Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders


Depression in Older Teens and Young Adults with Aspergers


Any info to help w/22 yr. old (recently diagnosed) college grad--floundering, drinking, depressed; appears high functioning, but truly isn’t... His father has asperger traits as well.


When diagnosis of the adult Aspergers (high-functioning autism) occurs, it is often as a result of a child being assessed with the disorder. It then becomes apparent to other family members that the undiagnosed adult they have struggled for so long - to understand or relate to - also has the disorder.

When an adult is diagnosed with Aspergers as a result of a child within the extended family being diagnosed, it can come as a "double whammy" to the family. This is particularly the case when a child and a spouse are diagnosed, since the remaining member of the family group is now in the position of dealing with two "Aspies" in the one home.

Similarly, the diagnosis of a child may make the parent twig that one of the parents had the disorder too. This also causes intense personal suffering for the person concerned since finding out that one's parent has the disorder will open as many wounds as it will explain.

The problems in dealing with adult Aspergers sufferers can be numerous, and include:
  • A sense of frustration that you cannot "get through" to this person
  • A sense of hopelessness that the person doesn't love you
  • Depression related to the knowledge that the individual won't get better
  • Difficulties accepting that the partner has the condition
  • Failure to understand why the person cannot relate to you in a "normal" manner
  • Feeling overly responsible for the person
  • Feeling a need to constantly explain their inappropriate behaviors and comments to others
  • A feeling of trepidation due to the effect of this constant vigilance
  • If the adult Asperger is a marriage partner, concerns over whether to stay in the relationship are at times overwhelming
  • Lack of intimacy in the relationship and a failure to have your own needs met
  • Lack of emotional support from family and friends who do not understand the condition

There is less information on Aspergers in adulthood. Some people with mild Aspergers are able to learn to compensate. They become indistinguishable from everyone else. They marry, hold a job and have children. Other people live an isolated existence with continuing severe difficulties in social and occupational functioning.

People with Aspergers often do well in jobs that require technical skill but little social finesse. Some do well with predictable repetitive work. Others relish the challenge of intricate technical problem solving.

I knew a man, now deceased, who had many of the characteristics of Aspergers. He lived with his mother and had few social contacts. When he visited relatives, he did not seem to understand how to integrate himself into their household routine. When the relatives would explain the situation to him, he was able to accept it. However, he was unable to generalize this to similar situations. Although he was a psychologist, his work involved technical advisory work, not face-to-face clinical sessions.

Adults may benefit from group therapy or individual behavioral therapy. Some speech therapists have experience working with grown-ups on pragmatic language skills. Behavioral coaching, a relatively new type of intervention, can help the adult with Aspergers organize and prioritize his daily activities. Adults may need medication for associated problems such as depression or anxiety. It is important to understand the needs and desires of that particular adult. Some grown-ups do not need treatment. They may find jobs that fit their areas of strength. They may have smaller social circles, and some idiosyncratic behaviors, but they may still be productive and fulfilled.

Launching Adult Children With Aspergers: How To Promote Self-Reliance

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My child has been rejected by his peers, ridiculed and bullied !!!

Social rejection has devastating effects in many areas of functioning. Because the Aspergers child tends to internalize how others treat him, rejection damages self-esteem and often causes anxiety and depression. As the child feels worse about himself and becomes more anxious and depressed – he performs worse, socially and intellectually.

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How to Prevent Meltdowns in Aspergers Children

Meltdowns are not a pretty sight. They are somewhat like overblown temper tantrums, but unlike tantrums, meltdowns can last anywhere from ten minutes to over an hour. When it starts, the Asperger's child is totally out-of-control. When it ends, both you and the Asperger’s child are totally exhausted. But... don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. At the least provocation, for the remainder of that day -- and sometimes into the next - the meltdown can return in full force.

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Parenting Defiant Aspergers Teens

Although Aspergers is at the milder end of the autism spectrum, the challenges parents face when disciplining a teenager with Aspergers are more difficult than they would be with an average teen. Complicated by defiant behavior, the Aspergers teen is at risk for even greater difficulties on multiple levels – unless the parents’ disciplinary techniques are tailored to their child's special needs.

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Aspergers Children “Block-Out” Their Emotions

Parenting children with Aspergers and HFA can be a daunting task. In layman’s terms, Aspergers is a developmental disability that affects the way children develop and understand the world around them, and is directly linked to their senses and sensory processing. This means they often use certain behaviors to block out their emotions or response to pain.

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Older Teens and Young Adult Children With Aspergers Still Living At Home

Your older teenager or young “adult child” isn’t sure what to do, and he is asking you for money every few days. How do you cut the purse strings and teach him to be independent? Parents of teens with Aspergers face many problems that other parents do not. Time is running out for teaching their adolescent how to become an independent adult. As one mother put it, "There's so little time, yet so much left to do."

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Living with an Aspergers Spouse/Partner

Research reveals that the divorce rate for people with Aspergers is around 80%. Why so high!? The answer may be found in how the symptoms of Aspergers affect intimate relationships. People with Aspergers often find it difficult to understand others and express themselves. They may seem to lose interest in people over time, appear aloof, and are often mistaken as self-centered, vain individuals.

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Online Parent Coaching for Parents of Asperger's Children

If you’re the parent of a child with Aspergers or High-Functioning Autism, you know it can be a struggle from time to time. Your child may be experiencing: obsessive routines; problems coping in social situations; intense tantrums and meltdowns; over-sensitivity to sounds, tastes, smells and sights; preoccupation with one subject of interest; and being overwhelmed by even the smallest of changes.

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Unraveling The Mystery Behind Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

Parents, teachers, and the general public have a lot of misconceptions of Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism. Many myths abound, and the lack of knowledge is both disturbing and harmful to kids and teens who struggle with the disorder.

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My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content