Trudy - posted on 01/11/2014 ( 2 moms have responded )
I am so happy to have found Circle of Moms! I have been reading your posts, and have found so much in common with so many of you, both in what some of you are experiencing with your younger children and in those posted about your life with adult children with Asperger's.
I am embarrassed to say that I have only considered Brian having Asperger's in the past week after seeing a program on TV about it, and since then I've been reading and researching non-stop. I think I can see Brian clearly in everything that I am reading, and it is surprising that he has not been diagnosed before now if he has it, but Asperger's was not really being diagnosed often until 1994, I believe, so that may explain a lot.
I started to write Brian's life history, but erased it, because I'm sure it is so much like so many of your stories, problems with crowds, trouble making friends, learning to speak in sentences before he was walking, sensitivity to noise, physical clumsiness, ADD, difficulties in school with peers and with academic success, although he tested as gifted, he could not get his work done, loner, unable to keep jobs, always fired and never understanding why he was let go, unable to understand social cues, anger issues, impulsiveness, and so on. It has been very hard for him to see his sister living her life to the fullest, lots of friends, always top of her class, scholarships to the best schools, employed right out of university and married with two beautiful kids (who he relates to more than anyone in the world.).
Brian thinks the world is a very unfriendly place. He is depressed (has been on meds for this and ADD for at least 8 years), has been unemployed for the past two years and is living in our basement (which is a horrible mess.) He showers only when he must go out, if has to go to therapy which we finally set up for him for months ago and pay for, or for an occasional trip to the grocery store. He prefers to go to the store if we make him very late at night when there are as few people as possible. He comes up to make food during the day with cat hair fuzz in his beard, wearing the same clothes he has worn and slept in for days. He plays computer games in the basement most of the time, and prefers to come up to eat when we are asleep so that he won't have to talk to us if possible. We do have some rules for him to contribute to the household and have make attempts to get him out with us, but he would prefer to be downstairs gaming.
Brian has had problems with his anger since he was very little, and often when you try to talk to him about his problems feels they are private and that we are intruding on personal territory. His mental health should be between his and his therapist alone. I know his self-esteem is at rock bottom, and this also fuels his anger. I am afraid that suggesting Asperger's be totally blown off by him and he will not look at it because of fear that it means he is even more defective than he already feels. I have read so much that I would preface the discussion with about the strengths that people with Asperger's also have, but I'm afraid that he will just see the negatives and become angry at even the suggestion that researching this possibility could be helpful to him. Any advice for anyone who's been in this situation or who has ideas would be so welcome!