HELP FOR PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH ASPERGER'S & HIGH-FUNCTIONING AUTISM

Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders

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Launching Older Teens and Adult Children With Aspergers



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39 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Hutten,

My son was just "officially" diagnosed last week with Aspergers. He has been also diagnosed with ADHD, OCD, depression. He is now 24 and I have know for 22 years that something was out of sorts . Read your articles and pretty much everything applies...I pushed him,nagged him, and now I feel guilty. He was recognized in 6th grade as one of the top 1% of all math students in the country. His grades were declining by 8th grade. I was a Mom that was not going to let her son slip into the cracks of the juvenile justice system. He didn't want to go to college, but I said that was not an option. Took him to 6 colleges and he picked Butler I think bc it was close to home. Now he has graduated with 2 degrees (math and engineering he will finish Dec 2010) and we are having problems launching. He cries and says he doesn't think he can live on his own...yet he did lived in a dorm, and apt, with others but visited weekly.After reading your articles, get why he complained he hated living in the dorm. The last two years he would start to come home more and more. His relationships with girls don't last bc he stalks them at first with much attention, then when they want reciprocity he does not respond. He is fighting the job hunt like crazy. "Interviewing is crazy, why can't I work in flip-flops. His friends have all moved on and he is hinging his whole life on the return of a girl from Italy next week.I now realize why he is so angry with me....I have pushed, nagged, anything to motivate him. I have kicked his butt, felt sorry for him, consoled him, put carrots out ,...anythng I could do.

He just saw the psychiatrist last week. He is not a bad kid. Difficult. He is not truthful or transparent. It ends up feeling manipulative. I AM SCARED, SAD. He is so bright and there is a puppy love side to him that is gentle.But can also feel very vindictive.. Bought your material last night on launching and adult-child. Is the comprehensive book different? Should I purchase it too? Is there a support group for me? Should he go to voc rehab? Easter Seals? His parents are divorced and remarried. He saw a doc from the Riley autism center. Where can he get the social skills training? He has a therapist but today I am going to inquire about type of therapy/approach? My son has refused to see some therapist because he doesn't like the way he looks. HELP HELP HELP. I will do anything to help him. Money is not a problem for us but I know he to find the way to make his own money.

Teresa

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am interested in material that would help me "launch " my 20 year old son who is dx w non verbal learning disability. He has some traits that match the AS dx: disorganization, overwhelmed, challenges socially, some anxiety and depression related to feeling "disconnected to people--his words, and has one time said his brain doesn't work well b/c he misses details.

He is different than teens w AS in that he has learned to make good friends, seems to pick up on emotions of others, is able to talk about others feelings, has done well his freshman and sophomore year of college. However, there is still a great deal of immaturity related to life's tasks and challenges. In some ways he is more like a 14 yr old than a 20 year old, ie follow through and definitely executive functioning. Some people who don't really understand what he is dealing with (friends) think we should just let him fail--"then he will learn!" However this does not work with him at all--he genuinely works hard but it really is the details of life that trip him up. He also wants to be independent and resents our "help." What I see, both as a parent and clinical social worker is a disability that is part of the fabric of who he is--not just traits. He forgets to apply the things that may have worked and just becomes overwhelmed.

Anonymous said...

I just found your site and immediately signed up. I was looking for information to help me deal with my son who is 19. He has not been formally diagnosed with aspergers but he told me last spring that a few people had mentioned it to him and after doing some research he thought he had it. I immediately thought no way - then I started doing my own research - I got chills down my spine after reading what was such an obvious description of so many of the traits my son has. He is home for Christmas for 2 weeks. He lives in Seattle and I live in Ohio. My son is the ceo of a software start up out there. Very smart when it comes to anything computer related but very rigid when dealing with family members in any way. He has anxiety issues and can be kind and loving or cold and completely shut everyone out. I have to leave work soon but I look forward to asking you some questions as soon as I can find some time in this crazy holiday season. Just wanted to make an introduction and say thank you for providing this service. I already feel better!

Anonymous said...

