My son is a high functioning Aspie as well as my husband and me. He is 21

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by pgchristina, Jan 30, 2018.

  1. pgchristina

    pgchristina New Member

    Can anyone help me? I'm desperate! My son is a high functioning Aspie as well as my husband and me. He is 21, lives at home, and is paying his way through college with his 4,0 gpa. He is a loner, abides by rules, is a model student, and general all around quiet and nice guy. We love him dearly. We didn't know he had Aspergers until he was 15. In later years we also found out about my husband and then me. It was such a relief to finally have a handle for all that we'd been going through. When my happy but challenged son turned 12, it was like someone sneaked into my home and traded my kid for this negative, disrespectful, self absorbed, argumentative person who now lives here. He is not physically aggressive, but gets annoyed easily. He will argue his own perspective to exhaustion. He never remembers chores and barely seems to be aware that life exists outside of his bedroom. We "invade" his space to try to communicate with him, which annoys him considerably. He has better days and worse days. Yes, moody deffinatly and neither we not he knows what's at the root. He never seems to be able to know if he's sick or having a problem. Since childhood, he can't seem to be able to identify our verbalize that he's sick, angry, or what emotion he's feeling. So trying to nail this down is difficult at best. He doesn't think he's disrespectful and says he never means to hurt us or cause trouble - and most of the time it's believable because he is not a liar. They told me the depression and moodiness would happen with the teen years in an Aspergers boy, but when does it lift? He is not rude nor disrespectful to others, not even his dad mostly just me. I am his "care giver", was his homeschool teacher, and his confident. I have read and learned every technique I can get my hands on but nothing works to get through to him. I figured it must be me, so I learned to keep my conversation short, talk in gentle tones, quiet the house, and try to keep a regular routine. When it comes to school, he never forgets an assignment or class. He works hard to please his teachers and they all say, "I would never have believed he has Aspergers. He's he best student we have". My husband and I are the duck feet beneath the water holding him up. We paddle hard to keep him going. He works very, very hard for his scholarship. He's no slouch with that. When he was tested, they told me that I had taught him so many coping skills, they couldn't detect his Aspergers until they gave him the written portion. Then they apologized to me. In all of this, he can't tell you his left from his right, he can't "feel" time, he struggles with driving because people don't obey his rules, he struggles to remember to eat, shower, brush his teeth, etc. No matter what we institute to help him, he can only remember to do what he loves to do. I worry for his future. Most especially because he is so difficult to live with. It is an exhausting chore to get him out of his room to engage with my husband and me. He resents every attempt we make but takes it all out on me. My husband and I are all he has as family. I worry for him that he matured to a point and then stopped. I am so, so, so exhausted of his verbal and attitude abuse of me. I am his pain in the neck because I'm the one who cares enough to try to get him involved with us, to eat, to wash, to do chores, to drive safely. He would live in his room and never come out except to go to school if I let him. He has hardly any need for companionship. We miss him. We worry for him. It's not getting better and I'm worried he's going to abuse others by teaching himself to abuse me by his attitude and the way he talks to me. I'm worried that he won't be able to keep a job. We have a small family business and lost out main source of income a year ago. I don't have money for counseling. Can you help me at all? Is there any hope? Thank you!
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This is a very old thread. Very few people will see a post here. I urge you to post a new thread. To do so go to forums, then pick one and you will see the post new thread button.
  3. pgchristina

    pgchristina New Member

    I am so relieved to hear that I'm not the only . son is 21 now and started changing at 13. He only treats me badly and breaks things around the house when he feels that I haven't kept my word. I don't know what to do. If I stop doing anything for him he will have no one. He cannot live on his own. He plays football and has 1 friend that I haven't seen come over in months. He refuses to go to counseling. He is respectful to his coaches and everyone else. We raises him to be Christian and
    Thank you I've never posted anywhere before ;)
  4. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Hi Christina

    I never posted anywhere either. No social media. Nothing. It will be 3 years in may that I came here. Tonight I read an old post of mine on this thread. It was hard to realize it was me. This helps. I posted a lot. Like thousands. I was that sad and lost.

