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Old 08-07-2010, 10:13 AM
Location: Rockville, MD
5 posts, read 34,113 times
Reputation: 19


I'd appreciate help from any parents familiar with a situation like this:

Oldest child is in early 20s and living at home; has previously been diagnosed with mild Asperger's, a range of learning disabilities (primarily relating to auditory processing and social development), and depression. He got through academic track at local high school with a B average but could not handle living away from home and did not make it through freshman year at college.

Since he's returned home, he's taken classes intermittently at local community college, but hasn't accumulated enough credits to consider other alternatives. He tries to avoid the rest of the family as much as possible, sleeps during the day whenever possible, and spends tons of time on his computer. He made a mild effort to find a job this spring but had no success (his personal hygeine is poor and he goes ballistic when anyone encourages him to look neat, brush hair, etc.) He saw a counsellor but she's basically told him there's no point in continuing to meet unless he takes more resopnsibility for scheduling meetings, showing up on time, etc.

I work full-time; my spouse is a stay-at-home parent but has lost patience with oldest child (but is very involved with other children and community work).

If child was not struggling with development issues, Asperger's, etc., it would seem easy to tell him what his choices are at this point (work, school, or door). He is fundamentally a good and kind person, but his depression and anger are starting to overwhelm him.

I think we're all struggling at this point and I'm not sure what the next step should be. Any suggestions would be welcome - to the extent it's relevant, we're in the DC metro area.
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Old 08-07-2010, 03:36 PM
Location: Texas Hill Country
2,371 posts, read 8,326,433 times
Reputation: 749
My guy is a bit younger (10,lol) but perhaps a job or life coach?
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Old 09-05-2010, 03:40 AM
Location: Minnesota
4 posts, read 54,634 times
Reputation: 18
been awhile since your post, how are things going? I hope you don't mind me sharing even if someone else can benefit its worth it.

I am a mother of a 22 year old daughter with Asbergers- ADHD- mentally delayed- OCD. I have seen remarkable changes and would be glad to share , i stopped all negative tv and music (only allow christian rock or rapand christian tv, or any thing educational even wheel of fortune, millionaire reruns etc) bought DVD with positive young adult messages, online- thefifthservice.com is amazing, have a great DVD,watch live sunday nights all young adults christian rock and worship band, all positive

When speaking negative, i come back with the exact opposite with encouragement always, set up rewards for good behavior. Write goals on fridge can be daily and check off, he will feel accomplished,(even as an adult, we all make lists)

When I sense anger(which is fear of something, maybe failing) or rebellion, I speak what i want in positive affirmations and scriptures, go to blueletterbible.org type in a word and scriptures come up, speak the ones that will bring what your looking for, like Peace, Joy (Neh.8:10 the joy of the lord is your strength, ability-You can do all things through Christ which strengthens you- philipians 4, I write them down and ask what time can you pray them to him like 6pm or 7, give 2 choices, i never tell - but ask her to choose.

When you pray put your hand on his head or heart, touch is powerful, Well I have so many more ideas if you want them--- but never stop, it might take a month or more,and don't be surprised if he throws a fit ,mine did at first, I just tell her: it will help you, and do it anyway while she screamed. try it for a month, and do it for yourself too to stay strong, it will make a difference. when i first started with my daughter she screamed and ran . I started with 2 scriptures, then 4 then more. now we're up to an hour and we pray for her friends, the president, and she gets to choose, it calms her for the rest of the day and now begs to do it.
I always reward if i feel it might be a rough day emotionally, we like lemon ice at culvers,set up a reward that he wants and put the goal on the fridge and work up to a daily reward at first then every 3 days then weekly.
There is a great computer training course online that might help him feel accomplished, i bought 2 courses for my daughter one was how to sell books online at amazon($17) and now just bought one on how to be an amazon affiliate, She feels so accomplished, if you want the exact course names I can give the url's. one is $17 one is $47. a job coach will be needed to do either but both have simple data entry- it would be a great for quality time together and a chance for giving alot of praise of how great and smart he is, or for a job coach that he wants to be with, ( I have a job coach 2-3 days week they enter books ISBN #'s) She loves it and loves the college student i hired)It could be a way to make a little money, for more money the affiliate course is better but more involved for the job coach, once set up its easy repetive setting up back links to the amazon products.