My son is 24, newly graduated with a degree in math and engineering (two degrees at once) from Butler and Purdue. He has worked mowing from sun up to sun down for the past 10 years so he is not lazy. Just petrified of change, he enjoyed his mowing job bc he didn't have to interact with others, immediate gratification, low stress. He also likes cars. He is oppositional and ADHD. He is a good kid. Never any trouble with the law, never expelled,majority of the time does what we ask but if it involves change...watch out.Small things like new dishes, moving furniture, rearranging a room, upset him or unfamiliar people. He will just leave a party and not give an explanation why and people wonder where he went? You are correct he has it good here and why should he move out. I cannot MOTIVATE him at all. His self-motivation is almost zero. Sleeps in , stays out late, etc. He is seeing a psychiatrist and marriage and family therapist. The therapist is a good guy from Anderson and my son likes him but I am not sure of his experience with Aspergers. The dx is only about 8 weeks old. My son I have to literally push to earn money. I have stopped giving him money for gas, entertainment, clothes, etc. He has a girlfriend and is desperately trying to hang on to her...student at Butler.My son can work the most complex math problems but says he does not like to work with others, has to be shown visually how to do things, can take a rigid position if he believes his method of solving a problem is correct. He can not turn in any graduate level math homework and get 100% on the midterm and final. He has had several interviews recently with Chrysler, and other high profile companies. How does he get the job if he fails to remember to take a pen and paper. He will only answer questions when asked but does little to initiate conversation. He moves at a snails pace and has trouble keeping up with a work load. Last week I told him to get out and shovel snow for neighbors for money. He said, will you come with me to knock on the door bc he did not want to approach people. After I told him to point blank do it, he got it done. How will he get a job when he has to be shown multiple times how to do something, gets distracted, is rigid. He also has a very puppy loving side to him that initially attracts women. I will meet next with his psychiatrist and therapist to work on a transition program. Money is not an object for us. I have already contacted Voc Rehab although his psychiatrist was not very complimentary of them. We have an appt in March. My son feels he should have a "professional position and does not want to work at a Walmart bc he says he spent all his time getting his degrees.I an anxious that he cannot manage the professional environment. For example, he says he does not want anyone to send him an e-mail bc he cannot manage e-mails...Well we know companies send out massive amts of e-mails.

Anonymous said...

Our 24 year old was just diagnosed with Aspergers 3 years ago. At age 19 he was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. It's been quite a journey!

He's about a year from finishing his college degree but was suspended from the University of MN for failing grades just this past semester.

Needless to say...2 steps forward and one step back has been Ben's m.o. since high school graduation.

What is frustrating was all of the supports put in place: he lived at home, had a private coach specializing in Aspergers, had the Disabilities Service support as well as a psychologist for counseling. More supports for academic help were provided.
He chose not to do any of the above and the final results were not only expensive but discouraging.

He is now attempting to get a job. It's not good! His motivation is low and we're at our wits end trying to get him out of the house and on his own.

Anonymous said...

I remarried about 3 years ago to a wonderful man who has a soon to be 23 year old unemployed (we provide all of her support which I have a hard time accepting) and unmotivated Asperger's daughter who lives with us. After what appears to me to have been 20+ years of over protectiveness, enabling and sheer lack of parenting in regards to teaching independence, responsibility, accountability, and having had no consequences in regards to behavior with this girl, we are both at a loss as to what to do to promote independence, employment, etc. He just wants to keep "the peace" with her and he has no idea what "tough love" is and could do for her and can only focus on making her happy at any cost; which in turn does nothing for the motivation she so desperately needs.

She barely made it out of high school and has flunked out of two different colleges. One college included a mentoring program and the other was a community college. She has never had a job and up until the last year (after flunking out of the 2nd college) the thought of her having a job was never even considered much less discussed.

Anonymous said...

Our 34-year-old son Paul has gotten into trouble by striking his psychiatist on the shoulder. The doctor has laid charges and there is, at this point in time, a court appearance. (There was no medical help required, fortunately.) This is his first charge although he has certainly showed anger in the home and has pushed me and his dad. We have gotten better in the past two or three years at deflecting his outbursts.

I have talked with the RCMP mental health liaison and she is considering intervening because she has learned some of the extenuating circumstances surrounding the doctor's charge. The police didn't come right away because they considered the call from the doctor as not sufficiently dangerous so they picked up our son three weeks later because the doctor had phoned and complained. She told me that the doctor is pursuing a charge because he considers it important to have our son face up to his responsibilities and teach him a lesson.

This doctor has been treating our son with little results for about 4 years. He got Paul as a client because Paul was put in his care by Richmond Mental Health after going into the hospital because he was somewhat delusional. We know Paul is his only Asperger's client and that he sees him once a month for about half an hour. Paul has also seen a caseworker who, as far as we can find out, visits him at his apartment once a week and watches videos with him.

Obviously this is not enough therapy so I am pursuing having Paul seen by a psychotherapist (I have talked to a couple with autism experience) plus asking that his new case worker perhaps accompany him to social experiences such as groups for the disabled in our community or at least get outside with him.

We by no means want Paul to think what he has done is okay, however, our point is that he hasn't really been having therapy by anyone familiar with Asperger's so this is a good time to try to change things. He seems to have picked up the message from the doctors and case workers that, "you have Asperger's, and you get upset because of it." There has been much less emphasis on ways to control his angry outbursts other than to take anxiety and anti-psychotic medications (which the psych doctor prescribes).

Would you recommend that we do what we can to get him more therapy? If so, what should we look for, as autism therapists right in our area that he could easily get to are short around here. Paul has already been switched to another psychiatrist at Richmond Mental Health because the one he had the fight with has, of course, recused himself. We have been told the new psychiatrist is a good one.

Thanks,
Laureen.

