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Old 12-08-2010, 08:39 PM
GPC GPC started this thread
 
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I could write a book about the saga with my 20 year old son. I'll try to be brief. He's been to neuropsychiatrists, psychiatrists, social workers, etc. and the consensus is that he has AS along with dysthymic (chronic) depression. He's also prone to panic/anxiety attacks. He did well in HS but he went to a very rigid and strict HS. College is apparently too overwhelming for him. The 'free' atmosphere causes anxiety to build in him and he just can't function. He had to withdraw this semester (this has happened once before) and this time he can't/doesn't want to go back at all. We applied for SSI on his behalf and just got a denial letter in the mail today. I'm at a loss. I just can't continue to support an adult who can't function; either at a job or at school. He tried a couple of part-time jobs a few years ago and was basically politely told his services were no longer required after a couple of days. My husband and I have 3 other sons; all younger and 2 of them also have special needs. We want to help our oldest but we just can't afford to support him into his 20s without some form of assistance. Qualifying for SSI is the last thing I ever *wanted* for him. I'd be perfectly content going through life without ever knowing what SSI stands for but he and we need it. I know there's an appeal process which we'll start but please, if anyone has any advice, I'd love to hear it. Thanks.
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Old 12-09-2010, 08:19 AM
 
Location: lumberton, texas
652 posts, read 2,457,574 times
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unfortunatly I dont have any good advise, but:
have you contacted any local support places? Here we have something called the Arc of ..... It is for support of all types of special needs. You can also find local places through Autism sights online. Many of them can help point you in the right direction. He needs to get into a carreer that matches with something he is interested in. some of those place offer help with career counseling and placement. was he considered special needs in high school? If he was you might be able to get him into a transition thing. I don't really know anything about that except that most highschools have it. It is supposed to help them transition into the workforce or college.
There are also colleges that are very good for people with special needs. I'm not there yet so dont know the specifics but I keep my ears open when I hear people talking about it.

good luck
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Old 12-09-2010, 08:51 AM
 
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 36,394,931 times
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GPC, you don't say what the Social Security Administration said was the reason for the denial of benefits. What you need to do, is apply again, after addressing that denial reason. Often people have to apply several times, tweaking the application each time, until SSI accepts it. They will -usually- deny ALL applicants the first time unless there are extenuating circumstances (such as, a quadriplegic with brain damage).
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Old 12-09-2010, 10:51 AM
 
16,083 posts, read 17,880,433 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GPC View Post
I could write a book about the saga with my 20 year old son. I'll try to be brief. He's been to neuropsychiatrists, psychiatrists, social workers, etc. and the consensus is that he has AS along with dysthymic (chronic) depression. He's also prone to panic/anxiety attacks. He did well in HS but he went to a very rigid and strict HS. College is apparently too overwhelming for him. The 'free' atmosphere causes anxiety to build in him and he just can't function. He had to withdraw this semester (this has happened once before) and this time he can't/doesn't want to go back at all. We applied for SSI on his behalf and just got a denial letter in the mail today. I'm at a loss. I just can't continue to support an adult who can't function; either at a job or at school. He tried a couple of part-time jobs a few years ago and was basically politely told his services were no longer required after a couple of days. My husband and I have 3 other sons; all younger and 2 of them also have special needs. We want to help our oldest but we just can't afford to support him into his 20s without some form of assistance. Qualifying for SSI is the last thing I ever *wanted* for him. I'd be perfectly content going through life without ever knowing what SSI stands for but he and we need it. I know there's an appeal process which we'll start but please, if anyone has any advice, I'd love to hear it. Thanks.
Have you tried to find a college that has accommodations? What are his talents? What kinds of jobs has he tried? Is there a sheltered workshop that might help?

Is he on any meds for his anxiety?

Why did they deny SSI? Does he have a diagnosis? I know he is probably not mentally challenged, but you may need to go through your mental health organization. The ARC of Texas serves children and adults with disabilities. Perhaps there is something similar near you?

The Arc of Texas

You can probably appeal the SSI decision.

Autism Parent Tips On Applying For Social Security Benefits
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:01 AM
 
3,261 posts, read 4,665,197 times
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GPC, what state are you in?

In my area, NJ, there are different vocational programs, some for the disabled as well as others. Getting a vocational evaluation may be helpful for him. In addition, as harsh as this sounds, you may need to take additional measures depending on how self-reliant / high functioning he is. This would include long-term estate planning, part-time residential, etc. It all really, again, depends on his level of functioning.

Reach out to your local ASPEN support group - Support Groups in Other States and Countries for resources.

Another great resource is OASIS @ MAAP - The Online Asperger Syndrome Information and Support Center

Contact your state Social Services / Developmental Diasabilities department for what they can offer you and your son.

