How can I be sure my son has AS?

Darla - posted on 06/24/2016 ( 5 moms have responded )

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My 27 year old son is very capable, but he seems unable to make good decisions. He has always held a job (working for us), but since he decided he's not really interested in the family business, he has quit, and hasn't had a job in the 4 months since he left our business. He's always been different, and seems to have an unusual view of things. He's always been very focused on things like video games, almost obsessed. He has his own house, and has been very responsible about things like making mortgage payments, pickup payments, household bills, etc.

When he was a teenager, he had bouts of anger, and although he held it tightly in check, I could always tell it was boiling just beneath the surface. And he really likes to feel sorry for himself. As far as his relationships with girls, he is very charming, and can get any girl, but he can't keep one. The healthier ones (I suspect), get fed up and call him an a$$hole before they dump him. There's no telling what he has said to them, he can be fairly callous. But what he really seems to like is the unhealthy ones - the ones who are vulnerable and need saving. I guess it makes him feel manly. When he was 20, he had a girlfriend who was 15. A horrible idea for obvious reasons. Her mom was divorced from her dad, and she seemed much too dependent on her mom - to the point where the poor girl could hardly function without her mom by her side. This girl is 22 now, and she still has to have her mom with her everywhere she goes.

My son has never been violent or scary, and he is really sweet most of the time. He loves me very much, and isn't afraid to tell me, hug me or kiss me in front of anyone. He says some of the sweetest things. He demonstrates particular kindness and sweetness to his 2 dogs, whom he adores. He just doesn't know or understand how to control his tongue sometimes.

He also has trouble seeing the bigger picture. He is a very talented musician, writes music, and has his own recording studio. He self taught himself how to use all his complicated studio equipment. After he left our business, he spent weeks working on his music, and was so surprised when suddenly he was out of money for a house payment! My husband and I had tried to tell him, but he didn't want to listen. So he never realized that if he worked on his music, and didn't have a job, he would eventually run out of money.

I just can't figure him out. I think if he has AS at all, he must be fairly high functioning, because he can almost make it in life, but not quite. I also have to say that most of the good decisions that he's 'made', my husband and I have made for him. He'll be the first one to tell you that he forgets things easily, but has learned to compensate for that somewhat by writing things down. So, does he have a handicap, or not? I honestly can't tell. It's hard to judge whether he can do better, and just doesn't, OR whether he really is doing the best that he is capable of. I'm afraid to try to get a diagnosis, because he will likely see AS as a defect in himself, and I don't know how to make him understand that there's really not a problem, just something we have to address differently. As soon as he finds out it is related to autism, I'm afraid I'll have lost any hope of helping him.

Thanks for letting me vent. I'm sure I was rambling. I'm open to any suggestions or insight from anyone.

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Dove - posted on 06/30/2016

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You are trying to parent your adult child... and that never works well for anyone. It's not being 'judgemental'... hell, I didn't get my psych diagnoses til I was 35 years old... because 'I' sought them. It is NOT your job to seek psych diagnoses for your adult child.... period. That's not a judgement... it's a fact.

You said you were open to any suggestions or insight, but when presented w/ something that you don't want to hear you whine and leave... good luck then.

Darla - posted on 06/30/2016

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Dove,

Just so you know, the first time I ever heard of AS was six months ago, so I could hardly have gotten a diagnosis for my 27 year old son before he was 18 now, could I? But thank you for your judgemental and condescending attitude, and for your thinly veiled implication that I am not a fit parent.

Also, not that it's any of your business, but we have not supported him since he was 18 years old, and moved out on his own. So according to you, I DID actually do something right. I guess I can pat myself on the back.

I don't know why people in this community feel that they have to be so mean. I thought I was coming here for help, and that this was a SUPPORT network. I never asked for this hostility, I just though maybe someone could shed some light on my situation. Little did I know that by asking, I was painting a bullseye on my forehead. I will be leaving this community for good. God help the next person that asks for support here.

Darla - posted on 06/30/2016

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Jodi,

It must be great to be you. I guess your AS child must have already gotten his/her 'shit' together, therefore freeing you up to be condescending to ME. Not that it's any of your business, but my husband and I made decisions for our son until he became 18, at which point we let him make his own decisions. For your information, we've never swept in to 'tidy up the mess'. He is suffering the consequences of his decisions right now, and we have no intentions of fixing it.

I don't know where your hostility comes from. I was simply asking whether anyone thought my son might or might not have AS. Maybe you have nothing better to do than criticize other people, and hint that their parenting isn't as good as yours. In any case, I regret that I read your comment, and I will quickly disregard it, as well as the other judgemental comment I received. I will be leaving this community now, as I was under the mistaken assumption that there was help and SUPPORT here for people who need it.

Jodi - posted on 06/24/2016

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So, let's say he DOES have AS - if he had a diagnosis, would this then give you reason to excuse his behaviour? Or is it that then you wouldn't feel you parented wrong, because right now you are feeling bad that your 27 year old son is not doing what you expect at this point?

Ultimately it isn't up to YOU to get a diagnosis. It's up to him. The only reason for him to get a diagnosis is as an excuse. After all.....how else would that help him at this stage in his life?

How about he you just let him go so he can learn to get his shit together. It isn't unusual for young adult males to take a while to do that. Let him make the mistakes and learn from them. Do that for a while. It sounds like whenever he makes a mistake, you swoop in to tidy up the mess.....that isn't helping him.

Dove - posted on 06/24/2016

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What does it matter at this point? He is 27 years old... if he is concerned and wants to seek a diagnosis and/or professional help... that is his business. It was your business to seek or not seek a diagnosis when he was under 18. Now what he does w/ his life is up to him. He's been managing somehow this far... so let him. The only time it becomes your problem is if you are financially supporting him... in which case you should have stopped that years ago.

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