Mark said...

Re: Would you recommend that we do what we can to get him more therapy?

The best course of action (which may not be possible) is to have him see a psychotherapist who specializes in adult Aspergers. There are not too many of us, unfortunately.

Aspergers has only been in the radar since 1994 or so ...it's a fairly new disorder.

He does need anger management, but the anger is a symptom of his disorder. Medication helps, but cognitive-behavioral therapy would be MUCH better.

Mark Hutten, M.A.

Anonymous said...

My son, Morgan, had done almost all the academic requirements to graduate from high school but couldn't muster the enthusiasm to complete all the other tasks required such as exercise charts, post secondary planning sheets, etc., so he did not actually graduate. No amount of reasoning would get him to make that small last push to complete the tasks that would allow him to say that he had graduated from high school. ARGHH!

As part of his high school course work, he was able to start his welding training at our local college as the industry was in desperate need of skilled tradespeople. It was even paid for, provided he finish before he turned 20. He was very close to finishing in time but he was insisting on being very slow and meticulous (despite suggestions from his instructors that he not take so much time on the welds) and did not complete on time. He therefore had to pay for the course after all, but then felt very indignant about it.

He finished his welding level C training 1.5 years ago and ideally would have found a job where he could put in 1000 hours towards his apprenticeship. Unfortunately the economic downturn happened just as he graduated. While jobs then became hard to come by, he didn't even want to look. His teacher thought that Morgan would be good working on planes and helicopters here in town, and offered to teach Morgan just the parts of the next level of welding that would be enough to get him a job there. (They've received some good contracts to build planes.) Because of his Asperger's diagnosis (only a year ago!) and his ADHD, he could get educational funding for this additional training. He, however, is not willing to 'go through all the hoops' in order to get that funding, despite all the help being offered from numerous individuals. Nor is he willing to pay for the training without a guarantee that he could get work. So, here he sits.

He has had a part-time job (19 hours per week) for about 4 years stocking shelves at a nearby grocery store. They won't give him any more hours but he refuses to go to another store in the chain for additional hours - too hard to get to by bus, the parking lot is too big so gathering up the buggies would be a huge pain, etc. etc.... As is typical with AS, he feels comfortable with the familiar (ie: his store) and very resistant to new things. He won't even take a bus that he's never been on before. I have to drive the route, show him where to transfer, and get him to set his watch to beep a few minutes before his stop so he knows when to start watching to get off.

Anonymous said...

The big issues now, as a result of all that, is that he has become addicted to MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-palying games), Nintendo and his computer in general: IM, Facebook, online movies and the internet. He is on his 'electronics' about 12 hours per day. I understand that this addiction is quite common with Aspies. I think, therefore, that this is an area that you could address more directly in your material with concrete steps for change, including when to seek outside support and intervention. You mention in your material to have an agreed-upon time to turn that stuff off, but I can't monitor that once I go to bed. I know he stays up until 4, 5 or 6am playing, then sleeps until mid-afternoon, even on work days as he doesn't have to be at work until 4pm. I've tried getting him up at a set time, usually trying to start at noon, with the idea of moving it earlier. He even agrees to this. Then when I have tried to get him up (which is always an agonizing, drawn out process), he complains that he had trouble getting to sleep and need a bit more sleep. I have forced him up anyways, and that has always been a hollow victory as he spends the rest of the day in a mindless stupor unable to do anything. (He has had sleep issues since childhood and takes medication for that, but that is not the issue here.)

As noted in video addiction information, he has cut himself off from just about everything other than his three 6.5 hour shifts per week job. He has no friends (never has) other than the ones he has met and communicates with online, he takes all his meals (eaten at all hours of the days and night) up to his room to eat, and he has no interest in doing anything with family. He informed me the other day that he only likes to spend time with people of like mind and that, unfortunately, I'm not one of them. (I'm a single parent with my 17-year old daughter being with me one week then her dad's one week.)

We've talked recently and he's admitted to feeling lost and adrift, and 'maybe' wishing he had some friends to do things with. We have an Asperger's Social group here in town but he doesn't want to go. He won't do volunteer work as it doesn't pay, yet he won't apply for other jobs. He won't even go out to a movie with me as he can watch them for free on line.

This is so very stressful for me. It has contributed to my suffering from depression and I've been off work for the past year. My psychiatrist is getting tired of hearing about my frustration around the situation and has suggested I just boot him out and he'll be forced to make it on his own. "Better that just one of you go down (Morgan) than both of you drown."

Anonymous said...

Just a note to say thank you for providing resources for such a specific topic like launching your Asperger's child. We are in this very phase of life with our almost 19-year-old who has mild Aspergers. I appreciate your compassion for kids who have these extra struggles/gifts!

Thank you again!

Anonymous said...

