him down ! Highest form of autism ! Their bright but, lack realistic goals! Ugh! Very hard

Louise - posted on 02/27/2017

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Marsha,

Would love to share thoughts and experiences of my 35 year old son. Ann23660@gmail.com. thanks.

Wishful1thinking - posted on 01/12/2017

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I too like Jane , have a 21 yr old with aspergers! I love him but don't like him! Introverted! Makes life hell most days!:( gets stuck on something and never stops!!! I live isolated because. No matter what good things you do for them or try to help never enough

Marsha - posted on 01/01/2017

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We have undergone the same experience. My son was misdiagnosed because AS was not a diagnosis in the early 90's. He is in his 30's now. Would love to network with some who has had the same experience

Aine - posted on 11/14/2016

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I understand my daughter finds it hard getting out and meeting she is getting therapy for her social anxiety

Aine - posted on 11/14/2016

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My daughter was diagnised at 16 she finds it difficult coming to terms with diagnosis doesnt want to talk about it she is 20 she has no friends very shy late diagnosis has been a huge disadvantage

Firehed69 - posted on 10/28/2016

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Perhaps she doesn't need a therapist but a life coach. AS isn't a mental illness. It's a neurological difference. I try to remember this when my aspie son is driving me beyond the limits of sanity and to celebrate his gifts. Much hope to you.

Lucy - posted on 10/17/2016

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Ask him if he is happy for you to sign him up for some aspie dating websites. May help him.

Lucy - posted on 10/17/2016

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Regarding finding a girlfriend....I have noticed that our son gets on much better with foreigners than with those who's native language is English. I think they miss the subtle things and don't notice the odd intonation or his unusual sense of humour is lost in translation. Perhaps encourage him to try overseas or aspie dating websites to strike up a friendship first. There are some specialist agencies that will chaperone aspie people on first dates and encourage communication if needed. Best of luck.

Lucy - posted on 10/17/2016

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My brother lives in a camphill community where he is loved for who he is. He makes a contribution to the community and has friends there. Outside he was laughed at and had no place of value. There are many camphills throughout the world and may be worth investigating. You are not a bad person for wanting your own freedom and you are right I believe to also recognise that he needs to be with his peers. Check out camphill. Best wishes.

Jo - posted on 09/16/2016

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One thing I have wished for over the years is a social venue for young adults with Aspergers. Ha! That may seem like an oxymoron, but it's because of their difficulty making social contacts that they desperately need a social hub. And not on line, in person! Of course there are as many differing degrees of social ineptness as there are people with Aspergers- just from reading this forum, it's easy to see some are devoutly religious, some college degreed, some have one or two good friends...but one thing I keep hearing is a lack of a significant other. And that bothers parents as much as the individuals.
Here in Minneapolis there are resources for social skills, but only for elementary age and younger kids.
Imagine a place the adult kids could go that offered a variety of participatory groups doing fun and interesting things, and was accepting of different social levels. It could be done.
When I say differing degrees of social ineptness, my son, for example, would not like anything 'social-servicy'; he would go to a place that is cool, however. I picture a place with a small bar and food, round tables for party games, maybe pool/foosball/bowling.
It would, of course, be a great place for Aspergers people to work too.
I know there are at least two other moms on here from Minneapolis with boys my son's age, and this would be a good city for a first location.
Who has the time or money for such an undertaking? Where would funding come from? A first site could determine what works- which activities facilitate the most social interaction, how can individuals be made comfortable enough to join in, will participation here translate to elsewhere?
Any thoughts on this?