Good luck
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Old 12-09-2010, 12:49 PM
GPC GPC started this thread
 
1,217 posts, read 2,838,758 times
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Thanks to all for the responses. I'm at work so can't write much. I'm in North Carolina. My son is actually super intelligent in an unfortunate way. And I really mean that. He's so smart all the teachers ever saw in him was high test scores. We were repeatedly blown off ('That's how teenagers are', 'All teens are moody', 'Yes, he is quiet but do you realize how smart he is?', etc.) whenever we expressed concern over the years. In hindsight we should've pushed more but we naively thought he'd 'grow out of it'. He was never classified as anything but exceptionally smart all through his childhood. His 'oddities' weren't even acknowledged because he did so well in school. He actually went to a private, all boys, Catholic HS. He did very well until the spring of his senior year. Then everything hit the fan. I guess he saw the end of his childhood and the prospect of becoming an 'adult' freaked him out. That's when we finally sought help with meds and therapists, etc. He's currently on Wellbutrin. He was on Abilify and Celexa in the past but he claimed they did nothing for him. As far as the official denial reason, I'll have to read the paperwork from Social Security. I was so disgusted yesterday when my husband told me he/we were denied, I didn't feel like looking at what came in the mail. I think my husband said it said the disabiltiy wasn't severe enough to preclude work or something to that effect. I'll look later. He's very interested in computer programming (I know big surprise there) and claims he can do it on his own and submit his own programming work directly to websites like Microsoft. I wanted him to go to college for Computer Science and get a Bachelor of Science degree. We're going to look into the possibility of him taking classes on-line but of course, I think he should go 'in person'. I know he's quiet and can't deal well with large crowds and noises but I did think he'd be able to at least attend classes. It's not looking like that's in the realm of possibility after all. UGH...
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Old 12-09-2010, 06:10 PM
 
16,083 posts, read 17,880,433 times
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Many, many aspies do much better online than in person. If he really loves computers, he can get his degree online, but beware of online scams. Make sure that his courses are through a real university not something like University of Phoenix online which is not accredited and where the piece of paper you get is worthless.

If he wants to talk to other aspies, there are many online communities.

One is alt.support.autism (on google groups), but it's harder to read through google and better if he has a newsreader.

He can also try some of the websites listed here:
Asperger's Online

and
Aspies for Freedom - LoveToKnow Autism
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Old 12-09-2010, 07:31 PM
 
Location: Barrington, IL area
1,594 posts, read 2,637,203 times
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Also checkout wrongplanet.net
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Old 12-15-2010, 04:03 PM
 
Location: central Oregon
1,865 posts, read 2,113,969 times
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GPC, I have nothing to offer that hasn't already been said. I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone in your struggle to get SSI. My son is 27 and was just diagnosed this year with Asperger's. He has already been denied twice for SSI and I now have to contact a lawyer to get this done. Everything you said about your son applies to mine, and it is their intelligence which blocks SS from seeing their disability.
SS told him that because he was able to volunteer at two jobs (which he lost because he did things in rather odd ways) that he should be able to find a paying job.
This has not been a fun journey.
Hang in there. I do KNOW some people with Asperger's who have been given SSI. It just takes time.
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Old 12-16-2010, 04:44 PM
 
Location: Interior AK
4,729 posts, read 8,632,619 times
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GPC, dealing with SSA to get benefits for Aspergers and related issues is a long and arduous process. My initial application was denied, my appeal was denied, and (finally!) I was approved after appealing again and getting a Judges Hearing. My psychologist supported me. My primary care physician supported me. I had letters from co-workers, teachers and employers. None of it seemed to help until my physician wrote a letter stating point-blank that I couldn't function consistently enough to maintain subsistence employment and that I wasn't a good candidate for any drug therapies because they didn't help.

I highly suggest you get an attorney or enlist the services of an advocate (like Allsup) to assist you with the appeals process and getting all the necessary paperwork and documentation in order. Less than 10% of claimants with psych disabilities get awarded benefits, and most of those only did because they had a lawyer or advocate working for them.

As for college... an accredited online college is probably the best way to go if your son really wants a degree (a degree in computers isn't always necessary, but it helps). Many "brick & mortar" universities now offer almost their entire curriculum online, and he could finish his degree program remotely and only have to, maybe, take a handful of classes in a classroom.

I know you'd prefer that he went to school in person, and that is a common perspective for a neuro-typical (especially one who is extraverted). Many people think you can't learn without lectures and structure and social interaction, etc. That couldn't be farther from the truth for an Aspie... most of us don't learn well in lecture form and being in the classroom makes us anxious and flaky. If your son does well learning from books and independent study, he's an excellent candidate for online and correspondence education.
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