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.

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Lisa - posted on 01/30/2014

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Hi, This is my first time writing. My son is 23. Never actually diagnosed with aspergers but recently have come to believe he does. He was always different; like to be left alone, no affection, poor hygiene. This is all new to me and very frightening. I would love to talk with you and other moms.
Lisa

Nancy - posted on 01/23/2014

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Hello, I have a 27 year old son with Aspergers' and OCD.
I would enjoy chatting with you and can be reached by email at
nancy.cooper@rogers.com
All the best
Nancy

Chyrel - posted on 01/13/2014

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Rage isn't the word but yes I do know what you speek of. Like I said in my introduction I walk on egg shells all the time. He can say what ever to me and hurt me but if I say one word he is so willing to write me off. I feel for you I really do.

Andrea - posted on 01/12/2014

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I have just joined this board and can identify so much with your letter. Our daughter is 27 and was diagnosed with Asperger's at 20, along with anxiety and
depression (that can go hand and hand with Asperger's). She is a brillant young woman, was in grad school for physics but it has been a rough road these last few years. She has presently taken a leave from school. She is presently living a few hundred miles from us receiving treatment for an eating disorder.....there have been improvements. I wish you well.

Doria - posted on 01/09/2014

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I am hoping to get some support, advice, and understanding, because I am frustrated and don't know what to do with my adult son with aspergers. My son was diagnosed in high school with Aspie's. He is now 18 and has graduated from high school. While in high school he seemed to make progress, he was working with a specialist in the school system who insisted that he would be ready for college and would do very well. She insisted that he should go into teaching, because he would do well. We are now on the other side of his first term in school. He was very secretive about school, until we got his grades. It seems we were dropping him off (because he refuses to drive, has no interest in it really) to class and he wasn't attending one class and barely passed the other 2. He is now on academic probation (at a community college) with a 1.7 gpa. He has a part time job at McDonald's, that we pushed him to get...he seems to like it and goes every day.
My problem with him, is that I don't know what to do with him. While everyone else his age is growing up and living their lives, my son is content to do absolutely nothing. He has no interests other than video games. He has no friends. He doesn't drive. He doesn't seem to care much about anything or anyone. Everyday we have to remind him to do the same things, chores hygiene, etc. It is frustrating. At the moment, I am not sure that college is the right place for him. I feel like we are wasting our time on school. I have read about trade schools, but the problem is that he has no interest in anything, so what direction do we push him in? He doesn't do anything unless we push, and even then there is resistance. I am frustrated beyond belief, because I am worried for his future. I don't think he is capable of ever living on his own or taking care of himself. I am worried that he will never be about to hold a real job, finish school, get married, or live a fairly normal life. Has anyone ever sent their child to a special school that teaches them how to function? Is there therapy available to help them grow up? I am new to this game and not sure where to turn for help and not sure what to do to help him. At the moment, my husband and I are just banging our heads against the wall trying to figure out what to do with him and what is best for him. Please if anyone can help us, I would appreciate it! I don't want to give up on my son, but I don't know what to do for him from this point on.

Gaye - posted on 01/05/2014

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This is sooooo similar to my 26 year old daughter! Not diagnosed but I'm quite certain now that she has Aspergers. Throw into the mix a 3 year old grandson and drug use! Ahhh, she is soooo difficult to deal with I dont know what to do. I have suggested Aspergers to her expecting a negative response but she actually said she knows she's different and it would be nice to understand herself better. The trouble is, she would never get herself organised enought to follow through on steps to diagnoses.

Rosann - posted on 12/23/2013

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I do I am new to the site and see old posts hope for some responses I feel so alone

Rosann - posted on 12/23/2013

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wow your story sounds very close to mind, it is my step daughter. My second marriage. I have 3 wonderful loving children. My husband is also a wonderful father and she treats him horrible, but loves mommy dearest and they fight like crazy. Mom probably also has aspbergers from what I hear and see of her. It is the battle of your life. My husband has a 28 year old son who is disabled from a genetic syndrome from his mother. She walked out on the family moving from man to man which pushed his daughter over one cliff, the kids always lived with him. Would be glad to chat

Rosann - posted on 12/23/2013

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As an adult she would find an obscession and he is it. We have that with our 30 year old and it is a terrible situation she is horrible to him and he takes it. They love you but this obscession OCD gets in the way. You put your heart and soul into raising a child with mental illness its ok to feel sad but understand where this is coming from also. Pray it is a healthy relationship for her and she finds peace, then she may turn back to you. I do not see a light at the end of the tunnel for us.