Mr Hutten:

I am very interested in purchasing your book "Launching Adult Children With Aspergers". It's about time someone really addressed this subgroup of PDD and specifically, parents dealing with adult "children" with it. My life with my 24 year old son has been a struggle since day one. I knew, long before Asperger's was recognized, that there was something - something similar to traits I saw in "Rainman" - but not that severe.

Do you ever have trainings or conferences? I checked with our local NAMI Clubhouse and they don't really have anything in the way of support other than just general mental health groups for families. I feel that it is extremely important to have a group that focuses specifically on this population.

In many ways, I have been lucky. I worked in the mental health field for 15 years. I suspected the diagnosis as early as 1998 - but didn't get clinical confirmation until 2005 - right at the time my son decided "no more medication, no more therapy, no more doctors." He has co-morbidities of severe ADHD and Impulse Control Disorder. And now, since he stopped taking meds, he is also dual diagnosis since he self medicates with marijuana. I say I'm lucky because I have done extensive research, have had access to specialists who take the time to talk to me at various community meetings I attend, and I've been able to finally convince him that this is something that he has, it's not his fault, and it's nothing to be ashamed of.

If you ever want to present anything here in Allen County, I have many people who would be glad to put together a forum for you to present your material. I am also very interested in participating in any type of trainings/conferences, etc... that you may have in Anderson.

Most Sincerely,

Christine

Anonymous said...

I have a 19 year old son nearly to be 20 and it is only in the last year or 18 months that he has become impossible to live with. I can't discipline him because he is an adult and won't listen to anything I say or try to advise him on. I am a single parent with family in another country so have no one else to help me with my son. I did put him out of the home last year for several months while still supporting him but this put me into financial debt which I can no longer do. He is back living with me and I want to be able to help him to move forward in life and succeed but I don't know how to anymore. Do you have any suggestions for teenage adults and how to help them? He can be very abusive to me yet not every touch me more in his responses and shouting, anger, tantrums, breaking things etc.

I really need your help or some advise where I can go for help.

He is in and out of jobs every other week. He is great at getting a job but can't keep it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mark,



I purchased and implemented the out of control teen book 3 years ago and found it to be the best information I have ever received. Now with a diagnosis of ASD and our child now turning 19, we are facing other issues that I am sure your Launching Adults and Older Teens book will address in the same no nonsense and practical way.



Our son has developed OCD in the past 18 months. He is incredibly fearful of diesel amongst other things. He has taken to opening doors at times with his feet! He is a hand washer who has at times washed until they are bleeding. I am not for once suggesting that his issues are not real but wonder how much is attention seeking/avoidance driven. We have seen therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists who all have written him off. They have now decided that an inhouse facility will be the best. The problem is we live 7 hours drive away from the nearest one. I am tired of being told that this is as good as it is going to get and that I just have to face up to reality. It is almost like his case is just too hard. No one can give me answers of what to do when he is bashing down the door and screaming for hours on end or how to make him into a productive member of society. I am hoping your book will help with the melt downs and refusal to do anything at all for himself.

Anonymous said...

How do I find a "life coach" for my 21 year old son...He has no clue what to do with his life....He works as a dishwasher and waiter at a local hot dog joint (a job that I got for him) and is pertrified of seeking other employment. He keeps going to school and dropping out....he has no idea what he is interested in...basically nothing. He was a top student in high school and scored a 27 on his ACT....He has no clue as to what to pursue as a life career and is totally unmotivated (or frightened) on how to progress...Needless to say, I am totally frustrated.

He was just recently diagnosed after having seem many doctors that failed to diagnose him....he does not want to go to therapy again because he says it does not help him help make decisions...which is his main problem...he has always been extremely indecisive, even when he was a small boy....he just does not seem to have a "sense of self" and is easily manipulated by others...he has no sense of direction...he is kind and good and is really a hard worker when he does have a job (however, ever job he has had, I had to get for him....) he refuses to step out and do the hard stuff....he also has had many car accidents and has been totally irresponsible with money.

Anonymous said...

I feel like we are backtracking with our daughter who left for college one week ago.
She was diagnosed with Aspergers at 16, but I feel like we have not been able to find much in the way of support since her diagnosis.
She has had very few meltdowns since her diagnosis, however all attempts to get her to take initiative have failed - except when it came to selecting this particular college.
She was very excited about it until the very last moment. And this past week has been the worst week of our lives! She is constantly calling and begging to come home.
She refuses to go see the counselor. She refuses to use her techniques for calming herself down. There is not reasoning with her at all!
When I talk to her cross country coach - he says she's doing fine. She says she's only acting fine. I honestly don't know what to believe.
She is at college 10 hours away from home.
Can you help us?
Stacy

Mark said...

First of all, please digest all the material in the ebook and begin implementing some - or most - of the ideas. It sounds like you haven't tried some of the concepts yet.

Having said that...

The only thing that is going to help her at this point is counseling from someone who specializes in Aspergers. She can't have it both ways ..."I want to come home and be void of responsibility -- but I don't want to learn how to be a happy, productive citizen."