Sorry so long, but I feel your pain and any one else who is or will be going through behavior issues, and it took me years to figure out what works, hope it helps,

PS google: special needs dance or community programs in your city, check out( Amys cardinal nest) online to get idea for socializing in your city (its in MN but may help you look for something like it
Whew! I just may write a book
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Old 09-06-2010, 03:24 PM
888 posts, read 2,752,887 times
Reputation: 654
Default Some suggestions

Have you heard of OAR (Organization for Autism Research)?
Organization for Autism Research

what about The ARC of NOVA The Arc of Northern Virginia | Building a Life Like Yours for Individuals with Disabilities

They can be resources to give you the direction you need in the D.C. area. My child is much younger than yours, but I do know our kids can be overwhelming in so many ways.

It sounds like the previous counselor may not have known absolutely squat about asperger's to make the comment she did to your son. You need to find someone that knows the disability and knows your son's innate weaknesses.
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Old 09-12-2010, 07:43 AM
2,564 posts, read 1,182,419 times
Reputation: 347
For depression: Fluoxetine (generic Prozac)
For rage: Abilify (it's a miracle drug, and officially recognized by FDA for Asperger's)

Your son needs a Psychiatrist. He is suffering, and the above meds will alleviate very MUCH of his suffering.

I am not saying it will be a bed of roses and that he will become independent (he may not, mine isn't).
Asperger's is officially recognized (finally) as an Autism Spectrum Disorder (it is not a mental illness, it is a PDD > pervasive developmental disability)
This may be the time for you and spouse and family to seek family counselling to deal with this fact.

There are lots of organizations for Asperger's and Autism families, google Autism Society of America for your local branch. There are also universities that have Centers for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD in Florida's university system). He needs social activities more than anything.

Just so you'll know, my son is graduating with AA from Community College this semester (after his last class). It took 11 years, he took all the Gen Ed courses, minus the Math Requirement which he substituted two classes through their committee (with assistance of Students with Disabilities Office), and the rest were Fine Arts electives . Many courses were repeats due to his withdrawals from the courses. I did not balk if he was doing poorly, I would let him withdraw BEFORE withdrawal deadline and try again. I tried to stand my ground if he was doing well and wanted to withdraw, then I would bribe him I learned that it is the college process that keeps him busy, the goal is not the real issue. After this, he will work for an AS in Graphic Art Design, that will keep him busy, then maybe a BS degree.

Books Temple Grandin (world famous Asperger's woman) writes emphasize that people with Asperger's can be kept busy in college with majors that interest them (in many cases it is the art or computer fields). It is also important for them to build up to a college degree because it is better for their career options (if they are capable of fulltime careers) someday.

As I stated before, my son is dependent, always will be, so he has SSI, Medicaid, FoodStamps, and local AccessLynx (he qualified for front door pickup service.) i have a Durable Power of Attorney on him, and Special Needs Trust. Florida has made it easier with recent laws for parents to do Guardianship Advocacy without a lawyer (still a lot of paperwork, but much cheaper than before.) I am looking into this, I will be having his girlfriend's parents as his guardian should I pass away (she is Asperger's and dependent as well). It is recommended to have three or four backup guardians.

These are all things that you may have to look into someday. I know it is a reality check, so I apologize if I overwhelmed you.

The most urgent matter is to get him to a psychiatrist and get him healthy.
Of course please try to take him to a Psychiatrist experienced with Asperger's and autistic people.

PS the door is not an option for a disabled adult child

Last edited by aspiesmom; 09-12-2010 at 07:56 AM..
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Old 09-16-2010, 04:44 PM
Location: Las Vegas, NV
232 posts, read 575,140 times
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Originally Posted by aspiesmom View Post
PS the door is not an option for a disabled adult child
Don't completely agree with this. My brother lived with my parents into his 30's. He has Asperger's. He admitted to me several times that he knew he had it good by living in their house -- no real chores, no real rent, no real problems, cable TV, food, etc etc. He was very capable of working, and held jobs for a few years at time (when he actually did work). He just wouldn't leave because he knew he had it good. My parents took him to every therapist and specialist they could find, but he would never let anyone get close enough to help him. He became combative and argumentative to the point of exhaustion. They finally had to evict him (after many many years of failed attempts at help). He is living on his own, and although he is struggling, he is doing OK. If they had not taken the course they did, my brother would still be living at home, doing nothing. It was their only option, and I stood behind them 100%.
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Old 09-24-2010, 03:46 PM
Location: Minnesota
4 posts, read 54,634 times
Reputation: 18
in reply to skatergirl, yes i am not a counselor or any trained therapist or doctor, but a mother of a 22 yr old diagnosed with Aspergers Autism, severe ADHD, OCD, BD and mentally retarded

