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Old 12-20-2016, 05:52 PM
Location: Ypsilanti, MI
2,452 posts, read 3,672,028 times
Reputation: 4835


My wife works, or worked, primarily with autistic children as a Special Ed Para-Pro. Based on the descriptions of her assigned students and their behaviors, comments made by my mother regarding my earliest years, and my memories of my childhood, I came to the conclusion that by today's definitions I would likely have been diagnosed with high functioning autism 55+ years ago.

So here I am as a Licensed Engineer, Masters Degree, married, with two highly intelligent adult children.

Yes, parts of my childhood were a struggle. Taking Dale Carnegie classes in my late 20's was a God Send at helping me squelch my strong introvert tendencies, and an invisible internal quest to be 'normal' and out-going still occurs at times.

Don't assume the worst.
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Old 12-21-2016, 04:22 AM
Location: Ypsilanti, MI
2,452 posts, read 3,672,028 times
Reputation: 4835
A humorous anecdote regarding my childhood.

I grew up in a small village of ~300 people so everyone knew everyone else. We had our own elementary school with about 25 kids per grade level, most coming from the outlying farms. For Jr High and High School all the local students went to a larger town 6 miles away with 250+ students per grade level.

I graduated third in my High School Class (there was a tie for first) and was named Salutatorian in recognition of my class standing. When the local weekly paper announced the Valedictorians and Salutatorian (me), members of my small community who had known me since birth were outraged! They accused the School of playing the PC card (decades before the term was coined) and granting the Salutatorian award to a Special Needs child rather than to its rightful recipient.

Boy, was my Mother mad when she heard this! I laughed it off as just another reason why I never wanted to return to that small town as an adult. And I pretty much haven't.

Your concerns should be on getting your child the correct assistance to break out of their current confines, not on worrying about a potential future early retirement. IMHO - there is a near perfect correlation between the advent of DVD's and other electronic baby sitters with the huge spike in autism cases. Human interaction is needed, not electronic. But my opinion is only that, I am not a specialist in child psychology or child development.
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Old 12-21-2016, 04:16 PM
30,146 posts, read 47,378,519 times
Reputation: 16087
Read interesting book about family w/young son who was autistic--withdrawn, no language skills to speak of
They were kind of free wheeling
Did unusual therapy of taking him to Mongolia and joining the horse culture in rural area
Lived like nomad for year or do
Boy made dramatic progress
Eventually seemed to drop almost every aspect of his autism

Forgot name of book
Read it several years ago but Google likely can find it
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Old 01-03-2017, 05:54 PM
12,825 posts, read 20,157,976 times
Reputation: 10910
Originally Posted by BayAreaHillbilly View Post

I have a family member in your situation but who is approaching 80. She did not do what I suggest here. To her credit, she is setting up a special needs trust, but her retirement planning did not assume a comingled situation. This led to rather unwise choices.

If I were in her shoes, I would have bailed from her current high COL geography and relocated along with her child to somewhere cheaper. I would have bought a duplex and I would have lived in one half and the child in the other half. I would have set it up to have the child rent out the other half upon my passing, or, if not capable of managing it, I would have set up a trusted 3rd party to do that property management piece.

Alas, such advice was not followed. Now, there will be an eventual care challenge unless my relative passes quickly. And, my relatives child, who is already living in Section 8, will have to hack his way through the rest of his life, hoping the special needs trust plus public assistance will suffice.
Update - the above situation is going very badly. I have a feeling this will not end well. The adult child is not adjusting to the new scenario and meanwhile his mother is hitting the initial stages of decline.
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