One parent in this situation gave her child an ultimatum: either you seek counseling or you stay at school and make it on your own.

Mark

Anonymous said...

Where do most Aspies live when they become legal age, 18? I have known other young people with disabilities, not Aspberger's, that have lived in apartments with a caretaker and whom are visited by a social worker. I know that my neice gets money from the State on which to live. She can't go back to living with her parents and I'm sure my parents would like to have peace and quiet in their home again. They live in the San Francisco Bay Area in Hayward. My brother lives in San Ramon. Where could one look for housing or caretaking for someone with Aspberger's Syndrome? I joined your website to better understand the condition from an academic point of view. My neice is insulting and has screamed and cried to my parents and hers that I have told her horrible things or called her names if she doesn't like what I'm saying. One such time that that happened I had been telling her the differences between going to school at UC schools versus State colleges. She was still in high school at the time and we were talking about what she should do to prepare for college before graduating. I neither insulted her or called her any names. But my family took her side against me. I haven't seen any of them since. I speak to my parents once in a while on the phone but they say how upseting it is to my neice so they limit their calls to me. I am the first one in my family to graduate from college with a degree so my family had something against me with that to begin with. They've always been disfunctional that way.

Anonymous said...

I need some feedback and advice please! I'm weighing the options of letting my son finish HS with a cert. of completion at the end of this 4th year at nearly 19 years old? or do I hang in there until he makes the academic cut or 22 whichever happens sooner or perhaps something in the middle? At issue is he has those splinter skills and processing from the brain to the paper that the school district hasn't addressed. he tests in about the 3rd grade range in math and reading comprehension and has almost no practical math skills (ie money). If I'd keep him in HS we would be changing school districts. I am qualified to backfill the needed academics (with his cooperation and some way to magically replace my income - such as work from home and/or get creative) And I'd have him enrolled for a couple of classes at the junior college in the new community with marching band as his "reward"... we are leaving this school district - either way!

Anonymous said...

Parenting Aspergers Children - Support Group Have him stay in HS up to age 22? Are you kiddin' - holy &%@*. The sooner he can move on, the better -- definitely go for the cert. of completion !!! Time is running out.
a few seconds ago · Like

Anonymous said...

My son, Stephen, will be 25 in November.
I will first give you some background re him and then where my and his lives are today.
Stephen is the second of our four children. He has always been quiet and about age 12 I began stating to teachers and my husband and anyone who would listen, "Something about him isn't right." No one took me seriously. Stephen has never gotten lower than a high A in any class, graduated valedictorian of his h.s. class, received local, state, national and international awards for his science fair work from 7th-11th grades. He never really had friends and teachers always said he would be fine once he started college. His was quiet and focused and teachers liked him generally but he verbally and emotionally abused me at home for years. I was so relieved when he started college at his dream school Cal Tech fall of 2005. After 3 wks. there he started e-mailing me, "I don't belong here. I don't know what I was thinking. If I stay here I will lose my mind." and more. He dropped out and spent the spring semester at home in CT. He then attended Univ. of Conn. from fall of 2006-fall of 2007. He was increasingly more miserable and detached mentally. Fall of 2007 he began not making sense, stating he wanted to end his life and we shouldn't feel bad. I advised him to go for counseling on campus and they directly sent him to a psych ward. They required him to take Lithium before they would discharge him. I think he was in the hospital for about 3-4 days. A neuropsychologist finally diagnosed him with Asperger's syndrome at age 21. He came home and I don't really remember what happened after that. He completed more college at both UConn and Naugatuck CC but dropped out at both after completing enough credits to get a degree but changing majors so often he didn't finish anything. He still has no friends, worked at an organic farm for 2 mos this yr., thought he would join an intentional community in VA and spent 9 days of the 3 wk. visit before calling us to get him. Now he is just depressed as usual, angry in general, doesn't want to go to college, doesn't want to work, states he supports anarchy and always finds a negative reason to not do or try anything we suggest. He won't go for counseling and won't consider medication. He does not drink, smoke or do drugs. He talks about wanting to live in the woods and grow his own food. We do not know how to help him.

Anonymous said...

