I am worried about the future and keeping in touch with my grown child with Aspergers now that he has left. Any advice?
Individuals with Aspergers (high functioning autism) usually have problems building and maintaining solid, long-lasting relationships. However, they can and do form bonds with a select few. Their moms and dads are likely to make the list of permanent contacts. Your child may be grown and out of the house, but you weigh heavily on his mind. You were there for every special occasion, creating memories that burn brightly in his highly intelligent mind.
The point that bothers you is probably his inconsistent contact. Isolation is a common issue in people with Aspergers. Your child’s core nature is to be alone. He is more comfortable living among his things and obsessions than he is with people, even his own moms and dads. It’s not intentional. This is one of those areas in which you will have to take control.
Be honest with your child. Tell him that, unlike him, you do not have Aspergers. You need the conversation and company that he is so willing to avoid. As his parent you have to maintain contact. It’s your job to think about him and worry about him, no matter how old he is.
Perhaps you could make a calendar schedule for him. On the calendar, you could fill in the dates that you’d like to hear from him by telephone and dates for actual face-to-face visits. With the calendar, your child will have a visual timetable in which to refer. Make sure you give him a little space; he is an adult. As his parent, a daily visit or phone call would be perfect. As the adult child, he’s probably thinking a couple of calls a week and maybe a visit.
Make plans to visit his home regularly. Not daily, maybe bi-weekly, but definite monthly visits should be tolerable. You’ll need to assure yourself that he is taking care of his household chores, his body, his health and wellness, his bills, and any other areas of his life.
Letting go of control is difficult for most moms and dads. Your child’s needs make it that much harder for you. You can take comfort in the fact that you have raised your child to be the best he can be. Try not to worry; concentrate on his happiness and success. He may not say it, but he’ll be thankful for your involvement in his own way.
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