    Why not copy what you posted and put it on a new thread?

    Omg. You are so so not alone in this.

    My son is vulnerable too. I had similar fears. I still struggle. But my son is making some better choices. And I am too.

    I am on a cell. It is hard to type. I will get internet again so I can use my laptop which is easier to use to type. I will look for your new thread. Or if I have not responded you can send me a message at inbox.

    I so encourage you to start a new thread so others can get to know you and your child.

    Last edited: Jan 30, 2018
  5. runawaybunny

    runawaybunny Administrator Staff Member

    Welcome @pgchristina

    @Copabanana alerted me to your post here and suggested that I move it into it's own thread so more members would see your post and respond

    Hang in there. You are not alone.
  6. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Hi Christina

    There are positives on your story.

    Your son has self control or he could not show respect outside the home. He shows interest in a sport. He has a friend. This is a real start. You do not indicate he used drugs or alcohol. He has a strong base in religious values and he has your deep love.

    He can build on this. At 21 he must. Sometimes we have to push our children out of the nest. To my mind it is not in his interest or yours to permit him to mistreat you.

    It is not true that he will have no one or no life without you. This is a false belief and a fear that can be challenged.

    By posting here you can learn how to support your son to live an independent life and to no longer mistreat you. You will learn how to live in a way where your child's issues become his own to handle...and you are free to live on a way that feels positive and not so burdened.
  7. Enmeshedmom

    Enmeshedmom Active Member

    My 19 year old was exactly the same way and while we and his doctor suspect high functioning Aspergers he was never formerly diagnosed. He had a very hard time with social cues and all through school had difficulty fitting in with his peers. He could sit and talk with adults for hours but not kids his own age. He also was very moody and did not do well with change to routine or change in general really. Unfortunately I think he started smoking pot and continues to do so because he can interact with his peers that way. He never really had friends until he started using it. Now he has friends and goes out to hang out with them often but it seems like pot is always involved. I wish we would have gotten a formal diagnosis but I’m not sure if it would have changed anything for him but maybe I could have done something different. The doctor advised against it because he was making improvements even though they were behind everyone else. If I could only turn back time.
  8. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    You would have gotten tons of services like we did with the diagnosis. But he can still get services if a neuropsychologist (my fav diagnostician) diagnosis. him with autism. Asperger's is no longer in the Dsm. It is now simply autistic spectrum disorder and even high functioning people with it struggle and suffer badly especially in common sense and the social arena . And they need help and services and if he is willing to go for an intensive diagnosis. and be honest he can still benefit and maybe even qualify for Disability which comes with Medicaid therapy and a case manager and job services.

    Of course it is up to him to do this evaluation at his age. My son learned many coping mechanisms and at 24 is doing wellw no drugs ever, on his own. The autism interventions work and help to various degrees. He can still get them. It's NOT too late.

    Love and hugs.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Has your HUSBAND ever gotten into his face and told your son that he is not allowed to continue to stay in HIS (your husband's) home if he EVER speaks to or treats HIS WIFE like that again? Sometimes it takes another male saying this, and meaning it, to stop the aggression. Or something very similar. Maybe not move out, but something very similar and drastic. I believe my father told my oldest he would no longer have internet access for anything other than homework and he would have to be able to show a written or printed homework assignment to get it for that. My son lived with my parents because he couldn't be safe while living with his sister and I. Then he was so mad at me about it that he kept getting really ugly with me, even trying to get physical with me. He forgot that his Grandpa was my Daddy first. My Daddy always thought that males who hit or intimidated women were lower than a snake's belly.

    You need to find your son's currency, that thing that matters to him. Then you need to start making his aggression, and lack of aggression, create a cost/benefit ratio. It will either cost him too much of whatever to be aggressive to you, or it will pay off with extra of whatever to be nice to you.

    Sadly, sometimes they just have to be away from you and have someone else deal with whatever the hot button issues are. Now my son cannot figure out why he was so aggressive and stupid, but he admits that he was. He has had enough time away from us to realize what he was like and to not even be able to explain it to himself.