I am 54, going through menopause, empty nest, move to Maryland a month ago after 23+ yrs. in CT, originally from Iowa. Oldest child, 27 lives in Boulder CO after getting a master's at Harvard and she works two jobs and has a boyfriend. Third child, 22, graduated from Syracuse in May,lives with us right now, about to start two part time jobs and wants to save for grad school and take GRE's soon and in a phone relationship with a very immature, insecure girl which we hope doesn't last. Fourth child, 19, started college at McGill in Montreal and I miss her terribly. She is majoring in arabic studies and international relations at this point. I will see her Oct.13-16 for her b'day. She is a joy. All three of our other children have grown to resent Stephen and don't want to be around him. My husband was laid off from 20+yr. pharma job in 2008, without work for 11 mos, taught at a college for one semester and started working at NIH in Maryland January of 2010. I stayed in CT to allow daughter to finish h.s. I worked as a CNA for about 22 mos. from March 2009-December 2010. I quit work to get our CT house ready to sell and it sold and we moved August 2011 the same week our beloved dog died, I moved daughter to college, there was an earthquake and a hurricane! And my Mother and two sisters died between October2009 and Feb. 2010. I am in process of working with an attorney in Iowa to settle my portion of the farm sale/trust issues which will take a long time. So here I am and now Stephen is having another meltdown and I am going to be contacting the Child Center and Adult Service counseling center near here for myself. My husband and I are Christians and care a lot about our kids but they don't share our faith and Stephen doesn't think there is anyone else in the world other than him.
I am going to copy this letter to the counseling center so I can get started with my counseling and any feedback you might have will be appreciated. I want to have a life! We are so thankful to be living together again and I love the house and the neighborhood and I want to start a master gardener program in Jan that is finally close enough for me to do. I want to be content and happy.Life is short!

Anonymous said...

I was searching for help for my 21 year old son. After years of counseling, his therapist has suggested Asperger's syndrome as a name for all of the symptoms my son has. This has come with some relief as I was torn between having a lazy son, or an incapable one. Having a diagnosis is positive so that he can get treatment. However, I have one major problem. My son does not see his problem, therefore will not accept treatment. In the past 3 years, he has stabbed his brother with a fork, come after my husband with a scissors, taken a bat to our front door when we locked him out of the house, hit me, dunked his 4 year olds brother under the water, lost his drivers license, been fired from various jobs, spent time in jail, robbed liquor stores, stolen gas, and various other disruptive, and abusive behaviors. I told him that he is no longer allowed to live with us due to his abusive behavior, but all he sees is his "idealic" mother rejecting him. It does not promote behavior change, as is desired.

We are currently on state assistance and have a large family of 8, but I will do anything to save my oldest son. My fear is that my rejection (his perception--I call it being safe), will drive him to further psychological problems, perhaps even suicide. His situation financially is so dire, I fear that he will become overwhelmed and shut down.

Anonymous said...

Don't feel guilty,22 years ago there was'nt the support.I have just had a diagnosis for my son after 10 years of knowing some thing was different.You can't effect the past put all your anger and frustration into the future,you are not alone.x

Anonymous said...

I have two on the spectrum who are younger. I have a 19 year old nephew who has AS. I can attest to the fact that there was little known about it back when he was diagnosed. Don't feel guilty. You did what all parents do, the best you knew how until you learned better. ((hugs))
4 minutes ago · Like

Anonymous said...

My son is 34, has a part time job, is pleasant to be around, helps with any chore, does his own laundry (mine too sometimes), has a checkbook and credit card which he handles alone, is fairly bright, BUT he still sees himself as a kid. He has worked as a courtesy clerk at our local grocery store for 16 years, splendid work record, well liked by customers and co-workers. He spends his off time watching TV or selling things on E-Bay and playing video games. His friendships at work do not extend to times when he is off work.

I've tried for years to encourage him to transfer to an inside the store job where he would have health insurance and opportunities for advancement. Seven years ago I even hired a job coach to facilitate things. The coach told me the manager was more than willing, offered all kinds of accommodations etc., and a tryout period in every department to see which was the best fit. He refused. I tried to force him to just try it, but he became teary and told me he couldn't do it. The job coach said it was sad, but maybe he just wasn't ready. I've discussed it with my son over the intervening years and his reaction is still the same, tears included. Socially, he is absolutely clueless. He was diagnosed as learning disabled in kindergarten and attended self contained programs within a regular middle school and high school. I don't think he's ever realized his school experience was different from the rest of the school.

My husband and I try to treat him as an adult. He's required to pay for some of his upkeep- but his salary and tips don't begin to cover everything. Until last month he has refused to learn to drive. Now he says he will try to learn because he likes the new car my husband bought. If my husband offers to take him out to practice, he goes, but has made no other efforts. Recently, he was called for jury duty and attended as required, on his own. These two minor events seem to me like maybe he's matured enough to benefit from another try with a coach.

Anonymous said...

Our daughter is very respectful of the rules. Does not stay out late, does not do drugs or alcohol. Does not yell at us. Follows the rules - UNTIL they are out of her comfort zone. She has not been able to get a job. She freaks out when she has to set up an appointment to talk with someone for an interview! I have gotten her a coach to help her find a job, but she refuses to do what is asked of her. She says they treat her like a child.
She has no friends to speak of. Since leaving for college, she has not been in contact with any of her high school friends. She expects her family to be her only connection. I have told her many times that she is expecting more from us than we can give.
Her aspergers is stalling her out on making connections and I do not know how to help her over that huge hump. I no longer know what to do to help her. I just spent a week in Colorado trying to help her find a job. She can turn in the applications, and I've had her email a follow up, but she stops short on making calls and really following up and going after a job. I know she wants one, but can't seem to believe she can get one! She's so afraid they will ask her questions she cannot answer. We've role-played and I've written out scripts and still - she's not going out there and making it happen.
She is currently in Colorado going to college. We live in Iowa. She is not in our home, but is begging to come home. She'll be fine for awhile and then have a meltdown again.
She will be coming home at Christmas, and my biggest fear is that we will not be able to get her on a plane back and I really feel she needs to start taking charge of her life.

