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Old 03-29-2011, 10:18 AM
 
43,012 posts, read 92,359,957 times
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My family is taking in a young adult teen whose mother kicked him out 5 months before turning 18 while he was still a senior in high school. He's 18 now. He's a nice kid. But he really needs support and guidance towards becoming a productive member of society.

Last night, it occurred me that he probably has undiagnosed mild aspegers. I relalized that's probably why he doesn't "get" things.

He doesn't understand sarcasm. He doesn't understand inflections of tones of speach and can take things negatively that aren't. He doesn't understand that people say one thing and mean another. He doesn't understand sayings like "Don't burn your bridges." He takes everything literally.

I could go on and on and on and on and on and on with the things on the "asperger's signs" list that apply to him.

I was blown away by a response I received from him a few days ago. I was telling him that he needs to keep in touch with his father (his parents are divorced), his father said he only calls when he needs something, and he hadn't heard from him since his phone was turned back on. His response was "That's because I haven't needed anything since the phone was turned on." It seemed a cold and strange response, but then I started to add it to how he has never understood sarcasm, etc., and I realized that he didn't understand that hearing "he only hears from you when you need something" didn't translate to "taking advantage" in his mind. Last year, I worked very hard at trying to help him understand what "taking advantage" of people means.

He seems to be very selfish and only thinks of himself. But he tries hard to please for the benefit of people being nice to him. For example, he wants to be treated kindly (by his parents, teachers, adults) and he'll bend over backwards doing whatever they tell him for hopes of being treated kindly and then rebels when treated unfair. He needs everything spelled out for him in black and white---expectations of him. And he'll do whatever is expected but if you miss one important rule or interpretation of a rule, there's a problem. When you sit down and explain what he's not doing right, he slowly "gets" it and tries but only if he is being treated kindly. I suspect this is why he was always grounded---they'd just see one failure after another on meeting expectations. They were rarely kind to him.

He was diagnosed with ADD sometime in his education, but I think the diagnosis missed the mark. He's almost done with school. My son doesn't want him to know, which I'm fine with because I'm not trying to diagnose him. I just want to know how to best deal with a young adult who has aspergers so I can help him understand the social cues he desperately wants taught. (He asks me to explain the most incredibly simple things.)

He's not dumb. He has an incredible personality. I'm hoping I will have better chance at helping him understand our expectations and the expectations of society now that I realize I need to explain things a specific way to him.
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Old 03-29-2011, 03:45 PM
 
16,104 posts, read 17,912,079 times
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I am not sure why your son does not want him to know. Certainly most adults I know who self-diagnosed found it a relief to know that there was something that explained why they were different.

You might refer him to an aspie online quiz and let him see if it resonates.

Aspie-quiz

Social skills classes can help him to begin to understand and read people. It isn't that he is selfish, btw, but that other people and their emotions probably don't make a whole lot of sense to him. Many people with asperger's lack a theory of mind - that is, they don't understand that others may think very differently than they do.

Good luck! He can probably be quite successful if he chooses the right career path.
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Old 03-29-2011, 06:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
I am not sure why your son does not want him to know. Certainly most adults I know who self-diagnosed found it a relief to know that there was something that explained why they were different.
He has low self esteem from being disagnosed with ADD. His mother always degraded him. For example, she would constantly tell him "something is wrong with you" and "you're not normal" in a very nasty tone.

Since he has become homeless, he hasn't been taking his ADD medication. He is still able to do well in school. He has convinced himself that he doesn't have ADD. And he feels empowered by believing nothing is different about him, that nothing is wrong with him, that he is normal. All of the abuse he suffered from his mother will make it very difficult for him to accept any label/diagnosis/explanation without viewing it negatively.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
You might refer him to an aspie online quiz and let him see if it resonates.

Aspie-quiz
Perhaps after he has lived here for a while. He has been bounced around for the past year and homeless for the last 5 months. It's probably best for him to adjust to a stable life first. Then we'll see.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
Social skills classes can help him to begin to understand and read people.
I've love to see him pursue something like that at some point in the future.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
It isn't that he is selfish, btw, but that other people and their emotions probably don't make a whole lot of sense to him. Many people with asperger's lack a theory of mind - that is, they don't understand that others may think very differently than they do.
I'm glad I realized aspergers is a possibility. Until last night, I truly was thinking he was selfish. Now that I can understand that his mind works differently, it will be so much easier to accept his slights and help him understand what we expect. It will also help us adjust our expectations realistically.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
Good luck! He can probably be quite successful if he chooses the right career path.
I have no doubt. My girlfriend's husband has aspergers and he is a lawyer. This teen is a talented artist. He plans to start art school this fall. That's why he's coming to live with us----so it's possible to continue his education and get his feet on the ground.

Thanks for responding!
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Old 03-29-2011, 07:38 PM
 
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Children with aspie like social issues benefit by practicing what to say or do in common situations. A brain health research center was developing a computer animiated social software for dx children with poor soical skills. It looked like a sims program where facial features are pointed out to show a positive or negative response. The older children were able to practice simulations for job interviews or shopping.

Another thought,.... if you're homeless, I would think you would operate on a different state of mind. It's like a survival mode
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Old 03-29-2011, 08:46 PM
 
43,012 posts, read 92,359,957 times
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Originally Posted by JustTess View Post
Children with aspie like social issues benefit by practicing what to say or do in common situations. A brain health research center was developing a computer animiated social software for dx children with poor soical skills. It looked like a sims program where facial features are pointed out to show a positive or negative response. The older children were able to practice simulations for job interviews or shopping.
Last year, I often helped him practice trying to talk to his parents and interviewing for jobs. It does really help him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustTess View Post
Another thought,.... if you're homeless, I would think you would operate on a different state of mind. It's like a survival mode
He was like this before he was homeless 5 months ago. He has been like this for as long as I have known him.

He basically became homeless because his parents gave up on him and tossed him out like garbage. It's really sad.
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