Florence - posted on 09/15/2016

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My Aspie son is 19 years old recently graduated from HS, he has chosen not to go to college. I would like to help him be self reliant I think he is capable, however he has no friends and will rarely leave the house. I have asked him to get a job, but he does not seem to be able to leave the house to do this. He refuses to see a therapist. I hired a life/job coach to help him. He met with her twice but is now refusing to work with her. My problem is I work from home in a home office next to his bedroom, as the day goes by I become very irritated that while I am working he is just laying in bed on his phone. When I reach out to family or friends for advice I get two responses - 1, leave him be it is who he is or 2 he needs to get a job. Since he can not seem to leave the house to get a job I have been creating jobs for him. Sometimes he does them and we are good. Other times he refuses and I take away privileges then he gets more defiant and it becomes a war of wills. I am exhausted. I would like to find a support group for parents trying to help their adult children move forward in life.

Alison - posted on 09/14/2016

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My daughter went to college before we had a diagnosis of aspergers. She always had lots of problems with roommates, classmates, teachers but somehow, each year, she had one person who truly believed in her and even seemed to like and appreciate her. And we found that one person is enough. I'm not sure if it's true of all asperger's, but she has an incredible capacity to bounce back. Her grades went from A to F, I was very involved in her classes, even writing a last minute paper on Avant Garde art - she had taken a semester without actually realizing what it was (this was one of the D grades - Iknew what it was but hadn't taken the class and whipped together an essay from the Internet in a lonnnnnn night). So, it was nerve-wracking but she got through and even graduated with honours, thanks to foreign languages.

Tanya - posted on 09/05/2016

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SusanWaak
I have a 20 year old son with Aspergers. I read ur post and thought "thank God im not the only one"
I tried sending my son out on his own and it was a miserable failure.
He recently called me crying because he says he really wants to go to college and it wasnt working out for him on his own. I agreed he could come home because I felt bad to deny him a chance at a college education. But, I just know hes not going to do whats required to pass.
I want my own life too. Its so hectic when hes here and so peaceful when hes not.
College is going to be more work for me than for him. Its going to be arguments, yelling, swearing and refusing to get out of bed and get ready. Im exhausted just thinking about it.
Im so glad Im not the only mother who thinks "i want my own life". I felt so selfish for feeling that way.
Thank you for your post

Susan - posted on 08/20/2016

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I have a son with Asperger's diagnosed at 4 y.o. He is now 28 y.o. And trying to live independently. We, or can I be honest here? It's not we it's I- have worked so hard all this time to try to help my son become an adjusted independent man. He attended a great public school in Minneapolis area with TONS of special services, I've tried to get him to get a drivers license, go to college (because he thought he could do it) take post high school independent living courses with an amazing program, tried to help him get jobs through disability services, ARC and Fraser. I've tried pushing him, backing off and letting him try to handle life his way and I've ended up frustrated and heart broken at every turn. I let him live with me until he was 22 and I just couldn't take it anymore. I want him to be independent and I really believe he could be if he could just catch a break from "normal" people. He has tried getting jobs, no one will hire him because he acts differently. He lives in off campus housing unit that's not just for college kids but most are around his age, and no one wants to room with him because he acts differently. He feels, and so do I, that there's a lot of talk about accepting people for their differences, but when it comes right down to it, that's just bull... If you don't fit in you might as well be garbage. I'm so tired of people hurting his feelings for no reason other than he's different. He isn't mean, he isn't stupid, he isn't even around other people that much because he already feels they don't want to be around him. He is just a young guy trying to live a life. He's not perfect, but who is?
I feel guilty for not wanting to let him just live with me, I don't feel like it would be helpful in the long run, but I feel so bad for him right now I'm tempted to just say, move home. Trouble is, I want a life of my own too...is that so bad??
I just wish that there were more housing options and working options for people like my son. I want him safe and healthy and not feeling like he is so unwanted by society.

Dbrown1299 - posted on 08/06/2016

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All I can say is, I know how you feel. It is hard not to be hurt when your child says cruel and vicious things to you and tells you that they were having a nice day until "you" called.

Dbrown1299 - posted on 08/06/2016

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My son is 31 now and has been diagnosed with Asperberger's. He is mean and nasty to me and it hurts. It is like he deliberately says things to hurt me. He does not want to see me or spend any time with me. He lives in a different city and I see him at Christmas when his brother comes home for the holidays from out of state. Are all Aspie's this mean to their moms?