I really feel I've tried a lot of options and I'm not finding anyone to talk to. I can't let her come back here and I can't let her be on the streets with no way of supporting herself.

Anonymous said...

Hello Mark,
I haven't had a chance to actually download and read your book, but for the first time in a very long time, I have hope that two of my adult children, 29 and 40 may be a little better understood by me if nobody else. My 29 year old duaghter self diagnosed herself, and from there we've finally figured out that what is wrong isn't the result of someone who just doesn't care or isn't paying attention. Why is it so hard for the professional community to understand that sometimes it isn't as simple as just "do better, try harder". I've watched these two wonderful people suffer needlessly because of it.
thank you
Sandra

Anonymous said...

My 18 yr old is a Junior in HS and she has been inquiring about going to college. I don't know if she is capable of going to college. She doesn't drive(too nervous). And she is still unable to stay more than a few hours by herself.All of her language arts has to be modified in her public school now though she excels in Math she still struggles with the sciences because of the reading(she reads at a 5th grade level)
We live in a very rural state and the nearest college in 25 miles away that I would have to drive her to and from. And she is in no way mature enough to live on campus.Anyone know if colleges have to modify for a special needs person or other options? I don't mind helping her do anything that she can with anything that she wants to do. I guess I just don't know what her options are at this point.Thanks to anyone for your responses. It's wonderful to read other stories and know that others share your struggles even though close to home no one is like my child and sometimes I feel like I am on an Island in the middle of the ocean.I can only imagine how my daughter feels.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your ebook Launching your Adult Children with Aspergers. I always knew my sons diagnosis of ADD was inaccurate, he is 23 now and struggling on his own. I am certain he has Asperger's after completing my first year of school for Elem. Ed. with an endorsement in SPED. After reading your work I am certain. I need your help in the way of finding the right person to test and make a diagnosis. I am interested in your life coaching for adults - all these years we have tried as Levi's parents but so many situations have left us baffled. I am hoping you can help our son or lead us the right direction. We live in Nebraska, our son lives in Lincoln and we are in North Platte. Over and over he struggles with the same problems and we know we need more help and knowledge to him! His biggest tribulations are around social experiences, lack of friends, no girlfriends and problems at work. All which you have written about. I will continue to study your book and thank you for your work so very much!

Anonymous said...

I am a single parent of two sons aged 16 and 15, the problem is with my elder son who:

is very withdrawn
spends nearly all his time in his room
goes out with friends very occasionally, but does enjoy himself when he does
eats very little
currently at college, but has now stated 4 months on he doesn't like the course he's doing but has no motivation to do anything about it and therefore is putting limited effort into his course
stated he does have an interest but will not discuss further on why he won't/can't persue this
has stated previously that there is no one in the family that he likes (including me) only his grandad
has indicated that there is an issue but refuses to elaborate to me, his grandad or even the suggestion of someone like a counsellor
on occasions he will get extremley angry (usually with his brother) over little things i.e. when can he have the laptop, which has resulted him getting physical with his brother (when I am at work) or damaging property
did not want any christmas presents/money from anyone (although we did give him money and he has accepted this)
will not do any chores
does not accept any form of incentive to do things

I have tried ignoring his behaviour, talking to him, telling him I'll be there to listen when he's ready to talk but nothing seems to work.

When he was at school there were several times when he truanted and this could be the case with college, as I have to leave for work before he needs to leave for college.

He used to be such a happy and socially outgoing child but there has been a deteriation over a number of years, he is quite bright but gave up academically when he was at primary school.

The only thing I can pin point was the death of his other grandad when he was about 7, although they weren't particularly close but because he was the eldest grandchild his grandad would make more fuss of him than his other grandchildren.

I fear he is only going to get worse, he has no interest in anything, does not have any thought for the future and says 'i'm not bothered about anything or anybody'. I can't get through to him.

He has no contact with his dad (we divorced nearly 7 years ago) as they don't get on, his dad used to pick on him and favour his brother and obviously this was very apparent to my older son, ahis younger brother sees him regularly. I also do have no contact with his father due to various issues.

Anonymous said...

My Son is 27, but often acts very immature. He has been diagnosed with ADD and Asperger's syndrome. I love him very much. If I were not the starter of any and all motivational fires, he would do nothing but play his video games, watch is TV and create super-hero scenarios, in his room, where he acts out the parts of several different characters. If someone from the outside came in and didn't know better, it would appear to them that there were several people in his room. He has no friends. He is attending a technical school for IT because one day while we were looking in the paper for jobs, one of them specified an opportunity without the need of experience which they claimed they would provide. As you've probably already guessed, it turned out to be the school he's now attending.

