Please help I don't know how to help my son

Discussion in 'Failure to Thrive' started by momsad, Jun 23, 2017.

  1. momsad

    momsad New Member

    I am a single parent with a dear 19 year old son who has high functioning autism. He graduated from high school last year ~ which was great ~ but since then has not been able to get any type of work and is not interested in study (even online) or other. He does not like any interaction with people and hardly comes out of his room except for food and to go into the back garden. After many months of back and forth, I recently set up a dentist appointment for him and gave him an ultimatum of going (even with me via bus/taxi) and pulling his weight around more. Sadly he has decided that he would prefer to be homeless and is gearing up to leave home in a few days and go on the road. I am devastated and heart broken and do not know what to do. Before he would not agree to anything like therapy or even a simple walk in the evening. So he has decided against any help or intervention and I don't know what will happen now. He has made his mind up to leave and I do not know what to do. He is taking food and drink and once that runs out he said that he is not coming back and that is it.
  2. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    I am so sorry. It must be scary to think of him on his own. Can you talk to him and ask if he would like help to find a studio or small apartment? Does he receive any benefits, or can you help him apply?

    Maybe he sees other people his age moving on and he wants to, but doesn't know how.

    I hope things get better... Ksm
  3. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Is he on social security for his aurism? He should be elibible. My high functioning autistic son has it and he is in much better shape than your and pays for his own place plus supplemental social security.

    Disability SSI also comes with a medical card and caseworker to help. My son is very close to his caseworker. He is his confidente. He is much more social now.

    Autism is not a type of mental illness. It is a developmental delay and neurological difference. My son did well with Occupational Therapist (OT), Physical therapy and a social skills class. He was never as socially withdrawn as your son, but he was shy. And had some odd habits that he now learned to save only for his own place, such as talking to himself and singing. He no longer does these things in public.

    Remember that autism, being a developmental delay, improves with time. But autism requires special interventions. Therapy often doesnt work, especially if the person is not good with speaking to others. My son did not like or benefit from therapy.

    Dont expect your son to act like a typical young adult. Take that pressure off both of you. He has a developmental difference. Take it slow and call your autism society for guidance.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2017
  4. Frieda

    Frieda New Member

    Do you have guardianship or does he have a social worker. If no, it might be something to consider since he does sound like a vulnerable adult. He might be a a very black and white thinker and after considering that he did not want to follow your rule of seeing a doctor/ participating in household, the only other choice was to leave.

    My son is 17 and pretty similar to your son. If it was me (and it is not, please follow your own instinct), I would tell my son that I made a mistake in giving him only two choices and that I was very worried about him leaving without a plan and proper skills. I would tell him that I want to work with him on a proper plan on becoming independent that you could both agree on. Most people with autism are also very logical thinkers and at least my son would be receptive to that. If my son would still insist on leaving, I would try and give him a few emergency tips along : Who/Where to ask for help, locations of homeless shelters and soup kitchens... I would be as specific as possible because none of this is intuitive to my son, down to the wording of how to ask for help. Let him know that it is okay to come back and you would find a way to figure out a different plan for him.
  5. momsad

    momsad New Member

    Thank you all so much for your replies as well as kind and informative words. My son was in a much better place this morning so he was more receptive to my other choices and eventually agreed to one, so is no longer leaving home for now. Yes he is a very black and white thinker too and his default solution is always to shut down or flee. I was up all night thinking and worrying and crying and am now just so relieved. Thank you I will definitely look into disability benefits. He is still not receptive to any kind of help or therapy or medication. I already know that if he had left to be homeless that he would never ask anyone for help/shelters/food as his goal is to avoid human interaction no matter what. When he was younger (6-10 approx.) it was easy to get him to md and psy appts but every year since then it's been progressively harder as his will and ability to avoid any type of interaction has grown. Whether it's the doctor or the receptionist or anyone else along the way. I've had many 'baby steps' plans for social skills and interaction and they usually start off well, then one day he just shuts down and it's back to square one again. But now I am just happy that he is not leaving home for now and I can breathe again and check out disability benefits and get back into 'baby steps'.
  6. Frieda

    Frieda New Member

    So relieved to hear that he reconsidered. It is good that you have your son's trust, you can build baby steps from that. I am sure that in his quiet way he also worried about what would happen to him without you as a support system. Maybe it will be a bit of motivation for him to take baby steps himself.
    It is a good idea to check into what adult services might be available to him and how his world could become a bit bigger.
  7. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    My son is very logical too.

    He got most of his helpful interventions very early...starting as a very young toddler and then through school. I dont believe it is ever too late.
  8. momsad

    momsad New Member

    Thank you everyone. I have checked into various services etc that are available for my son but it's the same old story ~ getting him to accept and participate in even some of what's out there. He would definitely benefit and I've have now set his July calendar up (advance written appts and to-do's etc work well for him, nothing unexpected) and will hope for the best as always. Baby steps in the meantime. Yes I think that his logical side got to thinking too as he had time to calm down and consider where his bolting actions would lead him. At least now he is able to see beyond these impulsive outbursts whereas before they would last much longer and go much further.