Pat - posted on 08/04/2016

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Keep loving them, but you don't need to like their behaviors. When the moment is right, when he's calm down - and you,too; then sit next to each other or face each other and TELL him how you felt hurt by ..... Let him know that you will not accept that 'type of behavior' toward you. If he does do it again, tell him again warning him if he does do it again, that you'll got into another room, or whatever you decide is comfortable for yourself to carry out. That's called .... boundaries. Make sure your boundaries have a consequence you can carry out and it has a gate that is open both ways. I hope this helps.

Pat - posted on 08/04/2016

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Dear Alison, I, too, don't think my adult son (40) will ever marry; he's tried on-line dating, gone on dates but it never turns into a long-time relationship. He desires to be married but I believe his odd, awkward behavior prevents a woman from commitment. We are a Christian Family; committed to God's values. I do believe when God matches him up with a kind, thoughtful young woman that he'll make a good husband, will provide financially for her needs and if she has children, their needs, too. That's my prayer.
My son has not fully accepted his diagnosis but is quite aware how it affects his life; he is fully employed. He is learning that he needs an employer that is structure (like government work) and still allows him to be creative. He works alone better, but is supervising 3-4 other employees. That sometimes drive him nutty, but he never complains to me. So far, I haven't heard anything negative from his employees.
My son has a good handful of friends (mostly Christians from different churches that he met while in college); he's very devoted to the friends he has. It's not how many friends one has but how they encourage and motivate each other to grow into maturity. Only his closest two friends know of his asperger.
One of the important part of our relationship... is that we show respect and acceptance of each other, where we're at. I have no big expectations of him; I try to encourage him when he shares a decision he has to make; his life is private - I respect that though I'd like to know more. Sometimes I don't hear from him for weeks; that worries me, but I learn to send text ... "I'm thinking of you, praying you're having a good day." and that's it. When I read an article from the newspaper,etc. that might interest him, I'd cut it out, send it to him with a little note. He lives 2 states away from us.
The other important part of our relationship ... stay in touch, no matter what.
He knows I hurt when he hurts, I'm sad and frustrated when he sad and frustrated ... we both know only God can help us stay strong.
It's important for me to go at his pace, than mine. Sometime, he moves faster than I would ... he does make good decisions, most of the time.
I pray that you'll find a way to communicate with your daughter, to encourage her that she's okay and she's loved. P.S. we adopted our foreign-born son when he was 16 months old, today he's 40 yrs old, soon to be 41.

Alison - posted on 07/21/2016

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I'm the mother of an Asperger daughter, 30 years old. We only had a diagnosis a few years ago. Her education had high point and lots of low points. She went away to university and once again, highs and lows. She barely passed but got a diploma in English teaching. She lived in different cities, always having so many problems with housing, roommates, bosses etc. but was more or less financially independent. Her living conditions were sometimes truly horrible - I found her electric radiator in her bed once because she was cold. After getting fired, she came back home to live after getting a tentative diagnosis of Asperger's. We had a very difficult time finding a competent therapist. She tried many jobs but always had problems because of unpredictable hours, locations, number of students, curriculum - you name it, it was all too unpredictable for her. After a few years of trial and error, she is now enrolled in a training course for something else which we hope will work out. Meanwhile, she lives with us. I find it very difficult - I disagree with her on so many fundamental things (she's an Evangelistic Christian, I'm not, I'm spontaneous, she's definitely not, etc. etc. etc.) Living together is okay but we have to be so careful. It's so easy to say the wrong thing and I find myself avoiding any conversation besides superificial things. Any advice? We consider ourselves lucky because she is quite high functioning and we think will be able to support herself one day. But she hasn't many friends - outside of Evangelistic Christians - and I'm quite sure she won't get married.