I'm 53 and have been in the IT field for more than 20 years. Currently, I'm unemployed and am trying to run a home-based business. I have access to an exam creator as well as the entire database of questions for the CompTIA A+ and Network+ certifications. One day I started going over the questions, one hundred at a time, and discovered that I could pass the exam without too much trouble. I decided to have my Son go over them with me(this was long before we stumbled onto the school he's attending), and was very surprised as well as proud, that he picked up the knowledge as quickly as he did and it wasn't long before he was able to pass the exams as well. I used to bring him to work with me when I was working for a small computer repair shop where the owner didn't mind him being there one day a week. He's very smart in many ways, but he still has a long way to go before I'll feel comfortable that he'll be ok after I'm gone. That's all I'm interested in. When I die I just want to know that he's going to be OK!

Anonymous said...

I have always noted that Kevin did not fit in with most of his peers. As a child back in (DOB- 1982) the 80s he loved to help new students. Then they started fitting with others and left Kevin sort of behind. He’s now an almost by age 30 yrs old. He has gone from job to job. Now he has found his niche as a supervisor of a well known tax center. He’s been there for 2.5 years and he says he’s very happy. As Kevin’s parent I would like to see him independent but there are areas of his social behavior he will never reach his chronological age. Back in ’89 he was diagnosed with mild CP. In first grade he had motor (fine & gross) skill of an 18th month old.

My question is: how can I approach Kevin about Aspergers.? I work at a community college and I picked up a report by a professor about 4 months ago and asked him if he wanted to read it. He raged at me that everybody says he’s a “retard”. He screamed, ”Aspergers means I’m retarded.! I’m just a retard”.
Should I leave him alone and not try again for fear he will explode. He was diagnosed with ADD at 6 yrs old and took Ritalin until he had a psychotic break at 17 yrs old. I thought it was caused by Ritalin but I later found out he was sleep deprived. Just within the last year was I became aware that Kevin may have his behaviors from a brain bleed and seizure at birth ( not expected to live at 24 hours old).

Anonymous said...

Mark,
Thank you for emailing the links for my purchases. I'm looking forward to reading the publications & listening to the audio.

My son was finally correctly diagnosed at age nine, when he became suicidal. He has surpassed ALL predictions for his future -- he is now twenty and is attending college. He continues to struggle with some issues, so when I stumbled across your website it gave me hope.

Thank you for what you do.

Ginny

Mark Hutten said...

FYI: I noticed some young people are really trashing the "Launching Adult Children With Aspergers" eBook on WrongPlanet.net ...I was really confused and hurt by this, but then I realized that the members of WrongPlanet.net are mostly older teens and young adults with Aspergers, some of whom are probably still living with mom and dad. It makes sense to me now why a few don't like the eBook since it helps parents launch (and in some cases, kick out) their adult Aspie who is still a "dependent."

goerge said...

Teresa my son is exactly the same. Even with maths then declined. In year 10 three years running but because that's what he wants. Stop fighting this and accept Don't try fit a square inside a triangle. My teen has found friends in social group arranged parties Their stress levels and lives are hard enough. Try find his true passion. Short courses in art photography glassmaking etc find out his passion and therapy should be for him to talk to someone he gels with and trusts. Don't stress he has come further than most. Love and acceptance prevail.

nightwingmrs32 said...

Sandra, I can't thank you enough for your kind post. Having Aspergers and multiple life threatening conditions, I am surprised to see the staggering number of horrible accounts of parents of people with Aspergers. We must remember that there are psychopaths who co-opt the Asperger diagnosis.

Liz Fiore said...

He needs get a life coach for aspergers. You can google it and add you city and state with it. It will come up with people who specialize working to teach social skills and body language and facial expressions. Hope this helps. It's been working so far for us. He is very hi functioning. But needs to learn the above mentioned items.

Liz Fiore said...

No Way Don't teach him it's ok to quit. Instead offer him something worth working for i.e. A vacation. Or something affordable that is worth him pushing for. He can also do classes at home online to earn credits faster. And summer school is a quick way to earns credits. But definitely Don't let home fail. Even if he gets there with D's.. Good luck be strong. Try a life coach for aspergers that will meet with him and with family members so they understand the way he thinks and how to better communicate with him.

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. Thus, the best treatment for Aspergers children and teens is, without a doubt, “social skills training.”

Click here to read the full article…

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.

Click here for the full article...

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.

Click here to read the full article…

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.

Click here to read the full article…

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."

Click here to read the full article…

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.

Click here to read the full article…

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. The hardest part is you feel like you’ll never actually get to know your child and how he/she views the world.

Click here to read the full article...

My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content