Rosann - posted on 12/23/2013

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would love your perspective on things for my son in law who is married to my step daughter and this is so volitile we called the police the other day. It is she who does the hitting and he has become her parent and enabler. I feel the marriage which was the result of a child (who has passed from a genetic disorder) is keeping her from getting the help she needs. He is her crutch and will soon be deployed again. I want to help him an her.

Rosann - posted on 12/23/2013

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I feel my step daughter may be close to sleeping in a truck next to your son, we are so frightened. She is 30 and out of state, the rage and emotional disconnect the verbal abuse, filthy mouth become intolerable. She has alienated every relative she has put herself in a position of being alone within her cold heart and trouble mind. Would love to chat.

Rosann - posted on 12/23/2013

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I am desperate to find moms of an aspergers adult child. we are struggling so hard with how to deal with things. She is 30 out of state so HIPPA has crushed the spirit of many parents. Her doctor is great but we all have limits she is an adult (I don't agree age should play apart in this). Mental illness is sad so sad we are all helpless in this battle and government rules don't allow us to make sure they get help. I am sure this is not what God intended.

Rosann - posted on 12/23/2013

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I don't have answers but questions also, would love to chat and be some support to someone also struggling with this

Rosann - posted on 12/23/2013

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I would love to connect, my 30 year old daughter was just diagosed and we are terrified for her, her rage and emotional disconnect is scary.

Rosann - posted on 12/23/2013

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I would love to chat, my 30 year old step daughter has just been diagnosised, her rage is unbearable.

Rosann - posted on 12/21/2013

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My step daughter now 30 has just been given this as a diagnosis. The only reason she is on her own is because she was in the military. Her rage is the worst to deal with, she got pregnant he married her the infant just passed from another herditary genetic disorder on her mom's side, the marriage is just full of rage. We do not know how to deal wih these phone calls. We are in Wisconsin, she in Virginia, her mother Maine. the last 3 days calls regarding he is choking me, beating me, etc etc which we know is not true, she wants a divorce yet when he tries to leave the house she won't let him she blocks the door, she is obsecessed with hating his mother she sees them as enemy. Do you have rage issues, obscessions??? would love to talk to someone else.

Monica - posted on 12/09/2013

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My daughter is 18, she has been dx with ADHD with Asperger tendencies. She graduated from high school last year and has just finished her first semester of college. Every single day was a struggle and out of 5 classes she only passed 1. Even computers, which is a subject she loves, she failed. She will not drive and rarely wants to leave her room or wants to leave the house. Simple, daily routines are a chore now that she is out of high school and that every day routine that we worked 12 years to develop. I know she cannot go out into the world and work a regular 9-5 job, her anxiety would never allow that. I was hoping that during college she would find something (anything) that she loved to do and we would go from there as far as a future. But that seems to be a bust. I have accepted that she is her own person and love her for that. But I do want her to be a productive member in society, not lay in her bed and play on the computer all day and night, locked away from the world. But how do I get to that place without crushing her spirit? I just want to know that I have done all that I can for her and if I have and she is going to live with me forever and never be able to work outside of our home, then I am ok with that and can accept that. But if there is a chance that something out there can help her to be all that she WANTS to be then I want to find it for her. But I feel I am starting late in the game and I don't know where to begin...any help or suggestions would be great. God bless you all and your children.

Michelle - posted on 11/22/2013

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I would love to connect! My daughter is 19. She was diagnosed as an early teen. I am looking also to find other parents of older AS children/adult children, as I am struggling a bit with pushing or accepting....encouraging her to do things that make her have anxiety, like driving, or just accept that she will not be a driver.

Catherine - posted on 11/19/2013

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When my son was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome only a few years back, after his two daughters were diagnosed with pervasive developmental delay, it was both a blessing and a curse. It was a blessing because I finally had validation that everything that seemed to go wrong wasn't because I had been a bad mother. I cannot tell you how many conversations I had over the years asking me what my husband and I were doing so wrong that my child acted the way he did. No one ever seemed to have advice that worked, but they had plenty of advice that didn't. When I would try something a professional suggested and it failed, the response I go was, "You're a smart person--figure it out." It's a curse because despite his exceptional intellect, there are things my son will never quite get, no matter how old he gets. That knowledge scares the devil out of me. He is thirty eight years old, and his father and I still find us in circumstances where we have to rescue him. We are not going to be around forever. The reality is that we are enabling him to be who he is, but how do you let go when you know that at least some of what happens isn't his fault.

Raisa - posted on 11/17/2013

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lovely comment. we are struggling badly with our adult so -- no job, lives at home, hard to talk to...

Raisa - posted on 11/17/2013

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I have a 32 year old son. we have never gotten any helpful advice. things remain as they are year in and year out. Wish I could help.

Raisa - posted on 11/17/2013

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we feel very hopeless -- our adult son is unemployed, has no idea what he wants to do, has no money, lives with us. our marriage is being strained. we need help.