Pat - posted on 07/19/2016

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My son and I had many arguments - not loud but disturbing, rejecting looks toward me. I did not trust my emotions with him; so I learned to keep them inward. I'd go over my mind the conversation and look outside myself to check how it looks. I finally realized I can only help him intellectually. In college my son started a debate club, he was good at it ...so, I learned not to debate, I'd not allow him to hook me in ... I'd simply stop talking, look at him and let him know I'm not playing ... he gets it. Then, after a few hours pass, he'd apologize and he'd be forgiven immediately. Our son was 40 years old when he was diagnosed, but he had suspected. Life was not easy ... it almost tore my marriage apart.

Pat - posted on 07/19/2016

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For Erica Sawyer - releasing your son off to college is scary, but more so if he has asperger, like my son had. The college my son first chose was a large college with many activities and students; he deserve it! However, God did not let that happen; instead he attended a small, highly recognized IIT in Chicago where he graduated after 4 years with double major, Computer Science and Math. He liked it and soon was ready to serve in the military. At that time we did not know of his diagnose. I can only encourage you to keep the line of communication open; our son performs well in a structure environment. We gave one thing to do while he was gone ... call home once a week to let us know how you're doing. It worked.

Louise - posted on 07/15/2016

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Can somebody advise how I could communicate with my son without him assuming I am trying to belittle him. It always ends up in a nasty argument.

Julie - posted on 07/13/2016

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My son came to me stating he believes he has Aspergers....my initial response "you're fine". A few days later in a moment of silence something told me to look it up. My son shows every sign of Aspergers. It explained so much! Why is my 21 year old son immature, has had no girlfriend, no close friends just acquaintances he sees 1or 2 times a year, he has problems in social events, avoids conversations, empty look in his eyes some days, can't get through a interview, graduated hs with the help of an iep and me, failed college, was denied by the military, is medicated for severe anxiety, has problems with non routine smells, noises are frustrating, certain fabrics bother his skin, obsession on politics and video games......the list goes on. He gets his psych evaluation on the 19th and hope therapy goes well. My son does work full time which he's held for over a year(my husbands friend gave him the job) he lives in our renovated garage and pays rent. He's very loyal on these two situations. However my biggest concern, is I don't want my son to be lonely. He has a close relationship with me and his grandmother but we won't live forever 😢 He such a kind good hearted young man and would thrive on relationships if he could be taught how to build them. Any advice would be so appreciated.

Louise - posted on 07/13/2016

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I'm a new member too. 34 years have passed by knowing my son was different untill a friend introduced me to ASD. Hope to find help here to cope with the situation and boy! it is a relief to know there are many moms with the same problem out there.

Erica - posted on 07/11/2016

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Hi. I'm a new member. I would like to know if any of your kids have gone to college and if so, how was that experience for your child. My son is 17 and about to start college and I am terrified!

Pat - posted on 05/18/2016

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Rose, I don't know the pain you're enduring; but please know, it's not your fault. The thoughts that in your son's head (and in my son, too) are not normal and because of their high intelligence we can become intimidated and sometimes manipulated by their good intentions.
To survive, I have stopped trying to identify myself as part of who he is. I live as a Christian, know that God loves him and He is watching over him, wherever he is. I am available when he stops and realizes he needs someone to talk with. Shamefully, when he calls, my guards come up ... I am cautions in how I speak, encouraging him to get help - by asking him when was the last time he saw a doctor, is he taking his medication ... of course, in a gentle manner of concern. Sometime we converse, sometime it's a one way street, where I'm doing most of the talking. But, if that reassures him that I care, then it's fine with me. Keep loving him, keep the line of communication open.

Pat - posted on 05/18/2016

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When MT was growing up, I didn't know that he had Asperger; today he is 40 yrs old. From childhood to adulthood, I set boundaries. He knew what the consequences was if he stepped over ... which he did many times. I even asked him to set consequences, which he did with delight. Of course, those had to be approved by me. It was not easy but God gave me the strength to stay one step ahead of him. Today, as AS adult,he his highly functional, financial independent, but lonely because of his social awkwardness; though he does have wonderful friends, both males and females.