    Oh, if he is sick or hurting, I have had great luck with having my son put the tip of one finger where it feels the worst. Then I have him give me one adjective (describing word) to tell me how it hurts: tingle stab burn ache sharp hot are some of the words I will offer if my son cannot think of words. If he says he is sick but cannot tell me how he is scik, I tell him to put the tip of one finger on the body part that feel sickest. Then I ask him to give me words to describe how it feels sick. If it is his stomach, I might say that it feels like he needs to burp, vomit, like it is cramping, like he needs to eat but he has already eaten, etc.... It can be a bit difficult to get him to go along with me at first, but it does work if you can offer ways to help if they can tell you what hurts and how it hurts. Usually if my kids won't help at that point, they are told to go and be miserable and to be reasonably quiet about it because I tried to help and they didn't want the only help I could offer. It takes them about ten minutes (if that) to come in and say "Mom, I'm sorry. It hurts here. It feels like....." But I have done this since they were pretty small so they know I only have sympathy for those that help themselves. I hate saying to go and be miserable and quiet, but I cannot help them if they won't give me any information. I don't speak grunt and moan.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Did your son ever get any help or testing for Sensory Integration Disorder? Are you aware of what this is? Where the brain doesn't process input from the senses in a normal way? The person either avoids or seeks out various types of sensory input. My father is undiagnosed but easily has every symptom of Aspergers. I have many of the symptoms of Aspergers but like many women, I taught myself to mimic the other girls so I would not seem strange as a child.

    I have my own sensory problems. I am the pickiest eater in my house. Even when my kids were little, I was pickier than they were. Mostly it is the texture of the food that is a problem for me. The texture of so many things is a problem. I cannot handle any fabric that itches on my skin. I literally won't be able to function until I get it OFF OFF OFF OFF OFF of me. It doesn't matter if it is "just" the label. If it itches, I cannot wear the garment. I cannot think while wearing it. Some sounds set me off too. My kids learned table manners early because I did not want to snap when they were older if I was having a hard time coping with sensory problems.

    Most people with autism have sensory problems to one degree or another. Sometimes those sensory issues make it VERY hard to be in the same room together. There ARE therapies that can help with sensory issues. You need help from an occupational therapist. Usually people end up seeing a school Occupational Therapist (OT) but you can also see a private Occupational Therapist (OT). I prefer private because you get a much more thorough evaluation. School anything are only looking for how the problem impacts life at school. Given your son's age, a private occupational therapist is likely the only option. I am not sure colleges offer the service unless it is a degree program they are teaching. He may run into some obstacles with what I suggest, but I am going to suggest it anyway. There is a therapy that is proven to change how the brain handles the way in which the brain processes sensory information. When I last saw an occupational therapist, I was told that the upper age range for this therapy was age 12 or so. I think you and or your son should look into this therapy, called brushing therapy with gentle joint compression.

    WHY? We have learned a LOT in the last few years about the brain's plasticity. That means it is always changing and growing and learning. Until the last few years, we thought you could only learn certain things at certain times and then they were lost to you forever. Now science is casting grave doubts on much of that idea. I think it might be worth it to learn the way to do the brushing therapy and to do it to see if it helps. This therapy involves no drugs. It is not painful. It would take a couple of minutes a few times a day where you and your son would have to interact. You would take a surgical scrub brush (no soap or water, just the dry brush) and run it over his body in a certain order. Then you compress his joints in order and you are done. It takes less than five minutes at the beginning, when you are still carefully remembering how to do it. It gets even faster. It can be done over clothing or on bare skin. You MUST be taught to do it by an occupational therapist because if you do it incorrectly you can cause real problems. There are certain parts you never brush and the therapist will tell you those. This seems simple to do so much. But it really works very well.

    The reason I mention this when your post was about his aggression is that if he isn't understanding why he just cannot handle being around a smell or a sound or a temperature, he may have a hard time telling you why. But this is something that could help.

    You can learn more about Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) and ways to help it by reading The Out of Sync Child by Kranowitz.