Raisa - posted on 11/17/2013

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this really hit home. our son, 32, is unemployed, lives at home, seems apathetic. how did your daughter find a roomate, place of her own without income. do you support her?

Betty - posted on 11/02/2013

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Hi my grandson is a loner on the computer with no social outside friends. He is very clean and follow instructions very well. At this time he have 2 jobs, because he doesn't want to go back and study. He is 25 years old and very handsome. I would love to see him on a date with someone that can understand him.

Maryann - posted on 10/28/2013

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I can relate, my grandson has been hurt a lot growing up, but you know I have never seen him cry. He is very picky about what food he eats. And right now we are having a problem with his hygiene because his parents didn't care about him. He had no guidance till now.

Mary - posted on 09/29/2013

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I can surely relate to Suzanne when she wrote about the disconnect between her son's outward feelings and the way he truely feels on the inside. This is a difficult one, and my son is e same way. It has been a struggle to imagine my son feels anything as he is so flat in affect and seems so cold about so many emotional things. I have to stop myself and remember he does have feelings (very deep ones, I have learned over the years), and not react to,his cold exterior. He is working on developing "charisma". Poor kid, it is such a difficult road... Thankfully his energies are channeled into some positive ways. It doesn't help that the world has little patience/understanding of his struggles. Thank you all for your stories. They are helpful in knowing I am not alone in my struggle as a Mom with an adult Aspie.

Stephanie - posted on 09/29/2013

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Get a pro bono lawyer (free) to fight for his SSI. Try a Legal Aide group in your area.

Suzanne - posted on 09/28/2013

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The lack of eye contact really diminished my college graduate son's chance for securing the jobs he wanted. I prepped him on ways to make eye contact. He did get. great job last month, but was just called in the boss's office to hear he was being fired for a lack of interest in units work. He has told me daily how muchhce loves what he is doing. This is the classic disconnect between what he thinks he is projecting and what the boss perceives. Any helpful advice?

Suzanne - posted on 09/28/2013

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It is so heart breaking for the mother. I have similar situation. Brilliant son, graduated from university, finally got a job he loves. Boss called him in office to say he was letting him go because he obviously was disinterested in work. Son is crushed. he loves the work. Makes small talk. Gets work done. of course it is the absolute disconnect between outward behavior and his true feelings. He told boss he loves the job and was told they will watch him for a while and make a decision. He is despondent. Any advice?

Elaine - posted on 09/17/2013

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My son will soon be 32 and has never been formally diagnosed as an Aspie, but after much reading, study and consultation, I believe he is. As a child he was somewhat ADHD, and while he was extraordinarily outgoing when around his cousins, younger siblings etc., he would become very shy at school, cubs, church, etc. I don't think that I comprehended the degree of his shyness, as shyness was evident in both his dads' and my families and we all adjusted and overcame much of it with age. My son at 19 however was then diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and Social Anxiety, which I at first agreed with. Even finding a correct diagnosis can be difficult!
It has been a long journey. My son did well in secondary school, is incredibly articulate when he wants to, however becomes mute in most social situations. He did obtain a diploma and has great skills in two careers. However he is not able to make eye contact, has poor social skills and has not been able to keep a job for more than a few short months. He was such a passionate child, even exuberant, and while he learned social skills, they all seem to have diminished by the time he was 19. Right now he is living in his truck somewhere out of town, is not on meds and has no regular income. My sons' father also, I believe, has higher functioning Aspie qualities and Borderline Personality Disorder. They both have very difficult personalities...and temperaments, and my children's ' father and I finally divorced when my son was 13. I fought depression and chronic fatigue through this, but have recovered quite well overall. Nevertheless through this past 13 years, I have cried rivers of tears, especially in the first few years. My two younger adult kids want nothing to do with their brother because of all his put downs and insults, and desire very limited contact with their dad as well. My Aspie son also wants nothing to do with me, despite all my efforts to support him. Responses to any e-mails are vulgar and angry. Finally, I realized that I have a responsibility to take care of myself as well, for my own and my families sake. Life has not been able to revolve just around my eldest son and it can feel saddening to move on, knowing his situation. Sometimes I feel like I must have let him down somehow, somewhere...and yet I know that I gave all I possibly could have at the time. It seemed that after my son left for university and left home he started to slip further away, getting contentious with my second husband, his sibling and myself. I still reach out, tell him I love him and would help if he would allow me to. However I also do not want to be taken advantage of, and would want him on his meds, which he is not wanting to do. I know that I would not accept any abuse from him.
Thankfully many other aspects of life have proceeded well. I became a grandmother recently and am overjoyed! I love my children, my step-children, my friends, my husband :) and much else in life. I also still love my Aspie son and send him prayers, send e-mails and still hope that better days may come. That is all I can do, for life goes on whatever circumstances we find ourselves in. Sometimes we need to detach a bit to cope, and we still need to care for ourselves in the process. Blessings to each of you on this journey for each of you are angels in my eyes.