Pat - posted on 05/18/2016

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My adopted adult son (40) is highly functional Govt employee that has been recently diagnosed by the VA Medical of having Asperger. He is financially independent but struggles with relationships, especially in seeking a wife. He has many woman friends that are married or divorced; I guess they find him safe.
Recently, because of his chronic depression, he has been talking of taking his life. That kind of talk bothers me and he has promised that he'll not take his life until after I'm gone. As Christian, we are not afraid of the life after.
This year, I'll be 70 and I want to know how to help him. Our relationship from the beginning has been strained; I never knew why he behaved as he did; others didn't either. But, now we know - what a relief. I've become more compassionate, less judgemental and eager to support him in whatever he decides.
He is a fine lonely man, who desire to find a loving companion and be in a family. I am praying that God will provide now that he's been diagnosed. Pray also that he'll accept his diagnosed and move on.

Jo - posted on 05/11/2016

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Hello again moms(I last posted 2/23/16),
Well, dare I offer a glimmer of hope?
My son is 28, and hadn't worked for 2 1/2 years. We had left him to his own devices in a townhouse when we retired to Florida, albeit with frequent visits to help, and with total financial support.
He decided to get a job, sent out resumes- which was difficult and required some schmoozing since he hadn't worked in so long- and he got himself a job at a restraunt.
He has been working over 2 months now, and is doing great. I helped get him set up with plenty of work clothes, stayed there (at the townhouse) while he got started.
He was thrilled at first; he really needed a boost in self confidence. Now he realizes working full time can be drudgery, but he is still at it.
One thing I want to point out is that, although my son was not motivated to do anything around the house, at his job he works very hard. He has always been extremely polite to strangers, and that is a great quality to have at his job. They have trained him in as host, but he also serves and wait assists. His boss even brought to his attention a google review on the restraunt that mentioned my son by name, saying his service and knowledge of the menu was "spot on"!
Unfortunately, the restraunt is having some financial difficulties, and my son may be out of work again soon( I have to watch they don't short him on paycheck so if that happens, because he can be taken advantage of in that way).
Oh, of course everything is not 'fixed', but, damn, I've been sleeping like a baby for the first time in years!
So what I'm saying to you is this: remember our kids are slow to mature. My son never liked being told what to do, either. This was a decision he made on his own, without any parental pressure.
All I want is for him to be happy, and I think he has made some steps on his own to get there.
Addendum 6/30/16
Things continue to go well for my son. He has changed jobs- the restaurant he was working at bounced several of his paychecks, so I knew it was time to get out of there. A relative was able to help him get a job at a bar. Even though the new job was a sure deal, it was difficult to persuade him to leave the old job, I think because he had felt success there, and also because of some naïveté regarding his shyster boss. Of course my son's reluctance to do what I suggested came into play as well.
New job is going well. His dad and I continue to be happily surprised by very favorable evaluations of his performance,e.g. "Great work ethic- who found this guy?".
In thinking about this, I realized it does make sense...one thing I have always known about my son is that he has a will of iron. How else could he have stood so strong against all I have tried to get him to do for so long? I always thought that if could somehow harness that will to do good for himself, it would be a beautiful thing.
So what did it- what accounted for the change?
Was it me biting my lip when I thought to criticize? Was it leaving him to his own devices but with financial help? Was it simply a late-arriving maturity? I don't know.
But he is 'on his own side' now.

Cathy Sue - posted on 04/25/2016

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So sorry to hear that you feel the same dread that I feel about my son. As a parent, we feel guilty for having these feelings but we can't help it. We deserve to have a life with some peace but living with AS is so hard. I don't have any answers to help but I want you to know that someone cares about you.

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