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18 yr. old just diagnosed with Asperger's

Posted by on Jun. 21, 2014 at 5:00 PM
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I have a son that turned 18 yesterday and my concerns of Asperger's have recently been confirmed by his therapist.  My family & I have suspected for years but circumstances prevented me from being able to fully explore this.  He is seeing a psychiatrist for anxiety & depression and has been treated for ADD in the past and is currently seeing a counselor for teenage-life issues who finally confirmed to me she believed it was Asperger's.  He must be somewhat mild because his psychiatrist (who doesn't think it is Asperger's) points out that he has good eye contact.  Still, he has so many other characteristics that I am convinced.  He is extremely immature, doesn't seem to recognize when others are ready for him to stop talking (although he will say he talks too much and gets down on himself but can't seem to stop talking), speaks in a monotone voice, takes breath between words and between syllables sometimes, extremely intelligent and knowledgeable so he blurts out answers and information in class leaving the teacher exasperated and other students annoyed with him.  "Shut up Jesse - nobody likes you!"  When he is around others, his comments are oftentimes off-the-wall and difficult for other people to get him.  At a young age (before he even started school), he was tested by the school district (I can't remember what event led to this) and they said his 35-word sentence was high for his age.  When he is interested in a subject, it dominates his thoughts sometimes.  It used to be dinosaurs, now it's a band.  But whatever he is interested in at that time, he gets carried away with it.  And he knows every movie, actor, movie line, etc. and has for years.  I don't know if movies are his escape from reality.  Also now it's the rapper Eminem and his lyrics and what they really mean.  He is a horrible procrastinator.  He was an Advanced Placement student who took dual-credit college classes the fall semester of his senior year (which he failed miserably) because he kept putting off the work.  By the end of his senior year, he was failing 5 classes but brought every one of them up to B's and C's in the last six weeks.  It was such a stressful year for me.  He graduated 2 weeks ago and turned 18 yesterday.  I was hoping maturity would be on his side but after our visit to the junior college campus this week, I don't know that he'll ever be any different.  He likes to hang on me & push my buttons but he says he doesn't act that way around his friends (he's never really had friends until the last few months of his senior year).  His dad & I are divorced.  His dad is also frustrated with Jesse but in a way feeds Jesse's behaviors because he is the same way and it has taken me a while to realize that I also suspect some type of Asperger's in him.  He can't stop talking and alienates everyone - he will follow someone around and talk even when that person is annoyed.  He seems to be clueless.  They are two peas in a pod and I get so frustrated because I can't relate to them.  Now I'm the bad guy and Jesse wants to be at his Dad's house more than mine because I no longer know how to parent Jesse at this age.  He's not a child and I can't get him to grow up.  I don't know how to help him and his dad is no help.  To be honest, spending time with him has become a chore for me.  He is so taxing.  He's 6 feet of little boy but now that he's 18, he is rebeling and lashing out at me because I don't want him hanging on me in church or swinging me around at the mall or talking about movies all of the time.  I want to have an adult relationship with him and he just thinks I'm a grumpy, stressed old lady.  I feel like a horrible mother.  Help.

by on Jun. 21, 2014 at 5:00 PM
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dmsfr
by Group Owner & PITA on Jun. 21, 2014 at 6:12 PM

Mine is 16, so I sympathize with the need for your guy to mature. Mine is still watching power rangers and God forbid you talk to him when power rangers is on TV.

The eye contact is a crock. I taught mine eye contact. I hate when psychologists and psychiatrists use that as a marker. There is eye contact that is "normal" and then there is atypical. The contact is still there but it is either forced or prolonged or they don't blink for long perids.

Have you called DDS to see if there are any groups that he could join? Also if you google Autism Resource Spectrum and your city/state, the local branch should come up. They may have social skills groups or job training groups that he can join. Maybe if he has something that he can do during the day with other people his age and like him, it won't be as difficult.They may also have info on supervised apartments that he could live in and then visit you and your ex on the weekends. It might foster some independence for him.

Does your guy want to go to college? Mine is bent on going. There are a few that have wrap around services for spectrum kids.


If I'm off the mark, let me know. I can see what other resources are out there for you.

Jessejtsmom
by New Member on Jun. 22, 2014 at 2:22 PM

Thanks dmsfr.  My son doesn't know about the Asperger's.  I wanted confirmation but I'm afraid to say anything.  He already has low self-esteem and he's a worrier.  Is it better they be oblivious or that they know so they can deal with it?  He has a tendency to look at the glass half empty so I don't know how well he would accept it.  Plus, his living situation at his dad's is not a positive thing.  Long story.  I just don't know.  But he has recently asked me twice what Asperger's was - out of the clear blue.  I just told him that sometimes the kids have social issues, etc.  He knows he has social issues but he didn't correlate the two at all.  He just dismissed it as if I had answered him with the time - "oh, ok".

dmsfr
by Group Owner & PITA on Jun. 22, 2014 at 3:41 PM

I'm wondering if he is asking brcause hr has looked it up himself. He may know something is different and is looking for answers on his own. Have you ever asked him why he is asking? My son is a researcher and has looked up solutions to most of his own issues. There are plenty of aspie community websites out there for teens where they can talk to others like them and figure out how others are coping.

So would DDS be an option for him? They could help him with a supervised apartment or job training. Then he wouldn't be at dad's.

A_McCool
by New Member on Jun. 23, 2014 at 1:08 AM

As an adult with Aspergers, I would say that it is better to know.  I wasn't diagnosed until a year ago, and I spent far too much of my life trying to figure out what was wrong with me. Why I couldn't function like everyone else. Why other people seemed to be able to do things rather easily that I just couldn't do. I've learned more about myself in that last year than I did the previous 27.


Quoting Jessejtsmom:

Thanks dmsfr.  My son doesn't know about the Asperger's.  I wanted confirmation but I'm afraid to say anything.  He already has low self-esteem and he's a worrier.  Is it better they be oblivious or that they know so they can deal with it?  He has a tendency to look at the glass half empty so I don't know how well he would accept it.  Plus, his living situation at his dad's is not a positive thing.  Long story.  I just don't know.  But he has recently asked me twice what Asperger's was - out of the clear blue.  I just told him that sometimes the kids have social issues, etc.  He knows he has social issues but he didn't correlate the two at all.  He just dismissed it as if I had answered him with the time - "oh, ok".


CandyMoon
by Member on Jun. 25, 2014 at 1:09 AM

My son is 15 and I worry about things like if he will ever be able to live on his own, or have a girlfriend. He is very dependent on me so I can't help wondering what he will be like as an adult. 

nancylynn
by Admin Nancy on Jun. 26, 2014 at 8:25 PM

My aspie daughter never had a problem with eye contact (and I never had to teach her to make eye contact), but she has all of the other qualities of an aspie and I think her Asperger's diagnosis is correct.  I think eye contact is harder for people on the spectrum but I disagree that all people on the spectrum don't have good eye contact or have to be taught to use eye contact.

I also struggle with feelings of frustration about my 17-year-old aspie daughter's imaturity for her age.  I just returned from a vacation with her and my mom and between Shannon's immaturity and rigidity and my mom's old-age frailties, I'm worn to a frazzle!

I think it would be helpful for your son to know his diagnosis.  I've heard from many adult aspies that they were actually relieved to learn there was a reason for their "differentness."

nancylynn
by Admin Nancy on Jun. 26, 2014 at 8:31 PM

http://vimeo.com/93437657

I tried to add a short video that I found but it doesn't seem to want to upload.  It is a very creative take on Aspergers and is only about 4 minutes long.  Maybe you could cut and paste this into your browser and see if it might be helpful for your son to see.

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