Kim - posted on 08/28/2013

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I had the same issue with my husband, who because of his lack of compassion and understanding is now my ex-husband. Being that you are obviously not getting any support from him, you need to look elsewhere becasue it's important. This is a good place to start.

Kim - posted on 08/28/2013

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I am going through the same thing. My 22 year old Aspie daughter lives at home. It will be nice to have someone who understands what I am going through.

Ardeth - posted on 07/22/2013

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I've just signed up and wonder if anyone else has a son in their fifties. I have just thrown my son out of my public senior's housing apartment for the umpteenth time. When He was young, I never heard of AS and there is no doubt that is what it always was. He admits it some of the time but won't go for testing. I am sooo poor, his dad is dead and everyone is tired of listening to me. I let him push my buttons although I know better and suffer guilt after one of our blow-ups. Glad to have found you.

Mary - posted on 07/20/2013

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Hi, Just signed up for this chat. I have a 21 yr old son living at home. He has pdd/asperger syndrome. It is frustrating to deal with his moods etc.
Joining up just to chat and looking for emotional support from understanding others.

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.

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.

Vicki - posted on 07/11/2013

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Our daughter is 19. I had to fight the school district for years to have her tested for ADD. Even though her 5th grade teacher told me she had ADD and I should put her on Ritalin. I had her tested privately and indeed she had ADD and depression. But she was so immature, socially awkward, had no friends I didn 't know what to do. At first I thought she was socially awkward because she had open heart surgery at a young age and couldn't be around lots of people and her social side was never nurtured. Last summer she was depressed because her best friend turned away from her and she was devastated. She said she wanted to kill herself and in the process she was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder which didn't sit right with us. She wasn't overly emotional, not sexually promiscuous or doing lots of drugs or alcohol. I was seeing a parent trainer who told me Sarah had Asperger's! I have read so much and it appears it is the correct diagnosis. Who can help me to help her? Like so many other posts I have been reading Sarah is intelligent, a gifted artist and photographer. She has been in and out of college, without a degree. Atthe present time she is working for Good Will going through donated items to be sold in the stores. Am I wanting too much for her? I just need some experienced guidance. Thank you

Donna - posted on 07/05/2013

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I have a 23 year old Aspie daughter. We have been trying to make our way but it has been difficult. She is a brilliant young woman now in graduate school but she takes no pleasure in her accomplishments. She is crippled by anxiety and low self esteem. Although she graduated with honors from a prestigious undergraduate school, she has made no friends and is mostly holed up in a one-room apartment for long periods of time. I worry about her constantly. Sometimes she appears functional and other times I am frightened she will never get beyond this point. Her grades n school are excellent but she never seems particularly excited or engaged in the work. Mostly she is just alone and on the internet.

Janie - posted on 06/30/2013

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My Jennie has been a standout in sports and academics. She is now 27 and has no skills with the opposite sex. She was not able to do the teaching job she trained for at college. She is in hospitality, bartending and waitressing. She can pay her bills and live on her own. Her frustration is from not connecting to a male, ever. She is attractive and gets the attention of nice men, but she cannot engage in any meaningful dialogue or direction.

I get so frustrated as she is going to be a bridesmaid for the fifth time. She is beaten down and we do role playing, but nothing works. She has a high dollar psychiatrist, but that has not helped either. Help

Janie - posted on 06/30/2013

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I would love some hints on how to guide my daughter. She is so functional and hardworking, but has so many problems in relationships. She does not have the tools to navigate a connection with a man. She gets close to a match, but then she freezes and is at a lack for words, emotions or direction. She is 36.

Rachael - posted on 05/22/2013

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Hi, I'm looking to vent to parents who might understand. My son is 17 yrs old, a senior in high school. Incredibly smart, photographic memory AND failing school because he isn't doing and/or turning in his homework. He knows he won't graduate if he doesn't pass most of his classes and he just shrugs and says he doesn't know why he doesn't turn it in. We've tried everything that I know of. Home schooled junior year to allow more flexibility and compassion. He wanted to go back his senior year. We haven't even entertained the idea of college. What the heck is the disconnect between, homework, grades and graduating? Can anyone shed some light on this? Has anyone else had a similar experience. My husband, son and I were all in tears about his tonight.

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 !

Samantha - posted on 05/17/2013

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Im in the same boat....i'm so frustrated and just need someone to talk to...

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