i was offering some new ideas that have worked for me. I too have used many doctors and therapists and medications and taken their ideas and suggestions and discarded the ones that didn't work and kept building on the ones that did.

So by all means if an idea doesn't appeal to you- discard it and move to the next one, it's not necessary to degrade anyone with an idea that has worked, we're here to help each other and were not all the same and won't agree on everything and that's ok. but we can benefit from hearing different views we've never heard of before and just maybe one suggestion from someone can help.

I was a desperate mom, we were told our daughter was the worst case they've seen in 15 years and the county even sent an emergency behavioral intervention therapist to my house and I was willing to give anything try, and i still use some of their techniques.

someone taught me about prayer and the power of divine internention, I applied it and saw results and still use prayer and healing scripture confession today along with the psychiatrist for meds. Its ok if this sounds crazy or doesn't appeal to you, please just skip it and move to the next idea. I needed divine intervention, because nothing else was working.

I did think the Therapy Connections (previously nova care for kids) in MN was the most amazing physical therapy my daughter was in, taught her desensitizing activities and she no longer has issues with brushing her teeth or running around the room uncontrollably (they used weighted blankets and put rocks in a vest pockets to ground her, so that may seem strange too we put rocks in her pockets) it helped to weigh her down a little,and it slowed her down some, but we don't need to do this any more,( these centers are mostly for the younger child.) Highly recommended, they are in other states also. We also do the wheat and dairy free diet, and can tell if she eats alot of sugar or wheat, so still do that.

Please accept my apologies as I never meant to come across as a counselor or medical anything, only a mom that has been through hell and back, i guess i wasn't paying attention to how it might sound because its so rountine with us.
I think we just need to believe the best in each other, especially cause we can identify with the pain and frustrations and dissapointments being apart of a special needs family, so for anyone who is desperate and wants to go down this path, then go for it, otherwise keep searching you will find something to try, just don't give up or stop trying
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Old 09-26-2010, 02:37 PM
Location: So Ca
12,995 posts, read 12,775,329 times
Reputation: 10876
Originally Posted by mimijo View Post
...in reply to skatergirl, yes i am not a counselor or any trained therapist or doctor, but a mother of a 22 yr old diagnosed with Aspergers....So by all means if an idea doesn't appeal to you- discard it and move to the next one....Please accept my apologies as I never meant to come across as a counselor or medical anything, only a mom that has been through hell and back...
I think Skatergirl was referring to the counselor to whom the OP took her son, not to you. Good points otherwise, though.
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Old 09-27-2010, 12:05 AM
Location: Minnesota
4 posts, read 54,634 times
Reputation: 18
CA4Now-thanks for pointing that out, i must of missed it and my apologies to skatergirl of course
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Old 09-27-2010, 06:26 PM
1 posts, read 17,897 times
Reputation: 10
These are supportive and (mostly) well-informed responses to Rockvillain's situation. Something made clear in all the responses is that each person with Asperger's presents with different strengths and characteristics. There are high-to-low IQ's, greater-to-lesser ability to socialize. All need structure and routine, which can be provided by attending college (if IQ permits) as well as behavioral expectations at home. How those expectations are enforced, again, depends on the individual young person. Verbal and visual establishment of expectations (brush teeth, shower, be in class on time, shake hands, whatever) is necessary. Lower IQ may respond well to a visual chart with stars or stickers, higher-functioning adults may respond well to gentle reminders and praise. Each person, though, is so unique, that he or she must have an individual plan for progress.
A good therapist who understands this can help her patient stretch to reach her own expectations-without threat of dismissal, as well as her patient's family. Find someone who understands this individuality, so that other problems (e.g., depression, anxiety) can be addressed as well.
Moderator cut: not allowed

Last edited by SouthernBelleInUtah; 10-02-2010 at 11:24 AM..
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